on November 17, 2006
The author and artist of the original Polar Express book watched Pere Marquette passenger trains near his house in the last days of steam. When he painted the Polar Express train, he based the artwork on the real trains that had run in those days. Ironically, Lionel had also based a passenger train series and Berkshire locomotive on the passenger trains of the same time and place. So when it came time to make a model of the trains shown in the Polar Express movie, Lionel was ready to go.
"Heavyweight" passenger cars were called that because they had concrete in the floor to make them ride smoother. The "Clerestory" roof originally provided ventilation and headroom - later, when air conditioning came along, they still provided headroom. In other words, these cars represent the "glory days" of North American passenger service. And few cars said more about luxury travel than the dining car, where meals were actually cooked (and not just reheated) for passengers of all classes.
This car will go with ANY Lionel train, but it goes especially well with the Polar Express train. Look for the Baggage Car and the Hot Chocolate car, too.
Paul Race, editor, Big Christmas Trains(tm)
on March 17, 2013
My order was promptly delivered and in perfect shape. The price was reasonable in today's environment. The car has excellent detail and is a perfect add-on to the Polar Express train set by Lionel that my wife gave me for Christmas. (I suspect my daughter ordered it from Amazon.com as well.) My train set was made complete by this and by the Polar Express Baggage Car. I spent many hours as a young boy playing with my Lionel trains, and here I am over half a century later doing it again. You gotta love Lionel!
on February 6, 2011
If you have the Polar Express train set already then this car is very similar to those included in the set. The difference being the windows, silhouettes of people inside the train, and the three vents on top. Interesting observation: The picture here on Amazon shows the 3 vents above the passenger area instead of over the "kitchen". The actual item has the vents in the correct spot above the kitchen.