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I saw the new Gensets in the catalog and was interested since they are doing one in Pennsy.  After reading the description, I am not so enamored with it.  Lionel is switching the diecast cab to plastic for better radio reception of bluetooth.  If Lionel can get bluetooth to work in diecast steam locs why can't they get it to work in a diesel?  They are also adding weights to the loc which I assume is to compensate for the lost of weight from the shell.  I own a set of the Vision Centipedes and I must say that a diecast diesel is a thing of beauty.  The heft and look cannot be matched in plastic.  I'm sure Lionel will do a fine job with the plastic shell (I do own many plastic shell diesels) but its not the same.   I liked the additional motor but I assume its coming at a cost.  The description no longer states a "detailed cab interior".  From Eric's trains original review, the loc only had one motor to allow for a detailed cab interior since the cab is directly over the one truck.  Now that there is a second motor, the detailed cab is no longer part of the description.  It seems this loc is loosing more than its gaining.  I admit the price point is favorable since it must cost less to go plastic and no more detailed cab interior.  I have to question if bluetooth and an extra motor are worth the loss of the diecast shell and detailed can interior.  From reviews I have read online with the prior releases, no one ever complained that it did not have enough pulling power.  I wonder why Lionel thought they needed to increase the power.

What do you think?

Original Post

The steam locomotives may use the railings as an antenna, an option not available with most diesels.  The details you remark about may or may not turn out to be the case, so I'd wait and see, or inquire directly with Lionel about the motors, cab interior and any other questions. These priorities are, of course, in the end, your personal preferences, so none of our comments will reflect what's most important to you.  Godspeed.

The MSRP on the diecast gensets last time was $900. I'm sure now it would be $1200. They're jam packed full of stuff. 

I have one of the non VL die cast ones and its a fantastic loco. Cant say I ever had any pulling power problems with it. I really think the switch just comes down to economics. 

Beyond the plastic, which I can look past... there's 3 more important things to be answered:

1. Will the headlights be in the right spot? Based on the catalog, BNSF and CSX are correct (on the nose), UP and NS are wrong (should be above the windshield between the number boards). Thats a big screwup considering they were all correct the first time (meaning the files for both versions exist on a computer). Come on guys, get this right and slide tool the cabs and noses.

2. The originals crawl along in switcher mode. Will this one have switcher mode? I suspect not, given the dual motors, but I'll wait to be surprised.

3. Its looking like the fixed pilots remain... lets hope thats the case. Hopefully the whole diecast underframe arrangement remains and its just a new shell, not a complete retool. 

The MSRP on the diecast gensets last time was $900. I'm sure now it would be $1200. They're jam packed full of stuff. 

I have one of the non VL die cast ones and its a fantastic loco. Cant say I ever had any pulling power problems with it. I really think the switch just comes down to economics. 

Beyond the plastic, which I can look past... there's 3 more important things to be answered:

1. Will the headlights be in the right spot? Based on the catalog, BNSF and CSX are correct (on the nose), UP and NS are wrong (should be above the windshield between the number boards). Thats a big screwup considering they were all correct the first time (meaning the files for both versions exist on a computer). Come on guys, get this right and slide tool the cabs and noses.

2. The originals crawl along in switcher mode. Will this one have switcher mode? I suspect not, given the dual motors, but I'll wait to be surprised.

3. Its looking like the fixed pilots remain... lets hope thats the case. Hopefully the whole diecast underframe arrangement remains and its just a new shell, not a complete retool. 

Good catch one item 1! I didn't catch that on the first viewing. 

Source: https://www.google.com/url?sa=...0eoCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAh

 

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@Joe Fermani posted:

You may be right about the steam railings.  Had not thought about that.  I will most likely wait until its out to see what it looks like.  Too many questions to pull the trigger on a pre-order.

I think on these diecast engines, the TMCC/Legacy antenna has to be outside as well. I don't recall exactly, but I think it's on the hand rails for the VL Genset.

I had to rebuild all three smoke units, and replace much of the wiring in the one I got. The inside is really crammed with parts and wire...and the reason a smoke resistor lead shorted out in the first place. BTW, I searched wire harnesses on Lionel's site and was able to reconstruct the harnesses with factory parts.

@Steims posted:

The diecast diesels (Genset, ES44ACs, etc) use handrails as their antenna similar to the steamers.  

With these going back into production I can hopefully get my hands back on some rain cap smokestacks.  

Ha...I was a few minutes late with my post. As for the smoke caps, I need a set as well. The original owner crushed the cap hinges so I reluctantly just super glued them partly open. Looks good but they look better when they open and close. My non VL genset does not have caps...so I doubt this one will.

I was making my assumption on the hinged rain caps based on the catalogue photo (included above).  I forgot how foolish it is to assume just because you see it doesn’t mean you’ll get it.  

The VL has 3 smoke units so they are capable of lifting the cap.  The new ones will have 1 smoke unit like the previous non-VL so I doubt that 1 smoke fan could lift 3 lids by itself.  

Last edited by Steims
@hirailsteve posted:

I spoke with Ryan regarding interior detailing and the headlights. Unfortunately due to the second motor, there won't be a control stand like in the diecast models. He is looking into getting the tooling modified for roofline headlights.

Hopefully he can get it done! I would be in for 2-3 of them if the headlight can be added to the proper location. If not, I will pass on them.

The more I read about this model and study the photos, I’m starting to believe the headlight is moved to accommodate the second motor as well as the simplification of the cab. I’m questioning if the number boards will be illuminated. The circuit board in the vision model accommodates the headlight, number boards, and cab light. The street price for this release is greater than I paid for my UP vision model new from Nicholas Smith! Lionel also sent me $50 rebate because I bought both vision diesels when released. I’m in ‘wait and see’ on this.

Last edited by NYC Z-MAN
@NYC Z-MAN posted:

The more I read about this model and study the photos, I’m starting to believe the headlight is moved to accommodate the second motor as well as the simplification of the cab. I’m questioning if the number boards will be illuminated. The circuit board in the vision model accommodates the headlight, number boards, and cab light. The street price for this release is greater than I paid for my UP vision model new from Nicholas Smith! Lionel also sent me $50 rebate because I bought both vision diesels when released. I’m in ‘wait and see’ on this.

That logic makes little to no sense to me. 

Considering the limiting factor for motor size is what fits under the low long hood, there will be plenty of clearance in the cab. I highly doubt they will put a larger motor in the cab, it would make the most sense to keep both motors the same size. There is no shortage of dual motor locomotives that have high mounted headlights. The cab roof circuit board of every lionel engine operates the cab light, the number boards and (when equipped) high mounted headlights.

The headlight is not being "moved". There are prototypes of both versions and Lionel has already made it both ways. This is a matter of doing it right with modular tooling, or doing it cheap with a single tool. 

Hi all

A few clarifications.

  • Changing the shell to ABS is needed for the Bluetooth signal. The Bluetooth antenna is built into the board and is not able to be externalized like with the TMCC/Legacy antenna. Bluetooth has worked well in our Steamers because the majority have air gaps between the frame and body shells. The Genset is different. Having a die-cast body and frame, it's essentially a Faraday cage, completely killing the BLE signal.
  • The headlight(s) will be in the appropriate locations per sku.
  • The second motor is being added in the cab. It will be taking up much of the space in the cab, but there will still be room for some cab details, so the interior is not completely going away. With the removal of the die-cast shell, more traction was needed, so that is why the second motor is being added.
  • These will be programmed to run at switcher speeds. Yes, that's possible with 2 motors.
  • Fixed pilots are remaining.
  • The frame will remain die-cast.
  • These will have the one smoke unit, but it will be sufficient to raise all 3 rain caps. These engines would just not be cool if we didn't include the caps!

 

I think that's everything?

Thanks!

@Dave Olson posted:

Hi all

A few clarifications.

  • Changing the shell to ABS is needed for the Bluetooth signal. The Bluetooth antenna is built into the board and is not able to be externalized like with the TMCC/Legacy antenna. Bluetooth has worked well in our Steamers because the majority have air gaps between the frame and body shells. The Genset is different. Having a die-cast body and frame, it's essentially a Faraday cage, completely killing the BLE signal.
  • The headlight(s) will be in the appropriate locations per sku.
  • The second motor is being added in the cab. It will be taking up much of the space in the cab, but there will still be room for some cab details, so the interior is not completely going away. With the removal of the die-cast shell, more traction was needed, so that is why the second motor is being added.
  • These will be programmed to run at switcher speeds. Yes, that's possible with 2 motors.
  • Fixed pilots are remaining.
  • The frame will remain die-cast.
  • These will have the one smoke unit, but it will be sufficient to raise all 3 rain caps. These engines would just not be cool if we didn't include the caps!

 

I think that's everything?

Thanks!

Glad to hear from you Dave, missed you on the catalog show. Thanks for addressing the comments and concerns here. 

@Dave Olson posted:

Hi all

A few clarifications.

  • Changing the shell to ABS is needed for the Bluetooth signal. The Bluetooth antenna is built into the board and is not able to be externalized like with the TMCC/Legacy antenna. Bluetooth has worked well in our Steamers because the majority have air gaps between the frame and body shells. The Genset is different. Having a die-cast body and frame, it's essentially a Faraday cage, completely killing the BLE signal.
  • The headlight(s) will be in the appropriate locations per sku.
  • The second motor is being added in the cab. It will be taking up much of the space in the cab, but there will still be room for some cab details, so the interior is not completely going away. With the removal of the die-cast shell, more traction was needed, so that is why the second motor is being added.
  • These will be programmed to run at switcher speeds. Yes, that's possible with 2 motors.
  • Fixed pilots are remaining.
  • The frame will remain die-cast.
  • These will have the one smoke unit, but it will be sufficient to raise all 3 rain caps. These engines would just not be cool if we didn't include the caps!

 

I think that's everything?

Thanks!

Kadee compatibility? 

 

 

Answers much appreciated, Dave.

Last edited by Boilermaker1
@Dave Olson posted:

Hi all

A few clarifications.

  • Changing the shell to ABS is needed for the Bluetooth signal. The Bluetooth antenna is built into the board and is not able to be externalized like with the TMCC/Legacy antenna. Bluetooth has worked well in our Steamers because the majority have air gaps between the frame and body shells. The Genset is different. Having a die-cast body and frame, it's essentially a Faraday cage, completely killing the BLE signal.
  • The headlight(s) will be in the appropriate locations per sku.
  • The second motor is being added in the cab. It will be taking up much of the space in the cab, but there will still be room for some cab details, so the interior is not completely going away. With the removal of the die-cast shell, more traction was needed, so that is why the second motor is being added.
  • These will be programmed to run at switcher speeds. Yes, that's possible with 2 motors.
  • Fixed pilots are remaining.
  • The frame will remain die-cast.
  • These will have the one smoke unit, but it will be sufficient to raise all 3 rain caps. These engines would just not be cool if we didn't include the caps!

 

I think that's everything?

Thanks!

Thanks for clarifying! In regard to the smoke and the rain caps, will the caps raise and lower automatically when the smoke unit is shut down or started up or will they have to manually be raised and lowered? 

 

Well, you can also have a measure of peace-of-mind with the ABS shell in knowing the coming version will at least not be subject to ZINC PEST in its most painfully prominent presence.   Not that the prior die cast version suffered from that sort of problem, AFAIK.  But if you've ever had one of your treasures suffer from that PITA....with no manufacturer's remedial recourse...perhaps it's a bit of serendipitous blessing.  

You know.....think positive.  Look for the benefits.

And stay safe.

KD

@Dave Olson posted:

Hi all

A few clarifications.

  • Changing the shell to ABS is needed for the Bluetooth signal. The Bluetooth antenna is built into the board and is not able to be externalized like with the TMCC/Legacy antenna. Bluetooth has worked well in our Steamers because the majority have air gaps between the frame and body shells. The Genset is different. Having a die-cast body and frame, it's essentially a Faraday cage, completely killing the BLE signal.
  • The headlight(s) will be in the appropriate locations per sku.
  • The second motor is being added in the cab. It will be taking up much of the space in the cab, but there will still be room for some cab details, so the interior is not completely going away. With the removal of the die-cast shell, more traction was needed, so that is why the second motor is being added.
  • These will be programmed to run at switcher speeds. Yes, that's possible with 2 motors.
  • Fixed pilots are remaining.
  • The frame will remain die-cast.
  • These will have the one smoke unit, but it will be sufficient to raise all 3 rain caps. These engines would just not be cool if we didn't include the caps!

 

I think that's everything?

Thanks!

Thanks very much for the update on the new Gensets. I hope there are extra smoke chimneys with rain caps that will fit the VL? I am very much in need of 3 of those. As an aside, will the former Genset with the single smoke unit raise the rain caps?...just wondering since I have one of those too. I am looking forward to the PRR version...

@Dave Olson posted:

Hi all

A few clarifications.

  • Changing the shell to ABS is needed for the Bluetooth signal. The Bluetooth antenna is built into the board and is not able to be externalized like with the TMCC/Legacy antenna. Bluetooth has worked well in our Steamers because the majority have air gaps between the frame and body shells. The Genset is different. Having a die-cast body and frame, it's essentially a Faraday cage, completely killing the BLE signal.
  • The headlight(s) will be in the appropriate locations per sku.
  • The second motor is being added in the cab. It will be taking up much of the space in the cab, but there will still be room for some cab details, so the interior is not completely going away. With the removal of the die-cast shell, more traction was needed, so that is why the second motor is being added.
  • These will be programmed to run at switcher speeds. Yes, that's possible with 2 motors.
  • Fixed pilots are remaining.
  • The frame will remain die-cast.
  • These will have the one smoke unit, but it will be sufficient to raise all 3 rain caps. These engines would just not be cool if we didn't include the caps!

 

I think that's everything?

Thanks!

So I take it all that will change is the long hood, cab, and short hood will be plastic. But the walkways and pilots will remain metal?

Also, could you guys try to add a new function to the smoke unit which is fan only mode? That way you can see the exhaust flaps open and close without needing to run the smoke unit with smoke fluid, for those that prefer not to use it.

Last edited by MichaelB
@MichaelB posted:

So I take it all that will change is the long hood, cab, and short hood will be plastic. But the walkways and pilots will remain metal?

Also, could you guys try to add a new function to the smoke unit which is fan only mode? That way you can see the exhaust flaps open and close without needing to run the smoke unit with smoke fluid, for those that prefer not to use it.

The walkways are part of the cab assemblies on the Genset so they will be plastic.  Just like any SD70, AC6000, etc.  

Adding a separate function to turn heat on and off from smoke control is asking just a bit for a single product line.  That would take a separate switch on the side panel which is already packed or additional switching through Legacy remote which would require upgraded software.  I think if you want flaps a flapping without smoke you will need to remove the smoke resistor yourself. 

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