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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?

Commonwealth trucks are a type of tender truck and there can be variations. All of the A engine numbers in the catalogue should have Commonwealth tender trucks. The illustration of the 1238 has the WRONG Commonwealth trucks under it. The trucks for the 1238 should be the same trucks that were used on the J 611-613. Lionel already havs the molds for the correct trucks so I'm not sure why they would not use them. In the catalogue illustrations the Y3 tenders seem to show Buckeye trucks which is incorrect for the numbers shown. There were early A engine tenders that did have Buckeye trucks.

The Wilson after cooler is the radiator looking thing up front on top of the pilot. These were added later in the life of SOME engines.

The the tender extensions are the coal boards that extend on top of the coal bunker. In the early 50's engines started getting extra water tenders added to eliminate stops. After the water tenders were added the coal boards were later added to lengthen the engine trips without stopping for fuel. Some photos claiming to be the years 1953 and 1954 show tenders with the coal boards on them but if at all I'd say they were not prevalent in those years. I'd say that in 1955 the coal boards really started becoming prevalent.

@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?





   

N&W Guy has it right about the 1222 vs 1238.

But additionally the illustration of the 1238 shows a wrong tender and wrong tender trucks. The more accurate tender would be one from the Y6b minus the Buckeye trucks. Lionel has the mold for this tender shell so I'm not sure why they wouldn't use it. Maybe they will if someone asks.

The 1238 should also have the same Commonwealth trucks that were used under the J 611-613 tenders. Those trucks were different than the earlier numbered J tenders. Lionel also has these molds so maybe they will use them, but how would anyone know but to ask.

Last edited by christopher N&W

This locomotive is too large for my layouts curves but I think it speaks well for the hobby to see the enthusiasm for these class As. I wonder will there be anyone who will order all nine?

Believe it or not, there are a few individuals that order one of everything in the catalog.  They own warehouses to keep it all in.  So the answer to your question is yes - there may be a few who will order all nine variants of the Class A's.

@Allegheny posted:

Believe it or not, there are a few individuals that order one of everything in the catalog.  They own warehouses to keep it all in.  So the answer to your question is yes - there may be a few who will order all nine variants of the Class A's.

Ohh... I would love to see his layout. That would be cool to see all nine Class As running at the same time.

Commonwealth trucks are a type of tender truck and there can be variations. All of the A engine numbers in the catalogue should have Commonwealth tender trucks. The illustration of the 1238 has the WRONG Commonwealth trucks under it. The trucks for the 1238 should be the same trucks that were used on the J 611-613. Lionel already havs the molds for the correct trucks so I'm not sure why they would not use them. In the catalogue illustrations the Y3 tenders seem to show Buckeye trucks which is incorrect for the numbers shown. There were early A engine tenders that did have Buckeye trucks.

The Wilson after cooler is the radiator looking thing up front on top of the pilot. These were added later in the life of SOME engines.

The the tender extensions are the coal boards that extend on top of the coal bunker. In the early 50's engines started getting extra water tenders added to eliminate stops. After the water tenders were added the coal boards were later added to lengthen the engine trips without stopping for fuel. Some photos claiming to be the years 1953 and 1954 show tenders with the coal boards on them but if at all I'd say they were not prevalent in those years. I'd say that in 1955 the coal boards really started becoming prevalent.

Awesome Chris, glad I got an answer on this. I popping what we are talking about with a comparison so others know as well.

After coolerAfter-coolerA ExtensionsCoal bunker extensions up top.

Commonwealth trucks on the Pilot version, and the 1238 wrong Commonwealth trucks.

A 1238

I am wondering if they may confuse some of the options when they are building these. Its a good thing that they are looking at samples now(HOPEFULLY).

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  • After cooler
  • A Extensions
  • A 1238

One thing I thought I was concerned about greatly looks like another catalog blooper. The doghouse on some of the Class A tender's is blacked out. Here is the Pilot, 1201, and 1211. The error is also on the 1238 and the 1222. I had thought that there was no doghouse because I couldn't see the window. Upon zooming in, you can see that the goofed and filled it in black.

Doghouse

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  • Doghouse

Okay, so it sounds like MrMuffin’s might actually be doing a Special Run of the Vision Line A Class!! He’s gonna try for a Pennsylvania Railroad version with a solid front pilot, small tender (similar to the 1200 and 1210 versions), and Roller Bearing Rods. The engine would be painted Brunswick Green as well!

It’ll kinda be a “What If” locomotive had the Pennsy chosen the A Class over the C&O 2-10-4 in their WW2 design tests!

Last edited by N&WGuy
@N&WGuy posted:

Okay, so it sounds like MrMuffin’s might actually be doing a Special Run of the Vision Line A Class!! He’s gonna try for a Pennsylvania Railroad version with a solid front pilot, small tender (similar to the 1200 and 1210 versions), and Roller Bearing Rods. The engine would be painted Brunswick Green as well!

It’ll kinda be a “What If” locomotive had the Pennsy chosen the A Class over the C&O 2-10-4 in their WW2 design tests!

That means that there will be ten different Vision Class As for this catalog cycle.

I think that I am going to go with the 1211 with the Class A tender, no after-cooler, commonwealth trucks. I had thought about the 1200 and the 1210, but I like the solid pilot and the Class A tender. It took quite a bit of time to work this all through as I was looking over all the versions, this one best suits me. Plus I like how the smoke box door is the grey and the boiler goes all black.

By the way for those who didn’t see the Facebook live stream that TrainWorld did with Lionel tonight, Ryan and Dave from Lionel did mention that all the errors that appear in the catalog art for the Class A’s are going to be corrected for the actual models which is good to hear!! It does sound like they’ll be keeping the Roller Bearings on the LCCA #1222 though, but other than that everything else will be addressed! 🙂

@N&WGuy posted:

Ryan and Dave from Lionel did mention that all the errors that appear in the catalog art for the Class A’s are going to be corrected for the actual models which is good to hear!! 🙂

I saw the video. It sounds somewhat promising, however a blanket general statement doesn't settle some things for me.

They specifically said they will make right the turret in front of the cab and kudos for that.

They generally said they would get the side rods and crossheads right on all of the models but wouldn't it be better for them to state or write specifically which engine will get what rods on a $2,000 model after it was shown incorrectly in the catalogue.

They also said they'd get the tenders worked out but that leaves me a little uneasy. The tender of the 1238 in the catalogue is incorrect without any variation of the right tender shown at all. I don't have confidence without having them come out and state specifically that on the 1238 they will be using the same tender used on their Y6b or better and with the same Commonwealth trucks that were on the J611-613.

I've been burned on nailing down these types of details before. The engines cost a lot of money. It seems reasonable to ask and be informed ahead of time what you will be getting.

@N&WGuy posted:

By the way for those who didn’t see the Facebook live stream that TrainWorld did with Lionel tonight, Ryan and Dave from Lionel did mention that all the errors that appear in the catalog art for the Class A’s are going to be corrected for the actual models which is good to hear!! It does sound like they’ll be keeping the Roller Bearings on the LCCA #1222 though, but other than that everything else will be addressed! 🙂

Yeah, I was watching that later on in the evening and took note to that big conversation about the Class A's and all the errors in the catalog. I may have to write Ryan just to ask what errors are noted on the one I want and what it is really getting. Maybe he'll answer, maybe he will take some time in doing so, but the main point is that we told him stuff that was wrong, and they're going to fix it before it's produced. BigJim pointed out right away to Ryan some of the details before the catalog hit, and that helped a lot. Hats off to Jim and everyone else.

Last edited by Dave NYC Hudson PRR K4

I think I am leaning toward the 1211 based on what Chris said. 1238 looked cool because I sort of wanted the roller bearing rods. It might be worth picking up the Ed King book. I always regret not getting the Legacy Y6b. I also need to think about a caboose. Thanks Chris for the input!

Happy to help. I'm considering the 1211. I'd also consider the 1238 if they were to make some changes.

In "Norfolk & Western Railway: Williamson Terminal—1953" Vern French goes into pretty good detail about tender assignments for each class of locomotive including the Class A. One thing that should be understood is that N&W did not use an "A" designation for their Class A tenders. The tenders of the Class A engines were designated "B", "H", "C" and "I" and each were different.

Class "I" tenders
Engines 1235-1242 are all noted as receiving Class "I" tenders, the tender that is shown in the 1238 builders photo. The "I" tenders were also assigned to all of the Y6b engines.

Class "C" tenders
In the late forties 1210-1234 for the most part were assigned class "C" tenders. I say "for the most part" because there are some tenders documented as being swapped in the 1950s. The class "C" tender is the tender you see on the 1218 today.  The class "C" tender is also correct for the Postwar 1211.



In an article in Mainline Modeler, July 1984, Tom Dressler and Ed King wrote about the Class A engines and their details and differences. In reporting about the last 8 A engines built, Dressler and King write:

"The first three, #1235, #1236 and 1237, were to be identical to the modified wartime A's with two exceptions—the engines were equipped with fluted eccentric rods with roller bearing back ends and a new design of Commonwealth 6-wheel roller bearing tender trucks. Nos. 1238-1242 utilized these modifications and more. These engines were equipped with Timken roller bearing side and main rods. ..."

I added the emphasis in the above quote. To be clear, 1235, 1236 and 1237 did NOT get roller bearing side and main rods but did get the "I" tender and newly designed trucks. The Dressler/King article shows a photo of the trucks across a full page so clearly, but of course I can't post that photo of them.



1235-1242 Tender  Note the more rounded curve in the coal bunker.
Full side of tender 1238

1210-1234 Tender  Note the more abrupt curve in the bunker.

Full Side of tender 1218



1235-1242 Trucks

1238 Trucks

1210-1234 Trucks

1218 trucks



Note difference in the notch at the front of the tenders:

1235-1242 the notch is simply rounded.

Full side of tender 1238 notch

1210-1234 the notch has a backwards S curved sheet of metal.

Full Side of tender 1218 notch

These are the most obvious differences in the "I" and "C" tenders. This doesn't get into the different rivet patterns on the tenders. I would understand Lionel not using the correct tender for the 1238 if they did not already have the tooling. But Lionel DOES have the tooling for the 1238 "I" tender and they DO have the tooling for the correct trucks.

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Images (6)
  • Full side of tender 1238
  • Full Side of tender 1218
  • 1238 Trucks
  • 1218 trucks
  • Full side of tender 1238 notch
  • Full Side of tender 1218 notch
Last edited by christopher N&W
*snipped*

Thanks for the detailed reply!  I see what you're talking about now.  I'm not an N&W guy so some of those particulars can escape my eye (different matter when we're talking about the B&O, though lol).  I just thought these class A's looked really awesome and figured if I picked one up I'd want to ensure it was true-to-life, just to satisfy my rivet-counting sensitivities.

I think we can hope Lionel will get it right, especially since they already own the tooling, although it's also possible that the other tender's tooling is located at a different factory and potentially even in a different country!

I'm sure at this point no manufacturing has commenced so now is the time to make the adjustments.  I would reach out to Lionel directly if I were you.

@NickRiv posted:

The catalog images appear to show some variants with white wall drivers.  Anyone heard if this is confirmed/denied or even prototypical?

Thanks

There won’t be white walls on any of the Class A’s. Those ones that appear to have them are just the versions with clean/polished drivers while the ones that don’t are the versions that’ll have blackened drivers 👍

@NickRiv posted:

Thanks for clarifying!!  Now have to pick which one!!

Ryan had said that there were errors in the catalog regarding the Class A's during the Train World show. He sort of specified I think only a few things here and there but not on every model I think. It is thanks to several people here on the forum contacting him about specific differences between the road numbers that brought quite a bit to his and their attention. Some were communicated before the catalog had gone live, but that catalog had already gone to print so there was not going to be any changes.

In the past, Ryan has stated on various other models that the artwork in the catalog didn't match what the end result of a particular model. Of course, sometimes they are off the mark, but they have been getting somewhat better at things, and hopefully this set of Class A's will be the top of the class.

can someone be so kind as to explain the visible difference between standard and roller bearing rods on this model? Thanks

The Roller Bearing rods are larger in appearance than the standard rods as is shown below. The top image shows the 1238 with the round roller bearing rods while the bottom shows the 1212 with standard rods. In reality, only the 1238-1242 were equipped with the Timkin roller bearing rods.A4123A44-E6DB-4118-8533-524504C05A94

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Images (1)
  • A4123A44-E6DB-4118-8533-524504C05A94
@N&WGuy posted:

The Roller Bearing rods are larger in appearance than the standard rods as is shown below. The top image shows the 1238 with the round roller bearing rods while the bottom shows the 1212 with standard rods. In reality, only the 1238-1242 were equipped with the Timkin roller bearing rods.A4123A44-E6DB-4118-8533-524504C05A94

Great visuals  everyone has provided.   I really appreciate this info, BUT, rather than all of you all figuring out what should or shouldn’t be appropriate/included, shouldn’t Lionel either have already done their research or, and the most important ‘OR’, shouldn’t Lionel clarify what is and isn’t???????

@Alabama Joe posted:

Great visuals  everyone has provided.   I really appreciate this info, BUT, rather than all of you all figuring out what should or shouldn’t be appropriate/included, shouldn’t Lionel either have already done their research or, and the most important ‘OR’, shouldn’t Lionel clarify what is and isn’t???????

Well, yes they should, but that doesn't mean they get the right answer. If you ask anyone of the guys that have been on the railroads about anything they have experienced, etc, you will get their answer and sometimes their opinion on things as well. In Lionel's case, their research is whatever they have available which could include(but not always) real folks that have worked on the railroads. Take for example Strasburg #90. Ryan has gone back constantly to make sure he gets things right on that. Now for some other locomotives it's not that easy because the experts may not be around to ask, but their understudies could be here on the forum. Does that sound reasonable?

Well, yes they should, but that doesn't mean they get the right answer. If you ask anyone of the guys that have been on the railroads about anything they have experienced, etc, you will get their answer and sometimes their opinion on things as well. In Lionel's case, their research is whatever they have available which could include(but not always) real folks that have worked on the railroads. Take for example Strasburg #90. Ryan has gone back constantly to make sure he gets things right on that. Now for some other locomotives it's not that easy because the experts may not be around to ask, but their understudies could be here on the forum. Does that sound reasonable?

Great explanation.     Thanks.

@N&WGuy posted:

There won’t be white walls on any of the Class A’s. Those ones that appear to have them are just the versions with clean/polished drivers while the ones that don’t are the versions that’ll have blackened drivers 👍

That may be the intention, but the words and photos are not consistent with the catalog depiction.

1218 states polished rods, and they and the drivers look polished.  I'm assuming this is the "baseline" depiction.

1238 states blackened rods, but the rods look like half-way between polished and blackened and the drivers look polished.

1200 states polished rods, but they and the drivers look blackened.

1210 states blackened rods, and they and the drivers look blackened.  Feels like this is another good "baseline" depiction.

1211 states blackened rods, but the drivers look polished.



And as they have indicated in the past, catalog artwork statement on the back of the catalog is just a depiction and what you are getting might not reflect what's in the catalog.  I'd like a little more confidence than that if they are going to BTO this with my $$$.

@Alabama Joe posted:

Great explanation.     Thanks.

Every York I have attended(4 of them) I've always talked with Ryan about a great number of things. We have talked about revealed products as anything that they have behind the scenes is off the table. Ryan has said where they have been off the mark a bit or limited by tooling, which tooling has been something I've talked quite a bit about with him. I will say that he really got to know how passionate I am about Hudson's, and I was greatly surprised when that catalog had come out. When I saw him afterwards I told him how happy I was with them.

He does have a good general knowledge of railroading, but I would consider his knowledge middle of the road as compared to a novice like me. Sure, I can identify what type of locomotive most are(but not down to specific class types/designation), but Ryan could elaborate more on that. Others obviously would be able to breakdown what valve gear, if it had superheaters, etc., etc. Hot Water is probably one of the most knowledgeable people here on the forum, and a great few others. I've seen explanations of where models have been wrong because of one or more things that just weren't on the real deal. It is interesting to watch and listen to all of that.

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