Command Control before TMCC

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by spankybird, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

    Yesterday I had the privilege to see the first Command Control train set that Lionel made (at least I think it was their first). Yes this was way before TMCC. It was capable of uncoupling any of its cars anywhere on the layout without using any special track. It controlled the whistle and forward and reversal of the engine. It controlled the coal car and unloaded it to be operated anywhere on the layout without a special track.

    It has a radio broadcasting station which the cars and engine would recieve its commands. It applied the single thru the tracks.

    Boy does this sound like TMCC or what. Oh by the way, this was back in 1949 ! :eek: It was Lionel's Electronic Control Set


    Just think, back in 1949 it listed for $199.95
  2. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    lionel is good at coming out with new things that are not really but most times are improved lots of times lionel was just ahead of there time with some things.

    $199.95 was a lot of money back then,, i bet they did not sell alot of them. i wonder how many they did make/sell? was 1949 the only year?
  3. Brutus

    Brutus Member

    Seriously cool set Tom!
  4. Geno

    Geno Member

    How well did this system actually work? In theory it sounds pretty good, but back then the high tech stuff wasn't as reliable as now. That's alot of money for 1949- probably more than $300 (what a Legacy or DCS setup would cost) now.

  5. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    You could say that the newer system have nothing over this set. I do have one of the first sets that came out in 1946, my pop thought he deserved a top of the line train set after the war. The heart of the system was the Electronic Control Unit. This was a push button device that would send signals to receivers located in each car. The set does take some maintenance to keep it running flawlessly.

    It was and is a great concept because it used no wires. I do believe future systems will copy and eliminate most of the systems we currently use today.

    How would you like to uncouple any car anywhere on your layout? That sounds cool for those that have operating layouts.
  6. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Im guessing its even higher than that in todays dollars but not sure.
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The set was also listed in the 1950 catalog (I used to have a copy) and I suspect it may have sat in inventory for a few years after that.
    In the 50s my family was paying $50 a month to rent a 2 bedroom apartment in a small town. That puts the set at 4 months' rent! hamr And we Canadians had to pay an extra 50% for Lionel over the US price. And I don't think it was all duty.

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