sources of Lionel sets

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by Gary Pfeil, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Hi, A coworker, hearing I'm into trains, has asked me about Lionel train sets. Possibly the Polar Express. I told him I'd look for ads in my magazines but have found Model Railroader ads don't sem to include O scale. I really don't know if the Polar Express is a decent set, is it? Any thoughts on what a reasonable price would be? If you can advise a good mail order or online source, I'd appreciate it.

  2. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    If you're lucky, you can catch a Polar Express set on eBay for about $250.00
    They run about the same at most online vendors. From everything I've heard they are a fairly decent set and people seem to enjoy them alot. I wouldn't mind having one myself but I have other things first in line.
  3. Geno

    Geno Member

    At this time of year Lionel's Polar Express set is one of most in-demand train sets around. You can find them in the hobby storess, but expect to pay MSRP (about $290) over the counter. On Ebay you can find them for less, but market demand has the price still around $250 plus shipping. As with any other commodity, if you can wait till after XMas the price drops to around $175-225.

    Since we're getting close to XMas I wouldn't be surprised if some of the LHS are actually jacking up the price of train sets to take advantage of those last-minute shoppers. And since the Polar Express set is Lionel's holiday season cash-cow, don't be surprised if some stores run out.

    As far as quality goes, I wouldn't worry too much- this set is ideal to introduce Lionel trains to those who have never had trains before. It 's built for kids and simple enough for non-model train adults to set up. I bought one last year for my nieces and they loved it.

    If you can't find that set, I recommend either the Southwest Diesel frieght set or the Copper Range set- both include track and transformer. The diesel set even has an engine with sounds.

  4. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    I agree, the Polar Express is a good set. I got my order in early enough to get one the first year, when they became impossible to find for under $600 come November or so. It's a good set. I got mine from and looking at the site, I see they have them for $222 before shipping. I can't remember their shipping rates but they were reasonable.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Gary: Model railroader has a certain bias agaist toy trains. Have at Classic Toy Trains. There should be some shops in NJ handling Lionel.
    I've got a Polar Express. It seems to be good. I think my set from the 50s is a bit better.
  6. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Thanks for the replies. There is a store nearby, I know his rep is high price. But I wanted to get an idea of options if his price is up there. The freight set sounds good, I'll suggest it if price is a big concern.

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