Lionel Quality Electric Trains

(...the authentic 1951 Santa Fe F3 red, that is)



The recent, highly-anticipated release of our No. 2343 Santa Fe F3s has left us feeling a little red in the face. As many of you have noted, the color of these iconic engines is not historically accurate. In 1951, these locomotives were issued with a rich, semi-gloss “Santa Fe” red. Our 2009 re-release was produced with a color that is not true to the original, a mistake our ardent fans noticed immediately.

Ironically, the error may render these engines instantly collectible, an item that could very well skyrocket in value over the years. So you may have stumbled into one of those fortuitous mistakes that become another chapter in the canon of Lionel folklore.

But we recognize that not everyone will be satisfied to reap the collectible benefits of this inadvertent inaccuracy. For that reason, rest assured, Lionel is going to make it right. We are going to produce brand new bodies with the correct red color and will make those replacement bodies available to our valued customers.

Unfortunately, there are some packaging problems for which we have to make amends as well. First, some of you who bought the No 2185W New York Central F-3 AA Freight Set, No. 1652 Burlington GP-7 Passenger Set, No. 2507W New Haven F-3 Freight Set and No. 2261W Hudson Freight Hauler Set received your product in boxes that had “cut marks” on the top of the set box. The cuts occurred because, in our effort to get these products to market as quickly as possible, we shipped the engines from one factory and the rolling stock from another. The consolidator who put the elements together was just careless with their cutting tools. We were making every effort to get this product to you as quickly as possible – but sometimes haste makes waste.

Second, those of you who purchased the No.1484WS Lionel set also received a “problem” box. These were inadvertently tagged with “freight” instead of a “passenger” designation. We’re going back to the drawing board and are producing a brand new set of boxes that we will be happy to swap out for you.

These fixes will take a little time to implement. Starting March 1st, you will be able to register on line for your replacement boxes and shells. We will keep you updated through announcements on our website at

Again, we apologize for the errors. But we hope we’ve come up with a solution that satisfies everyone who purchased these iconic Lionel products.

Thank you for your continued support.


Phone 586-949-4100 Fax 586-949-1013 WWW.LIONEL.COM