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One great improvement during the Lionel MPC era was the new fast-angle wheelsets with needle-point axles that roll much better than the old postwar wheels. But it's curious that they came out with the Symington-Wayne style of truck, which I understand was never used on real railroads in any quantity.

I've seen comments that MPC's rework of Lionel's AAR roller-bearing truck was somewhat unsatisfactory, perhaps due to old molds.

I accept older Lionel trains as being somewhat whimsical and I kinda like the Symington-Wayne trucks as being different. I'm speculating that MPC Lionel chose the different style with the idea that they might pass for freight or passenger trucks, or as something different or modernistic. Or maybe there was a possible issue with patent infringement if they copied a conventional design??

I picked up seven pairs of fast-angle wheelsets for cheap at a recent train show, most of them S-M trucks. I'm going to refit them on some of my postwar freight cars because they roll so much easier and I like to run long trains.

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Last edited by Ace
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It's too bad that they wasted so much production on these odd trucks; they were fairly good replicas, and would have made a nice footnote addition to the product line, but, in real life they were rare. It is unfortunate that Lionel didn't make generic plastic solid-bearing ("Bettendorf" many call them) and roller-bearing truck designs during this period, instead of the mostly-improper plastic Symingtons. These trucks are often low-cost options for getting less-than-high-end RS back on the road.

But Lionel was anything but "accuracy conscious" - or healthy - when these trucks came out.

I think that whomever was tasked at designing a new truck for MPC was flipping through various press kits and spec sheets and saw this truck...not really knowing it was rare.  I think the 1:1 products with the truck were being promoted around the same time. They kind of resemble the trucks on modern European rolling stock.

Last edited by Mike W.

When they came out I bought a bunch of them. The 6464 type box cars could be had for well under $10. Remember we were all Lionel Train runners then. No scale look. They were electric toys. We were getting new stuff fast. It had been years with nothing new showing up. New engines, new cars, new standard "O" with fully strung Die-Cast trucks and even new Trutrack. Of course the track never did show up. I liked the trucks, they were different and new and they rolled like crazy. You could pull a really long train for the first timeDSC_2540. Don

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When they came out I bought a bunch of them. The 6464 type box cars could be had for well under $10. Remember we were all Lionel Train runners then. No scale look. They were electric toys. We were getting new stuff fast. It had been years with nothing new showing up. New engines, new cars, new standard "O" with fully strung Die-Cast trucks and even new Trutrack. Of course the track never did show up. I liked the trucks, they were different and new and they rolled like crazy. You could pull a really long train for the first timeDSC_2540. Don

Interesting. The ad shows a new premium-quality die-cast sprung truck of a typical freight design, but not roller-bearing. That suggests the plastic Symington-Wayne truck was picked to be something distinctively different for lower-cost rolling stock. It seems both new truck designs were intended to appear different from the standard Lionel trucks of the 1960's.

Last edited by Ace

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