Look at that! My magic number -- #124. That’s my birth date – January 24th. OK, that’s out of the way. It’s March and time for our Open Meet on March 11th from 12:15PM to 2:30PM. I think members who are selling will get in about 11AM. Hopefully this time I can sell more than $8 worth of trains. There are three more train shows in March you should know about. The North Metro Model Railroad Club presents their Railroad Flea Market & Open House on March 3 at the Coon Rapids VFW Building, 1919 Coon Rapids Boulevard from 9AM to 2PM. Admission is $5 and that includes admission to the open house of their gigantic HO model railroad. They depict the BNSF (and it’s predecessors) from Minneapolis Junction to Staples as well as to Duluth. You can get a preview at www.facebook.com/nmmrc The 37th Annual La Crosse & Three River Model Railroad Show including Doll Houses & Miniatures will be a two day event at The Omni Center, 255 Riders Club Road in Onalaska, Wisconsin on March 17, 9AM to 5PM and March 18, 10AM to 4PM. Admission is $7 for adults; $6.50 with the donation of a non-perishable food item; Children ages 11 and under are admitted FREE when accompanied by an Adult. Check it out at www.lax3riversmodelrrclub.com The 13th Annual Randolph Railroad Days in Randolph, Minnesota at the Randolph High School, 29110 Davisson Avenue is March 24, 9AM to 3PM and March 25, 10AM to 2PM. There will be NEW large layouts and displays besides the large railroad swap meet. Even Roundhouse Rick will have a table at this year’s big event. For show updates visit the website www.facebook.com/RandolphAreaHistoricalSociety THIS YEAR LIONEL RELEASES ONE CATALOG, THE 2018 LIONEL “BIG BOOK” Instead of a separate catalog for each special category, Lionel is releasing one “Big Book” of 236 pages covering scale steam and diesel Built to Order, Ready To Run including LionChief, American Flyer, Christmas items, Track Power & Control, and now HO items. I counted 397 items that displayed the red NEW! Tag. This number includes 96 Built to Order engines. So get those special orders in early. It all starts on page 4 with a VisionLine Ultimate Niagara Steam Locomotive. This $1899.99 steam engine carries the New York Central roadname so I don’t know how many midwesterners will be rushing out to order it. Page 12 shows a Pennsylvania Coal Hauler Set with a Pennsy H10 steamer plus five special scale freight cars. The H10 is also offered in three other roadnames. A USRA Pacific comes in six roadnames including Northern Pacific. A USRA 2-6-6-2 is available in nine roadnames including a Great Northern with a distinctive green boiler. In the diesel category Lionel starts with a new scale SW7 in ten roadnames including Burlington Northern and Union Pacific. Lionel is trying again because in 2016 Lionel offered a new scale NW2, but I don’t think it was ever made because of low orders. We’ll see if these get produced. Next is a SD45 in nine roadnames including Chicago & North Western and Wisconsin Central. A SD70ACE comes in ten roadnames including Union Pacific, BNSF and Canadian National. A U33C returns with six roadnames including Burlington Northern and Great Northern (blue). A GP9 with torpedo tubes on the roof will be available in six roadnames including Chicago & North Western and Milwaukee Road. All the Built to Order motive power is priced from $499.99 and up, of course. Because there is so much of it, I’m not going to go through all the rolling stock. There are really nice new scale heavyweight passenger cars offered in Milwaukee Road, Great Northern Oriental limited plus other roadnames. New LionScale offerings include AC-2 covered hoppers, ACF 3-bay covered hoppers, PS-1 boxcars, AAR 3-bay hoppers and woodside reefers. Welcome to Traditional O Gauge. They start off with a NEW! Santa Fe Super Chief LionChief Set plus additional baggage and vista domes, all in a simulated metal finish. More new sets include a BNSF Tier 4 Modern Freight, a New Haven RS-3 Set, a Construction Railroad Set, a MTA Long Island Railroad M7 Set, and a Santa Fe FT Ranger Set. A couple new kiddie sets include a Halloween inspired End of the Line Express Set and a Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine FT Set. For men with a more grown up taste, how about the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale Set led by the General steam engine. In the Lion Chief Plus engine category, you have four new A5 steam switchers including Union Pacific. There are five new roadnames on their NW2 including Union Pacific and Milwaukee Road. It isn’t new anymore but I still have my eye on that Postwar Inspired Green Alco FA passenger set with conventional operation. There are some new Looney Tunes items like the Marvin The Martian Earth Stomper Flatcar, a Hunting Rabbit Car and a Wile E. Coyote & Road Runner Ambush Shack. These are old car and accessory designs with Looney Tunes updates. There are three new Peanuts Made In USA boxcars. There are three new boxcars and a caboose for your Presidential Series train. New military boxcars honor Desert Store, Memorial Day, Korean War, Vietnam War and Spirit of the Union Pacific. There are new Ore Car 6-packs in DMIR, CNW, GN, BLE and Milwaukee Road. Christmas is coming. You can get a new Polar Express Set with personalized tender. New Polar Express passenger cars now come with snow covered roofs with footprints. There’s also a NEW! Toymaker Limited Trolley Set. How about an Angela Trotta Thomas LionChiefPlus Hudson plus an Angela Trotta Thomas Christmas Passenger 3-Pack? The 2018 Christmas Boxcar is white with a cartoon Santa that says “Merry Christmas From Me To You.” For those of you with holiday layouts, FasTrack will be available with orange colored roadbed for Halloween and white colored roadbed for Christmas. The orange colored track is only available in straight sections while white has straights, 36” curves, terminal tracks and PEP Activation tracks to connect accessories. American Flyer. This has me excited this year even though I’m a Lionel O gauger. Their new Legacy Berkshire is available for six railroads, none with local roadnames. Their FlyerChief Berkshire is available for six railroads, again none with local roadnames. That’s different with the new FlyerChief Baldwin diesel switcher. There’s a new Chicago & North Western #1260 with a very pretty C&NW paint scheme with correct end switcher stripes. I have my order in for this engine. In the real railroad world C&NW placed an order in February 1949 for three Baldwin DS-4-4-660’s numbered 1259, 1260 and 1261. In June of 1960, numbers 1259 and 1261 received new engines by EMD plus an EMD switcher hood. The engines retained their Baldwin cab. Number 1260 was retired and traded in to EMD with its original Baldwin engine. I presume it was scrapped. So that’s the story as I know it. There is also a very nice yellow bay window caboose, but I don’t think they had yellow bay windows back when the Baldwin 1260 was new. In freight cars there are new 2-Bay Hoppers including a set of five Great Northern numbers. In battery operated G gauge for the very young engineers, there’s new Ready-To-Play sets for Santa Fe Diesel Passenger, Thomas & Friends and a Christmas Ready-To-Play Set. The last category is HO with new sets using the Polar Express steam engine and cars. New sets are decorated for Christmas, New York Central and Santa Fe. That wraps up my review of the 2018 Lionel Big Book. So, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at our OPEN Meet on March 11th. Roundhouse Rick!
Lakes and Pines Division - Train Collectors Association