Did Lionel ever actually produce and release the remakes of the Baker’s Chocolate tank car they showed in their catalog a couple of years ago? At the time,they showed two different road numbers (sku #1919121 & #1919122), and I had ordered one of each, but have never heard anything since. Now they either don’t show at all on venders websites, or if they do show, are listed as “Out of Stock”. Was this item delivered, or was it just quietly dropped from their production list? It’s not the first time I’ve pre-ordered a Lionel item just to be disappointed after waiting a couple of years, but it certainly is going to be the last time.

Bill in FtL

Original Post

Well, guess I’ve been stiffed again! Thanks for the reply, how long ago was it do you recall, prior to the first of the year 2020? That’s it, no more Lionel for me! At least I still have my money ...

Bill,

Lionel DID produce a modern version of the  AF Bakers Chocolate tank car with two numbers. As a matter of fact we reviewed it in the digital edition of O Gauge Railroading in Run 311 under the title of, "S Gauge Insights"  Neat car.  The one we photographed was a production sample and the bulk of the production Bakers Chocolate tank cars have not been released as far as I know. Thought it had to do with the Virus in China at the time.

Will check with a couple of suppliers to see what else I can discover, because, as I write this, Lionel is closed. Heck, I want my two tank cars with different numbers the same way you do.

Hopefully, more information to come.

Ed Boyle

I had ordered one of the PE aquarium cars along with other of the Flyonel items from Charles Ro, I never received that car and inquiries to Ro about it were never answered. 

Same here I have my money but I don't say that I'll never order Flyonel again, guess I'm hooked.

Ray

Just checked with a wholesaler. He has both numbers of the AF Bakers Chocolate tank cars in the warehouse, but he did not have enough Lionel product on hand until recently to ship pending orders to his dealers.  They just got quantities of the Lionel trains they ordered, but it will take a while to sort through what they got and ship the trains out to retailers. Looks like I will get my two Bakers Chocolate tank cars after all

Also, it looks as if those of you who ordered the Bakers Chocolate tank cars should get yours as well, depending on who is your dealers source of supply.

Hope this helps.

Ed Boyle

 

I must say this is pretty confusing, since richabr says his car was shipped out in August of last year, while the distributor Ed Boyle spoke to indicates his stock is just now becoming available to ship. Why should something as low tech as a remake of a car originally made in the 1950’s take 8-9 months to distribute (and that’s not counting development and production time!)? Even with the  interruption of the Covid lockdown, this seems pretty lame.

Bill in FtL

As long as we get the car, I figure we are ahead. The production sample we examined and photographed indicates it is worth the wait. It is a nice looking car, and since I don't have an original,  I am delighted to get the new ones with two different numbers.

By the way, if you look at the "S Gauge Insights" article on the Bakers Chocolate car we did for the Digital Edition of OGR, you will notice that it is different than the two versions of the Bakers Chocolate car Gilbert originally produced.  We also tell you where the term "bakers chocolate" came from as an added bonus.

Ed Boyle

Last edited by Ed Boyle

I must say this is pretty confusing, since richabr says his car was shipped out in August of last year, while the distributor Ed Boyle spoke to indicates his stock is just now becoming available to ship. Why should something as low tech as a remake of a car originally made in the 1950’s take 8-9 months to distribute (and that’s not counting development and production time!)? Even with the  interruption of the Covid lockdown, this seems pretty lame.

Mine arrived along with the  Gibson Wine tank car. Also recieved the aquarium car a few months ago but don't remember the date.

Rich

@Old Goat posted:

Ed and All,

Thank you for the reminder about the BC tank car.  Internet surfing turned one up in Broomall, PA.

BakersChocolateTankCar

Old Goat

From what I can tell looking at the picture it doesn’t seem to be finished to the same level as an original.

Ukaflyer,

Absolutely correct, but I like it as is....plus I plan to upgrade a few items on it for my scale railroad.  I am not a collector and have no desire to spend $$$ for a 60 year old car to modify. 

Thanks,

Old Goat

@Ukaflyer posted:

From what I can tell looking at the picture it doesn’t seem to be finished to the same level as an original.

Originals, actually.

There are two variations of the 24323: (a) complete tank construction w/gray ends, and (b) split tank construction with white ends from 1959-60. The white end version is very scarce and quite valuable. Then there is the 24330 Pikemaster version from 1961-62 which is of split tank construction and has more simple decoration.

I find the 24323 original, as a piece, more appealing because of the presence of complete tank construction painted white all around and original Gilbert trucks which are the correct size height fitted with Gilbert couplers that actually function properly. Sorry, but I have to state this. I also find the 24323 more desirable because it is a genuine made in New Haven, Conn., USA original.  

I expect that the deco on the new ones is sharper. And, the reissues provide affordable samples that one can play with and modify with abandon. Just don't expect the couplers to work well.

Have fun.

Respectfully,

Bob

@Bob Bubeck posted:

Originals, actually.

There are two variations of the 24323: (a) complete tank construction w/gray ends, and (b) split tank construction with white ends from 1959-60. The white end version is very scarce and quite valuable. Then there is the 24330 Pikemaster version from 1961-62 which is of split tank construction and has more simple decoration.

I find the 24323 original, as a piece, more appealing because of the presence of complete tank construction painted white all around and original Gilbert trucks which are the correct size height fitted with Gilbert couplers that actually function properly. Sorry, but I have to state this. I also find the 24323 more desirable because it is a genuine made in New Haven, Conn., USA original.  

I expect that the deco on the new ones is sharper. And, the reissues provide affordable samples that one can play with and modify with abandon. Just don't expect the couplers to work well.

Have fun.

Respectfully,

Bob

It was the 24323 I was making the comparison to. They just have that feel of being more classy than normal Gilbert items. Then I also like the 912 Koppers and they are a lot less expensive.

You have to remember also, that what is being shown here is an artist's rendition for the catalog and not the real car.  Often what is produced is not the same as what they put in the catalog art.

Here are a few pics. The white more resembles the finish on the 24330 PM version rather than the chaulky white on the 24323.

IMG_1016IMG_1017IMG_1018

Rich 

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@Ukaflyer posted:

It was the 24323 I was making the comparison to. They just have that feel of being more classy than normal Gilbert items. Then I also like the 912 Koppers and they are a lot less expensive.

Permit me to suggest that it is the complete tank construction that you and I find desirable. It results in a model that is more prototypical and visually superior. Most of the standout knuckle coupler tank cars from Gilbert were built in this manner (e.g., 910 Gilbert Chemicals, 912 Koppers, 24319 Penn Salt, '58-'59 24316 Mobilgas, 24323 bakers Chocolate, '59-60 24324 Hooker, and so forth). Where just a seam exists with the split tank, there is a riveted seam detail modeled with the complete tanks. Granted, the split tank construction was a Gilbert 'innovation' done to save costs and all subsequent tankers have been built in this manner up to the present, but the final result is less appealing. YMMV.

In any case, please enjoy any version.

Respectfully,

Bob

@Bob Bubeck posted:

Permit me to suggest that it is the complete tank construction that you and I find desirable. It results in a model that is more prototypical and visually superior. Most of the standout knuckle coupler tank cars from Gilbert were built in this manner (e.g., 910 Gilbert Chemicals, 912 Koppers, 24319 Penn Salt, '58-'59 24316 Mobilgas, 24323 bakers Chocolate, '59-60 24324 Hooker, and so forth). Where just a seam exists with the split tank, there is a riveted seam detail modeled with the complete tanks. Granted, the split tank construction was a Gilbert 'innovation' done to save costs and all subsequent tankers have been built in this manner up to the present, but the final result is less appealing. YMMV.

In any case, please enjoy any version.

Respectfully,

Bob

I will agree with everything you said except that the 24316 Mobilgas is not one of those tankers that is in the same class as the others for me. It is a bit plain and even if it had a platform it still wouldn’t be up there with the others, personal choice.

When Gilbert went from the solid tank body to the split tank version for cost savings it would have meant tooling up for a new tank body and lower frame/chassis at a cost. If the original solid tank body tooling was still in good shape and not worn out (and my ‘59’ Bakers body’s shows no signs of this) why stop using it? I find it difficult to understand that the split tank version was going to make any significant savings. I’m not seeing what those savings are in manufacture or assembly.

Have I missed something?

@Ukaflyer posted:

I will agree with everything you said except that the 24316 Mobilgas is not one of those tankers that is in the same class as the others for me. It is a bit plain and even if it had a platform it still wouldn’t be up there with the others, personal choice.

When Gilbert went from the solid tank body to the split tank version for cost savings it would have meant tooling up for a new tank body and lower frame/chassis at a cost. If the original solid tank body tooling was still in good shape and not worn out (and my ‘59’ Bakers body’s shows no signs of this) why stop using it? I find it difficult to understand that the split tank version was going to make any significant savings. I’m not seeing what those savings are in manufacture or assembly.

Have I missed something?

There are costs in every phase of manufacturing, from raw material to finished product.  Every part, no matter how large or small has a monetary value for material and labor.  Labor costs are perhaps the highest cost component of manufacturing.  Tooling is a one time cost amortized over the expected manufacturing life of the product.

The people that assembled Gilbert Flyer most likely worked on a rate: They would be expected to produce X amount of cars or sub-assemblies in a given time. 

Now, I have no idea what the rates were in the Gilbert factory, but let's say it took five minutes to assemble one solid body tank tank car.  12 cars an hour.  Even if it then took five minutes to assemble 1.25 split frame tank cars, that's a savings and an increase of production.  15 cars an hour.  And that's just in final assembly.  In an 8 hour shift that's 96 cars vs. 120 cars.  In a week, it becomes 480 vs. 600.  It adds up.

I've spent the last 24 years of my working life in manufacturing environments.  (Fortunately, I wasn't an assembler, it can be pretty mind numbing doing essentially the same task every day.)  Manufacturers are always looking for ways to reduce costs.  If there's no potential for significant cost reduction, they don't do it.

Rusty

 

Last edited by Rusty Traque
@Ukaflyer posted:

I will agree with everything you said except that the 24316 Mobilgas is not one of those tankers that is in the same class as the others for me. It is a bit plain and even if it had a platform it still wouldn’t be up there with the others, personal choice.

When Gilbert went from the solid tank body to the split tank version for cost savings it would have meant tooling up for a new tank body and lower frame/chassis at a cost. If the original solid tank body tooling was still in good shape and not worn out (and my ‘59’ Bakers body’s shows no signs of this) why stop using it? I find it difficult to understand that the split tank version was going to make any significant savings. I’m not seeing what those savings are in manufacture or assembly.

Have I missed something?

No Mobilgas for you! (said in the voice of the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld). 

Please recall that the tooling for the complete tank dated from 1946 (Ah, those 625 orange Shells). Injection molding tool design had advanced considerably in the intervening 14 years. Because one is molding an enclosed cylinder requiring an insert that has to be retracted before ejecting the tank, the total cycle time per part would be longer than the two halves of the split tank, one half of which includes its own chassis. The physical act of assembly likely went faster with the new arrangement, too, as Rusty suggests.

Bob 

@Bob Bubeck posted:

No Mobilgas for you! (said in the voice of the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld). 

Please recall that the tooling for the complete tank dated from 1946 (Ah, those 625 orange Shells). Injection molding tool design had advanced considerably in the intervening 14 years. Because one is molding an enclosed cylinder requiring an insert that has to be retracted before ejecting the tank, the total cycle time per part would be longer than the two halves of the split tank, one half of which includes its own chassis. The physical act of assembly likely went faster with the new arrangement, too, as Rusty suggests.

Bob 

Yep, that makes sense now, cheers!

Then there is the other tanker that had a relatively short life and lack of various decor, the 926 3-dome model. I have a soft spot for these as well and was disappointed many years ago to find that it had very limited variation options. I know that has changed now with Lionel but it now features the split tank config which for me spoils it. Again just a personal view.

Found it!

Turns out the article we did on the new Baker's Chocolate car was placed in the digital edition  of Run 310 in O Gauge Railroading, NOT Run 311. Whoops!

In the article we discuss what Baker's Chocolate really is and why it is a basic ingredient of many types of chocolate goodies. It is such a basic constituent of cocoa beans that it makes good sense to transport it in bulk in tank cars. 

Most of the story concentrates on the new versions of the car and the fact that for the first time you can get a Baker's Chocolate car with two different numbers. The product and road numbers for the two new cars are 1919121, with road number 31057, and 1919122, carrying road number 31060.

Some S gaugers have already received their Baker's Chocolate cars months ago, but the bulk of the production run appears to be still in wholesalers  warehouses and will be sent to dealers when the pandemic lock down is eased and a full compliment of people can go to work. filling dealer orders.

Ed Boyle

Last edited by Ed Boyle
@Ed Boyle posted:

Found it!

Turns out the article we did on the new Baker's Chocolate car was placed in the digital edition  of Run 310 in O Gauge Railroading, NOT Run 311. Whoops!

<snip>

Ed Boyle

Found the article. A fun read. Thanks!

Bob

Last edited by Bob Bubeck

Hey fellas, I had mentioned earlier on this thread about having ordered the S gauge Polar Express Aquarium car and not received it. Got email from Chas Ro, guess they found my unfilled order, the car is going to be sent.

Never say never

Ray

For your consideration ....

Compared to the Lionel-AF reissue the Gilbert original 24323 has a darker gray, a matte white finish, a bit more detail on Mrs. Baker (an applique), lower trucks, gray-painted handrails on the dome platform, and a black ladder. Complete tank vs. split tank. The sharp-eyed will also notice that the two hazardous materials markers are both on one end ... a common but not universal Gilbert mistake. The markings differ, as well, with the lettering being sharper on the new reissue.  I know which one I prefer, but I will leave that judgement to you all.

 

IMG_1133-BIMG_1130-B

Have fun!

Bob

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