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Lionel HO

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Posted by Eilif on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 10:44 AM

Billwiz

Actually, if you compare a Bachmann DCC with sound train set, the Lionel set is competitive (street price not list price).  And if it is durable for the smaller hands, great. I hope Lionel can enlarge the offerings and does well.

I agree. In fact, I was surprised by the high MSRP price point (though I realize retail is lower) of the Bachmann starter sets on the back of the recent MR.  

However, I think it's more the lack of a basic DC option that is a problem.   The train sets that are going to sell most at Menards and the few other outlets that carry them are in the range of $80 to $150, which IMHO, is about as much as non-railroading parents are likely to be willing to spend.  Heck, they've got a set on sale now for 62 bucks!

With the tooling they've received from Mantua/ModelPower, there's no reason they couldn't put out a 100-150 set.  The basic DC 8WD Mantua F units or GP20's are cheap and reliable and the Lionel name would be a sure seller.

Visit the Chicago Valley Railroad for Chicago Trainspotting and Budget Model Railroading. 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 6:36 AM

I wish them well, but my pessimism comes from their past track record in HO. They never seem to quite understand the HO market, even the toy side of it.

Creating another proprietary track system was a bad idea, there are too many already. It would have been smarter to make a deal with Bachmann or Atlas, or even KATO.

Even as an entry product, this is not O gauge, it is HO, brand interchangeably is expected.

Just ask MTH how well they have done with proprietary systems in HO?

Sheldon

    

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Posted by joe323 on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 6:19 AM

Billwiz

 

 
Harrison
though the price of the starter sets throughs me off.

 

 

Actually, if you compare a Bachmann DCC with sound train set, the Lionel set is competitive (street price not list price).  And if it is durable for the smaller hands, great. I hope Lionel can enlarge the offerings and does well.

 

 

My understanding is that Lionel intends to expand its HO offerings in 2020.  The track system for example needs switching.

Joe Staten Island West 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, November 18, 2019 7:14 AM

Harrison
I still (sort of) have that 4x8, and the lego train

.

Hold onto the Lego Train! Those things are so much fun to play with.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Billwiz on Saturday, November 16, 2019 8:29 AM

Harrison
though the price of the starter sets throughs me off.

 

Actually, if you compare a Bachmann DCC with sound train set, the Lionel set is competitive (street price not list price).  And if it is durable for the smaller hands, great. I hope Lionel can enlarge the offerings and does well.

 

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Posted by Harrison on Saturday, November 16, 2019 8:07 AM

Eastrail11

I am deffinatly on the younger side of modelers. My first train was a wodden Thomas. Years later, I got a lego train set, and a Bachmann starter set. 
however, my father and grandfather were both into trains, and my dad worked for a comany that made trains in Europe. My dad has a plethora of Marklin stuff. 

Inbetween getting that wooden Thomas and my first model train, I got a computer and a game called Trainz 2006. I had spent hours on the game, making anything I could think of. 
Now that I am older, I have a 5x9 switching layout, but I still own a game in the Trainz series - Trainz: A New Era (T:ANE). I find this game really useful because it lets me make my dream layout without needing to spend thousands of dollars on a real layout. It doesn't give you the same feeling as being eye level with a HO model, but it does its job well enough. 

 

That sounds kinda like my story. wooden Thomas, then Lego train, then some track and cars from the junk bin at the local (no longer) Plattsburgh train show. I later got into Microsoft Train Simulator, and built a 4x8. I still (sort of) have that 4x8, and the lego train, and the wooden Thomas(somewhere else in the basement). My father was not interested in trains, and my grandfathers had some but little interest.

 

I hope lionel can get more younger modelers started, though the price of the starter sets throughs me off. If only ScaleTrains made starter sets, they could be affordable and not garbage...

Harrison

Homeschooler living In upstate NY a.k.a Northern NY.

Modeling the D&H in 1978.

Route of the famous "Montreal Limited"

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, November 16, 2019 6:37 AM

Doughless
Model Power/ Lionel seems like a great place to start

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I agree completely. It looks like a great line of products to attract the Youngster's interest and Grandpa's nostalgia.

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I hope it does very well and Model Railroading has a great Christmas Season.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, November 14, 2019 5:23 PM

Well, as a 6 year old kid, I got into the hobby because I loved watching MODEL trains.

I could've cared less about REAL trains as a kid.  I only cared about them after I wanted to know more about operations,era, and prototype fidelity; which was about age 35 for me.

So the diminishment of real trains in our world, hopefully, has no impact on kids enthusiasm for MODEL trains.

That's why I support the effort to get more kids exposed to the hobby.  Train shows are great, as are display layouts, and NMRA home layout tours.

There isn't necessarily a linkage between the frequency of real trains in real life and the desire to pursue model railroading, IMO.

Model Power/ Lionel seems like a great place to start, especially since the other guys are raising the stakes with fragile details, specificity that kids don't care about, and price.

- Douglas

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, November 14, 2019 10:37 AM

SeeYou190

Christmas shopping season is here. I have visited three hobby shops in the past couple of weeks, and none of them had the new Lionel HO products in stock.

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They might be missing out on a gold mine, or they might know the market better than I do. Check that, I am sure they know the market better than I do!

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-Kevin

.

 

With Bachmann and Athearn sets out there, Bachmann being much better than years ago, which very much can be transitional into scale model railroading, Lionel is going to have a tough go of it in my opinion. But what do I know, I just stood behind the train counter and sold people "put together" starter sets of Athearn rolling stock, Atlas track and a MRC power pack....

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Eastrail11 on Thursday, November 14, 2019 10:32 AM

I am deffinatly on the younger side of modelers. My first train was a wodden Thomas. Years later, I got a lego train set, and a Bachmann starter set. 
however, my father and grandfather were both into trains, and my dad worked for a comany that made trains in Europe. My dad has a plethora of Marklin stuff. 

Inbetween getting that wooden Thomas and my first model train, I got a computer and a game called Trainz 2006. I had spent hours on the game, making anything I could think of. 
Now that I am older, I have a 5x9 switching layout, but I still own a game in the Trainz series - Trainz: A New Era (T:ANE). I find this game really useful because it lets me make my dream layout without needing to spend thousands of dollars on a real layout. It doesn't give you the same feeling as being eye level with a HO model, but it does its job well enough. 

~Eastrail

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Posted by Eilif on Thursday, November 14, 2019 9:22 AM

SeeYou190

Christmas shopping season is here. I have visited three hobby shops in the past couple of weeks, and none of them had the new Lionel HO products in stock.

.

They might be missing out on a gold mine, or they might know the market better than I do. Check that, I am sure they know the market better than I do!

.

-Kevin

I noticed also that there weren't any at Menards either. I figured they'd be there for sure along side the Lionel train sets, but it was Bachmann HO there.

Though the price of the individual rolling stock is reasonable, I wonder if Lionel is shooting itself in the foot by only going with a more high-tec loco that by necessity boosts the price to nearly $300.   That's quite alot more than the $90-130 that Bachman charges for their sets.

With the obvious excepion of Polar Express set, I don't think most parents are going to be savy or interested enough to pay 2-3 times as much for remote control and fancy track.

Visit the Chicago Valley Railroad for Chicago Trainspotting and Budget Model Railroading. 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, November 14, 2019 6:55 AM

Christmas shopping season is here. I have visited three hobby shops in the past couple of weeks, and none of them had the new Lionel HO products in stock.

.

They might be missing out on a gold mine, or they might know the market better than I do. Check that, I am sure they know the market better than I do!

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by joe323 on Sunday, August 11, 2019 12:37 PM

SeeYou190

I finally had a chance to look through the new issue yesterday and saw the Lionel HO Flyer in the magazine.

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I must say, I like it. It is not for me, but I am glad to see a fresh run at the toy/gift market with HO scale toy trains.

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It felt like Christmas when I was young. It is most definitely aimed at the grandfathers with young boys on the christmas shopping list.

.

I hope it works out well.

.

-Kevin

.

 

The track system does remind me of the Child Guidance railroad I had when I was little boy, minus the plastic turntable.

Joe Staten Island West 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, August 11, 2019 9:25 AM

I finally had a chance to look through the new issue yesterday and saw the Lionel HO Flyer in the magazine.

.

I must say, I like it. It is not for me, but I am glad to see a fresh run at the toy/gift market with HO scale toy trains.

.

It felt like Christmas when I was young. It is most definitely aimed at the grandfathers with young boys on the christmas shopping list.

.

I hope it works out well.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, August 9, 2019 4:26 PM

The standard break-down of HO track for decades has been 18"R is "sharp", 24"R is "conventional" and 30"R is "broad".

Kato's HO Unitrack starts with 'conventional' 24"R curves, then has curves three sizes sharper (down to 16-7/8"R) and three sizes broader (up to 31-1/8"R), each spaced 2-3/8" apart. Although they often refer to the track in millimeters, it's based on inches. The "odd" sizes are caused by Kato using 2-3/8" between tracks, whereas most manufacturers in HO use 2", not because it's metric.

Lionel O-gauge train sets come with Fastrack sectional track with O-36 (36" diameter) curves and 10" straight track, which Lionel literature describes as "Layout Dimensions: 40"x 60"". My guess is they made their new HO train-set track's ovals to be the same size as their O-gauge trainsets, kinda like c.1960 three rail "Super-O" track and their HO trainsets were both 36"D/18"R.

Stix
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Posted by joe323 on Friday, August 9, 2019 2:12 PM

BigDaddy

 

 
joe323
Also why 20” curves? Industry standard seems to 18” 22”26” etc.

 

Kato Unitrak didn't read that memo either

 

True but Kato is metric and seems to be aimed somewhat at their home market in Japan.  

Lionel seems more focused on the US market.

 

Joe Staten Island West 

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, August 9, 2019 11:04 AM

joe323
Also why 20” curves? Industry standard seems to 18” 22”26” etc.

Kato Unitrak didn't read that memo either

Henry

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Posted by Eilif on Friday, August 9, 2019 10:57 AM

joe323

Regarding the track Lionel is obviously going after the kind of person who would set up a train layout on the floor and than pick it up when finished. But without turnouts the market is seriously limited.

Also why 20” curves? Industry standard seems to 18” 22”26” etc.

I think it's a near certainty that Lionel will be releasing turnouts.
 
As for why 20" I think it's a combination of two factors.
 
-Currently their only HO loco is a Berkshire, and regardless of "minium radius" it's a near certainly that it will run smoother on 20" than 18".   The track HAS to work well with the sets it is packaged with.
 
-20" curves helps to push buyers to keep coming to Lionel for their track.  The same reason that different brands of razors don't have interchangeable heads. 
 

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Posted by OldEngineman on Thursday, August 8, 2019 10:52 PM

joe323 wrote: "Also why 20” curves? Industry standard seems to 18” 22”26” etc."

My guess is that the track is being made for Lionel by Kato. The Unitrack comes in a 19.25" radius -- could they just be calling it "20" instead (measuring from the extreme outer edge)?

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Posted by Eilif on Thursday, August 8, 2019 7:34 PM

John-NYBW

The way it looks to me, they have simply repbranded Model Power without really adding anything to the hobby. Maybe they will have some higher end stuff in the future but right now it looks like the same old low end merchandize with a new name.

To be fair, this is not exactly new in railroading.  Companies have bought others' tooling and re-released models repeatedly throughout the history of model railroading.  
 
Most of what's in the Lionel HO catalog looks like high-quality renders, but if they represent the final product then Lionel is at least improving the quality of the paint and printing by a good bit in addition to doing what appear to be nearly all new paint schemes.  
 
I'll also give Lionel credit for not increasing the prices much.  In fact, if you go back to when the Model Power prices were last raised, Lionel probably isn't doing much more than matching inflation.

Visit the Chicago Valley Railroad for Chicago Trainspotting and Budget Model Railroading. 

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Posted by John-NYBW on Thursday, August 8, 2019 5:36 PM

Howard Zane

Somehow I think the market Lionel is shooting for would want the bar raised somewhat higher, but I cannot judge from small items in an ad....and what an ad.....!!! 18 all color full pages including the inside front cover. This has to be a record of sorts. Cost??? I'm assuming Lionel is planning on huge sales. I hope for them that this line is succesful. I respect any company who produces products for our hobby. Also I'd hate to be a cow caught up that huge cow catcher on the Berk.

 

The way it looks to me, they have simply repbranded Model Power without really adding anything to the hobby. Maybe they will have some higher end stuff in the future but right now it looks like the same old low end merchandize with a new name.

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, August 8, 2019 4:27 PM

Lionel's HO Polar Express train set comes with MagneLock track pieces with 20" radius curved tracks, so I assume 20" is it's minimum radius. 22" radius track is designed to fit on a 4' by 8' sheet of plywood with 2" clearance around the track, so a circle of it fits fine on 4' by 4'.

Stix
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Posted by Billwiz on Thursday, August 8, 2019 3:34 PM

joe323
Also why 20” curves? Industry standard seems to 18” 22”26” etc.

 

I'm thinking about a 4 x 4 under the Christmas tree.  18" radius fits great, but limited for a steam locomotive (and my guess is the HO Polar Express needs greater than 18" radius).  22" stretches to the ends of the 4 x 4 so maybe Lionel split the difference. 

Anyway, I'm glad they are back in HO with the Model Power items and some new offerings.  Good for them, I'm sure they fit a niche.

 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Thursday, August 8, 2019 9:30 AM

NHTX
Do you think we would be where we are in anything we do, without the infusion of new blood and, ideas?

Exactly! I been saying that for years.. When I was a junior member in the Columbus,Oh club (there was six of us) and the other 50 plus members was adults.Three years ago I visited a club and I felt of out place because the members was between 20-40 with two teens! DCC and sound ruled on a layout that was top line. There was no BB or Roundhouse cars to be seen. I did notice a BB SW7 cow and calf set equipped with DCC/Sound.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Thursday, August 8, 2019 8:01 AM

joe323
Also why 20” curves? Industry standard seems to 18” 22”26” etc.

Why not? The Lionel HO range of products are aiming at a different market, who want to have good quality entry level products.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by joe323 on Thursday, August 8, 2019 7:43 AM

Regarding the track Lionel is obviously going after the kind of person who would set up a train layout on the floor and than pick it up when finished. But without turnouts the market is seriously limited.

Also why 20” curves? Industry standard seems to 18” 22”26” etc.

Joe Staten Island West 

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Posted by Howard Zane on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 9:16 PM

Somehow I think the market Lionel is shooting for would want the bar raised somewhat higher, but I cannot judge from small items in an ad....and what an ad.....!!! 18 all color full pages including the inside front cover. This has to be a record of sorts. Cost??? I'm assuming Lionel is planning on huge sales. I hope for them that this line is succesful. I respect any company who produces products for our hobby. Also I'd hate to be a cow caught up that huge cow catcher on the Berk.

Howard Zane
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Posted by John-NYBW on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 4:46 PM

dknelson

 

 
NHTX
If you want to interest your young in trains, its going to take more than 12 volts DC to do it.  The kids need to experience the enormity and dynamic power of railroading to possibly spark their interest, since most kids pay attention to that which is large, loud, and overwhelming. 

 

Based on the crowds of over-excited youngsters (and adults) that I saw trackside last week to watch the UP Big Boy go through, I suspect someone selling trainsets of any scale out of a van could have made some serious money.

 

 

I was there for the first two legs of the May 4 run out of Cheyenne. There were a few kids among the many railfans both in Cheyenne and Laramie. I got in my car and tried to chase it to Laramie but it took the cutoff track and was quickly out of sight. I felt bad for all those people who were lined up along the double track main waiting for the Big Boy to come by. I nearly made the same mistake waiting for the arrival in Laramie. I forgot that the UP had built a third main on both sides of Hermosa Tunnel and was waiting on the double track main a long with a few other folks when somebody got the word it was coming in on the 3rd main which was about a half mile away from our spot. Luckily I got there in plenty of time to see Big Boy arriving just east of Laramie. 

I read in Trains magazine that the caravan of cars that pursued Big Boy west out of Laramie was 12 miles long. I can believe it. I was in that caravan and there were cars as far as the eye could see both to the front and rear. Most of it was two lane highway (US30) and bumper to bumper. There was a short stretch of divided four lane highway where traffic picked up speed and I saw the train about a half mile ahead but then we went back to two lane and there was no hope of getting to its next stop at Medicine Bow in time to see it arrive. Well worth the long drive from central Ohio and seeing the Big Boy run was one of the items on my bucket list. On the way back I stopped at Yellowstone, the Custer Battlefield, and Mt. Rushmore and checked 3 more items off the list. 

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Posted by andrechapelon on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 6:34 PM

chutton01

I am not going to debate the past, but I must muse - couldn't Lionel have improved somewhat on those horribly punny business names ("Holy Donuts", "Curl Up And Dye", the funeral palor billboard ad stating "We Dig You" and so on).  They were groaners 4 decades ago, and remain stale now.........  

Oddly enough, there is a “Curl Up And Dye” in Newport, RI, Belmont, ME, Watsonville, CA, Malden, MA, Monroe, MI, and quite a few other places in the US.

Lame it may be, but there are a number of them in the US. It is, therefore, prototypical.

Andre

It's really kind of hard to support your local hobby shop when the nearest hobby shop that's worth the name is a 150 mile roundtrip.

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