Holy Smoke! The Lionel Legacy CGW F7 set

Posted by Bob Keller
on Sunday, November 29, 2020

Terrific livery, ample detail, and four motors and smoke units in both cab units!

I was holding off on this post until I ran one about a new Menards accessory. I  thought it would have been announced last week. Well, watch me run this and then their e-mail goes out! Still, you won't be disappointed in this product.

The no. 2033260 Chicago Great Western F7 from Lionel is one of the nicest diesels I’ve ever seen.

This was the first time I’d seen an F7 from Lionel and it is a wonderful thing to look and an even better model to operate.

The colorful red of the livery makes an impact, but once you get up close, you see all the detailing that puts this in the $1000 range. Details like add-on grab irons over the nose, fine add-grillwork, and opening doors.

The center of the nose has a forward access hatch with a cast-in door handle. There are grab irons on both sides of the door. There is a headlight in the middle of the door and the headlight/strobe is at the peak of the nose.

The units are numbered 114-A and 114-C on these two models. Presumably 114-B is a cabless B unit. Just above the number boards are classification light (green when running forward, red when running opposite.

Pairing the two powered units with the LionChief App was amazingly easy. After about two finger taps, they were paired and the app knew which was the lead unit! The sound system was great! It had the full mix of engine startup sounds as well as running tones. It had the added bonus of mixing in the moaning and groaning sounds of steel that was being forced to move when it really preferred inertia.

 A four-star feature is the mighty blast of the smoke from both diesels! Strap on a long train, run it very slowly and it will crank out smoke that makes it look like you are pulling the heaviest coal train ever!

 Want a visualization of that? Take a can of Glade air freshener, tilt it with the nozzle up, and hold the button down. Full-blast city! It was amazing and (thankfully) the app lets you adjust the output easily. It has been years since my basement had that smoke unit fog at about the seven-foot height.

 Sounds good, makes smoke, but you are buying this to haul trains. It delivered excellent drawbar pull and had excellent slow-end speeds.

 This is a top-end product, for certain! Check out the model at or see your local Lionel dealer.

 Oh, and a tip of the hat to Jack Sommerfeld or Sommerfeld’s Trains for this loaner for testing!


The class lights and headlights change with direction, the cab has crewmen, the doors open, and crewmen never had it safer than with those grab irons running up the nose!

Painted kick plates, and builder's plate are among the details that make this stand out from your ordinary cab unit.

The rear has grab irons for the brakeman and an opening doorway.

Both of the cab units have smoke units. Thankfully you can lower the output on the app!

The fans will propel the fog far and wide! Times like this are why I'm glad I have an air purifier in the basement.

The two powered units had no trouble hauling all the cars I could attach to it!






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