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LIonScale on site car and new trucks on Convention Cars

This article by Bill Schmeelk is taken from the October 2017 issue of 'The Lion Roars' - Lionel News and Views Articles and is provided here to share information about new Lionel Trucks used for LionScale cars produced by the LCCA. The LCCA 2017 Convention Cars will have these new trucks on both cars.

Taken from: Lionel News and Views - LCCA Onsite Car and new couplers

At each of our annual conventions the club offers an onsite car made exclusively for the LCCA by Lionel for us to offer attendees. This year the car was a new hopper, not previously offered and part of Lionel's new LionScale line. Photo 1 shows the new car. These cars were made and decorated in the USA. In fact, Lionel is now painting, decorating and assembling cars at their Concord, North Carolina headquarters. You can watch a video of the process by searching, Lionel LionScale: How It's Made, on YouTube.

Photo 1

Lionel's LionScale onsite car although scale in size, is still perfect for all radius track and won't look out of place on traditional Lionel trains. The car was offered with three different road numbers, 724291, 724292, and 724293. These numbers refer to the dates of the convention - 7/24-29. The last digit is the sequence, 1,2,or 3.  

There was bit of confusion at the convention with regard to the trucks. The car features a new truck with some unique features. We were initially under the impression that the car was equipped with plastic trucks, but this is not the case. Photo 2 shows a close up of the new truck. Photo 3 shows a view from underneath the car.


Photo 2 Photo 3

To fully examine the truck I went about removing one from the car. I found it easier to remove both and began by loosening the center screw, the one that the truck pivots on, from each truck. Photo 4 shows the result. The screws fit snugly into the spanning section and once removed from the car, the screws are easily pulled free from this piece. Photo 5 shows the truck. What I found most interesting is that the truck is assembled with screws. There is no staking or riveting used in the assembly. What this means is that you can easily disassemble the truck to change or replace parts.

Photo 4 Photo 5

Photo 6 shows a top and bottom view of the truck. All remaining screws are the same size and length and I found a small #0 Phillips head screwdriver worked well. I first removed the remaining screw from the underside of the truck. This releases the die-cast coupler arm as seen in photo 7. Now from the top side of the truck, each side frame is held in place with a single screw. Removing one of the side frames allows the two wheel sets to be removed. For scale modelers who operate on two rail track, this feature allows easy replacement of the wheel sets. Two rail track would require wheel sets which insulate the two wheels on an axle from each other. This is not something that three railers would have a need to do, but it is nice to know that replacing a wheel set if ever the need should arise is an easy task. As a machinist and mechanic, I always appreciate it when products are made to be easily repaired. Rivets and staking used on previous trucks do not allow this to be easily accomplished and neither are used on these trucks.
Photo 6 - Top                                  Photo 6 - Bottom

 Photo 7

The side frames feature real springs, but these are only decorative - they don't actually function as Lionel's other die-cast sprung trucks. I don't see this as a disadvantage. Although Lionel's sprung trucks will operate when you press on the car, forces necessary to actually move the springs are never encountered in operation. Furthermore, if you've ever had one of the sprung trucks come apart, you know that replacing the wheels, springs and side frames can be a daunting task. The side frames on these new trucks are equipped with Delrin bushings in which the wheel axles ride quite smoothly.

Photo 8 shows the truck completely disassembled. The piece in the center, which the side frames are screwed to is made of plastic. It appears to be an acetal plastic, sometimes referred to by the band name Delrin. This piece has molded in pockets which secure each piece and allow a single screw to effectively hold them without any post assembly movement. To the best of my knowledge, this truck is imported. Everything else on the car is made in the USA.
Photo 8

The LCCA conventions cars, still available, will be from the LionScale line and they too will be equipped with these new trucks. The convention car set, the Mech Reefer and PS1 Boxcar will be shipped in a special two pack mailer.

Bill Schmeelk  6643