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Atleast the old Mantua stuff is proven technology, but its dated, very dated. Lionel needs to go jump in the deep end and develop their own designs and not rely on old designs from companies they buy up. Time to step up to the plate. They have done in the distant past, starting with thumbing their nose at the overseas gauge one and making Standard gauge, then the scale Hudson, OO gauge, then the stellar postwar line up. They lead the field and created their own gauge with the Std gauge stuff. Time to leave a mark in HO and quit relying on dated rehashes of stuff.


Well-Known Member
I thought that was the case just looking at the picture.
Looks like they took the frame and running gear from the Mantua Mikado, and the boiler from the Pacific. I've done this on several Mantua locos, just for variety. The original Mantua Mike boiler is very heavy, and straight-topped. I've seen criticism of the Mike boiler as unprototypical, but those who think so should take a look at Burlington O-2 and O-3's and some Wabash Mikes. The "Q" engines had their air pumps mounted under the running boards, rather than behind shields under the smokebox. Some Burlington and C&S engines (in some instances simply leased from its parent road) had either Elesco or Worthington BL feedwater heaters instead of the SA type on the Mantua models. It appears that the Lionel models will have gearboxes and better motors than some of the Mantua/Tyco versions, but when those are present, the models run well, which is why I like them and have used both the Mikados and the Pacifics as the basis for some kidbashed 2-10-2's, 2-10-4's, 4-8-2's, and even a 4-8-4. And, with the center drivers blind and shimmed up so they don't catch on the railheads coming out of the curves, can be made to run on 18" radius curves! Will I buy one of the new Lionel Mikado's? Probably not, as I already have more Mantua/Tyco than I have room to run. But I'd be sorely tempted otherwise!


Well-Known Member
Lionel never claimed to be prototypical!
Lots of truth in that, but not completely true.

Going all the way back to the introduction of Lionel Super O track there has been a move towards realism. The introduction of Lionel Standard O was another step towards realism. The is true with Lionel’s Scale O and even more so with Lionel’s Vision Line.

The Polar Express began as a Traditional scale train in O gauge. There have since been hi-end Scale O versions.

I suspect this will be no different in HO.

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