Questions about: Lionel Conventional Classics

 I am mostly interested in Lionel's postwar offerings, and, I run with conventional controls,(ie using ZW's and KW's). I have considered adding a few of the "Conventional classics" items, and have a couple of questions.

1. Did these come only in "sets", or were individual items also offered?

2. Is there a listing online somewhere, with photos or detailed description, of all the sets/items offered in the "Conventional Classics" series?

On our "Favorite" auction site, I see individual items, but they usually say "from set breakup". Also, many of the listed, unopened sets, just show a master shipping carton with a set number. I have no idea as to what is included in these unopened sets, when only the set number is shown.

Thanks,

Jeff

Original Post

Jeff,

The majority of these were sets but there were a few other items offered like Santa Fe AA units. Also I recall a Wabash AB set without any rolling stock. And I think there was a CC version of a GG-1.

I don't know of a complete list that's published anywhere but I do recall a thread on these a while back where somebody attempted to compile a list. Suggest a search on "Conventional Classics."

Prices on these on the auction site tend to be way inflated, IMO. Some are downright laughable but that's the nature of the beast for some sellers.

TCA, LCCA

Prices on these on the auction site tend to be way inflated, IMO. Some are downright laughable but that's the nature of the beast for some sellers.

Looking at asking prices isn't particularly meaningful. Folks can ask whatever they wish. EBay (there I said the dreaded name) allows its users to see the final sale price of items that were recently sold. It's an advanced search option. To get a idea of a reasonable price, one needs to look at a number of completed auctions.

And I think there was a CC version of a GG-1.

Hopefully I am getting the names of Lionel's offering correct.
When the Conventional Classics line was started, one of the offering was a set with a GG-1 and "Madison" cars.
A separate sale GG-1 was offered at the same time, as was a Train Master (one word or two?)

Number 38300 was a reproduction of the 2331 Virginian Train Master.
Number 38303 was a reproduction of the 2340 GG-1.

I purchased them as a preorder on an impulse.
When they finally arrived, I looked them over and put them away.
Never even put test leads to them so see how they ran.
One of these days I might try to find them a new home.

By the way, the Conventional Classics locomotives have electronic reversing boards. No electro-mechanical e-units. Here is the manual for the GG-1

 

 

 

I have the separate sale GG1. From the factory most came with a truck washer in the wrong place. It is supposed to be between the truck and frame. Many came with the washer between the motor and the frame. This allowed the wheel flanges to rub on the frame and made the motor and E unit overheat. Then the E unit would either shut down or burn out. 

Easy fix if you know whats wrong. I put a fan and heatsink on the e unit power device to help keep it cool. Runs much better now but still no match for the Williams unit.

Pete

Postwar items are what I grew up with. While there is a lot of Postwar on the market, it seems to me to be getting harder to find nice items that still operate well without major repairs or cleanup.

I thought I might pick up a Conventional Classic now and then in hopes of getting something I can put on the track and run without working on it. 

Jeff

Jeff, 

Here's what I own. Been happy with all of them. Frankly I wish Lionel would have continued the series. So many candidates that never got made.

UP Anniversary Set

Orbiter Set

Berkshire Passenger Set

Santa Fe Alco Freight Set

Wabash AB F3s

Burlington GP-7 Passenger Set

 

 

TCA, LCCA

You might want to test run the locos. There was a general feeling that the new Chinese factories did not make the motors to the same standards of excellence that we are used to with postwar motors.

Thanks, but it's probably too late now.  I think they only had a one year warrantee, and while I purchased mine from a legitimate Lionel dealer, I probably could not find the receipt anyway.

I did a few mods on my 2340 GG1.  Changed out the trucks and motors, got rid of the electronic Eunit and sound set up and installed a ERR AC Commander, runs like a watch....I wasn't thrilled with the fast angle wheels on the pilot trucks, took them out and put post war wheels in.

Marty

I had a list somewhere of everything made. I have the entire Postwar Celebration Series and Conventional Classics.

I had no problems, everything ran exceptionally smooth, except for the M&STL Alcos from the Orbitor set. They ran like a coffee grinder. Got some postwar parts with the bearing from Chuck Sartor, and that fixed the issue.

The auction site has inflated prices, but occasionally you will find a great deal.

Mark

TCA, LCCA,

All Lionel!!

Postwar, MPC, LTI Standard O, Postwar Celebration Series, Conventional Classics, All the way!!!

 

An easy way to see the sets, with a little looking, is to go to the Lionel web site and start with the 2009 catalog and go from there and you can catch all that they produced for the Conventional Classics.  I've had no issues with the sets and engines I own, but CC and PWC.

Dennis Holler If its old and broke, I like it

Like others have said, they are nice sets but a lot of times these sellers think because they say Conventional Classics there worth there weight in gold. To be honest with you, I prefer the Postwar trains but have bought remakes and then just some sets they put out. I have a opened but never run set of The first TMCC model NYC freight set with the 2380 GP-9, I have the Virginian Coal set with a rectifier still in a sealed box, I also have the Chessie Coal set in a sealed box also ( sealed meaning the outside plastic wrap still in placed. ) 

I also like Williams as I have there steam version girls set. ( been on track on a shelf, but never run.)  I have a lot of trains never run as I don't have a layout then a couple I tested on a 6' test track only. 

Now with that said I have bought most of these off of Ebay. But I do inspect ( other than the sets still sealed ) them when I get them in, May or may not run them but at least inspect them. 

Bill

A lot of the charm with the Conventional Classics are the packaging, including the set box and, the boxes for the individual items, which are also  wrapped with Lionel paper.  The rolling stock have metal trucks, so the overall look and feel of the sets are very good.   I doubt that Lionel will ever release Pullmor motors again.  Come to think of it, when was the last time Lionel included magnetraction in an engine? It might have been in the CC series. 

I am like Johnstrains, and wished that the sets would be continued, but Lionel said it was only going to be for a 3 or 4 year period.  

Dave B, from Tacoma, WA, TCA #14-70330

 

     Williams is the closest thing to post war without being Post War, but not always "great" runners early on when they first expanded from tin; that took a few years. The later Williams is spectacular. Even Williams by Bachmann has  the PW look, great prices, and very simple electronics.

  I am not a big fan of the later diesel pulmor, and really had bad luck with dual fields. Only the "one piece" motors and steamers are really worth a poop imo, Pittman aren't THAT great, but they are very comparable to the later Pulmor. ( I have a tmcc Pulmor E-33 Virginian rectifier too, that is the best "diesel" Pulmor I've ever owned. Very smooth, and very quiet, not a lick of gear growling, just deep magnetic field growls.

  I would still hunt for PW, and Pulmore, but can motors have grown on me some too. Don't be quick to put all your eggs in one basket.... I see opportunity for low cost repairs and consider them closely when cheap. Especially new things in fine mechanical shape, with a cooked motor, e-unit, or sounds. Can motors are missing certain nuances, sure; but they perform soooo smooth that you have to give them a nod of respect. The ones with simple electronics are very servicable at a reasonable price. And moving to simpler boards to run the fancy ones is possible too. It's just sounds and (especially) command that gets things complicated and pricey.

   I have also come to realise I seldom back up, so wiring in a $2 bridge rectifier for fwd only on a can motor, in place of a burnt reverse board, seems like a perfectly reasonable "whenever, if ever" repair option to me.   An e-unit is no easier to swap around than a board, or rectifier, and the wires are actually easier to solder on a board or rectifier, and some engine boards just have plugs. Taking my newer Berksihire apart for the first time, I had to marvel at how easy it was to work on compared to PW. Four screws and lift! No rods or linkage, etc, needed to be touched. I know that isn't always the case, but it has me looking twice now.

   Your letting those electric boards scare you and it shouldn't.  A transistor is just a tiny relay. Resistors just got smaller, rectifiers are no longer discs or the size of a tender, and they call them diodes. Chips are just fancy combinations of them all, with a few clocks and counters thrown in here and there for fun      That said, simple electronics are ok, but I have no want for all the sounds and control boards either. Mine new ones are gifts, and usually run with the volume low or off. Chuff gets old fast some days. 

  One thing I really like is the cycling sounds on a parked tender. Having it on a siding also gives me a bell or two bells! ...that's the modern sound options I do like 

  K-line had similar "conventional electronics" engines you might want to consider too. MTH? RMT?

   Someone pointed out once if you took a can motor engine and added an e-unit coil or buzzy relay, you'd likely never notice anything but the smoothness. Funny to admit, but I think it sounded about right now  

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





This list might help:

 

CONVENTIONAL CLASSICS         

         

2008       27903    Sager Place Observation

2008       27912    2445 Elizabeth Coach

2008       31775    1562 Burlington Passenger Set

          2328 Burlington GP-7

          2444 Newark Coach

          2442 Clifton Vista Dome

          2446 Summit Observation

2008       31776    2219W Thunderbird Set

          2321 Lackawanna FM

          6415 Sunoco Tank

          6462-25 NYC Gondola

          6464-50 M&St.L Boxcar

          6456 Lehigh Valley Hopper

          6417 PRR Caboose

2008       31777    2124W GG1 Passenger Set

          2332 PRR GG1

          2625 Irvington

          2625 Madison

          2625 Manhattan

2008       31778    1484WS Passenger Set

          2056/2046W

          2421 Maplewood Coach

          2422 Chatham Coach

          2429 Livingston Coach

          2423 Hillside Observation

2008       38300    2331 Virginian Trainmaster

2008       38303    2340 Pennsylvania GG1

2008       38305    2338 Milwaukee Road GP-7

2009       31784    1593 Union Pacific Freight Set

          613 UP NW-2

          6476 Red Lehigh Valley Hopper

          6818 Transformer Flatcar

          6660 Boom Car

          6112 Gondola with Cannisters

          6119 DL&W Caboose

2009       34559    2372 Archive New Haven F-3 AA

2009       38310    2185W New York Central Freight

          2344 NYC F-3 A/A

          6456 Lehigh Valley Hopper

          3464 Operating Boxcar

          6465 Sunoco Tank Car

          6462 Gondola

          6457 Caboose

2009       38311    2276W Baltimore and Ohio Budd Set

          404 Mail-Baggage

          2/2559 Coaches

2009       38312    2343 Santa Fe AA

2009       38313    Baltimore and Ohio Budd 2-Car Add-On

          400 Coach

          2550 Mail-Baggage Car

2009       38324    2507W New Haven Freight

          2242 New Haven A/B

          3444 Animated Gondola

          6464-425 New Haven Boxcar

          6424 Twin Auto Car

          6468 New Haven Automobile Boxcar

          6357 Caboose

2009       38329    2261W Freight Hauler

          646/2046W

          3562-50 Barrell Car

          6414 Evans Auto Loader

          6436-25 Lehigh Valley Hopper

          6376 Circus Car

          6417 PRR Caboose

2009       38334    11288 Orbitor Diesel Set

          229 M&St.L Alco A/B

          3413 Mercury Capsule Launching Car

          6512 Cherry Picker Car

          6413 Mercury Capsule Carrying Car

          6463 Rocket Fuel Tank

          6059 M&St.L Caboose

         

Jeff, the OP, mentioned Conventional Classics because he want to just put them on the tracks and have them run. I only have two CC engines. The GG1 mentioned above and the GP7 Burlington set. The GG1 came with mechanical issue already mentioned. The Geep has a a sound issue where it only responds intermittently. This with three different Post War transformers and a TMCC Powermaster. Once it dies I have to power down and power up to get it to respond again. The only thing the CC engines have in common with their Post War brothers is the motor. The electronics can be as troublesome as any other modern engine.

I am surprised someone replaced the sounds in the GG1. It has one impressive speaker and enclosure that basically fills the space not taken up by the motors. That horn is the equal to anything found in a Legacy engine.

Pete

 

One thing to remember with some of these locos like the GG1 from the passenger set is that it overheated.

There was a thread a while ago, about adding an additional resistor to help with the heat. I also recommend removing the white film strips that covered the windows. With all of the electronics stuffed into the loco, any fresh air that could make its way in helped the performance.

Mark

TCA, LCCA,

All Lionel!!

Postwar, MPC, LTI Standard O, Postwar Celebration Series, Conventional Classics, All the way!!!

 

ZWPOWER13 posted:

One thing to remember with some of these locos like the GG1 from the passenger set is that it overheated.

There was a thread a while ago, about adding an additional resistor to help with the heat. I also recommend removing the white film strips that covered the windows. With all of the electronics stuffed into the loco, any fresh air that could make its way in helped the performance.

True very little air circulates around the GG1 E unit. I also found the power devices were not mounted securely to the heat sink. They only contacted it at the top edge. The original heat sink was a U shaped piece. I made a new one with 4 sides and mounted an additional heat sink to the top. In addition I put a small 12V DC fan next to it to help circulate the air.

GG1_E

Pete

 

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This thread reminded me that many of us are waiting on the PW-inspired Alco FA green passenger set that was cataloged in the 2017 Signature V1. No, it’s not being billed as a “Conventional Classic” and that’s with good reason as this train was never made! There was a prototype of the green FA A-A units (you can see them in the Neil Young auction catalog thread) but it was never actually produced. Still, it will be similar to the CC line that Lionel offered 8-9 years ago.

TCA, LCCA

johnstrains posted:

This thread reminded me that many of us are waiting on the PW-inspired Alco FA green passenger set that was cataloged in the 2017 Signature V1. No, it’s not being billed as a “Conventional Classic” and that’s with good reason as this train was never made! There was a prototype of the green FA A-A units (you can see them in the Neil Young auction catalog thread) but it was never actually produced. Still, it will be similar to the CC line that Lionel offered 8-9 years ago.

Len Carparelli was offering custom painted green alco shells for a while. I didn't see them in the current catalog. 

 

C.W. Burfle
C W Burfle posted:
johnstrains posted:

This thread reminded me that many of us are waiting on the PW-inspired Alco FA green passenger set that was cataloged in the 2017 Signature V1. No, it’s not being billed as a “Conventional Classic” and that’s with good reason as this train was never made! There was a prototype of the green FA A-A units (you can see them in the Neil Young auction catalog thread) but it was never actually produced. Still, it will be similar to the CC line that Lionel offered 8-9 years ago.

Len Carparelli was offering custom painted green alco shells for a while. I didn't see them in the current catalog. 

 

Yes, and Len in fact did the green FAs that were featured in a CTT cover story in an old issue (10 years ago?) I’ve got a copy of it stashed somewhere.

Btw, the Alco FA green passenger set from 2017 Volume 1, is item # 6-82726.

TCA, LCCA

CharlieS posted:

Prices on these on the auction site tend to be way inflated, IMO. Some are downright laughable but that's the nature of the beast for some sellers.

Looking at asking prices isn't particularly meaningful. Folks can ask whatever they wish. EBay (there I said the dreaded name) allows its users to see the final sale price of items that were recently sold. It's an advanced search option. To get a idea of a reasonable price, one needs to look at a number of completed auctions.

Except for Buy-It-Now auctions that offer a "Best Offer" option...

If a best offer is accepted by the seller, the auction will show the item to be sold (green number), but the negotiated (or best offer) price....less than the Buy-It-Now auction price...will not be disclosed.  So, as a data point all you know in that situation is that the item sold for something less than the BIN price.

If there are sufficient sold auctions for a particular item, I'll usually throw out the highest (desperate sentiment) and lowest (naive seller) selling prices, then average the rest to get a sense of what the market will bear.  It's not perfect, but neither are the numbers in the popular annual  price guidebook!

KD

RoyBoy posted:
franktrain posted:

I really like my two CC F3's A-B They run fine and look great. They were separate sale and I think around $250.00 each.IMG_2732

Williams reproduces these, but with superior motors and electronic E-units.

I'm a big fan of the CCs offerings but also own a number of the Williams PW look alikes and think they're great. It's just that if you're interested in full sets you've got more choices with the Lionel CC line.

TCA, LCCA

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