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I am considering buying a Lionel “sound” boxcar.  ( I run conventional)  So do you like yours or not ?  I assume the volume is adjustable?  Thks, Rich

update; bought one from Nassau Hobby Center (#6-83533)  A tip o’ the hat to them !  Ordered Sat 9/30, had it in hand Mon Oct 2nd in WV ! Great service & in a classic PRR scheme too.  Sounds are very cool also, one sound is reminiscent of a Flying Scotsman coupling attempt, lol !

Last edited by trestleking
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On my Christmas tree layout I occasionally run the sound reefer from the Vision Line set. I actually like it better than the sound of a diesel. (But not quite as well as a steamer on a slow roll.) I run the reefer in conventional. The start up sounds (loading talk) is a hoot. but I really like the squeaking wheels and clickity-clack when rolling.

I came back to the hobby in 1994, after a long absence, on the strength of a diesel RailSounds boxcar (6-19229).  At that point it was a stunning alternative to the noise that comes from a simple bicycle horn tucked inside an F3.

I still have it, and still run it, with my postwar stuff.  It's a very nice addition,

Check out this thread for a discussion on variations of these:

     Lionel Railsounds Boxcar (Diesel Sounds, 1997 Version) (12/28/17) | Mike H Mottler


Last edited by Mellow Hudson Mike
@trestleking posted:

I am considering buying a Lionel “sound” boxcar.  ( I run conventional)  So do you like yours or not ?  I assume the volume is adjustable?  Thks, Rich

Just add remote control to the sound boxcar, then you can turn the sound on/off when you want to.  I also have a couple of volume settings so you can "tune" it to your desired sound level.

Remote Control for Lionel Sound Boxcars

Another Remote Control Sound Car Upgrade

I have several sound boxcars.  A couple are just squeals and other noises and a couple are flat spot cars.  I've found that I like it best with the selector switch set to minimum and the volume set very low.  I only want to hear the sounds when the car is passing in front of me, not as it traverses the entire layout.

Here is a video I took of a freight train with several sound cars in the manifest:

When combined with the locomotive sounds and the sound of the wheels on the track these cars add another sense of realism, in my opinion.



Videos (1)

I purchased a Lionel diesel RAILSOUNDS boxcar for use in a short freight train with a LIONEL STEEL diesel switcher upfront and LIONEL STEEL freight cars in tow.  I mounted two control buttons to activate its HORN and BELL sounds. It provides convincing sound effects for a sound-less loco, and it offers another fun thing to do for visiting kids.

Mike Mottler    LCCA 12394


I bought a NIB Lionel Boxcar #17214 last year.  It has "Railsounds."   It is the diesel sounds model.

I think the concept was a great idea, but poorly executed.  I am pretty disappointed in it. 

Here is why:

1.  The sound level is adjustable, but in reality, as you turn up the volume screw, it goes from "off" to loud, and then up to very loud.   

2.  The diesel sounds actually sound like you are running a blender full of chipped ice.   It is grating, and irritating.  It will drown out a lot of the sounds that the rest of your engines and accessories are making.

3.  It has a horn and bell function.  The problem is, that you can never use these alone (separate from the grinding diesel sounds).  And, they are somewhat softer than the diesel sounds, so that it is hard to hear them above the diesel sounds.  Yes, you can hear them, but they are more like blended background noise rather than a nice clear, crisp bell or horn sound.

I have never tried the steam sounds version, so maybe those are better.

I was warned about the shortfalls of the diesel sound car by other on this board before buying, but I went ahead and took a chance.

I lost.


You bought a product that's almost 30 years old, it's not surprising that it's not up to today's sound standards!

There are newer versions that have better sounds, though they're far from brand new.

If I really wanted better sound quality, I'd probably buy the board from this AF car from 2016 and drop it into that car.

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