|Written by Paul D. Race for and|
These Trains Are Selling Fast! Lionel's trains have encountered an unusual upsurge in popularity for the past two years, which means that several suppliers are having trouble getting and keeping the trains in stock. But that's no reason not to provide information about these highly popular products while they are available.
Note about Availability and Pricing: Although I try to keep an eye on things and to recommend products that are reasonably available, the model train market does fluctuate, and any product on this page may change price or become unavailable without prior notice.
May, 2009 Update: Not one, but four of the trains we advertised here in late 2008 have become unavailable. The good news is that Lionel usually rolls out the "next year's models" in the spring, so we hope to be adding more products. Still, if you are interested in any of these trains in particular, you should think about ordering now.
For more detailed information about why model train products seem to come and go and why we have stopped listing prices on our "buyer's guide," please see the article "About Pricing and Availability."
Note about Suppliers: While we try to help you get the trains and other products you want by recommending suppliers with a good record of customer service, all transactions between you and the supplier you chose to provide your trains are governed by the published policies on the supplier's web site. So please print off any order confirmation screens and save copies of invoices, etc., so you can contact the appropriate supplier should any problems occur. (They almost never do, but you want to be on the safe side.)
|Lionel Chesapeake Super Freight - Every couple of years, Lionel introduces a "Super Freight" train, using the best steam locomotive they ever put into a set, and putting in at least three freight cars, plus a caboose. This set includes a heavy, die-cast 2-8-4 Berkshire Steam Locomotive and Tender, similar to those used in Lionel's Polar Express set. This model include RailSounds, which allow you to program whistles, bells, and even crew conversations, as well as choo-choo sounds that speed up when the train speeds up. It even includes Lionel's Trainmaster Command Control for fancy operations on large O gauge railroads. The Berkshire pulls a Boxcar, Tank Car, Hopper, and Caboose. Enough track is included to make a 38"x58" circle.
|Going Fast! Santa Fe El Capitan with TrainSounds - For this train, Lionel reintroduces the classic FT Santa Fe diesel locomotive, complete with the classic "Warbonnet" paint job and the realistic sounds of Lionel's exclusive TrainSounds sound system. Three illuminated, streamlined passenger cars follow the westbound locomotive. With the CW-80 Transformer and a loop of FasTrack track, you are ready to run one of the Santa Fe's best known passenger trains. A how-to instructional DVD for setting this train up is also included. The sound system alone has too many features to list, but it includes realistic sounds of the diesel engine, horn, bell, squealing brakes, and even crew conversations. Other features include operating headlight, operating couplers front and back, dual motors, traction tires, die-cast metal trucks, pilot, and fuel tank, and engineer and fireman figures. The individually-boxed passenger cars include die-cast metal trucks, operating couplers, authentically detailed interiors, flexible diaphragms between cars, and opening doors. The total length of the train is 52.5". You also receive enough track to make a 40"x60" oval.
Note: Although this is a very nice train, we are anxious about keeping the El Capitan on our buyer's guide, as stocks around the country are getting very low. At the moment, only one supplier we could find has any at all. If you're interested in owning a classic, don't wait too long. I fully expect to remove this train from this page altogether well before Christmas, hint, hint.
|The Lionel(r) New York Central Flyer Train Set with RailSounds - The tough die-cast metal locomotive equipped with the RailSounds sound system brings the Flyer to life with steam chuffing, whistle blowing and more. This set includes a 4-4-2 steam locomotive and tender, boxcar, flatcar with stakes and bulkheads, caboose, CW-80 Transformer, smoke fluid, "How-to" instructional video and more. There is enough track to make a 40"x60" oval.
Lionel introduced this train in 2003, and it mostly sold out by late 2005, so we took it out of our catalog. However, they have made at least one subsequent run of this train, so we are able to relist it again.
|The Lionel(r) Pennsylvania Flyer Train Set - This train features a rugged die-cast Lionel Atlantic locomotive with working headlight, operating smoke unit, and whistle. The set includes two freight cars, a large FasTrack layout, and the powerful CW-80 Transformer.
| Improved! - Thomas the Tank Engine Set Lionel has upgraded their popular O Gauge Thomas set. Thomas's eyes move as he goes around the track, pulling Annie and Clarabel. Two Railway Workers and Sir Tophman Hat are included, as well as enough of the new, more attractive FasTrack track system to make a 40" x 60" oval, and the CW-80 transformer for more power.
Editor's Note: The Thomas and James trains on this page are the largest Thomas and Friends(r) trains currently being manufactured. I have a set in Large Scale, which are half again as big as these, and I have to say that either train creates a great deal of excitement when kids are around. While I wish the Large Scale versions were still available, I am glad that Lionel is expanding this line, so that the average family can have a quality Thomas set that is big and sturdy enough for little hands to handle.
| Expand the Fun - Thomas the Tank Expansion Set More cars and more track. Increase the size of your railroad, and give Thomas or James (below) more choices to pull. This set includes:|
and availability information.
| Give Thomas Some Company! - James the Red Engine Like Thomas (above), James's eyes go back and forth. He also has three different expressions. Buy James to add to your Thomas and Friends set, or to pull the expansion set above.
Click on a "check stock" button for pricing |
and availability information.
|Expand Your Empire With More Track. Most of the trains on this page come with Lionel's new "FasTrack," which looks better and goes together easier than traditional O-27 track. To give your train a little more room to run, consider adding a few pieces. This 10-inch Straight Track Section is the same as the pieces that come with the all of the sets on this page. Please click on the button to check price and availability.|
Lionel FasTrack Curves A set of four curved pieces, along with a few more straight pieces, will give you many more choices of how to set up your railroad. These are what Lionel calls O-36 curves, the same curves that come with all of the sets on this page. Please click on a supplier button to check price and availability.
|Lionel FasTrack Railer - The Railer is used to help you and your family easily roll your locomotives and rolling stock onto the tracks. No more fiddling with the wheels to get them on correctly. Instead, you set this on top of the track temporarily and "feed" each car through it to get it onto the track. Great for kids who are just learning about trains. This product works with all the train sets on this page.|
In addition, the O-Scale Accessories page includes many relatively inexpensive details such as bridges, fencing, and stations, that will bring life to any O-Scale or O-Gauge railroad. Click on the picture at the right to see that product page.
Note: Family Garden Trains(tm) and Big Christmas Trains(tm) are trademarks of Breakthrough Communications (www.btcomm.com). All information, data, text, and illustrations on this web site are
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