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I ordered the new Lionel 4-4-0's and matching passenger cars.  But Lionel doesn't have more than 2 cars per road, which makes for a short train.  So I was wondering if anyone has them as well as any of the MTH era passenger cars that can compare the two. (Links to give examples of what I am speaking of.)

I know the Lionel are bar and pin while the MTH use couplers, but that is easy enough to change.  I'm more curious about sizes and how they look together.  At some point I also want to get some of the MTH early American freight too.  These new locomotives need work to do.

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I like the look of the Lionel cars.  I also appreciate that they did the Woodruff cars.  Very nice!  But, from what I understand, they are not lighted, have frosted windows to hide the innards, and thus, do not have any/much interior detailing/passengers.  Kind of a let-down IMHO.

I always assumed the MTH 64' woodsided coaches were to scale, but they do look a bit large when hooked up to a Premier 4-4-0 American.  I do think they are some of MTH's finer work.  I also have the Railking overton cars.  I think they are an excellent bang-for-the-buck.  Depending upon which roadname you prefer, they are getting harder to find.

From what I understand, passenger trains from that era were quite short.  I'd not question the authenticity of someone running a 3-car passenger train from that era.  Someone had mentioned they hope that Lionel produces freight cars for that era.  THAT is something I definitely would be interested in!  I know SMR produced some really incredible pieces, but out of my price range

Last edited by Frank Mulligan

The Lionel cars are representative of 1860's passenger car construction, the MTH cars of 1900's construction.  Carbuilding changed over those 40 years.

As far as the MTH Overton cars are concerned, they are based on the former Model Die Casting's HO Overtons, except with a flat roof instead of a clerestory roof.  An the MDC HO cars were based on Sierra Railroad's Angel's Branch coach & combine, built in 1902.


I think the MTH cars represent a much later prototype open platform car from the 1880s or 1890s.    The Lionel cars from the picture appear to represent more of an 1850s-1860s civil war era prototype.   

As for running them together, probably the prototype did not.    The 1860s cars would probably be retired except on some shortline are rare branch by the time the 1890s cars were in heavy use.   

The lionel cars would be very appropriate for the civil war era 4-4-0s such as the general represents.    the MTH cars would be too new for that and would be more appropriate for a much newer 4-4-0 such as the one MTH did or a 4-6-0.

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