I'm sure you noticed that I posted nothing last year. Very few new toys, not much to talk about except the fact that I haven't been well and I don't like talking about that. I've just made the effort (I don't move or see nearly as well as I used to) to update the AtlasO Reefers page with photos of the reefers that were issued last year; it's fully up-to-date as is the Master List of AtlasO reefers. Enjoy.
Having been bitten very badly by the Standard Gauge bug, back in March 2012 I got the ultimate Standard Gauge passenger set — the State Set. This set is a reproduction of the set that Lionel brought out in 1929 which, when you think about it, was not the best year to bring out an expensive toy train. They are the largest and most elaborate passenger cars of that era (or any era for that matter), with the four cars alone stretching out more than seven feet in length! This set is in the original two-tone State green color; later sets also came in two-tone State brown. The cars have detailed interiors, down to lids that can be raised and lowered on the toilets! Since then (it's just before Christmas 2012), I've been hunting for the add-on cars that MTH created to go with this set, as well as the matching #381E electric locomotive that originally pulled this set (I've previously shown it being hauled by a reproduction #400E steam locomotive). Not that long ago, I finally managed to get all the cars and the locomotive, though it was the PS1 version. I was disappointed that it could not be upgraded to PS2, and started hunting for the almost-mythical PS2 version (there were not many made and they seem to be as scarce as hen's teeth). Just in the last few weeks, I managed to find and nab one! This True HD 1080p video shows the PS2 version of the #381E hauling all six State cars. While the original, from 1929, couldn't do a good job hauling the four cars it came with (which is why in subsequent years the set only came with three cars), this modern reproduction just walks away with all six. And what of the PS1 version that I now also have (someone very wise once said that you can't have too many #400E's or #381E's)? Stay tuned for a surprise coming in a few days. That's all I'll say for now!
In 1950, Lionel brought out a set of short streamlined passenger cars in yellow with red trim, accompanied by a set of yellow and gray Union Pacific FA diesel locomotives. Given the color and the fact that it was the 50th anniversary of Lionel, collectors took to calling this the "Anniversary Set". Though I have a reproduction of the set made by Lionel in 1994, I've never had the actual Anniversary Set, which has always annoyed me since I otherwise have a complete collection of these postwar short streamlined passenger cars. Well, I finally found a set in excellent condition and now have them! My collection is complete! I've posted photos on Lionel Postwar Short Streamlined Passenger Car page on my website and will soon shoot a video of the cars in action. Here are the photos; click on them to enlarge.
I've been after this car, the State baggage car lettered for Pennsylvania, for a long time and finally managed to bag the prize! It is the sixth and final car in my Standard Gauge State set (yes, I know that there were originally only four cars in the set, but that's one of the many advantages of having a modern reproduction set). The #381E (mentioned below) hauls all six cars (a very heavy load) with no trouble at all. Now that I have all of the cars in the set, I will go ahead and finally shoot the long-delayed video of the entire set in action. Meantime, here's a photo of the new car; click on the photo to enlarge.
On a trip to New York City (which I almost always do by train), an ALP-46 pushing a train of multilevel coaches pulled in heading toward Trenton. Just on a whim, I used my cell phone to take a photo of it and it turned out well enough that I've posted it on the ALP-44 & ALP-46 Electric Locomotives page of my web site. Here's the photo; click on it to enlarge.
Do you know what happens when you embed close to a hundred and fifty True HD 1080p videos on the Multimedia page of your web site? It refuses to load properly when someone tries to view it in a browser (any browser) and then Flash blows up! Even adopting YouTube's new way of embedding videos (inline frames) didn't help. Le sigh!! I've had to reformat and split the page so that there are no more than fifty videos per page — there are now three pages which interlink with each other so that navigation isn't a problem, but it's still a major bother. I need to do some thinking about how I ultimately want to deal with the entire "videos on the web site" issue.
I've noticed for some time now that my collection of O gauge trains has been missing one locomotive in particular — a New York Central Hudson. Now, I do actually have two (videos are on YouTube) but they aren't the standard Hudson that people expect — one is a "tinplate" Hudson, reproducing a Lionel prewar model, and the other is the Dreyfuss streamlined Hudson. When the opportunity presented itself to get a new one (albeit one that was issued some years ago), well, I've never been one to turn down such opportunities! :-) Here then is a True HD 1080p video of my new NYC Hudson, a 4-6-4 steamer that was a mainstay of the NYC for many years, hauling their fast passenger trains. I've paired it with my set of Lionel heavyweight passenger cars that came out more than 15 years ago but which are an ideal match for it. They're full scale length and while they don't have the detailed interiors and passenger figures of modern cars, they look just fine! Together, the locomotive and cars make for a stunning train as I think you'll agree! ;-) In the video, you can see the train running first at 10 smph and then at 15 smph under full DCS control.
The blog has a new look! Turns out that when WordPress upgraded to a new version, the old default theme stopped working properly, so I took the opportunity to apply a new theme and spruce things up a bit. For recent entries and from now on, clicking on a photo will bring up a lightbox with the photo full-size from my web site. Also, the photo and video thumbnails here on the blog are now larger. Enjoy!
The "eventually" in my last post turned out to be a month! LOL I snared the MTH reproduction of the 381E on eBay. It's the exact one that was brought out to go with my State set. Since it dates from 1998, it's PS1, so I will arrange to have it upgraded to PS2 in relatively short order. A video showing it hauling the State set (it's amazingly heavy and has no trouble hauling the 20+ pounds of State cars) will get done in the next few days. Meantime, here's a photo (click on the photo to enlarge).
As promised, here's the video of the Standard Gauge State Set in action. I show the cars being pulled by my Lionel Corp. #400E steam locomotive; I will eventually get the matching two-tone State green electric locomotive (modeled on a Milwaukee Road bipolar). Enjoy!
The largest and most elaborate passenger cars that Lionel ever made were the Standard Gauge "State" cars beginning in 1929. These cars are about 22" long and very well proportioned. Though I never thought I'd have them (the Ives cars and the Blue Comet cars are plenty big enough), the Standard Gauge bug bit hard and an opportunity presented itself to get them at a very reasonable price so I couldn't resist. These State cars are reproductions (as is all of my Standard Gauge) that were made by MTH in 1998. I have them being pulled by my gunmetal #400E steamer until I can get the appropriate green locomotive. Here are photos (click on the photos to enlarge); a video will be forthcoming. The first photo shows the California coach car.
The second photo is a close-up.
The next photo shows how the roof is hinged to open to show off the detailed interior.
The next photo shows the interior seating.
The next photo shows the rest room at one end of the car; note the operating hinged door.
Here's the rest room at the other end of the car. The toilets have seats that can be raised and lowered!
The next photo shows the solarium car Maryland. This is a new car that MTH created and was not part of the original sets of the late 1920s and 1930s.
The next photo shows the coach car Colorado.
Here's the last car, the observation car New York.
I've spoken in the past about how scale really isn't a factor when discussing Standard Gauge toy trains. The next two photos should speak volumes about that. Both cars are Standard Gauge, both cars run on the same track. The rest, well, let the photos speak for themselves. LOL
The red car is from one of the Standard Gauge Christmas starter sets. The comparison between the sizes of the cars should explain why I laugh when someone asks about the scale of Standard Gauge!
And, as I say, a video of these four cars being pulled by a Lionel #400E steamer will be forthcoming.