Skip to main content

Postwar or whatever you want to call it is always going to be out there, it is one of those things where it is up to the people involved. I think modern Lionel (for lack of a better word) is aimed at command control (lionchief/legacy) and most of their rolling stock is scale except for 'fantasy cars'. Expecting new roadnames in traditional size is likely to be an exercise in futility, they are definitely aiming at the scale market. Menards is filling that niche it looks like. For those who like traditional size stuff there is a lot out there (not to mention the conventional classics Lionel had out there until not all that long ago).

For me, most of my stuff is conventional and traditional sized, it is what I had before my hiatus. Once I am up and running, I haven't decided what to do with my conventional engines, whether I'll regularly run them; if I do, then I will convert the ones I want to keep running regularly into command control if at all possible, the others I'll run conventionally (if I can scrape up the money for a zw-l when the time comes, I can run conventional engines using the built in powermaster capability). I am not a purist, I'll likely run what I like and not care scale or traditional sized, but that is me.

Over time I have no doubt that PW will continue to take a back seat to the more modern stuff, but there will always be people who like it, for simplicity or nostalgia (hey, there is something in car culture where young people, with some unique twists, are fascinated with 50's cars and modes of dress, kids who were born in the 80s and 90's...).

If you enjoy postwar, there's sure no reason to feel bad about sticking with it. The trains of that period are what truly built this hobby in ALL scales because Lionel sets were by far the most popular trains during that period (I know because I lived it). They will always occupy a very important place in the history of this hobby.

I only have a very few postwar pieces today, and most of them are in display cases because they are important to me for personal reasons (the first locomotive my dad bought for me, for example).

All of the trains I buy and run these days are contemporary models, and virtually all of the motive power is either MTH PS3/DCS or Lionel TMCC/Legacy. That includes my tinplate trains. But I certainly will never forget my postwar roots, and thanks to some of my many early postwar trains that my mom saved for me while I was away from the hobby during my college and service years, those postwar trains inspired me to get my feet wet in the hobby again (in the early 1970s). I have never looked back!

For me Postwar, MPC etc. have been ways of designating when the product was made.  It is not a description of the type of the product.  The Postwar Lionel that I got as a kid leaned towards scale looking items. To me certain Postwar locos and the 6464 boxcars and the 3662 milk car still look at home with my more modern scale cars.

A book could be written on the debates of this subject.  I do believe that a great many of the operators of pre-war and post-war Lionel have passed on.  However, there has been a slow influx of folks who are attracted to those areas for reasons of size and affordability.

I have my Dad's postwar trains, and added a few cars to his trains he could never afford, as we had one wage earner and 10 children in my family.

Dick Maddox is the GREATEST CEO Lionel EVER had in my opinion.  He really brought Lionel into the scale market arena.  A lot of the posters here have never heard of Dick Maddox.  He and his follow on, Bill Bracy are responsible for ALMOST EVERY scale engine's tooling in Lionel's catalog.  Comic book man did little to nothing new as far as engines are concerned.  The current CEO has add nothing new except $140.00 cabooses, using MTH tooling.  Ridiculous!  But I digress!  My favorite trains are indeed scale detailed and sized pieces.  At the same time I am an early baby boomer.  I love the electronics, because my entire career was in the electronics field, first as a technician, then as a degreed engineer.  Lionel still sell stuff from the Clyde Coil/Lou Kovac era as LCS stuff.  Most of you have never heard of Lou Kovac!  Yet LCS lives on.  TPC 300 and TPC 400 are still great ways to run conventional locomotives.  So one can easily run the old with the new.

I agree with many - under Howard, Lionel is pricing themselves off the market, and if they don't restructure their prices, they may as well close their doors.  Sales will not generate enough net profit to keep the doors open. Lots of fresh overhead in Concord, NC.  Just look at the customer service center for an example - understaffed with relatively unskilled (for Lionel Electronics) personnel.  Their entire staff comprises young people, so Lionel can keep their payroll overhead to a minimum.  This isn't to bad mouth Dave, but at his age, he IS in charge of engineering!  Would you guess 25 to 28?

I may not post often, but I have been here forever!

The trains of that period are what truly built this hobby in ALL scales because Lionel sets were by far the most popular trains during that period (I know because I lived it). They will always occupy a very important place in the history of this hobby.



I suppose "by far the most popular" is subject to different interpretations. Lionel trains were "popular," and very well known, but the number of kids who had them was quite limited. I only knew of two kids in my hometown who had any Lionel trains (and one of them was the son of the owner of the local hardware store that sold Lionel trains). Lionel was too expensive for most working families. My case was probably fairly typical. The O gauge trains I had were Marx.

As far as actual ownership, Marx O gauge trains were probably more "popular" than Lionel.

I have prewar, postwar, mpc, and modern Lionel. I run them all and enjoy them all. However for me nothing will ever replace prewar and postwar Lionel. The reasons are Joshua Lionel Cowen and Made In America. Its the memories as a kid playing countless hours with my O27 Lionel postwar train with my brother and sister. I don't care how many electronics (all the sounds drive me nuts after 5 minutes) and how realistic they make modern Lionel it will never replace postwar Lionel in my heart.

@donhradio posted:

Their entire staff comprises young people, so Lionel can keep their payroll overhead to a minimum.  This isn't to bad mouth Dave, but at his age, he IS in charge of engineering!  Would you guess 25 to 28?

I may not post often, but I have been here forever!

Don,

I'm from your age group, and share your technical background.  I agree on much of what you say.   It's right on target.

But I do have to disagree with your comments about the age of the Lionel staff, and their abilities.  Young people can be very good at things too, especially if you cultivate their interest and energy.  Over the years I've had many working for me and have been pleased with the work, energy and attitude of pretty near every last one.

Don't underestimate them and please don't call their skills, talents and training into question just because they're young, and in particular if you don't know them.

They are the future of this hobby, and are responsible for your care in your old age, and of course most importantly, everything else we hold dear.

Mike

Mike,

I actually think Dave has done wonders with the limited budgets he may receive.  He has SIGNIFICANTLY improved Lionel sound sets, added whistle smoke, bi-color marker lights and things still to come.  However Dave also (apparently) made the decision to limit smoke units in the Gensets from 3 to 1, as a cost cutting measure, because Lionel claimed nobody  actually noticed the smoke stacks turning on one by one, as the diesels were reved up.  Dave may have also made the hard decision to drop die cast bodies in favor of plastic engine bodies, (another cost cutting measure with savings not passed on to consumers) although Engineering does NOT set prices, and may not even be involved in prices except to build as the top brass order, and Dave discovered Lionel had to add weights to the units for performance reasons.  Don't mistake my comments for bashing Engineering in any way.

The gensets are just about the next engines to be delivered by Lionel, so we will shortly see how well they fare as compared to the diecast body originals.  Personally, I can't wait to receive my Bethlehem Steel Unit!

We talk about pre-war, post-war and modern era trains along with our preferences. To me the eras have become Made in the USA and not made in the USA. I’ve accumulated a lot of not made in the USA, but no more.  So, I don’t buy anything new.  A lot of my love for post-war is knowing where they were made.
I like all the bells and whistles of the new stuff, but they don’t displace what I feel for the older stuff.
Bottom line: whatever turns you on you should go for.
Alan

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×