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HO Lionel North Pole Central Passenger Train

February 2, 2024. Currently, an HO scale Lionel North Pole Central Passenger Train set does not exist! I’m on a mission. Care to help me out? Can WE WILL this model train set into existence?

I already wrote a letter to Lionel. I am going to include that letter here. I am also going to put up a survey form. Please cast your VOTE for or against an HO Lionel North Pole Central Passenger Train set. I mentioned to Lionel that I would re-message them again on February 1st, 2023, about possibly creating this train set. It might take them a year or two to make it, but I would really like to have one with all the features I detailed in my letter. If you cast your vote, I will make it a point to send the results to Lionel periodically to let them know that I am NOT ALONE in wanting such a train set to be created. Thank you very much for your support and assistance. Let’s get this one done…

Keep in the mind that the images displayed here either come from Trainworld or Lionel. They were sent to me by Trainworld via one of their email updates on Christmas 2023 train releases. The models displayed are O scale. WE HO scale modelers need one of these. What do you think?

I have emailed Trainworld too asking for them to encourage Lionel to produce this train in HO scale. Wouldn’t it be great if Trainworld helped distribute them as well as drum up support and interest in the idea?

The letter and pictures have been posted. I had to modify the original photos in order to create the photos displayed on this page.

March 18, 2024. Today, I am just now getting to publish the emailed letter that I wrote and sent to Lionel and Trainworld on December 13, 2023. February was a very busy month for me and March has been just a busy. I did not yet re-mail this letter to them. I will try again on the 2nd of April, in hopes that I will have some Survey responses to include with my re-mailing to them at that time.


I just received the flyer email from Trainworld that is at the bottom of this message.  I am forwarding this to Lionel, back to Trainworld, as well as to members of the Charlotte, NC based Metrolina Model Railroaders Club.

LIONEL, would you consider producing in HO scale for an upcoming seasonal release (2024 or 2025), the following:

1)  A North Pole Central E8 AA Set with Dual-Mode DCC & Sound, both locomotives powered and addressable separately, speed-matched, good heavy weight (die cast metal if you can make it happen affordably), with lots of details, and road numbers OTHER than #1225.

2) A Lighted North Pole Central 85′ Coach Passenger Car with detailed interior.

3) A Lighted North Pole Central 85′ Vista Dome Passenger Car with detailed interior.

4) A Lighted North Pole Central 85′ Dinner Passenger Car with detailed interior.

5) A Lighted North Pole Central 85′ Observation Passenger Car with detailed interior and lighted drumhead on the end that acts like a FRED (End of Train Device).

ALL OF THE ABOVE ITEMS should have Kadee Metal Knuckle Couplers, RP25 Contoured, low profile (code 70 compatible) Metal Wheels (of course) (with Kato N scale type power pick-ups on the wheels or some method that is low friction so that the cars roll exceptionally well), LED lighted interior (similar to Bachmann’s HO scale most recently released smooth side passenger cars), with actual people figures in all passenger cars, engineer and brakeman in Diesel locomotives, and be 18″ Radius Compatible right out of the box.

Could you offer all of that as a Train Set (cars and locomotives only)?

You could easily offer everything separately as well, plus offer it all packaged as a complete starter set too.

If you want to add some more bells and whistles or features, that would great, such as possibly putting a lighted & decorated Christmas Tree and other Christmas decorations inside the dining car; and adding a sound option to that car that plays a Christmas carol sung by the passengers with ambient dining noises in the background.  Or, how about a family or two in the Vista Dome car, with one or two kids looking up into the sky, again with a sound option that has them excitedly screaming “Wow!!!  There goes Santa in his sleigh with reindeers…”  You get the idea, right?  Cool!!!

I love the paint scheme of the O scale North Pole Central that Trainworld informed me they are selling for Lionel with the flyer they sent me below.  It’s great.  I just DO NOT COLLECT O scale trains personally anymore and I have tried my best to get rid of all of the ones that I have and that have been consigned to  I have enough HO and N scale Steam locomotives.  I told myself I wasn’t going to buy any more, but I have ordered BLI’s latest N scale Merry Christmas 4-8-4 Steam locomotive that I am praying arrives before Christmas 2023, along with Con-Cor’s N scale Christmas Train by Micro-Trains.  I have considered buying the Lionel Polar Express HO scale train set in the past and just about picked up a set from the new Berkshire Station train store when I was there in October.  But I didn’t.  However, in November, our train club, the Metrolina Model Railroaders, presented a version of our club’s layout at the 56th annual Southern Christmas Show, and one of our members brought their HO Lionel Polar Express.  It WOULD NOT WORK!  It took me forever to reset it to factory defaults.  I tried to make it work using the LionChief throttle that came with it.  That didn’t work.  I tried our Digitrax DT500 throttles and that didn’t work.  I used my phone and the LionChief app, and was able to get it to move, but it wouldn’t go more than 5 tracks without losing signal and stopping.  I was within 3 feet of the locomotive.  At first, I thought the set belonged to the club.  So, after I was done trying to make it work, I wrote a note and left it with the set, suggesting that it be returned to Lionel for replacement.  I later discovered that it belongs to a club member, and he recently posted a video on Facebook of his polar express cars being pulled by an MTH Diesel Christmas locomotive on another one of the club’s layouts set up at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens.  I say all of this to suggest that if you do MAKE the trains I suggested above that you NOT include LionChief in them and that you adhere to NMRA DCC standards.  You can make a LionChief compatible model, if you wish, but I’m NOT GOING TO BUY THAT.  Make one that WORKS consistently using NMRA DCC standards, and I’ll put my PRE-ORDER IN THE MOMENT I RECEIVE NOTICE THAT YOU INTEND TO MAKE THEM.

That brings me to WHY I included Trainworld in this notice and our train club.  Little lowly old me asking you alone to create a model may not inspire you.  But hopefully, Trainworld gets this and likes the idea too.  And if so, perhaps they will contact you and say they would be happy to handle pre-orders for these models if you will produce them.  I’m sending this to our train club in hopes that there are a couple members that would like to see something other than the Polar Express train on our tracks next Christmas or the Christmas thereafter.  And if so, that they too will request that you look into creating the trains that I suggested above.

I know that this is the Christmas Season, and everyone is super busy trying to fulfill orders right now.  So, I am also putting a reminder on my NMRA Calendar for February 1st, 2024.  I will RESEND this request again on that date just to reinforce my interest in seeing the lovely North Pole Central Christmas Diesel Train Set in an HO scale version that I can use and operate on my train layout as well as take it to an upcoming Southern Christmas Show event and run it on the club’s layout.   And to be quite honest with you, that would be a wonderful place to launch a presentation of your new train.  Bring a film crew in, catch the crowd’s reaction, as that beautiful train goes around our French, Broad and Catawba layout.  (The local Lionel representatives should know what I’m talking about.)

More than likely, I have sent this email to mailboxes at Lionel and Trainworld, where the receiver isn’t the right person to get this message.  Please route this message to the appropriate person in your organization that handles new product development and marketing.  I apologize that I do not remember the name of the Lionel representative whom I met at Dreams Come True Railroad in Cassett, SC on June 17th, 2023.  We road on 7.5″-gauge trains and either his wife or his daughter had a wonderful time driving the trains.  I think they road on trains for longer than I did.  I also do not have Ken Bianco, Jr’s personal email address because when we met, he was scolding me for being behind the Trainworld tables at the Amherst Train Show.  Apparently, he felt I should not have been there, although I was invited to be there by Jeff of Motrak Models, and I was simply sitting out of the way waiting for Jeff to finish talking to a prospective customer.  Who knows if Ken remembers that or not.  Anyway, please route this email to someone who can seriously consider making the production of the suggested HO scale North Pole Central Christmas Trains a reality.  It would be really nice to have a set with the features that I mentioned above.  And while I don’t think there is a movie out behind such locomotives or trains, HO scale needs a new, modern era, Christmas Train that is eye-catching, runs reliably and exceptionally well, consistently, on the most available tracks around, using the most popular train standards so that everyone who has some form of HO scale train tracks can operate the trains (at Christmas time or year-round). [And yes, this is a stab at Walthers for producing models that require 24″ radius curves or larger — shame on them…]

Many thanks for the consideration.

March 26, 2024. Yesterday, March 25th, 2024, Trainworld sent me a Lionel HO New Products Announcement. In that announcement, for the first time ever, it appears that Lionel is offering 3 different HO scale North Pole Central passenger cars. However, guess what? The cars are nothing like their O scale North Pole Central passenger cars and they are missing MANY of the features that I suggested and requested they include in their HO North Pole Central passenger cars. Trainworld is taking PRE-ORDERS for these passenger cars. I am a little bit on the fence over them and almost put my pre-order in. Then, I checked the features, and apparently, these new-to-be-released passenger cars are simply North Pole Central paint scheme applications to their existing Polar Express passenger cars. I specifically mentioned in my letter to them that I would not be buying their TOY-LIKE productions with Frosted Windows in them. I’m looking for a realistic, fine detail, high-quality Christmas Themed passenger car in HO scale. Go back and take a look at what I would like to see in those passenger cars and/or look further down as I expand on exactly what I would like to see in them (pulled from the Survey questions I made a couple weeks ago). Also, because I have not yet seen a notice that the E8 North Pole Central HO scale passenger locomotives that I really want will be produced, there is no need for me to pre-order the passenger cars without a locomotive to pull it. I know. There is a Lionel HO scale North Pole Central steam Train Set that offers a steam locomotive. I do not want any more old steam era locomotives in my collection. I have enough of them. Although I do not have a UP Big-Boy, I’m oaky unless and until a great manufacturer has one for a steal of a price that runs on my 18″ Radius curves (not likely to happen again even though I sold a consignor’s AHM Big-Boy that ran successfully around my 18″ radius curves a couple years ago. It was manufactured a long time ago though and was DC only. Sound could probably be placed in the tender, but I just wasn’t interested in it at all.)

To date, the only email I have received from Lionel is their automated Talk To Us response message when I sent them my Product Suggestion request on December 13th, 2023.

Below is a listing of the features that are on these 3 HO Lionel North Pole Central passenger cares compared to my list of features as well as HO-Like features from their O scale version. As you can see, these cars are nothing like the passenger cars I am looking for.