Skip to main content

@jim sutter posted:

Coach Joe,

Do have the complete set that your hopper came in? The name of the set was the Empire Express Set? I believe it came out in 1976.

You're right. The no. 9266 Southern Big John hopper was part of that Empire Express set. This was a very desirable set in that time (and still is a great set). Headed up by a Hudson, it included some very sought-after cars, among them (besides the Big John hopper) the no. 9772 Great Northern boxcar (a nice remake of the Postwar car) , no. 9159 Sunoco chrome tank car, and the no. 9174 "Back to the Future" green NYC bay window caboose.

I still have the 9772 and the 9266 hopper. I actually saw a real Southern Big John hopper a number of years ago in a railyard while railfanning a little. Thought it was a pretty good find. One reason I've kept the hopper.

Just for your knowledge here on the OGR Forum, while visiting one of my favorite hobby shops, The Roundhouse in Louisville Kentucky today, I saw a beautiful MPC Chessie Steam passenger train in the original box. I think it’s for sale.
I go to this store because it’s a Legacy repair store and the owners are great folks. Kevin is the owner, Tom used to be. This is a beautiful Steam train. Happy Railroading Everyone

While I have “rehomed” a number of my MPC engines/cars to fellow forumites, some I have kept on display for nostalgic reasons…



While the gray 785 was really from the early Kughn era, it is the first cousin of the MPC 783 (which is also up on that wall somewhere!!!). MPC made some wonderful stuff!!!

P.S. I have become addicted to those 15” aluminum passenger cars!!!


Images (2)
  • B19D6689-A4AE-4C4E-9103-84EEC39AC4B7
  • A1562E7C-4F15-473A-BDB2-23759BA30C57

Here's MPC/Lionel's #6-8206 NYC Hudson from 1972 pulling a mixed consist of MPC and post war cars. Except for replacing the crumbling insulation under the sound board and the traction tire, this engine has been problem free and runs like new. This was the largest steam locomotive offered by Lionel that year and was described as "giant" in the '72 catalog.



Images (2)
  • L1040291
  • L1040293

I have that Empire State Express set. I bought it sight unseen and didn't know it was a mint still sealed box!

I gladly opened it and found it to be a real gem of a set. My few gripes are that it doesn't have a whistle in the tender and they didn't use 6 wheel trucks on the tender either.

Some very lucky kids got those sets back then and I hope they got to learn the love of toy trains from them.

Jim - here's a close up of the MPC NYC bay window caboose from my earlier post that you commented on. I substituted a new chassis with die cast trucks due to some issues with the OEM plastic trucks.

I love these bay window cabooses - like a lot of MPC they're not exactly to scale but feature a well-executed paint scheme and "selectively compressed" features.



Images (1)
  • L1020937

@Don Winslow - Don, thanks for the comment on the caboose. Same to you, that Virginian really stands out.

@jim sutter - Hey Jim,  I'm with Don Winslow and would invite you open a store in Waco, Tx ...I could be your "stock boy".  I'm only 78 have the arthritis but no walker so I could still get the stuff on the shelves!  I'm willing to work for a discount on MPC!!

Best wishes everyone!  Happy Railroading


OK, you guys got me started on MPC era cabooses.  I don't have anymore bay window but (like most Lionel folks) I have a bevy of SP type.  Here are some from that era:

The Chessie 8008 from 1980

Lionel 8008 tender and caboose

The Santa Fe # 9061 from 1970-76

Lionel 8300 SF train caboose

The CP rail #9057 from 1978-79

Lionel 9057 CP caboose side view

The Chessie N5c type from 1974-76

Lionel 9167 C&O caboose side

The Jersey Central #9069 fron 1973-74

Lionel JC caboose side

The Sounthern #9066 from 1973-76

Lionel 9066 SRR caboose side

The NKP # 6910 from 1986-91

Lionel NKP 2-4-2 train caboose

Well that is about it for me...I'm caboosed out!!



Images (7)
  • Lionel 8008   tender and caboose
  • Lionel 8300 SF train caboose
  • Lionel 9057 CP caboose side view
  • Lionel 9167 C&O caboose side
  • Lionel JC caboose side
  • Lionel 9066 SRR caboose side
  • Lionel NKP 2-4-2 train caboose

Thanks Jim...I have been trying to build a "Chessie" freight set around my MPC # 8008 4-4-2 blue boiler steamer and Chessie System tender.  So far (in MPC) I have the SP type caboose, #9167 N5c porthole caboose, 7401 Cattle Car, #9016 Hopper and (Not MPC) the # 16232 Box Car.  Why Chessie?  Well I took our boys for 2 summers in a row, to Cincinatti, Oh to ride on the "Chessie Steam Special" - long time ago, my oldest is now 50! I never could connect with the Lionel Chessie passenger set so I thought I would at least try for a freight set.

Here was the start of the set about a year ago.

Lionel 8008 side view

Thank you for your comment



Images (1)
  • Lionel 8008 side view

Wow fellows, this thread is growing and well deserved because General Mills kept Lionel’s name alive back late 1969/1970 ish I believe. The MPC line was colorful, and many quality trains were made. I remember when they made the 8753 GG1 which was tuscan colored and although it came with nylon gears, it was a great runner and made a lot of us Lionel followers very happy. As I said earlier in this thread, The Roundhouse Hobby shop in Louisville Kentucky has a fantastic MPC selection for your wants and needs.You can google their store up on your computers. Happy Railroading Everyone 3B8F71C5-FB1B-4457-918B-872C17F461448D786356-9F54-41FD-8841-2EA0C5DC5DA2073C3CD5-C69F-41DA-A9B0-0681A3C2D53A756F3C17-CE51-497F-AA4E-4851FB3B1753BBF49EA6-8ED6-458F-BC3F-031522A5210A


Images (5)
  • 3B8F71C5-FB1B-4457-918B-872C17F46144
  • 8D786356-9F54-41FD-8841-2EA0C5DC5DA2
  • 073C3CD5-C69F-41DA-A9B0-0681A3C2D53A
  • 756F3C17-CE51-497F-AA4E-4851FB3B1753
  • BBF49EA6-8ED6-458F-BC3F-031522A5210A

The pictures above also remind me of the wonderment of the boxes. MPC era Lionel really came up with some great packaging.

I do like a traditional orange box but something about having a really great artistic rendering of the included car is cool.

Plus the great boxes for the high-end locomotives and sets. The logos are cool. Plus the really stylistic photos. Really stellar stuff.

...I have been trying to build a "Chessie" freight set around my MPC # 8008 4-4-2 blue boiler steamer and Chessie System tender …


When I read this, I remembered I had a Chessie box car or two but wasn’t sure if they were still part of my collection.  Unfortunately, when I checked my inventory spreadsheets, someone else already has them.  They were the 6-9740 yellow single door and 6-9747 blue double door box cars.  A quick search on the big auction site indicates they are available but condition varies greatly.  Just food for thought regarding a couple possible additions to your Chessie freight train.

@Don Winslow posted:

I don't think anybody has posted a picture of an MPC GG-1 yet, so here you go, The GG-1 is our family favorite - Dad remembers the real thing and my beautiful wife thinks they're "pretty". I actually prefer the MPC GG-1 to the post war - the graphics are great and they're solid runners.

I have to agree, Don. My first GG-1 was the MPC 8753. It had no problems hauling my 8 aluminum 15” Pennsy passenger cars!!! Your wife would have gotten along well with my mother - the GG-1 was her favorite engine and she thought they were beautiful.



Images (1)
  • A3CC719F-BBF6-4E5D-953E-E163A322317D

Ontario Northland. Put on your track and it runs.                                                            
While I like the new stuff. There’s a hole lot of wisdom in the KISS. Keep it simple stupid. No advanced killywiggers required.

Just a thought, Weston


Images (1)
  • 4590E47A-BDC0-49D6-8C7C-74BD29A72500

Add Reply

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