American made Lionel

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Posted by JoeD1980 on Saturday, July 07, 2018 7:51 PM

Penny - I always wondered why that is! Any ideas why the Virginia brings more? Rarity?  I didn't mean to leave you out of my earlier message, always enjoy your thoughs as well.  I enjoy ALL of the people that take their time to message, so please don't think I left anyone out.

Fire,

What amazing Yankee stories! My great grandfather saw the Babe, my dad was at a Dodgers/Yankees series.  Even though I'm Red Sox fan, I really do enjoy Yankee history.  Can you imagine having missed the Gehrig goodbye???  You gotta love his reasoning though.

You're right - I've seen a bunch of pictures with Campanella, who had quite a Lionel collection after his tragic accident.  

That showroom must have been something - Yankees, Dodgers and Giants mingling about with customers, JLC roaming out of his office.  I read somewhere (if memory serves me correctly) they'd close early (?) once in a while and take in a Yankee game (Maybe I saw this in All Aboard?)

What a time that must have been. I know I'll never see anything like it, which is sad. There was a time when this country, not just Lionel, WAS INDEED, the Standard of the World.

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Posted by JoeD1980 on Saturday, July 07, 2018 7:53 PM

Oh, and I know that B & O President Washington engine well. I remembering wanting one of those - 90's if I'm not mistaken, right?  

I am also really liking the 50th anniversary Hudson set by Lionel from a few years ago.  Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, July 07, 2018 9:40 PM

Joe, hit the train shows if you can and keep your eyes open and your fingers crossed, those B&O President Washington engines are out there, and they're usually pretty reasonable.  I saw one at a Greenberg show in Chantilly VA three years ago and foolishly passed on it.  Found another one at a local show last year and pounced on it without thinking twice.  I paid about $175 for it, as new and in the box.

  A great runner and a great puller, it'll pull all thirteen Bicentennial cars and a caboose with no problems.

I can't figure out why the Virginia car is so expensive, at least $150 while the others average about $25 to $35. But then, no-one seems to know why. It's been speculated that the state of Virginia bought most of them to hand out to star employees but I've seen no evidence of that.  It's a mystery.

Can't help you on the 50th anniversary Hudson, I've got no direct experience with one.  Don't think I've ever seen one either.

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Posted by cwburfle on Sunday, July 08, 2018 4:00 AM

I can't figure out why the Virginia car is so expensive, at least $150 while the others average about $25 to $35. But then, no-one seems to know why. It's been speculated that the state of Virginia bought most of them to hand out to star employees but I've seen no evidence of that.  It's a mystery.

I've read that story.
Another urban legend is that the car was simply run short to create demand. There are those who beleive that such things were being done.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, July 08, 2018 9:52 AM

I guess I should clarify something here.

As Becky correctly pointed out, the Bicentennial cars and locomotive put out by Lionel was called the "Spirit of '76" series, and not a "Bicentennial Set,"  I use the term "set" strictly out of convenience.  The locomotive, caboose, and cars were sold as individual items, consumers could purchase as few or as many as they wished.

That being said, since I live in Virginia and hit quite a few train shows here I'd expect to see a lot of those Virginia cars surfacing from time to time but it just isn't so.  They seem to be just as scarce here as anywhere else, either that or they're well and truly "buried" in O gauge collections around the state and may take years to see the light of day again.

As I said, it's a mystery. 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Sunday, July 08, 2018 6:22 PM

My only theory is that it's because of Jamestown.  But it's just a "pet" theory.  Big Smile  I have the Pennsylvania car and the caboose from the series.  Family lore (aka "Mom") says my dad had the caboose on order at a local hobby shop who sold it before he could get back to buy it.  So we (my brother and I) ended up with the Pennsy car that Christmas instead.  But I always liked the caboose so of course I had to add one to my collection.  Big Smile

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Posted by emdmike on Sunday, July 08, 2018 7:07 PM

I chalk it up to more and more of us get irritated by looking at what we used to make here, from Lionel/American Flyer trains to Zenith TV's and wonder, WTF happened and why cant we make this again here?   I have steadfastly refused to buy any Lionel not made in the USA.  While I love my HO scale brass from Japan/Korea and so forth.  I want my Lionel to say "made in the USA"    Proud Union home here!  

Mike the Aspie

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Posted by Penny Trains on Monday, July 09, 2018 7:29 PM

Read a package of Oreos sometime...Sad

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, July 09, 2018 7:54 PM

Now don't tell me Oreos are made in China too!  Ick!

Not that it would matter to me much, I've never cared for them personally, but Lady Firestorm'll go ballistic if that's the case!  Angry

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Posted by robmcc on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 1:38 PM

Hey Joe. It's all good. Definitely not "miffed" at you. Smile I guess my frustration more stems from the fact Lionel has had its share of issues with product on this side of the Pacific too. There has been numerous quality control issues with the "homegrown" LionScale line. I know I was set buy a bunch of rolling stock and yes, using the old Weaver molds and assembly in North Carolina was a bonus. Needless to say, it was a disappointment when they start arriving in pieces.

I too miss the Chesterfield/Mount Clemens facility.(Only 40 miles from me) Don't forget they had some growing pains too early on. I'm sure if chat boards existed in the early 70's, there would be a great debate on how Lionel doesn't make 'em like they did in New Jersey!! Big Smile

Rob

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Posted by Penny Trains on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 7:36 PM

Firelock76
Now don't tell me Oreos are made in China too!

Mexico.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 8:28 PM

Ay, chihuahua!Hmm

Actually Becky, your Oreo comment yesterday got me a bit disturbed, so in the supermarket this afternoon I went to the cookie section for a little research.

Found the Oreo section and (Holy jeez, where'd all those varieties come from!) looked at a pack of plain ol' Oreos.  Quite a bit of Spanish on the backside, but no country of origin listed, which there has to be if it's an import.

Then I read your "Mexico" comment.  OK, onto the 'Net for som research.  True enough, Oreos are made in Mexico, but also in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New Jersey.  Whew!

In fact, I drive by the Virginia location every so often but the place always smells like Nilla Wafers, which I can't stand.  The New Jersey location is very familiar to me, it's on Route 208 in Fair Lawn, but that place always smells like chocolate chip cookies, which is kinda cool!

As I said, I never really cared for Oreos anyway.  I like full-blooded cookies like Archway molasses cookies or Pepperidge Farm snickerdoodles, and waving a pack of Nutterbutters in front of me is like waving a bottle of Type "O" in front of Dracula!

But NOBODY beats Lady Firestorm's chocolate chip cookies!

Wayne

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Posted by artyoung on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 9:08 PM

I'll take Walker Shortbread and the Quaker Oats recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies. Dinner

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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 6:10 PM

Walker's shortbread? Not bad, but for the REAL DEAL this is my Scottish grandmother's recipe for Scottish shortbread...

Ready to copy?  Good, here goes...

One half-pound of butter.

One half-cup of sugar.

Two-and-a-half cups of flour.

Cream sugar and butter together until fluffy, add the flour, work it together HARD, (should resemble pie dough), then put it in a 8x8 ungreased pan and firmly press the dough into the pan.  Pierce the dough with a fork all over.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for forty minutes until golden.

Slice into squares in the pan while still hot, let cool completely before removal from the pan.  Size of the squares is up to you.

Lady Firestorm who now calls it her own says DON'T MESS WITH THE RECIPE!  NO SUBSTITUTIONS! 

Get some of this in you and you'll never touch Walker's again.

And if you folks are REALLY good I'll get Lady Firestorm to pass along her chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Ah, the "Classic Toy Trains"  Forum!  It ain't just toy trains!

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Posted by artyoung on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 6:46 PM

Thanks Firelock, I'll give that a try around Christmas time.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 6:52 PM

I have a few that are a serious pain in the butt to make but they're sooooooo goood!  Big Smile  They're from the Main Street Bakeries in the Disney Parks.  I recomend the chocolate chocolate chip cookies.  Ooooey goooey even when frozen!  Wink

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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 6:58 PM

artyoung

Thanks Firelock, I'll give that a try around Christmas time.

 

Christmas time is perfect for that shortbread!  There you go, Christmas, shortbread, and toy trains, it all comes together.

And you'll know the holidays are really over when the shortbread runs out.  Trust me, one pan won't be enough.

Becky, those Disney cookies sound great!

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Posted by Penny Trains on Thursday, July 12, 2018 6:52 PM

Gourmet Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 18 oz semisweet chocolate chunks (chips are OK)

Method

  • Preheat oven 375 degrees
  • Cream butter, sugars, vanilla and cocoa powder
  • Stir in remaining ingredients and blend well
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes
  • Drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet about 2" apart
  • Bake until cookies are set (5-8 minutes)
  • Cool slightly and remove from pan
  • When making large cookies, press down slightly on cookie dough to help them cook more evenly.  Bake slightly longer (8-10 minutes)

Just 1 more step: enjoy cookies with your favorite transformer throttle in your non-cookie hand!  Big Smile

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, July 12, 2018 7:28 PM

Oooooh, that sounds good! 

Lady Firestorm says she might just try it!

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Posted by sir james I on Thursday, July 12, 2018 9:10 PM

Penny Trains

 

 
Firelock76
Now don't tell me Oreos are made in China too!

 

Mexico.   So are York pepperment patties. So I buy Thin Mints.

 

"IT's GOOD TO BE THE KING",by Mel Brooks 

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Posted by emdmike on Monday, July 16, 2018 5:42 PM

So many smells go with the Christmas holidays, from what we all cook, the smell of the tree(if you get a real one like we do) to the ozone and smoke smells from our favorite toy trains.   I have and will keep my Lionel purchases to mostly late prewar and early postwar.  But I do get a few things from the Kuhn era of Lionel.  I met the man not long after he bought Madison Hardware.  I was running my father's 1655 at a show and it was struggling to run from years of use(studs the reduction gears spin on are heavily worn away).  I mentioned that I had been looking for a low milage power chassis to swap in but most I found were just as bad or worse. We traded business cards(I fixed trains for a shop where I lived) and went our own ways.   A month or two later, I have a box on the porch when I got home, just my address, nothing else.  Inside was a NOS are darn near that power chassis for my 1655 with a Madison Hardware hang tag on it.  If it wasnt NOS it had so little use that it looked that way.   So since then, my dad's 1655 has a new heart in it.  I still have the orginal power unit, needs the studs that are part of the field rivets that both reduction gears spin on.  If those were replaced, then the original drive would run again.   I can only assume that the package came from my discussion with him.   That was also the end of most USA production I believe.    Whether we like it or now, today is  global economy.  But we can do more here than we do now.  And we need to before another global conflect catches us off guard without the needed manufacturing to sustain ourselves with little to no outside help.   

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Posted by JoeD1980 on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 9:50 PM

That is a great Madison Hardware story. I wonder what it must have been like, after the purchase was made, to start going through the inventory at Madison. Finding the original Congressional set, still unrun, or god-knows-what may have been in there.

The presidential cars made by Lionel in the USA did nothing for me either.  I appreciate the effort, but my first thought was, "is this be best we can do?" Bad colors, unappealing to me, anyway.

Plus, the train car production feels like a sad bone thrown to us.  I don't see the expansion into motors and engine, which, truth be told, is what most of us would care to see made here. The USA made set they had in the works since the Calabrese era is still nowhere to be seen. Immediately would sell out if produced, in my opinion.

Funny, for all of the love and fun memories I have of old USA Lionels, I'd be hard pressed to admit that I like my 1996 Super Chief set better than the El Capitan set that came out in 05.  That El Capitan was the perfect size, great box imagery, great running Fastrack and a great transformer. Light years above the set I received in the 80's for XMAS.  I wish i didn't sell it. I flipped out one fourth of July and traded it in for my B and O F3 (MPC).  

In a funny aside, I bought the F3 from Mr. Gryzboski. He said, "You wont have any problems with this one."  When I reported the near immediate problems, he yelled at me!   Haha, he was fun.  The best part was the grease in the gearbox looked like it came from Jurassic Park. It was fossilized. 

 

 

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Posted by The Gnome on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 7:22 PM
Jim R https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voS6dePOx3c&feature=share
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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, August 19, 2018 10:55 AM

Trade war?   Hmmmmm...

OK, I'm really, really, really not going to go political here, but I'm reminded of something Mr. "Art Of The Deal" said years back.

Sometimes when dealing with an obstreperous business partner, or potential business partner, you have to smack them in the head HARD to get their attention.  Once you've GOT their attention you can start working toward a deal where everyone wins.  The hard-heads have to realize that everyone can't be on top, that doesn't work in the long run.  When everyone wins, THAT works in the long run.

Art of the deal.

Just sayin'.  And that's all on that subject.

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Posted by lionelsoni on Sunday, August 19, 2018 11:22 AM

"Avoid controversial off-topic subjects like...politics..."

Bob Nelson

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Posted by another Bill on Sunday, August 19, 2018 2:24 PM

Unless I am mistaken, Lionel product was made off shore way before 2000.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, August 19, 2018 3:38 PM

Like I said, that's as far as I'm going on the trade war thing.  No further.  No kidding.

I've been in enough trouble lately, trust me.

But getting back to the "American made Lionel" topic, I've been away the past week raiding train shops in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, did pretty well, but really scored in Henning's Trains in Lansdale PA.  Picked up a Lionel 681 Pennsy Turbine in great condition and at a super price as well.  Just had it on the layout a little while ago and it runs great!  Henning's did a great refurb job on it!

I wasn't looking for a Turbine but this was too good to pass up!

Built in 1953, just like me!

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Posted by The Gnome on Monday, August 20, 2018 7:44 PM

Someday smart guys with laser jet printers will start making Lionel knockoffs and selling them for twenty bucks.  Ok, maybe fifty bucks.

Jim R https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voS6dePOx3c&feature=share
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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, August 20, 2018 8:55 PM

Not gonna happen anytime soon, those things cost as much as a house!

And they don't come with a basement either.

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Posted by The Gnome on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 7:29 AM

The small 3d printers are down to $300.  If prices continue to drop on the better printers, lots of people will be doing it.

I could not design trains for a 3d printer, but some of the folks who participate in this forum might be able to use the CAD software. 

Jim R https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voS6dePOx3c&feature=share

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