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I've been trying to think of what Lionel could possibly do to make the engines more interactive and have more features.  I've thought of having the people move and if it was a passenger car, have those people move also.  I have a couple other ideas too. Anyone else?   I know this is Lionel's job to think of features but, I feel maybe they will listen better if we have better ideas    One other feature would be more smoke features
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I sure hope not!

 

IMO, Lionel and other manufacturers need to figure out ways to make current features/designs/decoration less prone to manufacturing errors or accidents that cause items to be marred and/or defective right out of the box.

 

I don't need to worry about if the little moving guy in the cab is broken.....

 

All, IMO, your mileage may vary, etc.....

 

-Dave

Originally Posted by Bingo player:
I've been trying to think of what Lionel could possibly do to make the engines more interactive and have more features.  I've thought of having the people move and if it was a passenger car, have those people move also.  I have a couple other ideas too. Anyone else?   I know this is Lionel's job to think of features but, I feel maybe they will listen better if we have better ideas    One other feature would be more smoke features

I have wanted this feature for a long time.  Engineer and fireman who move in the cab, waitresses in the diner who go up and down the aisle, conductor who lowers the steps and comes out of a passenger car/caboose when the train comes to a stop, etc.   Frankly, I would much rather have this than a disappearing coal load.

 

And it doesn't have to be Lionel, either.  I could see MTH doing this, too. 

I wish someone would, any of the players in command control, would use the technology to make operating cars and accessories that do these type of things.
 
Personally I would probably start in an accessory like Lee said maybe with a diner.There is so much potential in the command systems to implement this.  Unfortunately the answer we got at last fall's LUG meeting is Lionel at least doesn't want to invest in command accessories and cars as it would narrow the market. 
 
But even if these were to be done as conventional item, I would use the ERR tech to upgrade them.
 
 
Originally Posted by Lee Willis:

And it doesn't have to be Lionel, either.  I could see MTH doing this, too. 

 

Last edited by MartyE

Yeah, but then we'd complain because they made a right-handed fireman instead of a left-handed one

 

You could take the tiny motor out of a toothbrush, put some putty around it to form the torso, run the wires down the legs, and power it from a battery or an unused connection from your command system.  Not sure what could be made moveable (maybe head swivel) that wouldn't look like he's gone into a seizure 

Check with Gunney John, as he did a fireman looking out the window of a steam loco, when he showed his first clip on his "super chuffer".

 

I personally missed the 1st time I viewed it, but after another forum member pointed it out I saw it, and thought how neat! Thinking out of the old proverbial box works for some folks. For me, I'm trying to remember what I was suppose to think about!.................................................Brandy

I recall a Model Railroader article in the 70s (?) that showed an engineer moving the throttle lever in the cab, and also the O scale loco had separately operating reverse gear linkages.

My thought was using the infra-red or maybe heat sensors that cause movement. Like if a spectator got close enough, the figure's head would spin and look in their direction.

That would be a pretty decent surprise, especially with those Lionel engineer figures that appear to have been painted with giant squid eyes......

Originally Posted by Michigan & Ohio Valley Lines:

At least I can use Woodland Scenics Engineers in the cabs of my steam...

 

St

Keith, that's a nice feature - do you have a Woodland Scenics stock number or set name for whichever of their products includes this figure? I imagine you had to perform surgery to make him fit!

 

On the OP's subject, no - probably not worth asking as moving figures inside of cars/cabs is not likely to be cost-efficient from Lionel's point of view however much play/novelty value that would have.

Maybe passenger cars there could be little screens (like tiny TV's) in the windows. Then there could be actual footage of people moving about train cars. Then there would be realistic movements inside, rather that plastic pieces gliding across the floor. The screens could have some kind of 3D effect so it looks realistic from any angle/eye-level. Everything said here is a pretty cool idea.

Originally Posted by Hancock52:
Originally Posted by Michigan & Ohio Valley Lines:

At least I can use Woodland Scenics Engineers in the cabs of my steam...

 

Keith, that's a nice feature - do you have a Woodland Scenics stock number or set name for whichever of their products includes this figure? I imagine you had to perform surgery to make him fit!

Thanks!  Sure...the item number for WS O Scale Engineers is A2733.  It is a set...two are designed to lean out the cab windows.  Yes, for my docksider, I had to do surgery on the figures.

Originally Posted by david1:

I don't need moving engineers or firemen in my steam engines.

 

I would like to see our mfgs. pay more attention to QC, better detail, better and more sounds, and some new tooling of many,many steam locomotives still yet to be made.  

Best suggestion of the day!!!!

 

Also, how about the manufacturers eliminating the "working doors", i.e. able to open, on diesels and passenger cars? What a totally useless, and EXPENSIVE, feature, in my opinion.

Originally Posted by Harry's Trains:

Maybe passenger cars there could be little screens (like tiny TV's) in the windows. Then there could be actual footage of people moving about train cars. Then there would be realistic movements inside, rather that plastic pieces gliding across the floor. The screens could have some kind of 3D effect so it looks realistic from any angle/eye-level. Everything said here is a pretty cool idea.

I didn't see any smiley faces, but I hope that was in jest!

 

It would probably be easier to just skip the physical trains (think of how much money could be saved!) and program such activity into a virtual reality helmet display someday.

Originally Posted by Traindiesel:

I'd like to see someone make actual walking people, watching a video on their cell phone (with an actual video playing on the tiny phone) and watch as they walk unconsciously off the edge of the layout!

I have some old duffer hobbling around the layout muttering "For the world is hollow and I have touched the sky...."

You are spot on Keith!  I suppose animated characters in engine cabs and passenger cars is a lofty goal considering every Lionel Legacy steam engine I have are occupied by the SAME white engineer and the SAME black fireman.  My older TMCC steam engines have the same white engineer and same white fireman.  That's pretty lame and seemingly so easy to remedy. 

 

I swap my cab figures out with Artista figures, I think the Woodland Scenic figures are a bit too big for the cabs, but that is just my opinion.

What if you had a passenger car were the conductor or porter went up and down the aisle?  It could either be a figure on some from of chain/belt drive or even a film strip like and aquarium car, only use some narrow idlers to get rid of the big gap between the sides of the film.  have the film go round and round in the passenger car aisle.

 

Just a thought

Originally Posted by Firewood:

I recall a Model Railroader article in the 70s (?) that showed an engineer moving the throttle lever in the cab, and also the O scale loco had separately operating reverse gear linkages.

I believe you may be thinking of the radio controlled O scale model of the CB&Q 5632 belonging to Mr. Howard Bixler. If I recall correctly, the locomotive was a heavily modified Max Gray model. It featured an impressive array of moving parts including the Engineer figure. I had the good fortune to see and tape Mr. Bixler's locomotive in operation at an O scale national convention during the early 90s. I'd be curious to know where that model is today as the owner was up in years. 

 

A few pictures of the locomotive and one of Mr. Bixler himself are posted below.

 

Bob

   

BIXLER1

BIXLER2

BIXLER3

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  • BIXLER1
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Originally Posted by gunrunnerjohn:

I'm with MartyE, I'd like to see more operating cars.  I think the locomotives have enough action, let's spread it around.  Audio in a number of the cars in a consist would really be cool, I keep looking for a second set of the Vision Line tank cars so I can have four tankers with sound on a single consist.

 

How hard could it be to add a young kid staring out the window of a passenger car, and waving?  

 

That would be so cool - me 60 years ago!

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