|Written by Paul D. Race for , and|
A Unique Model for LionelThis is Lionel's first ever model of an historic British train, which required completely new tooling and molds.
Railfans will notice the "buffers" (bumpers) on the front, the "splashers" (fenders) over the drivers, and the "missing" sand dome (the sand reservoirs are attached elsewhere). All of these details give this die-cast 4-6-0 locomotive an appearance that is streamlined, classic, and uniquely British.
In fact, fans of English railroads will quickly recognize a Great Western Railway "Hall" class locomotive, one of the most successful steam locomotives ever built. Olton Hall was built in 1937 and is one of about eleven Hall class locomotives to be preserved. Unlike its brethren, which tend to be painted deep green, Olton Hall was painted a rich scarlet for the movie "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," and has not been green since. For a photograph (by Phil Scott) of the original locomotive used in the motion picture, click here
Announcement for 2017 - A year ago, this train was virtually unavailable, and we actually removed this page from our web site. Creeps who had stockpiled these before they ran out were selling them for as much as $700 online.
Good news! As of December, 2017, this train is available again. We have found two versions on Amazon, the original version, and a new version that you can control using Bluetooth (presumably from a smart phone).
I'm personally very glad to see it again.
Warning about the "Large Scale" Version: Lionel has also released a plastic toy version that runs on all-plastic "G Gauge" track. It is lightweight, battery-powered, and much less realistic than the O scale model shown on this page. It is also less expensive. If you are planning on donating a set to some project, or setting up something you only plan to use one season, it's worth considering. (I actually have a couple of the cheap Lionel "G Gauge" trains that I let young visitors run, so I'm not saying they're totally useless.)
But if you want to buy a train you will be glad to own for years to come, please buy the O gauge version shown on this page. Above all don't buy the toy version accidentally because someone is careless with his description.
If you want to see the inexpensive "G Gauge" version, click here.
The illuminated passenger cars also represent the kind of cars used on British railways for nearly a century, and also used in the film. They also required all new tooling.
Compatible With Other Lionel, Including Thomas(r)
Here's some more good news - this train runs on the same track as Lionel's other sets, including the Thomas and Friends(r) sets. In fact, James the Red Engine(tm) is based on a similar British engine. So if Thomas and James have given you an appreciation for British railroading, but you're ready for something a little more realistic, this is an ideal "step up" for your family.
Note about Suppliers: While we try to help you get the trains and other products you want by recommending suppliers with a good record of customer service, all transactions between you and the supplier you chose to provide your trains are governed by the published policies on the supplier's web site. So please print off any order confirmation screens and save copies of invoices, etc., so you can contact the appropriate supplier should any problems occur. (They almost never do, but you want to be on the safe side.)
Click a "check stock" button at the right for more details or to check on availability, but don't wait too long to make up your mind about this historical offering.
Note: HARRY POTTER, characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s07)
|Expand Your Empire With More Track. Most of the trains on this page come with Lionel's new "FasTrack," which looks better and goes together easier than traditional O-27 track. To give your train a little more room to run, consider adding a few pieces. This 10-inch Straight Track Section is the same as the pieces that come with the Polar Express. Please click on the button to check price and availability.|
Lionel FasTrack Curves A set of four curved pieces, along with a few more straight pieces, will give you many more choices of how to set up your Polar Express Train. These are what Lionel calls O-36 curves, the same curves that come with the Polar Express. Please click on a supplier button to check price and availability.
|Lionel FasTrack Railer - The Railer is used to help you and your family easily roll your locomotives and rolling stock onto the tracks. No more fiddling with the wheels to get them on correctly. Instead, you set this on top of the track temporarily and "feed" each car through it to get it onto the track. Great for kids who are just learning about trains. This product works with all the train sets on this page.|
In addition, the O-Scale Accessories page includes many relatively inexpensive details such as bridges, fencing, and stations, that will bring life to any O-Scale or O-Gauge railroad. Click on the picture at the right to see that product page.
Note: Family Garden Trains(tm) and Big Christmas Trains(tm) are trademarks of Breakthrough Communications (www.btcomm.com). All information, data, text, and illustrations on this web site are
Copyright (c) 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 by Paul D. Race.
Reuse or republication without prior written permission is specifically
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