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I'm kind of torn.  I'd like the #1218 in a freight version, NOT the gloss finished excursion version (I didn't like the look of the glossy excursion Big Boy, and I have no intention of buying the excursion passenger cars).  I thought that I had heard that they were going to do a non-excursion version, so I will have to wait and see.


Funny - back in the MTH-Lionel lawsuit days the Lionel N&W Class A was one of the copied-tooling "lawsuit engines" (I have one - TMCC, pre-Odyssey). MTH also offered a Class A, of course - one of the objects of the stolen tooling designs.

This new Lionel Class A, which is all-new tooling, apparently, would then make this the third time that between them,  MTH and Lionel have tooled up for this locomotive. This big locomotive.


I’m seriously considering the Pilot version. I’ve got a Pilot J & Y3, the A will fit right in. 😎 Unfortunately Lionel’s track record with color is not good when it comes to N&W steam, so for a pre-order, a pilot version is Super Safe. 👍🏻 My second choice would probably be the 1210 version. Here again will they get the smoke box color right ???  I’d have to see one before I buy it. Pre-order no way.

N&WGuy, I totally agree with you on the fantasy scheme. Between the incorrect Tuscan color, misalignment of the stripe, and even the wrong font of the numbers 2, I’m staying way away from any pre-order, especially this one.

I saw in the catalog a mention of versions with and without the aftercooler - does anyone know approximately when aftercoolers were installed on the A's (before or in the 50's)?

I'm leaning towards the WW2 version but also eyeing the 1945 version, since the WW2 version has the Y3 tender. I am thinking I'd like to loosely model a 1940s time period. While the Y-3 tender on the A is prototypical, I really like the other tender - to me it feels more fitting for the Class A. I already have Lionel's original 1218 so maybe I will get the WW2 version to cover a broader time period - I'm not in a rush to pick, there's time

I’m disappointed that the “Special Feature” in January 2022 really didn’t have anything to do with the A??? I’m trying to wrap my head around the Base3 as a Special Feature. I do like the ICab app which was $50. Now the Base3 has a better app and costs $450 or so? Will I have to pay for the app also? Aside from 4 digit number assigning and running other Lionel engines that aren’t Legacy, which I don’t have, what am I gaining with the Base3??? The Special feature should have been solely for the A. 😡

As far as rolling stock for N&W to go with the A, what a joke. There are more colorful off the beating trail passenger sets and graffiti cars. Once again N&W suffers. My N&W rolling stock is coming from MTH at a reasonable price. 😎

Last edited by N&W 1218

I'm thinking about either the 1238 or the 1200 prototype.  The prototype doesn't seem to have any lettering other than the number 1200, so maybe I can make it my own fantasy scheme Virginian by adding some lettering on the tender.  I also thought they would have a string of hoppers to buy to add on to the locomotives and a caboose.  I'm at a loss with that.  How many passenger cars did they have with the vision GS series.

I am seriously considering either the WWII or (more likely) the Post 1945 version.  This would be my first Vision Line engine.  The only thing giving me pause is that I am 0 for 2 with my two Lionel Legacy steam engines -- both were purchased new yet arrived with the dreaded "single cab flash of death" and had to be sent back to Lionel for repair (one of which took about four months).  To Lionel's credit both ultimately got sorted out and they're great.  There's just a lot of complicated stuff going on in a very small place with these modern steamers -- lots of opportunity for something to go wrong. 

Conversely, all of my Legacy diesels (knock on wood) have run perfectly right out of the box.

I looked at all of the numbers in the catalogue and looked somewhat critically at these as models since that is how Lionel describes them in their text.

It looks like the 1218 excursion version is their target with the least chance for flaws as a model. I don't have any interest in the excursion engine but the major elements seem to be correct. The illustration of the 1218 shows multiple bearing crosshead guides which would be a big mistake but I assume they'll correct that on the model.

The 1211, Post 1945 looks to be pretty good. That cover over the turret in front of the cab looks awful on that engine but everything else looks in line. It appears to have sheathing over the smoke box and I'm not sure how that will be handled by Lionel. Will the sheathing be cast on and simply painted over to represent un-sheathed smokeboxes on the other models? That could look a bit weird. As far as I know 1211 did not have sheathing over the smokebox but other engines did so that would be a simple matter of renumbering on the modeler's part. The description does not say it will have the Wilson after cooler but the illustration shows it there. The modeler can remove the Wilson after cooler to date the for their own preference.

On the 1200, as built, the turret cover is not good. One other thing stands out to me with the use of the Y3 tenders is that the frame at the bottom of the tender and the fishbelly should not appear there. The sides of the tender should extend down below the frame. Will the smokebox have sheathing that is simply painted over gray? That might look strange. I'm also assuming the covers over the sand lines can be removed on all of the models as the 1200 sandlines should be visible. One other thing about the 1200 description that stands out is that it says the tender has Commonwealth trucks which it should, but the illustration appears to show Buckeye trucks. I'm assuming the 1200 tender model will get Commonwealth trucks. Some of the other early engines did have Buckeye trucks but not the 1200.

The 1210 as mentioned earlier in the thread should have alligator crosshead guides and hangers. The other items about the turret cover, Y3 tender frames, the smokebox sheathing, sand line covers and tender trucks that apply to the 1200 also apply to this engine.

The 1238 illustrated model has the wrong tender and wrong trucks in any case other than possibly the end of its life. As it is in the illustration renumbering the model won't work and I can't think of an easy way to fix this one except to replace the whole tender. Also, the bell isn't placed correctly. It should be moved to the right on the engineer's side of the boiler. The bell also has a the wrong holder and fitting. The turret cover should not be there as with the other models. It also looks like they intend to have the sheathing on the smokebox but I don't think it should be on this engine. I'd have to look into that a little closer.

The 1222 would be a pretty good model, the same as the 1211, except the description says that the model will have ROLLER BEARING RODS. I think those rods should be on 1238-1242 but not 1222. I'm curious where they came up with this and something interesting to look into.

Last edited by christopher N&W

Hey guys, I’m talking to MrMuffin’s Trains about doing a limited run of an early version of the #1218! Please let him know if you’d be interested in one of them!!

The biggest difference from the 1200 and 1210 versions would be the 1218 having Alligator type cross head guides instead of the Laird single guides and polished drivers compared to the 1200 and 1210 blackened drivers…



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I guess that I won't be ordering the Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia ex-B&A Berk from the new catalogue - as I did this original K-Line one (and another for a friend) some years ago. Even the same number - 602.

I also believe that my lettering is more accurate than the one in the catalogue shot. But - if I didn't already have this one, I'd reserve the new TAG version.



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I’m sure folks have noticed this already, but with the LCCA version of the Norfolk & Western Class A there’s gonna be a big issue: the catalog mentions that the 1222 is gonna have Roller Bearing rods. In reality the only Class A’s to ever have the Roller Bearing rods were the 1238-1242! Never in the 1222’s operating life with the N&W did it ever have Roller Bearing rods so to put them on this model is just totally inaccurate. I’m wondering that if Lionel really wants to do another version for the LCCA with the Roller Bearing rods aside from the 1238 if they’d consider changing the number from 1222 to 1242, this way it’d at least be prototypical? @Dave Olson


Thanks for the details analysis of the Class A offering.  Very helpful as I am not knowledgeable about this N&W offering or any other N&W steamer.

Based on your comments I am considering the 1210 WWII or 1211 post 1945 version. I am not a fan often pilot but it is really kind of cool. The prototype is cool as it allows flexibility.

I have purchased Lionel “What is Passenger scheme” Milwaukee Road and I get tons of compliments. That’s a consideration but I don’t plan to invest in more cars.

BTW, if the Mr. Muffins version mentioned in the post, that might be where to go.

Again, thanks.

@PSU1980 posted:

N&W Guy, any news from Mr. Muffin on making a special run.

He thanked me for the suggestion, but didn’t say if they’ll be doing it or not. He did mention that with Lionel wanting an order of at least 40 engines now to do a special run along with the higher prices in this catalog, he said doing special runs has become a huge and expensive gamble. I had also suggested doing an A-A set of M&StL F7’s which he said he liked the idea of, but that’s when he mentioned about them being a gamble. Not sure if that means there won’t be any more special runs or if it’ll have to be under a certain amount money wise though 🤷‍♂️

I had asked on the whatcha getting topic of the catalog what are commonwealth trucks and the no after-cooler(I think it was). Sorry, on my phone and can't pop my picture from yesterday. Also said to, guess the tender extensions are referring to the coal bunker at the top? Looks like the artwork is all the same so you don't know what the difference is unless you already know. Can someone please educate me on these questions?

N&W Guy,

Thanks for reaching out to Mr. Muffins on this. Appreciate the effort.

With that said, I am debating the 1210 or 1211. Other than the caboose, not sure it the subtle differences are gonna make it break me - the price might but……

I guess I need to start buying coal cars to add to the collection or just go with a mixed freight.

I have a hard time with buying more passenger cars. I think I might use that money for a CP Diesel that’s in the catalog.

@Alabama Joe posted:

Questions for you detail guys......   do you see any differences between the Class A 1222 and 1238?  other than the road number?


The 1222 should be just like the 1211 Post 1945 version, but the difference in the Catalog says that the 1222 will have Roller Bearing Rods like the 1238. In reality only the 1238-1242 had them, so the fact that Lionel is putting them on the 1222 is actually completely inaccurate… 😕

@PSU1980 posted:

N&W Guy,

Thanks for reaching out to Mr. Muffins on this. Appreciate the effort.

With that said, I am debating the 1210 or 1211. Other than the caboose, not sure it the subtle differences are gonna make it break me - the price might but……

I guess I need to start buying coal cars to add to the collection or just go with a mixed freight.

I have a hard time with buying more passenger cars. I think I might use that money for a CP Diesel that’s in the catalog.

I was really hoping MrMuffin’s would, but I’ll definitely be going for the 1210 just because I love the look of the early A’s!  I’ve thought about maybe getting the 1200 version as well and just having Harry Heike re-decal it to look like the 1210 with the “Norfolk And Western” on the tender instead of being written small on the cab underneath the number. I’d just like to have two early A’s to double head on a coal train since I have a good amount of MTH 3 bay N&W hoppers, haha! 😄

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