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So, the cat is *officially* out of the bag.  For those of you who own the original Acela (myself included) or those who desire the original, what are your thoughts on new vs. old?  Talking about the "real" Acela, not the Polcela Express, Hiawacela, El Capitacela, City of Acela, or others.

First impressions for me:

The problems with the original Acela lay with the IR connector, the opening doors, and the tilt mechanism.  All of these are very cool features when they work, but could perhaps be considered more trouble than they're worth.  Looks like these have been addressed by eliminating the opening doors, adding a "passive tilt system" (perhaps just purely mechanical now?), and, it would appear, eliminating the IR drawbar altogether (there's nothing to control now, it would seem).

A few key features I'm very glad to see are the LED passenger car lighting, Legacy speed control (no more lurching from a stop), and both engines powered.  Also cool that the cafe car will be a stationsounds car now.  I hope the sounds (both horns, bell, and announcements will be the same).

Takeaway:

Definitely holding on to my original one for now.  One nice thing is with the absence of some of the extra over-the-top features on the new one, the original Acela will likely hold its value fairly well.  If there's a good enough pre-order price out there, I may take a shot at the new one.

Last edited by Woody Ridenour
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I don't personally mind the fact that they new version is a simpler to maintain than the original.  A solid running train without all the bells and whistles would be nice.   I suspect it will be accurate to Amtrak as Amtrak now has a person responsible for approving colors and graphics match as closely as possible to the prototype. 

I can't justify the price at this time with other financial obligations. 

still want this,but no opening doors is a bummer. the truck redesign to facilitate easier traction tire replacement is a good thing. still not sure how the cars are going to be coupled together though. only amtrack original scheme for me though. no fantasy paint job.

At the price point for the set and add-on cars it scares me to buy it due to lionels quality control issues lately,but I still always wanted this set. never bit on the old one even used due to the changing of the traction tires as well as the going prices on ebay.

maybe if prodution samples are shown by ryan or dave describing the improvements that have been made ect. I will get one that is if they are even made. the cost of the set and people willing to buy this set coupled with the built to order numbers needed to produce it. this may get pushed back again. I hope not, but will see.

seems dave spent quite a bit of time examining the flaws of the old set and making the new set better. so maybee they will make the set after all. so his time was not wasted on developing this new version. well see.

I’m excited for it. Compared to some of the vision line items I don't think the price is bad considering you get 13 feet of O-scale high speed train. Im excited for cars will tilt mechanically, sounds and motors in both units, smooth speed steps, doors that will stay closed during operation, great sounds in the cafe car, operating pantographs. Plus it will likely hold a solid resale value. I get that many are still upset about the design from 20 years ago, but I am cautiously optimistic. Plus if you’ve ever been stuck behind one for hours because it broke down on the northeast corridor. Or sat on a siding for what felt like eons for one to pass. You’d know the real one can be unpredictable too lol

@Craignor posted:

If I were Lionel I would have made it even simpler and cheaper, put two motors in the front engine, and call it done. There is no reason to have motors at both ends, not many cars to pull, just more to go wrong.

Have you owned the original?  There may only be six cars, but wow are they heavy.  The one power unit actually struggles to push/pull at the train at times.  And the harder the motors have to work, the more wear on the gears. Both units powered is one major benefit of the new model, imo.

I don't know, kind of on the fence about getting it.  Quality wise, as long as they build it like the old one, there won't be any problems.  The old one was always kind of an oxymoron in my opinion; kind of reminded me of a German luxury car.  Absolutely nothing "cheap" about it.  Super well put-together, nearly on the level of Marklin, imho.  But it was so overly complex that there were bound to be problems.  Again, those problems arose from complexity and slight oversights in engineering, not from it being a cheaply thrown together hunk of junk, by any means.

People tend to assume that if something has problems than it must be "cheap".  I can assure both from my experience with the Acela and with German cars that that is absolutely not always the case.  Something can be of the highest quality, but have problems stemming from its being so over-engineered that other problems have been caused in the process.

In the end, though, I'm an engineer who loves solving technical problems, so the original Acela is basically the ultimate "mountain to be climbed" within model railroading, at least!

I bought 2 complete sets last year.  Spent about 12 hours each relubing and adjusting doors and pantographs.  Both run flawlessly.  I wonder how the trucks will be geared.  Original trucks gears are pretty elaborate compared the typical.  I”m glad I have the old ones.  The “doors and tilt” make it unique.   One engine powered is plenty.

if I did not own them, I would consider, but $2,495?...

I have the old set that I bought new back then. I had some issues with mine but without a doubt the old acala set has to be one of my favorite most advanced sets lionel ever produced. The new set had me interested but after learning that the doors don't mechanically open and close by the touch of a button I suddenly lost interest. To me that is the coolest feature out of the whole set if anything I would rather see the tilting be removed over the mechanical doors. I love the tilting thought. I wish they new set had all features the old set had but with improvements and love the rear unit powered because when operating old set with single powered unit I found that sometimes when in reverse the cars would lose it's synch with other cars because of the pushing of all 6 cars instead of pulling. Just found the set much more reliable when in forward motion and when adding the 3 additional cars it wasn't as reliable so having that powered engine in the back would have helped huge in my opinion and less wear on the tires especially when climbing the grades.

I wonder if the rear powered engine from the new set will work with the old set? If so I would be interesting and picking up a powered rear unit to go with my old set.

I also would hope the same sound files were used in the new set because they sounded awesome as I think they were original sounds taken from real acela crew. I especially love the black guy voice collecting tickets from passengers...just think he sounds great so legit.

Bottom line without the mechanical doors it's a no go for me especially for that price.

Just my opinion.

Last edited by Matthew
@2012ford posted:

It has opening doors just manually open

If you haven't seen those doors open just by the touch of the legacy remote it sure is a must see. If you have to use your fingers to slide open the doors that takes away that major cool feature that myself and people love when they come over and see the set operate as all those doors open at the same time...really cool feature.

No interest in the new one, which has less of the cool features that made the ACELA the ACELA. The original remains the high water mark for Lionel both technically and as a truly accurate scale model of a real passenger train.

After working out a few bugs early on, my sample operates and sounds just fine. It was the one captured operating flawlessly in TM's Lionel Nation 2 video. And, mine is long since paid for.  At the price and in the current environment, one does wonder if Lionel will obtain enough preorders to justify building a new somewhat dumbed-down version, fantasy schemes and all.  The Lionel that designed and built the first ACELA was a different company with players who were (shall we say) more adventurous than the current crew.

For those who order the new one, I hope that it is made and they enjoy running it.

Bob

Last edited by Bob Bubeck

Well with the open door feature gone thats is a big let down,but the other factors at lest for me out weigh loosing that feature. The new legacy bluetooth electronics will be a lot better and pcb board wise a better set up than the old tmcc with odyssey. The addition of the rear unit powered with sounds is a step up from the old one. The truck redesign for changing traction tires is a real real big plus. This is what always kept me from buying the original one. The station sounds car looks to be sound wise a nice addition also. The cars tilting feature looks to be simpler and will work better every time. Having not seen this in my hands yet this is just my opinion.

So after listening to dave olson talk about it and checking the reactions from youtube and here on the forum. while I think the price is a little high I still hope it is made. I have always wanted one. Lets hope if this is made the quality control on this model will be very high priority on lionels part. Not counting on it,but given the history of the original one lionel should want these sets to be right from the get go. We will see though.

My prediction is the new Acela is DOA.  The goal for Lionel should have been to make a new Acela and make it better than before.  The challenge was to make the door opening more reliable......not eliminate the prototypical feature.  I'm an engineer and always up for a good problem to solve.  This team ran and hid.  As for passive tilting using and inclined plane or bevel gear arrangement may work in theory but can Lionel actually pull off the production of it.  Just look at the struggles right now with their everyday trucks.  Too bad they wasted an entire cover shot on this going nowhere BTO.

Last edited by Steims

I'm thinking very much about it but haven't pulled the trigger yet.

Wasn't into trains when the first version came out and always wanted one since.  Weighing the risk of not buying one this time around and being left out again, but the price is kind of steep.  I know that Build-to-Order may be the direction that O Gauge is turning to, but that comes as a price. I already have my GGD Amtrak Viewliners order in (my first ever BTO) but down the road do I really want to be running trains at the club knowing that each of the trainsets cost around $3K each?  If I bring 3 sets to the club then I'm looking at $9-$10k in trains in my car.  Not a big deal for some, but big for me, but that's another topic. An enticing slippery slope indeed .

Last edited by Amfleet25124

I pre-ordered my Acela almost immediately. The set with the expansion can be had for $2,750 from Nassau Hobby. Sure, the door feature would be nice, but the reduced maintenance requirement is nice too. I like the other features being added and I’m very excited to get this train set. I wasn’t able to buy it previously and I don’t want to miss out again.

One thing I'm considering as I'm looking at the new Acela in the online catalog right now is like maybe when the new one comes out, some folks who have the old ones will sell theirs, like folks do with other material items (cars, computers, etc) so they have the newest model.  I then buy one of the old ones - along with the expansion pack - in as top shape as possible (the opening door feature is a MUST for me) and then send it to OGR member @ChooChooPaul for fine tuning.  Probably cost less than $3,500 Lionel is asking for the new set when everything is set and done.  The same goes for the MTH Amtrak TurboTrain if I can get one.

I watch this video on YouTube of the Acela's opening doors all the time.  I think I will watch it again.

My Bachmann N Scale version that I had didn't have opening doors and it gave a lot of trouble so I sold it

20191123_064747 [1)20191123_064750

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Last edited by Amfleet25124

One thing I'm considering as I'm looking at the new Acela in the online catalog right now is like maybe when the new one comes out, some folks who have the old ones will sell theirs, like folks do with other material items (cars, computers, etc) so they have the newest model.  I then buy one of the old ones - along with the expansion pack - in as top shape as possible (the opening door feature is a MUST for me) and then send it to ChooChooPaul for fine tuning.  Probably cost less than $3,500 when everything is set and done.  The same goes for the MTH Amtrak TurboTrain if I can get one.

I watch this video on YouTube of the Acela's opening doors all the time.  I think I will watch it again.

My Bachmann N Scale version that I had didn't have opening doors and it gave a lot of trouble so I sold it

20191123_064747 [1)20191123_064750

My email is in my profile.  I know of a set plus expansion in your price range.  New Rev B Cat boards and cleaned, re-greased doors.  Less than your figure.

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