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Hi Folks,

   I just bought a new in box, Lionel Chambersburg Trolley.    Here is a quick review.

1.   The car is very attractive, with nice color, a light, and nice detail.  There is no trolley bell.  I would have gladly paid another $25-$35 for a bell, as I am sure almost everyone on this board would have.  Why Lionel omitted this is beyond me.   Omitting the most classic sound of any trolley just to reach a low price point seems nonsensical.

2.  The "bumper fenders" (on front and back, for changing direction), are made of very thin plastic, which feel fragile, as if they will snap in half or crack with any undue pressure or trauma.    Given that the entire purpose of this unit is to bump against track fixtures and reverse course for hours on end, I was really surprised that they didn't have heavier plastic here.

3.  The unit will absolutely not travel across a standard Lionel 022 switch track.  The underside is so low and close to the rails that the unit "piles up" on the plastic frog sections of the switch and stops dead.

4.   When travelling around 031 curve sections, the unit slows down quite a bit and stutters a bit.  Perhaps due to the short wheel base.  It doesn't stall out, but it is quite noticeable.   Some folks may feel that this makes the travelling unit look more realistic.

5.   By a massive stroke of luck, I was able to find at my local flea market train shop a pair of post war Lionel track mounted bumpers with large buttons.   These are made of heavy cast metal, and have a light inside with a big red scalloped lens on the top, which stays constantly lighted while power is run to the tracks.  The buttons have pretty soft springs.

6.  I have a very long stretch of track in my layout, without any 022 switch tracks in the middle of the run.   I was able to mount the track bumpers on each end of the run in about 2 minutes.  I adjusted the tightening screws so that they just barely bind against the tracks, and now I am able to simply "click" them onto or off of the rails by hand.     The trolley runs back and forth very nicely in this stretch, thumping against the big buttons.

7.  If the thin plastic fenders hold up over time, then I guess for $125.00 I got my money's worth.   Yet, I am sad to say, that if this unit could talk, it would have cried out that with a little bit more plastic and a nice bell,  "I could'a been a contender!"

Mannyrock

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@mwb posted:

Wonder what this trolley is supposed to represent - a CG&W car?

It's difficult to say. The largest was the CG&W Railway, but there were two other lines. The Chambersburg & Gettysburg Street Railway which ended up only running to Caledonia State Park.

Then last was the Chambersburg & Shippensburg Street Railway. I think this trolley is just meant to be generic. It could travel anywhere in the area. Here's a nice little article.

https://www.publicopiniononlin...ed-towns/4952763002/

Last edited by Stinky1

These are just cute little generic trolleys that Lionel slaps different road names on.  MTH has a similar item.  I doubt that any of them are prototypical.   

The old #60 (and later clones) need to be really bashed into the track bumpers to make them change direction.  Although the fenders appear to be less robust, the reversing mechanism doesn't seem to require as much force for changing direction.  IMO, a good strategy is to run them at the lowest speed that will cause the reverse mechanism to work reliably.  I run mine on a dedicated track that winds through space which would otherwise be wasted; there are no switches, and I can use O27 track that was languishing in the junk box.

@Stinky1 posted:

It's difficult to say. The largest was the CG&W Railway, but there were two other lines. The Chambersburg & Gettysburg Street Railway which ended up only running to Caledonia State Park.

Then last was the Chambersburg & Shippensburg Street Railway. I think this trolley is just meant to be generic. It could travel anywhere in the area. Here's a nice little article.

https://www.publicopiniononlin...ed-towns/4952763002/

Yes, familiar with all as the CG&W tracks were in the road back when I was young in Greencastle.  Rohrbeck's book is also good to have as a reference.

@Mallard4468 posted:

These are just cute little generic trolleys that Lionel slaps different road names on.  MTH has a similar item.  I doubt that any of them are prototypical.   

The old #60 (and later clones) need to be really bashed into the track bumpers to make them change direction.  Although the fenders appear to be less robust, the reversing mechanism doesn't seem to require as much force for changing direction.  IMO, a good strategy is to run them at the lowest speed that will cause the reverse mechanism to work reliably.  I run mine on a dedicated track that winds through space which would otherwise be wasted; there are no switches, and I can use O27 track that was languishing in the junk box.

Good post on all counts, Leonard! Although there is no specific prototype for either the Lionel or MTH models, they are close approximations of small Birney Safety Car trolleys that performed in a good many cities at one time. I have found the MTH models to be more "robust" in terms of construction and operation, but the Lionel trolleys will perform well IF they are operated slowly so they are not ramming into any end-of-track bumpers (consider the safety and welfare of the passengers ).

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