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Must be a lot of folks that have super large layouts or run their stuff on club layouts. Quite the selection of 21 inch passenger cars in the 2020 Lionel catalog.

I have one set of 21 inch passenger cars and they look just plain silly on my 072 / 081 layout, pretty significant overhang.

The listed prices for these beauties will cause some big time sticker shock.

Bill
 

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I can't get the new catalog to load. Ive tried MS Edge and Chrome, and with both when I click on the catalog link, it starts to load and them goes to a blank page and freezes.

Lionel can't seem to get anything right.
 

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It worked around 9 AM but has got progressively slower since.

The prices are nuts. Seems every catalog they add another 20%.

And don't tell anyone but their 2200 dollar hybrid is wrong. They put the shell on a GS-2 - GS-6 Lima chassis instead of the correct Baldwin chassis. Wrong crosshead detail that sticks out like sore thumb.

Pete
 

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Pretty excited about the new UP/Pennsy and the Mopac/Pennsy offerings. Tempting to getting the 120 year set as well from a uniqueness standpoint. The layout isn't overly large (8x12) but to me the accuracy of the cars outweighs the overhang.

Pretty impressive catalog. Even the Polar Express, Toy Story and other toy-like offerings added some fun to the overall catalog.
 

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Is that the actual length the car should be at a true scale of 1/48?
Yes. But you really need very, VERY broad curves on your layout to make these cars look visually appealing.

Pretty excited about the new UP/Pennsy and the Mopac/Pennsy offerings. Tempting to getting the 120 year set as well from a uniqueness standpoint. The layout isn't overly large (8x12) but to me the accuracy of the cars outweighs the overhang.
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So I'm really curious... What IS it about these empty 21" cars that intrigues you to the point of running them on an 8x12 layout? :confused: I have a 32x12 layout, and 21" cars just "begin" to look right on the outer mainline that has O-102 curves. My personal preference of passenger trains hails back to Lionel's 18" aluminum days or current 18" production offered by MTH -- both of which have passengers and detailed interiors included. Just sayin'....

David
 

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Yes. But you really need very, VERY broad curves on your layout to make these cars look visually appealing.



So I'm really curious... What IS it about these empty 21" cars that intrigues you to the point of running them on an 8x12 layout? :confused: I have a 32x12 layout, and 21" cars just "begin" to look right on the outer mainline that has O-102 curves. My personal preference of passenger trains hails back to Lionel's 18" aluminum days or current 18" production offered by MTH -- both of which have passengers and detailed interiors included. Just sayin'....

David
David,

To me the 15 inch cars look too compact and toy-like. (Yes, I know they are all toys) The 18s look better but they appear too compact for my eye. Having seen many of the UP and N&W cars in person, the more realistic look of the car (in terms of number of windows, length, end caps, visual appearance) is what is most intriguing to and appealing to me. Especially given I can purchase some of the cars that I have seen in person. I tend to not purchase cars with simply numbers that are not named. Longterm, not planning to me paired with the current layout but as the current house is a bit smaller I used what space I could. One day hope to have a layout where I can utilize curves that are O-100+.
 

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Lee, at 4:44 EST I was able to go through the catalog without difficulty.

David, I agree that 21" cars are too long from a bird's eye perspective, but John Armstrong had the great idea of the cosmetic curve which could be used favorably in 12' at eye level.

I should be too old for sticker shock, but a vista dome car with a Wi-Fi camera for $300+ does take the air out of the room for me.
 

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Good Evening Everyone,

I don't have any problems running the 21" cars on my home layout because I don't have one:D All my operating is done on our train club's setups where the 4 mains run from O120 to O144 and all the big stuff looks good.

I will be purchasing a few passenger items from this catalog. I am a Bicentennial/Freedom Train fan, so I will be purchasing the two 2 packs of the new tooling 18" Freedom Train cars, along with the Preamble Express. Those 4 cars have quite a history, originally coming from the Reading Railroad. I hope Lionel gets these right as I already see a couple of issues in the catalog illustration/description. First, The cars in either Freedom Train/Preamble paint did not have that awful green window tint that Lionel keeps putting on their heavyweight cars. Second, in the Preamble Express description the cars are listed as having diecast 6 wheel trucks. That is wrong as these cars never had those trucks. These were commuter cars that used 4 wheel trucks from the beginning through today on the cars that still exist. I plan on e-mailing both Ryan Kunkle & Dave Olsen about these issues. I think that the Preamble Express and the Boston & Maine sets are pretty good values for what you are getting, especially after discounting the pricing will be somewhere around $700 for a set.

The other item I plan on buying is the Freedom Train 1976 auxiliary water tender. Again, somethings just not quite right in the catalog. It should be an ex-NYC Mohawk tender but the illustrations show a shorty version of that tender. Yet the description states that the tender is 12 inches long which is correct for a scale Mohawk tender. Lionel will also be getting a question from me to clarify what we will actually be getting.
 

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The other item I plan on buying is the Freedom Train 1976 auxiliary water tender. Again, somethings just not quite right in the catalog. It should be an ex-NYC Mohawk tender but the illustrations show a shorty version of that tender. Yet the description states that the tender is 12 inches long which is correct for a scale Mohawk tender. Lionel will also be getting a question from me to clarify what we will actually be getting.
I’m glad you are asking that question; I’ll watch out for a report of the answer. I hope that this is an(other) instance of the catalog illustration not matching the actual intention recorded in the text. A scale size AWT is what I am after too.
 

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Harbor,

I emailed Lionel yesterday with all my questions/concerns mentioned in my above post. I have not received a response yet, but after watching the Ryan & Dave catalog show it doesn't sound good. In the presentation, Ryan mentions that Lionel doesn't have the correct Mohawk tender tooling so they're using a tender that's pretty close(looks to me like it's from a scale Hudson). If that ends up being the case, I'm out. I'm going to start a thread just on the tender issue.
 

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Yes. But you really need very, VERY broad curves on your layout to make these cars look visually appealing.



So I'm really curious... What IS it about these empty 21" cars that intrigues you to the point of running them on an 8x12 layout? :confused: I have a 32x12 layout, and 21" cars just "begin" to look right on the outer mainline that has O-102 curves. My personal preference of passenger trains hails back to Lionel's 18" aluminum days or current 18" production offered by MTH -- both of which have passengers and detailed interiors included. Just sayin'....

David
I would need an O scale layout the size of the first floor of my house to be satisfied with the visual appeal of cars this long on curves.

The curves on my HO layout are not all that big at 24" and 26" either, but I get by with 303mm coaches. I do have compressed 1:93 coaches too that look really good on those curves. The compression is such that you cannot tell they are short coaches unless parked next to a full-length coach.

I consider it a good compromise for the tighter curves. I'd like to run 30"+ curves but just don't have the real estate for anything that large. Even in HO.
 

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....
The prices are nuts. Seems every catalog they add another 20%.

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Pete, I missed this on my first pass through the catalog... but I see some of the 21" cars now are including passengers. Not all of them though... a bit confusing. You need to read the fine print -- and even then, we don't know what's really gonna arrive in Lionel's warehouse. :rolleyes:

I'm sure Lionel isn't doing this because they're good corporate citizens. :p
 

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I did see that. Must be upscale passengers if Lionel is charging about 20 bucks each. I have some UP excursion cars from the last catalog on order. Then I am done with future 21" Lionel cars.

Pete
 

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I got real lucky with the UP Excursion and Penn Central passenger sets. No visible problems out of the boxes. I’m not a gambler but until there’s dramatic, long term improvements I’ll only be buying future Excursion set cars, only because I’m so deep into the set.

I also like the new Reading heavyweights that I think I may order since they’re new tooling. I need a passenger set for my MTH T-1.
 

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The thing about the new 21" passenegr cars is they are fairly accurate, especially the UP cars in external appearance but detailing the interiors is extremely time consuming. When my last order comes in I will have over 20 cars. I have already moved the couplers inward so the diaphrams touch and swapped out the Excursion cars tube type diaphrams with some closer to prototype with I beam supports. Its the painting of the seats and floors and populating them that adds hours more time to each car. Makes GGD cars look like the real bargain.

Pete
 

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I picked up a copy of the new Lionel catalog the other day at Henning's Trains. Quite the book indeed. Lionel spared no expense putting this catalog together, and I'm sure the MSRP prices reflect that too. It's quite the production piece and has a hefty "thud factor" when you drop it on a counter or tabletop.

The 120th anniversary passenger train is one of the 21" passenger car offerings. And the blue/orange colors along with the 120th logo will surely be an eye-catcher on hi-rail layouts with bright color scenery and buildings. However, if you go for this train, you've gotta enjoy it when you take delivery of it... as I doubt there will be any appreciable value to speak of down the road. I recall when Lionel offered a similar limited production train for the company's 100th anniversary in 2000 -- an F3 AA config along with four 15" passenger cars, "Spirit of the Century". When I started thinning out my collection around 2012-ish, I sold the train -- but for nowhere near what I paid for it. I guess it had become a "collectible casualty" as I've come to call these types of things. :(

We all get caught up in the excitement at catalog time. But a couple of years later everyone is wearing a different pair of eyeglasses, since another wave of new trains is bombarding their senses. It's all a vicious cycle.

So proceed with caution... or at least do so with both eyes wide open.
 
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