Lionel Quality Electric Trains
Lionel Announces HO Locomotive

Press Release

Contact: Cara Lynn Orchard

(586) 949-4100 x 1572

For July 15, 2003 Release


Lionel Introduces HO Locomotive

(Chesterfield, Mich.,) – For the first time in 26 years, Lionel is entering the HO model train market with the first of several die-cast steam locomotives, and injection molded diesels beginning with the Union Pacific 4-6-6-4 Challenger. First available in the marketplace this fall, this newly tooled locomotive features a metal frame, boiler, tender body and tender frame.

"With all of the steam locomotive options available in HO, we (Lionel) decided to develop a series of products that ‘Challenge’ and expand current expectations," said Lionel President and CEO Bill Bracy. "As the company that introduced affordable, digitized sounds and control to the O gauge model train marketplace, Lionel is perfectly suited to bring the best electronic and performance features together in HO gauge trains."

The Lionel HO Challenger is equipped with QSI Quantum SoundÒ and DCC decoder for analog or digital operation. This three-pound workhorse is powered by a five-pole can motor with two flywheels, and measures 17-1/4 inches from coupler to coupler. Featuring a host of authentic sounds and operating features like firebox glow constant speed control, magnetic knuckle couplers and directional lighting, the Challenger is being offered in six different versions, with two road numbers each, at a suggested retail price of $699.99.

"In both modes of operation, the Challenger has a complete array of sounds including bell, whistle, chuff, even a doppler effect. While in neutral you can hear everything from air pumps to injector sounds - and be sure to prepare yourself when coming to a stop because the brakes squeal like the prototype!" said Bracy. "Lionel is designing our new HO locomotives to National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) standards with built-in quality that is an integral part of all top-of-the-line scale Lionel O gauge locomotives including such fine details as a deck plate, full cab interior and added-on piping and appliances."

"Customers can expect to see another HO die-cast locomotive from Lionel around the first of next year," said Bracy. "Due to ship in late December 2003, Lionel will be offering a die-cast HO model of the Union Pacific’s Veranda Gas Turbine. It is the first time this locomotive has been produced for HO in any material other than brass. It will be similarly equipped as the Challenger."

The Lionel HO line will be available through the existing Lionel dealer and wholesaler network. For more information on the Challenger and Veranda Gas Turbine, please visit a Lionel dealer or call 1-800-4Lionel for a dealer near you!

Lionel previously offered HO products from 1957-1966 and again from 1974-1977.


Lionel L.L.C. is one of the world’s leading marketers of model trains and accessories. Established in 1900, the Lionel name is the most widely recognized brand in the toy train industry and one of the most recognized brands in America. Lionel has been at the center of every major innovation in toy train manufacturing and marketing since its inception.

QSI, Inc., established in 1984, is a leader in the development of advanced technology for the model railroad industry. With fourteen U.S. and International patents in model railroad sound and control systems, and a new Integrated Circuit specifically developed for model trains, QSI now offers state-of-the-art innovation for all gauges in the model railroad market.

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