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I have a set of six Lionel 19 inch NYC Empire State Express passenger cars (four car set 6-29173 and two-car set 6-29178) and will be buying an engine to pull them with.  I know the most appropriate engine would be Lionel's 6-38000 Century Club 2nd edition Hudson that came with these cars.  But I'm also considering MTH's Empire State Express Hudson MT-3016L, which usually costs a lot less.  Does the MTH ESE Hudson match up aesthetically with my Lionel passenger cars?  If so, I will probably buy it.  Since I run my trains conventionally using an MTH Z4000 transformer, I figure the sound benefits of having the Lionel engine would be negligible.

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Yes, both are high-quality. I'm familiar with both. Lionel's does have an added feature: the bottom of the firebox skirts is intended to be removed, should you want to run it as they were later in life.

To add to the choice list - back in the day, Weaver also offered a nice brass version, conventional only, all soundless, I think.

Keep one important thing in mind.  ProtoSound (PS1) engines are frequently finicky to master.  They require precise sequencing of throttle motions to get them to roll, and are picky about transformers.

Most frequently newbies put them on the track, and haphazardly power up the throttle expecting them to move immediately.  When they don't we frequently get a subsequent post here along the lines of "All I get is two 'clanks' from the sound system.  It won't move.  I think it's toast"

Nothing could be further from the truth but you'll need to be patient and learn the ropes.

Rule No. 1:. Check the battery inside before doing anything else.  If it's white change it immediately.  Put in a green one instead, although there are other options too.


Last edited by Mellow Hudson Mike
@John Daniel posted:

Good advice, Mike.  I have a few PS1 engines, so I'm fairly familiar with them.  The seller has agreed to fully test this one before shipment, and I plan to install a BCU after I receive it.

Keep in mind, …the engine you bought has 4 traction tires, ..the tires on the engine when you get it will more than likely be petrified and about ready to fall off….stock up at


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