Was perusing the For Sale board here a few minutes ago and came across an ad for two beautiful Lionel locomotives - one a 3 unit ABA F3 diesel and the other a single modern SD70. Lionel builds some right handsome diesels and these are both prime examples of the craft and are very detailed considering they are both well over 10 years old now. What struck me as odd is the pricing of these two items. The F3 set is an ABA and came from Lionel packaged as such. The SD-70ACe is of course a single unit.

Consider that the the F3 set has two A units, each with 2 crew members, lights inside as well as headlights, plus two MARS lights. Also two smoke units and the non-powered A unit has additional TMCC electronics for the lights, smoke, and coupler on the nose. These are full-scale units with all the detail you could want and look great even by today's standards. Although not Legacy, these have RS5 which is a fine soundset and close enough to Legacy to be acceptable to me. (I do like the single-hit bell with Legacy) .The photos below are of my UP set which is identical to what the poster is offering for a mere $500 shipped. For 3 scale F units.

The other locomotive offered (by the same seller) is available for $475 shipped.  It has Legacy and is one of the Heritage series.  This is likely a fair and reasonably good price for the piece. If so, the 3 unit Union Pacific F3 is a steal for only $25 more!

As nice as the new modern diesels are ( SD-70, AC-6000, SD-40 and the like) I still hesitate to spend $500+ for a single diesel unit...     Guess I'm 'out of date'

Someone should grab that UP set, it's a  beauty!  I have mine pulling 9 K-Line UP 18" aluminum cars that are a very close match and make a beautiful ABBA passenger train.

Just look at the level of detail on this 19 year old F3. I plan to remove the big coupler and fix the pilot to greatly enhance the scale appearance but the basic unit is exceptional. Good job Lionel. And it has never had to be sent back...  :-)

 

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I saw that, tempting, but I'm spending big time on getting my layout finished.  I'll be back to buying locomotives after that happens.

The first set of the Santa fe’s Has issue with melting number boards and very bright cab light. I believe this issue was fixed On the second run where the body was high on the trucks. Just wondering. Also, was the Odessa’s lurch fixed before these units?

Sam, that’s a great buy, the main difference between that UP ABA set, and Legacy is the Cab lights remain on and the start up sounds, and maybe some other small change, however the 5.0 crew talk, tower com, and horn, bell, diesel sounds RPM’s are fantastic. Congratulations on your find. Beautiful set, thanks for posting. Happy Railroading...

c.sam posted:

 

The other locomotive offered (by the same seller) is available for $475 shipped.  It has Legacy and is one of the Heritage series.  This is likely a fair and reasonably good price for the piece. If so, the 3 unit Union Pacific F3 is a steal for only $25 more!

As nice as the new modern diesels are ( SD-70, AC-6000, SD-40 and the like) I still hesitate to spend $500+ for a single diesel unit...     Guess I'm 'out of date'

 

 

Sam, you are letting the cat out of the bag. The Odyssey years ~1998-2007 were what I consider the high water mark for Lionel. Rarely since has the detail been improved on subsequent runs and in many cases gone backwards. The "high water" F3s were replaced by the higher water Legacy F7s. While not without fault most of those faults could be remedied by most with basic mechanical skills or easily replaced relatively low cost electronics. Example, broken Odyssey magnets. Few items had to be returned to Lionel for service.  

In this modern age, the Odyssey years might be considered as many think of post war. Easy to repair solid units.

Pete

I am sure these units are fine.  However,  there was a rash of these at the Lionel repair store with bad motors. this particular set has the larger diameter worm. No longer available at Lionel with the oddessey board.  While no big deal.  You can buy the regular motor and add the board to repair.  Just note the repair procedure . Also,  these have the infamous binding idler gear in the trucks. Some are fine ... others ....

One major downside is to try to find a matching B unit that will travel at the same speed.  

The Legacy versions have fixed all these pesky issues . I have seven of these... all need new motors or new trucks. ...

Interesting observations and comments fellas, thanks.

Larry, I've had my set for about a year and bought it (the ABA) here on the Forum. The K-Line cars were previously purchased from Doug (L.O.S.) a couple of years ago and I picked up the powered B unit somewhere since. Have not actually operated the full train together as yet. Hopefully, all with be well with no issues as Norton suggested.

J Daddy, sorry to hear you've had problems with them sir.  Had not heard this before. I'm counting on a smooth run!

J Daddy's observations do not make one feel very confident in purchasing those products new, unproven & blind.  There seems to be a disregard for consumers.  

I was raised on orange boxes, and the product appearance is remarkable.  However I am only confident with secondary market  purchases, well after the performance is proven.

As  I mentioned on another thread.  I have three new locomotives from the same importer with the electronics removed.  The are absolutely beautiful and run like a Swiss watch all day long.  They are always on my main line and run every time my RR is operated. 

I wonder how successful this business model would be if it was under mandatory government recall law.

Eternity is a long time to have been wrong.

J Daddy posted:

I'm sure yours will be fine. Just wanted to share that there good refinements over the years.  Also, the smoke units always seem to stop working on these. Replaced the smoke unit and still nothing . 

Replace the voltage regulator module, it fails more often than the smoke unit.

gunrunnerjohn posted:
J Daddy posted:

I'm sure yours will be fine. Just wanted to share that there good refinements over the years.  Also, the smoke units always seem to stop working on these. Replaced the smoke unit and still nothing . 

Replace the voltage regulator module, it fails more often than the smoke unit.

I think your right John. They seemed to always be the weakest link in the chain.  Don't get me wrong though . I'm holding back not buying these. They are stunning and why Lionel never made them in Legacy is beyond me. 

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Henry J.
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