I have my eye on a Lionel GP-7 set from the early 90's with magne-traction, dummy unit with rail sounds. To date all my locomotives are MTH (not against Lionel per se, I've just stuck with what's worked so far) and PS-1 from the late 90s. I have a couple PS2 and PS3 locos as well, and strictly run conventional. 

This set is within my budget, in a road name I like, and as far as I know - compatible with my Z 750/Z-1000 transformers (confirmation here appreciated).   

If I go this route, am I missing anything versus getting another PS-1 loco in my budget? Any pitfalls to this, or things I should know? Any hearty go for it and here is why thoughts? 

Thanks in advance 

Original Post

Couldn't really say without knowing the number.   Pullmor or Pittman motor?  Electric e-unit or conventional?   Year it was made?  What version of railsounds?

But if you like it and the price, buy it.

it depends on what you like really, i prefer to run conventional, and i enjoy early sound systems for their uniqueness, charm, and relative simplicity. it seems like most people either love or hate sound, so they either go for the best or nothing. there doesn’t seem to be a lot of love for the early stuff.

rail sounds 1 was pretty basic, chuff, whistle, and bell, no crew sounds or anything. its “better” than sound of steam at least. the diesel units sound pretty ok in my opinion, but the chuff sound for the steam engines always seemed a bit “off” to me. 

your transformers should work just fine for running most anything conventional, except the odd DC unit of course. 

Last edited by Signalwoman

Myself personally if the Lionel unit has an old fashioned AC motor that would be a deal breaker for me. With an MTH PS-1 you have can motors which run quieter than the old AC’s and much smoother.  So long as you change the battery in the PS-1 before you run it for the first time I would go with the MTH that’s in your budget.   

aussteve posted:

Couldn't really say without knowing the number.   Pullmor or Pittman motor?  Electric e-unit or conventional?   Year it was made?  What version of railsounds?

But if you like it and the price, buy it.

6-18505 

Pullmor Motor 

Not sure on year, 1993 maybe? Also unsure on what version of railsounds. 

I got back into trains around 2000, while I was in college. My local shop had a set of these in the display case, and I always liked them. My Dad had bought a couple of MTH starter sets, and that's ultimately why I ended up getting an early Rail King Berkshire, and then a SW-8 switcher.

I have a couple of RK GP-7's, PS1 - how would these compare? Will the stamped handrails be noticeably different? 

Thanks again for the help guys!  

 

 

I just searched the MTH site and didn’t find a NKP GP. They had a few other models though.  So if that’s the goal, Try it. Resell it, if you hate it. Personally I prefer MTH detail over similar Lionels. 

If you buy older Lionel Postwar and MPC locos without sounds, they can be fixed easily and cheaply because there are no electronics to fry. Yeah, the AC motors are noisy, but my wife has some Standard gauge that's still running on those motors with no problem - the oldest one she has is from 1925. 

I say if you like it, buy it.

I normally run conventional but I've been bit by the LC+ stuff of late and have fallen for the new railsounds, crew talk and synchronized chuff and smoke.  I think your right though, there's just something about those early railsounds units....

Paul

I run conventional too and have been happy with older MTH (PS, LS, PS-1/2) and Lionel (RS, command), diesels. The pullmore's are bullet-proof but not as good for low speeds as newer can motors.

No batteries cause the sounds to cut out on loss of power too.

If you like it buy it.

That set is one I've wanted for a long time myself. One of these days...

Be prepared to tear down the engine and re-lube everything. Sometimes the grease on these older Lionel engines hardens, and it will really affect the performance. Be cautious of hardened grease in the crevices of the worm gear (on the armature). Once lubed, these modern pullmor-equipped engines run very smoothly and quietly, especially since (according to my guide) that engine has the electronic (not mechanical) e-unit. It is true, though, that they do not have much in the way of low-speed performance, if that is important to you. (It was never important to me... life's too short!)

I do not know anything about MTH transformers. I do know that many systems use "pulse power" (short bursts of higher voltage) to coax lower-than-designed speeds out of engines with can motors. Perhaps your MTH transformer is of this sort (again, I don't know). With a pullmor motor, pulse power helps the low speed performance only slightly, and makes the motor noticeably noisier. They are just plain happier on something with a pure sine wave output. Even so, I have many times run my older Lionel engines (with and without electronics) on pulse power (from Lionel's TMCC) and nothing has broken yet...

FWIW

One thing you will probably be missing--but will NOT miss--is all sorts of hassles with the electronics.  I have several locos that vintage and older, and all work flawlessly.  My more modern, CC, whizz-bang engines all suffer from at least one electronic fault, some of which are nearly inoperable.

Well I may be the last person to give advice as I generally like the prewar stuff, no sounds and lots of noise!.  I do recall an article however in "Classic Toy Trains" by Lou Palumbo of Underground Trains where he compares the ease of repairing the old pre/postwar Lionel with the difficulty of modern trains.  Primarily his concern is that the older "electronic" trains have circuit boards that are no longer available and that no one builds spares for and of course like all printed circuits they are difficult if not impossible to repair.  So if you take the plunge, make sure all of the features that you are looking for work before you buy.  However, I have had sound effects disappear after one loop around the track under my ZW power. Luckily in my case, the loco still functioned so it was OK with me, but you may really want sound.  All in all, from my perspective I tend to agree with those who say...if the price is modest, you like it, and it appears to operate - go for it.  If it ultimately proves unsatisfactory, you can normally move it on to someone else who can use it or put it on a shelf (that's why the investment has to be reasonable, if the worst happens you don't have too much in it).

Don

nkp4me posted:

Will the stamped handrails be noticeably different?

Stamped handrails are a deal breaker for me.  But it's your eye.

I think you'll be happy with these. They are reliable units. The sound is acceptable. The fit/finish is excellent. Spare parts are available easy to replace. They will run and run and run! These were made by Lionel in Michigan so you'll never have to worry about substandard materials (Warping plastic,flaking paint,Zinc Casting issues,etc...)

Williams made NKP GP-9s identical to the early Lionel one but it has can motors. The early one has one motor but those made after about 2003 have two motors. If its listed as having TBII (True Blast 2) it has two motors with flywheels. These will run much better with more power the Pullmor Lionel version.

Pete

If it says "PULLMOR POWER" I highly recommend you avoid it.

Seeing as you've only owned can motored MTH stuff, you will absolutely hate anything with a PULLMOR motor.

Nothing against the guys on the forum that love them, I just  prefer to leave the coffee grinder for making coffee, LOL!

Last edited by RickO
RickO posted:

If it says "PULLMOR POWER" I highly recommend you avoid it.

Seeing as you've only owned can motored MTH stuff, you will absolutely hate anything with a PULLMOR motor.

Nothing against the guys on the forum that love them, I just  prefer to leave the coffee grinder for making coffee, LOL!

OK, I see you guys are putting down the Pullmor motor. I had an original Lionel 2333 with magne-traction, I believe those had Pullmor, horizontal drive motors on the trucks. Is that correct? That engine was a great puller! The sound was loud, but that was fun too. I wish I kept it. I bought a fancy new MTH engine with a can motor and PS/2. I like it and it pulls fine, because it has traction tires, but I still miss that 2333. 

The answer really depends on what you want. Scott said he is a conventional operator. For conventional operations, this engine should be very solid. I bet with the magne-traction it could pull and climb very well. It seems like the knock against the Pullmor motor is the noise. Well, that could be a plus or a minus depending on what you like.

George

Most all the Pullmor Geeps have only one motor, no? I have a Conventional Classic Burlington Geep made 15 years after the one the OP is looking at and it has only one Pullmor. It runs OK but still not as strong as the same engine with two cans. 

Pete

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