This last Spring when I visited Mr. Muffins, Steve allowed me to run his Hiawatha 4-4-2 from Lionel 2006 catalog from his personal collection in his shop.  Once running it, I decided I wanted to get the set!  I first picked up the engine this last Spring and then over the summer months I was able to pick-up the passenger cars.  I was able to obtain the entire set in like new to factory sealed condition.  Enjoy a trip on the Hiawatha! Ken


The 1st Video gives a very brief History of Hiawatha and number 3 engine.  It also includes many photos of the original #3 engine. 


The 2nd Video shows the details of the beautiful passenger cars including the StationSounds Dinner car and also includes photos of the original cars. 





Original Post

Ken - Great videos!  Loved the way that you merged the pictures of the real Hiawatha with the model, very nicely done.





I got the cars and I was about to skip on the engine.  After seeing you videos, I just changed my mind, let the hunt begin..;-)

Hi Ken - A lot of great railroad history in this video, well done.

Gary - Cheers from The Detroit & Mackinac Railway

  Click Screenshot of Ken's video to enlarge.

Riding The Hiawatha Part 1


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Certainly one of the more interesting locomotive and passenger car designs. Lionel has done a great job of capturing the details including the interior, nice sound collection.


Great addition to any collection. Thanks so much for the very nice detailed video with history of the train, historic photos show what a great job Lionel did.

Nice video. In addition to the Hiawatha, it shows off some interesting features of your layout. 


The Lionel Hiawatha set is a very attractive train with a mixture of good and not-so-good features. On the positive side are the striking first impression it makes, the generally excellent operating characteristics, and the clamshell doors in the front that open, like the prototype, to show the smokebox front. The interiors also are very attractive; I'll leave it to the rivet counters to examine prototype photos and drawings and determine how accurate they are. And, the Hiawatha was the first Lionel locomotive I ever owned that smoked decently!


On the not-so-great side: The colors are much too deep and saturated in comparison with the prototype. For some reason, Lionel chose to model 4-4-2 #3 together with a set of 1939 cars. The Milwaukee Road did build two sets of cars with #3 and #4. These cars did not have the maroon stripe, but they had square windows rather than the arched windows of the first two trainsets. I would have preferred that Lionel modeled these cars rather than the later ones, which were built to go with the streamlined 4-6-4 Baltics. The combination as Lionel offers it is not incorrect; the railroad did run trains this way. The railroad added a maroon semicircle on the tender to carry the maroon stripe onto the tender. (See photo below.) Lionel should have painted this semicircle on their tender to make the combination more prototypical. I plan to do that on mine but I have not yet found the time due to other priorities.


Another problem is the horn. When the Lionel Hiawatha came out, there were a lot of complaints that it had an air horn rather than a whistle. In fact, the Hiawathas had both a horn and a whistle; the horn was generally used at high speed and the whistle for yard movements. However, Lionel used a two-chime horn sound. Recordings of the correct Leslie Tyfon single-chime horn are easy to find; this was just sloppiness on Lionel's part. Moreover, Lionel had the technology at the time to do a switchable horn and whistle; the Daylight from a year or two earlier had a dual setup. 


Finally, the Hiawatha's short wheelbase gives it a tendency to "hunt" from side to side at high speed. This really isn't Lionel's fault; standard 0 gauge wheel spacing is a sloppy fit on the track and any short-wheelbase engine is probably going to hunt at 100 scale mph. 


Apart from the high-speed wobble, my Hiawatha has been excellent in operation. 


Seeing the video brought back memories of an incident when I was running the Hiawatha at our toy train museum. The train was blasting along at about 80 smph when a switch flipped under the baggage car, switching the back half of the baggage car and the rest of the train onto a parallel track. The train tootled happily along on two tracks, until the baggage car encountered a bridge abutment between the tracks. Fortunately there was no damage, and we all had a good laugh and put the train back where it belonged. We spiked the switch and the track gang replaced the switch machine a couple of days later. 


Photo of 4-4-2 and ribbed cars, showing semicircle on the tender to terminate the stripe.



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Thank you for two very enjoyable video's !!!!!!

Enjoy your beautiful set



Brian, Spence, Art, Ron, Dave, Rdeal, Jose, Frank, Gary, Kj356, Southwest Hiawatha, and Alex…thanks for watching my videos and the kind comments!


Frank…you should be able to find the engine I would think without too much difficulty.  May take some time but the engine comes up often on the bay.  It also has been listed on Dash a couple times in the past few months. 


Southwest Hiawatha thanks for your insight and information about the set.  I agree it is very attractive set which is the reason I purchased it.  The engine does wobble some, but overall it is very nice set to run.



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