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Lionel HO

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Lionel HO
Posted by yougottawanta on Wednesday, April 09, 2008 12:16 PM
Recently while visiting a new nearby LHS I came across an HO scale steam engine made by Lionel ? Because of other pressing  issues I did not have time to ask the owner to pull it out of the glass case so I could look at it further. How long has Lionel been producing HO ? Does any one own an HO Lionel ? What has been your expierence? I will check back later must return to work for now. 
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, April 09, 2008 12:20 PM
Lionel really never was in the HO business.  Back in the 1960's, they sold HO stuff made by other manufacturers for them.  Eventually, they dropped the HO line.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by cacole on Wednesday, April 09, 2008 12:45 PM

You probably saw a Lionel 4-6-6-4 Challenger.  This was the only HO scale product from Lionel since the days when they were owned by General Mills.  Soon after releasing the Challenger, Lionel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and dumped their remaining stocks on the wholesale market.  I don't expect to ever see another Lionel HO scale product released.

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Posted by selector on Wednesday, April 09, 2008 12:55 PM

At the same re-introduction this past six or severn years ago, they also offered and sold quite a few of the Veranda Turbine models.  So, there were two, the Challenger and the Veranda.

-Crandell

This is the Lionel HO Challenger.  Smoke and steam added by RRCanuck.

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Posted by TomDiehl on Wednesday, April 09, 2008 12:56 PM
Lionel had some things made for them overseas for a few years back in the 70's. Several of them are currently or were available from Bachmann, such as the Southern Pacific GS-4 in Daylight colors as well as the American Freedom Train.
Smile, it makes people wonder what you're up to. Chief of Sanitation; Clowntown
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Posted by Dave Farquhar on Wednesday, April 09, 2008 1:25 PM

Lionel made several half-hearted attempts at HO (the first had started by 1957, not sure if that was the first year or not but I know it was featured in their 1957 catalog). Most involved having another manufacturer make the product and Lionel just marketed it.

The timing on the most recent effort wasn't the best. Lionel came in with an expensive product (the Challenger), it didn't pay immediate dividends, and the company wasn't in much of a position to wait for a good return on the investment. Right about the same time, Lionel got slapped with a $40 million verdict in a lawsuit brought about by its biggest O gauge rival and declared bankruptcy. A lot of belt-tightening followed.

Lionel recently settled the lawsuit for a much smaller amount and looks to emerge from bankruptcy sometime this year, but it's not likely to try to play in the HO scale pond again any time soon. Lionel tried to diversify a lot of different times over the years, not only into HO scale, but also into slot cars, diecast toy cars, and even an aborted attempt at action figures. None of those product lines have ever done much for the company's bottom line.

Dave Farquhar http://dfarq.homeip.net
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Posted by Railphotog on Wednesday, April 09, 2008 2:14 PM

When I got back into the hobby in the mid 1980's, I picked up a used HO scale FA-1 that was marked as being made by Lionel.   A friend of mine has a few Lionel HO GE diesels, U34B (or something like that), because they are the only ones ever made.  I've also seen a small Hustler diesel that was gear driven, also by Lionel.

 

Bob Boudreau

CANADA

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Posted by Harley-Davidson on Wednesday, April 09, 2008 3:26 PM
Around 2004 LIONEL released 2 HO models, the UP Veranda Gas Turbine and the Challenger, all metal and with QSI DCC & sound. For me, really excellent models. The last year QSI Solutions made updated chips for both engines, so they runs really beatiful. Even their presentation, in a very strong boxes, is truly fine. Trait to get one in Bay.
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Posted by yougottawanta on Thursday, April 10, 2008 9:58 AM
Bow [bow] Cacole , you were right on the money ! I went back last night on the way home from work and took a asecond look. Sure enough it was the 4-6-6-4 Challenger. It looked new , the box was in good shape that it came in. But when I turned it over the wheels were grimmy and worn. They were asking almost $700 for it ! I cracked my jaw bone when it hit the floor . I could not believe it. Needless to say they were very proud of it. Does any one know what this particular engine should be going for , used as a resale ? What did it orginally cost ?
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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, April 10, 2008 10:06 AM

Right now there are two on ebay, one for $599 and a DRGW one for $1299!! IIRC they were around $3-400 originally,  when they were first discontinued, I think somebody was selling them for like $225 or so?? Several companies came out with Challengers about the same time so there was kind of a glut on the market for them.  

Unfortunately anything that has "Lionel" on it is going to be of some value to collectors, which is probably what is driving up the price.

Stix
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Posted by lvanhen on Thursday, April 10, 2008 11:41 AM
 wjstix wrote:

Unfortunately anything that has "Lionel" on it is going to be of some value to collectors, which is probably what is driving up the price.

Sign - Ditto [#ditto] I have a couple of '70's flat cars that still have horn hook couplers on - don't run well at all, but worth $45+!!  I have seen my Veranda Turbine in the $1300 range!!  I'm rich!!Big Smile [:D]

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Posted by selector on Thursday, April 10, 2008 11:45 AM

They are relatively scarce.  There may be about five or six here and there on shelves, unused.  The rest are sold used.  I got one from modeltrains.ca (Canadian Model Trains) in the fall of 2005.  They had the one, and it up on ebay at the time.  I phoned, not knowing that it was currently under bids, and asked if they'd ship it to me for a slight reduction of their listed price.  They said okay, and pulled it.

I can't recall exactly, but $520 CDN comes to mind.  At the time, it would have been about USD$450.  Because of its increasing rarity, and now having used it for nearly 3 years, I feel that it was a good purchase.  It is a fine, reliable engine, not heavily detailed, but solid as a rock.  Pulls quite well if the track is smooth with nice transitions.

-Crandell

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Posted by loathar on Thursday, April 10, 2008 2:06 PM
It's amazing what some of their HO stuff goes for on E-bay. I've seen that flat car with the missile go for $106! If you ever get any of it, keep it all original so you don't kill it's collector value.
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Posted by lvanhen on Thursday, April 10, 2008 2:52 PM

 loathar wrote:
It's amazing what some of their HO stuff goes for on E-bay. I've seen that flat car with the missile go for $106! If you ever get any of it, keep it all original so you don't kill it's collector value.

Mine are original - including the 77 cent price tags on the flats!!!Laugh [(-D]

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Posted by ctrain123 on Sunday, August 15, 2010 10:55 PM

I own a Lionel Ho The Texas Special # 14054 train set.  I am also having trouble finding out anything about the Ho series.  All that I have found out is that my set is from 1957.  I haven't found out anything from any books, they all say it is beyond there scope.

ctrain123

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Posted by trainsBuddy on Monday, August 16, 2010 11:40 AM

 Way to resurrect a 2 year old thread Big Smile

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, August 16, 2010 12:53 PM

ctrain123

I own a Lionel Ho The Texas Special # 14054 train set.  I am also having trouble finding out anything about the Ho series.  All that I have found out is that my set is from 1957.  I haven't found out anything from any books, they all say it is beyond there scope.

ctrain123

Maybe try going over to the Classic Toy Trains forum, folks there are going to know a lot about anything Lionel. I'm sure someone somewhere along the line has done a book on Lionel HO history, or a price guide or something.

Stix
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Posted by Santa Fe Rick on Thursday, August 19, 2010 6:44 PM
The tooling that Lionel used for the Challenger and Veranda turbine was turned over to MTH as part of the MTH-Lionel lawsuit a few years back. Rick

Santa Fe - All the way! Missouri Pacific - Route of the Eagles! 

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