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I just purchased a new 57' reefer that has the smoke effect and freight sounds. The Lionel discription of features says it has a LED check light that comes on when the smoke unit is on but I don't see anything. There doesn't even appear to be an LED at all in the car. I looked at old pictures from the previous version and you could see the LED on the side of the car. Does anyone know if I am missing something here or did Lionel advertise this feature but then leave it off for some reason.PXL_20201117_202307593


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Last edited by NS1975
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Here is the description from Lionel:

Brrrrr! You can almost feel the chill as these cars rush by with loads of perishables. Our new reefers are packed with features including generator and FreightSounds, an "ice cold" smoke effect and green LED "check light," and opening side and generator doors. They'll do everything but actually keep your lunch cold! Smoke and LED controlled by on/off switch and sounds have volume control.
  • "Ice cold" smoke effect
  • Green LED check light comes on with smoke unit
  • Opening side doors
  • Opening generator compartment door with generator inside
  • Die-cast trucks with rotating bearing caps
  • Operating couplers with hidden tabs
  • Scale coupler and 2-rail convertible (parts sold separately)
  • Separately applied detail parts


  • Diesel generator sounds
  • FreightSounds when in motion replicate the sounds of the train as it rolls down the track

Another observation about the reefer car in the catalog is the fact it depicts the door closed with the smoke seeping out around the edges to give illusion that the cold from inside is escaping but per the instructions you have to keep one of the doors at least halfway open during smoke operation. Thus, a different appearance all together. Now it just looks like someone left the door wide open as it rides down the rails.

So I have seen photos of the Union Pacific, Conrail, Southern Pacific and BNSF versions of this new reefer. The BNSF version seems to be the only one with the LED visible just outside the main door. I looked in the compartment behind the smaller door at the end of the car and there is no LED. I am curious if Lionel only put the LED in one version and advertised it all the road names. 

There is a small door located at the end of the car that opens. The generator inside does not have an LED (see pictures). I got mine for $150 from a local dealer. The sounds start up on their own when track power is applied and they stay running the entire time. The sounds change from a constant humming sound to traditional rail clickety- clack with pops and bangs when the car is in motion.PXL_20201122_174327301PXL_20201117_204252789


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@BobbyD posted:

So does anyone know it these are made with Lionel or the Weaver tooling?

That’s the Lionel tooling. The Weaver doors were cast in and didn’t open. There are also a few subtle differences in the body, such as vent location and along the roofline. For those curious, here is what the Weaver LEDs look like. It also appears the diesel/compressor access door is a solid piece with the Lionel tooling. The Weaver car has a true screen so the LEDs are visible even when it’s closed.


The Weaver sounds cycle between the on-board diesel power plant, a compressor sound, and “off.”  The LEDs cycle red, yellow, green.



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