Odyssey Motor - What happened?

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  • Member since
    January 2001
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Odyssey Motor - What happened?
Posted by JFermani on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 11:36 AM
Does anyone know the reason why the Odyssey motor was canned at Lionel? From all that I had heard about the motor it sounded like a winner. CTT - you reviewed an engine with the Odyssey motor - what's your opinion? Was it better than the can motors they are now using? What about compared to the pullmors. I know the Odyssey system gives you cruise control but the Odyssey motor seemed like a good motor to replace the pullmor. Plus, being a Lionel design, and having their name on it seemed fitting rather than outsourcing to use can motors.


Joe Fermani
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: US
  • 440 posts
Posted by Algonquin on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 12:03 PM
Hi Joe,

My impression was that the Odyssey motor was being designed to acompli***wo things.

-Improve on the original design of the "pulmore" at low speed operation by increasing the number of poles

-Allow for the incorporation of a speed controller on the motor.

The Odyssey motor was being designed with 7 (I think) poles compared to 3 on the pulmore. The Odyssey motor was also being designed to allow a speed controller to be able to sense the rotational speed of the motor. The speed sensor needs a solid rotating surface which the existing pulmore does not have.

I believe the main problem had to do with the cost to produce this new motor. The Odyssey motor system would require the new more expensive motor and the new speed controller. The speed controller developed for the Odyssey motor was easily adaptable to sensing the speed of can motor flywheels. The cost to supply a can motor and speed sensor was significantly less than the cost for the Odyssey motor and speed sensor. Therefore, I believe it was an economical choice by Lionel (And probably a good one to stay competitively priced with the competitor's speed control system) to go with the can motor system.

Tim P.

A penny saved is a penny earned. But every once in a while it is good to treat yourself to a gum ball.

  • Member since
    April 2003
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 30, 2001 8:45 AM
Hi everyone,

Tim is correct about the Odyssey motor. The biggest performance feature of the sample Odyssey motor we tested here at CTT roughly 2 years ago was its "cruise control" feature. The cruise control electronics were turned into today's "Odyssey system." The Odyssey motor itself was compact, visually attractive (open frame, orange top) and the idea of stacking one motor atop another was innovative. The motor itself was very smooth, but we only operated it with cruise control turned on, so it's hard to say if it performed any better than the can motors Lionel uses today. Comparing a Pullmor motor to the Odyssey motor is like comparing the refinement of a 1950 Chevy to that of a 2000 Chevy. Economics likely killed the Odyssey motor although we have never received any official word from Lionel.

Neil Besougloff
editor, Classic Toy Trains
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: US
  • 52 posts
Posted by JFermani on Monday, April 2, 2001 11:58 AM
Thanks guys for the replies. Its ashame that economincs killed the motor. Its sounds like Lionel had a real winner with the new motor plus they could have had "bragging rights" that they still build all of their motors. Who knows, maybe with the move overseas, it would be possible for it to return. The one benifit I still see from it is that with Lionel building it, parts would be readily available since no outside vendors would be needed.

Thanks again.


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