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Showing 1-10 of 16 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 19 reviews
on September 7, 2012
Initially I wanted to buy an HO model, but later on decided to go with an O model instead since I also want my older son (who's 9) to handle the set. Like many other Lionel sets, the engine feels very heavy and solid. It has a LED light, a smoke stack (more fun for the kids), a non-moving/non-working bell, 2 thin metal (I think) handrails running along the sides, a working coupler in the front, 2 driver figures, and best of all, moving rods and gears which are fun to watch when the train is moving.

Other nice features:
- Rail Sounds: The sounds are very clear and great. I didn't want to get a set with sounds at first, but then I didn't want my kids to nag why the bell button is not working. You can adjust the volume or turn it off completely. Now I always turn on the bell when the train is moving.
- CW-80 transformer: Good to have if more tracks are added (which I did). It has a pair of extra terminals to power your future add-ons.
- Lighted Caboose.
- Uncoupling section with control button: You can use this to launch the included plastic helicopter. This can draw power from the tracks. The manual shows how to hook up the wires but it's confusing. Basically, you just connect the black wire to the negative terminal, and the white wire to an adjacent track's positive terminal which should be under the middle rail.

The smoke unit didn't actually work at first for me, so the Loco-Boose repair shop sold me some Marklin smoke oil which works nicely. Still I only see smokes only when I crank the power all the way up which is a bit of a let down since I want to see smokes at a much lower speed. Oh well. Another thing is the train is very noisy when moving on the fastracks.

In short, my kids enjoy it and I'm very happy with the set.
0Comment| 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 11, 2013
I've been into Lionel Trains for decades: Buying, running, and repairing them. I haven't purchased a new set in ages and bought this for our Grandson. The cars are as detailed as the "typical" Lionel cars from the 50's and 60's. The helicopter and it's car are also just like they were "in the golden days." All of the cars (except the work caboose) even have sprung trucks. The engine and tender are more detailed and have nicer features than similar locomotives, again, from the 50's and 60's, "in this price range." The Fastrack works well but is noisier than the old track. The transformer is designed well and the bell and whistle buttons work as they should.

The reason I gave it 3 stars is because the engine binds as it moves. It is noticeable on curves and is very noticeable when running it slow. The engine will move a few inches, then slow, move a few inches, then slow. If you run it real slow the engine will stop.

As I said I've repaired many a Lionel train so I troubleshot why it was doing this. The problem is the same problem that many Lionel's had in the past. The front wheels have a cam, that move a lever, that raises and lowers a piston in the smoke unit. That's what gives you the puffs of smoke. On this engine, the piston was bottoming-out in the smoke unit. The lever was trying to push the piston up further, but it couldn't, so the cam had resistance on it and the engine slowed down everytime the cam rolled around to the "up" position. I opened the engine up, re-bent the smoke lever so the piston didn't bottom-out, and the engine rolls fine. The problem is, most people won't want to do this.

Other than that issue, and now that I've fixed it, I am very happy with the set. It was a great choice for our Grandson's first electric train/Christmas Tree train. I gave it to him a few days ago and he's loaded his dinosaurs and balls in the gondola and has taken them on many rides.

You must understand that this is a few hundred dollar train set and not a $1,500 train set. There is a difference and your expectations must be realistic.

I hope the binding in our engine was a fluke and that other sets are fine. The beauty of buying on Amazon is that if your set has issues, you can easily send it back and get a refund.
11 comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 10, 2012
This set, while a little more than the other sets when I bought it (today $65 cheaper.. grr), has lived up to expectations. It has a few little extras that the other sets don't include: a decoupling section, action car (helicopter release) and instead of 4 10" straights it has 3, and the decoupling section is comprised of the 5" decoupler and another 5" section. This leaves you open for more layout opportunities than just the plain 8 O36 turns and 4 10" straights.. with just three other pieces (a 5", a 4-1/2" and a 1-3/4" straight) I created a nice triangular track that worked well in the corner I put my tree in.

While not the gold standard of days gone by, the current crop of Lionel trains can be a decent entry into the world of model trains. Maybe someday the manufacturing will come back home to the USA.
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on January 1, 2017
I bought this train set for my 9 month old son to start a tradition of having the train run around the Christmas tree. Great set and I had fun running it with him on my lap. Hopefully he will enjoy this set for many years to come.
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on January 21, 2017
Nice starter Lionel train set. Everything works as described. First time Lionel owner at 54! I would buy from this seller again. Ease of purchase and very quick shipping/delivery.
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on February 27, 2014
Great train set. I did a comparison of this train set with others and decided to purchase the Lionel New York Central. The main reasons were the style and the toys and whistles that came with this model. However, after I purchased the set, I noticed that it was not manufacturing smoke as advertised. After several calls to Lionel, one of the representatives finally stated that the manufacturer replaced the original mechanism for making smoke from a wire to a ceramic smoker. Amazon was contacted regarding this issue and have provided excellent support. I sent the locomotive to Lionel and they made the necessary modifications and now it works great. If you decide to purchase this item, contact Lionel and request that they modify the locomotive to the original mechanism for making smoke. Now I can state that it is a great purchase.
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on January 9, 2015
I love it
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on February 21, 2015
Great beginner train set.
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on February 17, 2015
Love this train set!
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on January 13, 2014
The train was absolutely beautiful. I bought it for my 2 1/2 year old son for Christmas and it worked for about two days. My son absolutely loved it, so I decided to exchange it. Received the replacement to only find out that the same part was not working, but this time it was broken. I had a very disappointed toddler! I think the part broke in the shipping process both times
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