Thanks to everyone who particpated in the survey. The results were compiled from almost 100 votes
for over 25 different locos. The submissions were made October 1999 through February 2001.
The First Survey question was:
What Locomotive would you pick as having the best Railsounds in the 20th Century?
Combining votes for the Southern Pacific and the New York Central, the winner is
the 1996 GP-9. Both came with the same Railsounds package, which did not yet include Towercom or
Crew Talk. The illustration is from page 15 of the Lionel Corporation 1996 catalog. Comments from
submitters to the survey about these diesel locos include:
"Horn sounds exactly like the real thing! Rest of sounds terrific too!"
"First one I ever heard, turned me back on to trains."
"Like living next to the tracks..."
From the same year and catalog as our winner above, the 1996 Commodore
Vanderbilt, a.k.a. the New York Central Hudson J-1e 5334, came in second. The illustration is
from page 13 of the Lionel Corporation 1996 catalog. Comments from
submitters to the survey about this streamlined steamer include:
"Has the best sounding whistle."
"Die-cast tender frame gives this engine wonderful sounds with no rattles."
"Wonderful warble, bellicose bellow, bitchin' sound!!!!"
Third Place (tie)
Touted as "Lionel's LARGEST Die-Cast Locomotive Ever!" the 1999 Allegheny tied for third place.
The illustration is from page 3 of the Lionel Classic Trains Volume 2 1999 catalog. Comments from
submitters to the survey about this articulated steamer include:
"Gives me goose bumps!"
"Unbelievable! Fantastic! Oh My GOD!"
"Chuff rate goes in and out as does the real thing."
Third Place (tie)
Part of the Warhorse ATSF Hudson Freight Set, the 1997 Sante Fe Warhorse also tied for
third place. The illustration is from page 43 of the Lionel Heritage Fall 1997 catalog. Comments from
submitters to the survey about this steamer include:
"Most realistic sound - Never fails to get oohs and aahs."
"Unequaled steam sound FX! Nothing beats the little 'dip' in the whistle!"
"Has perfect tones, wailing sounds are awesome!"
One of the initial offerings of the Postwar Celebration Series, the 1999 Texas Special F3
came in fifth in the survey. The illustration is from page 10 of the Lionel Classic Trains Volume 1
1999 catalog. Comments from submitters to the survey about this reproduction of a 1954 classic
"The sound changes every time you move the throttle. Very realistic!!!"
"Fantastic sound and control."
"Best control/synchronization of sound, horn can be heard clearly over diesel."