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Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Iron Horsemen consider yourself blessed. Through what I am sure was sacrifice, diligence and hard work you have been able to obtain a great place, congratulations.
HA, almost quite the opposite, but way too long a story for here.

I'm one of the 0.5% you mentioned and as much as Id love more room for more trains. I struggle with the maintenance, up keep and yard work for the house I have.
Yeah, when I first purchased this I could mow the lawn in about 4 hours. Then we started planting an orchard and adding things. Mowing time went up due to dodging all the obstacles. Then we purchased the "west 40" (which is really only like 4 acres) and mowing time went up. Then we added a garden, wind break trees(and associated irrigation) and mowing time went up. It takes about 10 hours now to mow it all. And mowing is just the easy maintenance thing. It needs paint badly. Hard to believe a brick building needs paint but there is far more trim than I ever imagined.
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Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
OK. Got the whole set together and opened them all up. I didn't want to wait until next Christmas to find out something was defective. Three of the cars had the bearing caps that were broken(?) off, and one had a swing arm rattling around in the box. I'll have to contact Lionel to get directions on how to repair. The diner was one of the cars with the bearing issue and it rolls like a brick. It looks like one of the bearings without a cap is torqued sideways. The other cars roll OK.

The two tenders (Polar Express, and Pierre Marquette) both rolled super smooth, but they weigh a ton (I would guess about 5 lbs).

I threw down a loop of O-72 track and connected the CW-80 power supply to it .

The cars have constant intensity lighting. When the power if first turned on they do nothing but buzz a little. Then as the capacitors(?) charge the lights come on. The lights then stay on at constant intensity even after the power has been shut down. I was going to measure the current draw, but this is where I suddenly realized I don't have (own) an AC ampmeter.

The Locomotive says "Legacy" right on the box so I suppose I should break down and get a Legacy controller because without it:
  • Whistle and Bell work on command, but I am unable to access any of the special Polar Express sounds.
  • The sound from the tender shuts down and restarts when the direction is cycled. ?!?
  • This little CW-80 can power the sound or it can power the Locomotive, but not both. I'm guessing 160 watts are needed, so I'll go with a 200.
The loco runs really smooth and quiet. It has traction tires.
I borrowed an O-27 tender and the loco was able to pull the train. I was worried about that when I first put them on the track. The tiny tender looked really silly but it let me see it could pull them around. I hope it does as well on tighter curve as I just ordered O-63 to use around the trees.

I took some video but I can't figure out "you tube".
So here are some stills.

For people who don't deal with O-gauge, track is measured in diameter not radius. An O-72 is 36" radius. So this would be the HO equivalent of an 18" radius loop.


The cars do have flexible diaphragms, but since this was just a test I chose not to install them. Just one to see how it worked.

Unfortunately all the coaches have the same set of figures. The diner has the hot chocolate machine and servers in it. It does not have any coco cups on the tables. I might have to correct that.
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Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
A more over head view.

The observation car has marker lamps and two red lights on the rear, instead of a light and a drumhead. I might have to change that too.

The marker lamps and letter boards on the front of the locomotive light up. Interesting it is displaying green!. I wonder if I can change that with the Legacy command system. Green would indicate there is second section following behind.

I also noted the smoke is very full and when the whistle blows "steam" actually comes out of the whistle. I showed this in one of the videos but didn't get a still of it.


Well-Known Member
Wow! That train is fantastic!

Lionel's service department recommends adding smoke fluid with a needle applicator.
They talk about why they use a needle applicator at about 7 minutes into the video.

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