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The new S Gauge EP-5 is shown in the new catalog as coming with Flyer Chief control system and it is stated that it can operate with the included remote, universal remote, Bluetooth app, or conventional DC. In the past, previous Flyer Chief locos operated with either conventional AC or DC track power. Since the 1950’s, almost all AF conventional control has previously been AC but most would work with DC. Has operation with AC track power now been discontinued on the new models, rendering them inoperable on traditional AC powered layouts, or is this just an omission on the part of the catalog editors?

Bill Nielsen

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Dave stated that the new EP 5s have the same electronics as the GP 7s and Baldwin Switchers, having operated both of them that means the currently cataloged EP 5s will be a LOT MORE FUN TO RUN than their modern era predecessors.  I ordered another New Haven and also ordered my first New York Central version as well. So it is a fantasy scheme, it is a good looking fantasy scheme and will look right at home on my East Coast themed S layout.

Like the idea of a Polar Express EP 5, after all already have lots of PE passenger cars for it to pull.

Ed Boyle

I've always wondered about the interest in (and sometimes confusion about) the EP-5.  While innovative in its use of rectifiers to convert the AC on the overhead to DC for the traction motors, only 10 of the "jets" were built for the New Haven and they had about ten years of service with NH (who was in financial trouble even by the time they were introduced in ~1955).  They were slowly beginning to be phased out by NH in favor of the cheaper FL-9s, which were both diesel electric and fully electric (via a third rail pickup for going into NYC), before NH bit the dust as part of the Penn Central merger.  Apparently six of the ten EP-5s survived into PC paint and, I believe, saw some service hauling freight.  One caught fire in the Park Ave. tunnel in 1973, at which point NYC banned them (apparently the overheating of the ignitron rectifiers was a well-known problem).  Conrail picked up whatever remained of them, but I don't think any of the EP-5s saw Conrail service or even Conrail paint.

Several posts 'up' shows a picture of a Milwaukee road EP-2 bipolar (built about 40 years before the EP-5).  Occasionally someone will conflate a Little Joe (EP-4) with an EP-5.  I've always wondered about why Lionel issued EP-5s in both Milwaukee Rd and Great Northern colors - neither real RR owned EP-5s.  Full disclosure, I do have a Flyonel version of the EP-5, I think from around early 2000's.

Last edited by richs09
@richs09 posted:

I've always wondered about the interest in (and sometimes confusion about) the EP-5.

Occasionally someone will conflate a Little Joe (EP-4) with an EP-5.

Only two of the twelve Milwaukee Road Joe's were EP-4's, the rest were EF-4's...

Anyhow, it was Lionel/MPC that hung the name "Little Joe" on the EP-5 on the re-release of the locomotive in the 70's.

My theory as to the popularity of the EP-5:

1) Snappy graphics.  The McGinnis paint scheme was a bold departure from the New Haven's Hunter Green and Gold.  Even in Lionel and Gilbert Postwar catalogs, the EP-5 literally jumps off the page.

2) It's a compete thought.  The EP-5 looks like two (almost Alco FA) locomotives back-to-back, giving the impression you've got more locomotives pulling a train than you actually do.

3) It's just plain cool.

Well, Great Northern and Milwaukee Road both had significant electrification, and frankly the EP-5 looks good in those paint jobs.  It's not the first time a company has stretched the truth.  MTH, K-Line and Williams both offered their O gauge EP-5's in non-prototypical roadnames.  In contrast, back in the late 50's Penn Line offered their HO GG1's in New Haven and Great Northern.

Personally, I'd like to see the Flyer EP-5 offered painted up in Chicago, South Shore and South Bend.


Last edited by Rusty Traque

My personal ambivalence with the newly offered FlyerChief EP-5's is rooted in the fact that I have two cherry LN Gilberts (3- and 5-digit), the two motor six wheel drive truck NH version from Lionel (which runs very nicely), and the LTI orange stripe passenger cars to go with it to form a repro "The Bankers" set. I suspect that I am not alone in this. And, I continue to be disappointed with the sounds in FlyerChief engines. A seriously upgraded version with Legacy features might have tipped the balance for me. One cannot buy everything (so I am told) and I'd rather use funds on other items. I will admit that the idea of a Polar Express version would have expanded the production run to get the newest version built.

I do hope that enough orders are placed so that the new EP-5s are built and enjoyed by their owners.


Last edited by Bob Bubeck

Rusty -- agree that these (EP-5s) are cool looking, made that way by the McGinnis paint scheme.  While going back to reconfirm what I think I know (which is becoming more ephemeral all the time - good thing for the Google machine!), I found that NH also had an electric loco termed the EP-4, e.g. here: http://www.rrpicturearchives.n...ture.aspx?id=3675960 (note its leading three EP-5s), which was built by GE circa 1938 in a 2-C-C-2 configuration.  Seems to me from the "waist up" it looks a bit like this Brazilian version of the other EP-4 (maybe an EF-4) Little Joe  Also built by GE - roughly ten years later in a 2-D-D-2 configuration.    Beyond that comparison, I know next to nothing about either in terms of the build details

- Rich

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