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Funny you say that about rolled up car windows. My 2004 Pontiac Sunfire with 113,000 miles has all the modern features, a key to open and lock the doors, a key to insert in the ignition to start and crank up and down windows, but has a powered moonroof, remote trunk lid and built-in satelite radio.

I think Lionel removed the door feature due to costs and the failure rate on the original Acelas.

If Lionel wanted to invest X amount of dollars in R&D for developing the doors, they would’ve. These are models that already have a niche market- O Gaugers willing to spend $2,000 on a train- which is the first reason i can see as to why they didn’t enhance the function. I understand it was a cool feature, but from a business perspective this makes plenty of sense. You can’t break the operating doors if you don’t put them on in the first place. Personally feel like it was a great move by Lionel. Just my honest opinion.

Hey guys, I didn't intend to start a firestorm or <above all, offend anyone... the passion is interesting though.

Look guys, the initial release Acela was in a class all its own with (over) engineered features never even attempted in 'O' scale model railroading. Granted there were issues and many disgruntled customers. It's just my opinion that any re-release of this extremely special and unique set, deserves so much more than just another page of a catalog with features found on most other legacy models.

If I've offended anyone, I truly apologize.

@AlanRail posted:

This is where I disagree. Lionel realized that the opening door feature was not very robust. So they made a wise decision to remove it.

If they could have made it work they would have done so.  Lionel saved future Acela owners a ton of grief and frustration.

The Acela can be very agrtivating and disapointing when no operating properly.  If one takes about 1 hour per car to clean and relube the door mechanism, 90% of the problems go away.  The factory grease has the consistancy of wax.  Also the worm gears in the mechanism are  factory dry.  There is aquite a bit of gearing in the mechanism.  Half of the torque of the motor is used and lost  just working the gear assembly at the motors.    With PTFE oil, the gears run smoothly.  Disconnect the door mechanisms from the pcb and power the motors with 3 VDS from 2 AA batteries.  Cycle about 20 or 30 times to get a really smooth operation.  Then reassemble.  It's too bad that the set was misguided in terms of reliability and operation.  I for one, sold 1 of my sets, and I have decided to keep my 2nd.  The set is really special.  If I did not have this one, I would order one of the new ones.

I wanted to explain the side of things coming from a "business" background or perspective. No hard feelings here. IF there IS a way to get the doors to work, more power to the individual that takes the time to get it done. If I owned one, I would find time to do it. Otherwise, I'm confident Lionel is going to make the new one just as beautiful as the original.

@kimber33 posted:

Looking to purchase one of these original Acela sets, new and unopened preferred if there are any available. Will consider used if very little run time / in near perfect condition.

Suggest looking for an original to purchase which has been opened and run a bit to proof out the set's integrity.  I do own a perfectly working set. With the passage of time, the one item that will likely be in need of addressing is the replacement of the traction tires on the powered unit (which is not unusual for Modern Era trains over a decade old). One can download the full service notes from to see whether or not one wishes to own an ACELA.

Folks can elect to buy the original or the newly cataloged reissue, as per their desires. Full featured or simplicity. I have to say, however, that the operating doors feature with the coordinated sounds and door lights is a big deal and very much 'makes' the set. Having all of the doors open simultaneously along the entire side of the train is the most impressive feature that was ever included on any model train. 

Good luck in your search!


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