My wife and I took our grandson to ride the North Pole Express today in Owosso, Michigan.  It's the Pere Marquette Northern that was digitally scanned and used in the movie.  Lots of fun!   And of course, when we got back we just HAD to get my Polar Express running!  While running it, it made the usual sounds, first, while standing still; "This is the Polar Express", "All aboard", and when under way; "Tickets, tickets, please", "The first gift of Christmas", and 'I am the king of the North Pole!".  I remember getting one more, that is, "The thing about trains.  It doesn't matter where you go. what matters is that you get on (or something)".  But I cannot get it to say that last one.  I seem to remember a special way of pressing the sound button, or waiting, or....?  Does anybody out there have any experience with accessing that particular sound?  By accident, I got it to say it last year, but cannot duplicate it this year.  The manual is no help.  It's the first year issue of the train, by the way.

In the grand scheme of things, this is rather small, but it's bugging me!

Original Post

Don't have the book with me.  Did you hold down the Aux 1 prior to hauling out?  Also something like pressing #2 button within so many seconds or so.  It is buried in the manual.


Thanks Bryant, but I think you're talking about the O gauge Lionel version with the high end electronics.  The S version is FlyerChief, like LionChief.  Basic stuff.  No "Aux1" or "#2" button.   Mine is also the first year issue of the train, and I believe things have changed.   I have the original manual, but it mentions sound in only two lines.  I appreciate the try, though!

Jerry, I have the Lionchief version, so give this a try. Run through your sounds, sitting still and then moving. While moving the 3 verses should repeat. Then, when you stop the engine, push the button again to play the last message. Just like the hero boy was getting off the train at his house as it was in the movie. See if that works. Otherwise you may have a problem with the engine. I don't have my layout running just yet, so I cant tell you for sure.


I just ran my LionChief and the announcement in question plays while my engine is moving. But then again, I only have 2 announcements sitting still and I have 2 announcements while moving. I don't have the first gift of Christmas or tickets, tickets please. I have the first version of the LionChief.

Also, I didn't like what Lionel did to the boiler or tender bodies by removing the wires for the handholds. So I bought a conventional PE and swapped the boiler and tender bodies. Now it looks as it should. I may look at trying to swap the motherboard to a later version to get all the announcements.

Last edited by Jayhawk500

On my 10th anniversary o-gauge Lionchief Polar Express locomotive, the locomotive has to be stopped and you have a wait for a period of time (perhaps a minute?) before the "The thing about trains..." announcement will kick in when you click the announcement button on the remote.

Not sure if it works the same for the s-gauge PE locomotive.  But you could give that a try.

Last edited by Joe_pgh


Thanks for the advise, I'll give it a try later today.  We here in S Land don't even have handrails as separately applied items on any of the Berks,  They're all cast in place with the boiler.  Other than that, the engine is a very nicely detailed and proportioned version of the real 1225.  I've toyed with the idea of grinding off the handrails and making separate ones, but decided it's not worth the effort.   I have too many projects in the pipeline already!  The S gauge line isn't as diverse as the O  gauge one.  I'd like to see the Walking Hobo car for example, but can live without it.   But we were the first with "snow" on the roof of the cars!


I'll give it a try in waiting a while.  But realize that my 7 year old grandson can't wait that long.  Come to think of it, neither can I!   What bugs me the most is that I remember accessing that particular announcement last year, and completely forgot how it was done!  I'm cursed with CRS syndrome lately,

All in all, it's a nice train, and I'm glad I got it.  At first, I had to send it back for repair of a few things, but Charles Ro's guys did a great job on getting it back on the track.  Since then, it's been running great at home and at shows with my train club.  It's a hit with kids of all ages.  The smoke unit was a bit temperamental, but after I lubricated the impeller motor, it's been fine (WAY out of warranty now).  If the mother board eventually fries, I'll go to straight wiring of the motor so at least it will run.  As many of you know, it's not going to be available like parts for our Postwar things. 

Well, I finally got a chance to do some testing on the sounds.  I've been busy consolidating things for a possible move, babysitting our grandsons, raking leaves, shoveling sn*w and generally trying to keep up with an old house.  So yesterday, I waited about 30 seconds after stopping, and lo and behold, the "missing" announcement was heard!  The announcement also comes after waiting even if the train hasn't moved.  After the first "This is the Polar Express!",  and "Ticket, tickets please" a wait will produce Tom Hanks' voice telling about the "thing about trains...".  It's like Joe said about his O gauge engine.  I can't imagine Lionel producing a different sound board if they could use the same one in both scales.  Thanks for the suggestion, Joe!

Add Reply

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
Link copied to your clipboard.