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Fred Houska With His Lionel Celebration Train

Photos by Fred Houska March 25, 2011 Nikon D80

The engine, boxcars, and caboose are part of a MTH "Lionel Celebration" release. It's not a trainset per se. I bought the engine, boxcars, and caboose separately. There's also a passenger station available in the orange & blue "Lionel Celebration" colors. It's Standard Gauge tinplate.

The engine is a MTH repro of the Lionel 4-4-4 class 400E steam engine. The engine and tender together weigh over 22 lbs. which is about 88 Big Boys in N scale. It comes with Protosound 2.0 which means it has full-throated chuffing sounds, synchronized with engine speed, and very, very nice whistle and bell sounds. They are loud, clear, and deep. There's also a series of passenger station voices and background noises available. And of course, the engine has a smoke unit, too.

After running through a progression of cab chatter and station sounds, the engine automatically gives two whistle blasts, starts the bell, and starts out from the station. The caboose is illuminated. The living room layout is a temporary setup that allowed me to enjoy this new experience.

The transition from N scale to Standard Gauge is huge but great fun. It's like two different worlds. The charm of Standard Gauge tinplate is irresistible. But N scale still dominates in this household.

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