NEW Lionel Penn Central 21 Inch Passenger Cars

Hi everyone!

I recently received a Lionel Penn Central Stationsounds diner, works really well and flawless so far. If anyone has pictures of the penn central 2 packs and 4 packs please post them below! I also would like to hear what the quality control was like before I buy those cars.




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Original Post
NVisich posted:

I received the 2 pack and 4 pack from Charles Ro the other day. I inspected each car and didn't see any issues. I really like the set. I've attached various photos of each car.  The baggage car is 18" as cataloged. 







Those cars look great! I really like how Lionel mixed the colors for all of them. Do you have some pictures of the cars from the 2 pack?

That’s an extremely realistic looking train. What I mean is according to what I have seen on videos taken in that era many passenger trains looked like that with different colored cars in the consist. Very nice set. Thanks for the video.  


TCA Member

NYCHS Member


I really like my set too.  The mix represents the Penn Central "Rainbow" era well.  Who supplied the green cars?  NH?  In the same vein I also enjoy the LionScale Conrail Hoppers and the upcoming Conrail F7s will be a treat!



Lehigh Valley Railroad posted:

I foresee these becoming scarce soon! 

Yes... I started a thread about this potential scenario yesterday.  The 4-pack SKU is already no longer listed on Charlie Ro's website, which typically implies the store is no longer accepting orders for it  -- until another bunch arrives, in which case the SKU might be re-listed if enough units arrive beyond what the store needs to fulfill existing back-orders.


July 1, 2018 … My four pack of Lionel Penn Central 21" passenger cars just arrived.  The two-pack is on its way.

I decided to detail the most difficult car first: the 12-4 "Connoquenessing Creek" Sleeper #4366.

On first look I see that the six middle seat backs show in the middle of the six lower center windows.  (See previous pictures in this thread.)  The middle six seats are molded by the factory facing the wrong way.  The car should alternate direction of seats all the way down the lower level of the car.  (The seat position is facing the way of the Upper Duplex Rooms should, not the bottom.)

With a new Excel #11 knife, I score/cut the middle six seats out of the floor.  The seats are also too high for the lower middle windows, so I trim 1/16" plus off the bottom of the seats before mounting them back in the car.  The six middle Duplex Seats are now lower to the window height in the body side of the car.

Two of my lower Duplex windows had the sticky tape covering the outside of the window opening when the factory jammed the window piece into the side of the car.  I had to remove the four-window glass piece and use an Excel #11 Knife to "tack-pick" the tape out of two lower window openings. (Tack-pick is allowing the glue tape to attract the other glue tape in the window as I pick across the window bottom.)  I also had to remove tape from the outside bottom of the two window glasses.  I re-installed the window glass and the car looks good.

Three toilets and one sink are missing from the Vestibule end floor half.  The other floor section has the two toilets as it should.  I had to repaint the room walls because the factory spray paint job on the non-vestibule floor section missed several areas around seats and in the bathrooms. Corners of some rooms also had blue paint showing.  (I used Testors Acryl Flat "Gull Gray" paint to paint the walls.)

I also replace the Silver Lionel "E-clips" with steel 3/16" E-clips from Home Depot. One clip on this car was bent and loosely fitting. The E-clip holds the trucks on the car.

The Lionel 12-4 Duplex Sleepers do not have seating for the upper six Duplex rooms in the middle of the car.  Nothing: open space that looks down to the lower Duplex rooms.  To provide seats for the Upper Duplex Rooms I will create a bridge, fastened to the back of two lower seats, that will hold a platform for the upper Duplex passengers.  (See the photo of one of the four Pennsylvania 12-4 Duplex Sleepers I have already done.

After dinner I will build the Upper Seat Bridges for this car and add Preiser 65602 Unpainted Seated Figures.

Sincerely, John Rowlen


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July 4, 2018    Happy 4th of July.   I finished the three Upper Seat Bridges for the Penn Central "Connoquenessing Creek" 12-4 Duplex Sleeper yesterday.

While my paint is still in good shape, I painted the interior of the PC Observation.  The Observation car has over half of the Preiser People I painted now installed.  Tomorrow I hope to finish placing people in the Observation and begin placing people in the "Connoquenessing Creek".

Sincerely, John Rowlen


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I bought three Lionel passenger sets. Union Pacific, AFT, and PC. Of the three, the Penn Central is my favorite by far. I needed the AFT cars to go with my AFT GS4 and the cars are OK. Nothing special and the extra two packs cost me plenty. The UP cars, well, I wish I had never purchased them. I LOVE the Penn Central cars !!


Passengers will please refrain, This train's got the disappearin' railroad blues...

I finished the Penn Central Observation and took a few pictures. 

The 12-4 Duplex Sleeper has people glued into the Upper Duplex Seat Bridges.  I still have to place people in the Lower rooms and then close the car and take pictures. Progress is being made, but my body is letting me know I have been sitting too long.

Sincerely, John Rowlen


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The Penn Central 12-4 Duplex Sleeper "Connoquenessing Creek" is completed.  I had to lower the Upper Level Seat Bridges to 13/16" for the Vertical Supports that attach to the Lower Seat backs.  The upper figures have had significant grinding to the backsides to lower the figures on the Seat Bridge.

The Penn Central Observation and 12-4 Diplex Sleeper are now completed.  The Coach #3001 is the next car to be detailed.

Sincerely, John Rowlen


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The Penn Central "Coach #3001" has been detailed with Preiser 65602 Unpainted People and is waiting for the glue to dry before closing the car.

The car has 24 passengers and took longer to finish as I painted some figures just for this car.

Pictures of the interior are included as well as pictures of the loose "E-Clip" that held on a truck, a loose underbody part, and windows that were tilted up and down because they did not have pin-supports above the windows.  This is common in smaller widows of doors and conductor windows.  (I had a Pennsylvania passenger car that had windows tilted Up-Down-Up-Down-Up-Down along one side that had no pins above the individual glass pieces.  Someone at the factory was having fun.) 

The Woodland Scenics "Misc, Freight" (A2766), "Depot Workers" (A2757), and "Bicycle Buddies" (A2752) just arrived to be placed inside the doors of the Penn Central Baggage Car, my fourth car to detail.

Sincerely, John Rowlen


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I have the two-pack to start on now that I have the four-pack finished.

The Baggage Car needed a little repair.  The end door was loose in the car.  I found the door and the top eyelet hinge and was able to push the pieces back in place.  The door spring was not in the box. I hope Lionel has this part available.

One window has excess glue residue on the glass.  I also painted part of the tank undercarriage parts that where not completely sprayed painted black at the factory.  I put new Steel 3/16" E-clips on this car, replacing the silver Lionel Clips for the trucks.

Detailing the Baggage Car:  I painted the black floor a wet mix of Testors Sand, Insignia Yellow, Dark Earth and Red Earth.  Using the same 3/8" wide paint brush, I drag the brush across the floor to simulate wood flooring.  I add very little yellow to make the colors stand out as I continue to alternate the wet colors.

I put less Freight in this car than I planned because of the small windows and issues with the car.  I used the Woodland Scenics Misc. Freight (A2766) and Bicycle Buddies (A2752) packs.

The freight in the car is visible as it passes by, especially the taller crates.  The camera was not able to capture all that the human eye can see.  (Poor Camera or Poor Photographer?)

Sincerely, John Rowlen


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The fifth Penn Central Car is finished. It is the coach from the 2-pack.  I replaced the E-Clips holding the trucks, and painted the seats and toilets with two coats of Testors Acryl flat paint.

Yesterday and today, I had to paint all of the Preiser 65602 Unpainted Seated People used in this car.  That extra painting slowed the detailing process.

Here are a few pictures of the Silver Coach.  I tried to find new ways to place the same figures I have been using in my cars.  I am hurrying to finish my passenger cars because my supply of custom mixed acrylic flat paint is starting to thicken and harden.  Once a new jar of paint is opened, the clock starts ticking on its usefulness.

Sincerely, John Rowlen


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Dominic Mazoch posted:

But one could run this with Amtrak power and it could pass as an early train for the "arrow"! (Cf Amtrak's early logo.)

That's what makes this such a great consist.  You could operate these with almost any Northeastern railroad or Amtrak F or E units.

I also added the PRR Broadway Limited 2 car set to the PC set to expand it to nine cars.


President, Chief Executive Officer

Penn American Railroad

"Serving the Basement"


Northern Central High Railers (Western Division)


Eat, Sleep, Run Trains, Repeat !

The sixth Penn Central 21" passenger car, "Imperial Trees", is completed.  As usual the trucks received steel 3/16" E-clips.  I glued the top edges of single windows in the body shell so the tops would not fall inward.  (Not all windows have retaining pins above them.)  I also painted some undercarriage parts that did not receive black spray paint at the factory.

The interior seats and toilets have been given two coats of paint.  All Preiser 65602 figures are newly painted. Four more packs from Germany arrived today.  They are becoming scarce again on Ebay, or they are greatly over-priced.

The car is drying from seat touch-up to cover glue shine.  The walls and floor screw heads were also touched-up with Testor's Flat "Gull Gray".  This is my last car for a while. I have done 129 Lionel and Atlas O  21" cars over the past five years: 42 D&RGW and WP Atlas O Zephyr and Amtrak cars.  In Lionel I have detailed seven-car sets: two C&O, two NYC, Wabash, UP, SP, PC, an Amtrak Diner, and two 10-car Broadway Limited sets.  I hope to add the PC Dining Car when I return to substitute teaching in the fall.

This summer I will continue painting people before my bottles of custom-mixed Testor's Flat Acryl paints dry up.

Have a good summer.

Sincerely, John Rowlen


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Wow, you really did a nice job painting the people.  That is impressive.  And perhaps bordering on excessive and nearing close to obsessive.  But in this hobby, that may be considered one of the most prized of compliments to receive.  You’re nuts, but I like it!


You are absolutely correct.  Nuts.  The painting gives me something to do as I act as the Care-giver for my recently hospitalized mother.   She is much better and at home.  While she sleeps, I paint, usually late at night.  I have been scrambling to finish these cars because I am losing clarity of sight.  Eventually I will be painting the hair on the figures' faces, or leaving them naked, just riding in the car.

I hope to do one more set of seven, The Union Pacific "Challenger" set.  I have the Preiser 65602 Unpainted Seated People just waiting for the passenger cars.

Sincerely,  John Rowlen

Model Railroading keeps me sane, … or not.


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Until I purchase the Penn Central Dining Car, I will use my Amtrak Dining Car to which I just added people.  I painted the interior at the beginning of March, but waited until an issue with the car was resolved.

The Lionel dining car will run with my twelve car Atlas O Amtrak Zephyr cars.  It will be nice to have the sounds as part of the train.

Sincerely, John Rowlen


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