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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Feedback Wanted
These engines have been in development for several years and delayed further by COVID-19.

This limited edition is our first locomotive, and we want to know your opinion of the model's appearance, functionality, reliability, performance, value, and most of all, did you have fun running it? This will help guide us in the future.

Please email your thoughts and feedback to Ray at [email protected]

Remember, the purpose of this test run is to gather feedback. The more people who get one, the better. With this in mind, and because the supply is so limited, we ask that you limit your purchase to one engine per customer.

Features
  • Very limited - Only 200 produced
  • Two powerful motors - Great for pulling!
  • Easy-to-use remote control with forward/reverse, horn, bells, and crew commentary
  • Adjust volume with a dial on the side of the controller
  • Call and response audio between engineer, fireman, and dispatcher (25 phrases)
  • Directional lighting illuminates going forward and backwards and lighted number boards
  • Rugged stamped-steel frame
  • Metal trucks with die-cast frames
  • Realistic train sounds with on/off switch (located on underside of engine)
  • Locomotive Weight: 2lb. 12 oz.
  • Locomotive Dimensions: 13"L x 2-1/2"W x 3-1/2"H (not including horns)




Get on board with the test run of this brand new locomotive from Menards!

Shop Now >



The Iconic F3 Locomotive

The classic F3 locomotive hails design from the Golden Age of American railroading and offers mighty O gauge action with two-motor power for hauling long trains.

The F3 is an iconic locomotive, often dubbed "the diesel that did it," in the transition from steam to diesel locomotives. The Menards F3 features America's most recognized railway graphics - the classic Santa Fe War-Bonnet livery that set a new visual standard for railway graphic design.


Not Just a Pretty Face
This precision crafted model has two powered motors, a rugged die-cast metal frame, metal truck side-frames, and power pickup rollers on each wheel set.

The F3 comes equipped with crew figures in the illuminated cab. Safety is assured along the line with a bright LED headlight, backup light, and classification lighting. The model has working front and rear couplers.

Cast-in detailing includes portholes, rivet and seam detail, and exhaust and radiator fans.

The model showcases premium painting and decoration of the complex Santa Fe silver, black, red, and yellow livery.

The F3 measures 13 inches long and easily operates on O-31 diameter curves, and all contemporary track brands.


Radio-Equipped
The F3 comes with an easy-to-use hand-held wireless controller. Easy for youngsters or adults to hold and use.
  • Easy rotating forward-reverse directional control
  • Select horn or bell sounds
  • Trigger crew communications
  • Adjustable volume control
  • Quick battery replacement


In case you missed it, I've attached today's Menards Train email. If you'd like to sign up for these, click here.
 

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If there was a store near me I would pick one up to try out. Shipping and lack of a useable rebate gives me pause though. I am curious what they have for motors and if the electronics could be used in other engines?

Pete
 

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“The diesels that did it” were actually EMC FT units, not EMD F3’s…..just sayin’….
 

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At that price they are going to sell out fast. Mine is ordered. Remote looks a lot like a Lionel LC/LC+.

People have wished for Menards locomotives for some time. Will be interesting to see it. Hope it does not have the same problems that Lionel 2 motor LC+ diesels had a few years back.
 

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I ordered one. Sadly in the same boat as the rebates are mostly worthless to me here in SC, but I do have family in OH, so there is an off chance maybe on a trip home I can use them if they don't expire.
The bad, it cost me $170 tax, title, shipping, handling, etc....., a really hard pill to swallow given this is basically a Lionchief. Million dollar question, will it work with the universal remote?
The good:
There are some interesting aspects since they appear to have plated the trucks, and another thing I like is the sideframe screws are facing you so you have a much easier time replacing traction tires.
Also looks like a hex capscrew on the truck to motor mount screw in front of the pickup roller? I have no issue with capscrews- wondering how others might feel about mixed tools to work on one though?
Maybe that's intentional to keep the typical child user from loosening that screw, but still access to normal screws they might need more often like the sideframes?

Blatantly borrowed picture from the other place....
562784
 

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562785

And, it may not be officially Lionchief- but the same designer was probably contributing, that's pretty darn near the same shape and basic design, the twist is the volume control at the remote?
In a way, that might be better. All fun things to try and contemplate, so happy to give feedback once we get one.
Also, nice touch with Jack on the back!!
562788


Compared to an actual Lionel genuine LC remote, yes, they are different, but it's not that different.
562786
562787
 

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Hmm, a thought, that power switch on the handle part, works fine if gripping right handed?, wondering how well that works for lefties? Just picture holding it, right hand, that's your thumb on the switch side, left handed, that's a little different and you might be right on the switch? Heck, the more I look, that's probably a bad place to put it, but only time and real world holding it and using it by others will really drive home if that's good or bad placement.
 

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Man these sold out REAL fast. First posting I had seen was 4 hours ago as of the writing of this reply. I do hope folks who bought one will critique this engine on MTF.
 

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Glad I moved fast. I have a confirmed order. Menards makes good stuff. $175 delivered is very good. I’ve paid more for non running postwar Lionel. I’ll see how it handles desert conditions and steep western grades with inexperienced engineers.
 

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Does it have a prime mover sound? I didn't hear one. I can live with smoke and great detail in a low-cost loco to run with a remote like that, but bell, whistle, and talking alone, with no engine soundwon't do it for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Does it have a prime mover sound? I didn't hear one. I can live with smoke and great detail in a low-cost loco to run with a remote like that, but bell, whistle, and talking won't do it for me.
I'm not familiar with prime mover sounds but this engine does have the normal locomotive sounds. They were just tuned off for the video.
-Mark the Menards Train Guy
 

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Mark, it would be good if you did a video demonstrating the rest of the sounds the locomotive has.
Not sure I am in the majority but as impressive as the crew/tower com talk was, I am more interested in the sound of the horn and the engine sounds.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Mark, it would be good if you did a video demonstrating the rest of the sounds the locomotive has.
Not sure I am in the majority but as impressive as the crew/tower com talk was, I am more interested in the sound of the horn and the engine sounds.

Pete
Very good idea. I will definitely do that when we go into production with the next batch (after feedback is addressed).

It is a bit of a moot point for these since they are sold out. :)

Thank you,
Mark the Menards Train Guy
 

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Well bowl me over and slap me upside the head! Menard's finally doing a loco???? o_O :eek:

I'd be in for one or two in a good Rock Island paint scheme. :)(y)

One or two? Who am I kidding? Maybe ten or twelve! :p(y)

Keep in mind, I said GOOD R.I. scheme. NOT that bankruptcy blue crud! :poop:(n)
 

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The crew talk sounds are horrible! After all of these years of goofy crew talk sounds, it looks someone could take the hint and do something right!
 

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Might want to hit the flashy bling couplers with some rust paint.
 
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