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on November 15, 2013
I bought this train set to enhance the holidays for my daughter and found myself caught up in the nostalgia. I added 6 10 inch straight track sections and screwed it down to a christmas village display I made. There are tabs under each track if you want to attach additional wires for an even spread of power throughout the track. You can solder these or use connectors you can buy at home supply store like I did. There is absolutely no power loss from additional track as others indicated. I will though upgrade in the future to a higher output transformer as I add more accessories and use the 40cw it comes with for auxiliary needs. The box car plays random short clips of Xmas music but the speaker is a little loud. Yes you need to turn it upside down to switch it off and on but I just choose to leave the car off the main track and place it a small section of auxiliary track for display and not worry about. I also bought a chessie locomotive with crew sounds and caboose and these run great too with this transformer. The whistle is a bit weak at slow speeds but the faster you go the louder it seems to get. Kinda like a whistle in the distance. Smoke is also low output at low speeds and not much better at fast pace. Don't keep the smoke switch on unless drops of fluid are in the reservoir or it will ruin the smoke box. A bit pricey but very cool addition and should last a long time with care. The track can be cleaned with a lionel clean and lube kit or you can clean it with some rubbing alcohol. Same with the train wheels. Don't forget the gears and axles need periodic oiling. There are many videos online to assist with the maintenance. Buy with confidence it's a great product.

Update: I fixed the low out put whistle as any train set apparently with ages 8 and older has a federal restriction on decibels thus the whistle being so low. On the lionel website they have a fix in which you unscrew the tender car screws and remove the top. Then you clip the capacitor and solder back down. It took me 5 minutes and voila the whistle was louder or a normal decibal in my opinion. The numbering on the fix I does not Match the circuit board but the picture is almost identical and easy to figure out. If you try it you will know what I mean. Go to lionel website and look up this train and you will see the troubleshooting PDF on the side. Additionally, I don't believe the made in china inferior product as many have claimed on new lionel trains. I have a 1974 USA made chessie system locomotive with die cast trucks that is inferior to my made in China 2010 merger chessie loco. And this was a limited edition item. The detail is a notch above in the china model and the sounds are superior also albeit the trucks are not die cast but the wheels are. Yes I would like this train set to be made in the USA but it is not inferior to any of the USA lionel products I have.
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on December 21, 2013
Like most other I purchased this for use once a year around the Christmas tree. I liked the idea of everything in one box with no extras required.

The train set arrived and assembly was quick and easy. Everything functioned as advertised. Depending on size of you tree or how large you want the track to be consider buying an additional set of straight track.

There were two issues the stopped me from giving a 4 start review.

1. I expected a better quality train engine and cars for the money. There are some small plastic clips that hold a railing on the engine. A couple of them were broken. A little bit of super glue and all was fine however it should not have been required. The tanker car had similar quality issues with the railing/piping around it. Nothing was broken however the fit and finish was not up to my standards.

2. The smoke on the engine. I followed the instructions and I will say it either does not work or you can't see it. I will admit it was late last night when I was trying to get it working however others have made the same comments about not being able to or hardly seeing the smoke.
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on January 13, 2014
The smoke is nonexistent and should be removed from the description. I expected a more detailed paint job. Looks like it was painted by stencil on a conveyor belt. Does not look any better than a $50 train set except for the track which is very nice. The train is very loud so you can't run it with the tv on or company over. Should be nailed down or put clay under the track.
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on December 26, 2012
Fun train set, One minor problem, switch for music on boxcar is on the bottom of the car, poor design, should be on one of the ends.
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on January 1, 2016
The train is a nice set as everyone has said. I'm a little disappointed that the description doesn't match the actual product. It clearly states realistic air whistle when in fact, there is not one...at least on the set I got.
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on December 29, 2013
I like it a lot. But is the transformer suppose to smoke? I'm afraid to let my kids use it. We only have the standard number of tracks. I haven't added to the system. I plug it into a standard outlet. It smoked the first time we used it. Any one know what I can do about it?
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on August 20, 2013
This train set is exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a train for under our christmas tree and this fit the bill perfectly. The set arrived in great condition, setup was easy, and it works as intended.
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on December 21, 2014
Best gift ever. After my son gifted us with our first Grandson, we gave him this Lionel set for around his tree. HE LOVES IT! Easy to set up, looks fabulous. What's better than a boy with his Lionel! (Unless it's a man with his Lionel)!
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on December 28, 2013
The train was easy to set up and worked well except that there seemed to be an issue with the connection between the train and caboose. The recipients are in the process of moving so they have not had a chance to return the item or connect the company to see if it is possible to get another caboose.
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on March 6, 2013
Goo product overall. only complain (small) is the smoke feature does not work that great. other than that the product is good
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