Just recently purchased the Lionel Magnetic Crane and the #97 Coal Loader. Very pleased with both. Had to cut and splice the wires for the crane though to install the crane and the controller. Sure, I might reduce the value some, but I buy to operate, not to collect and display. Bought a mine car for unloading the coal, and also had to buy some coal. Never had either one of these accessories before, and glad Lionel has reissued these items. Hope they will do the same with other operating accessories. I thought Lionel did an excellent job with both of them.

Also just purchased MTH signal bridge. Do you know if extra signals are available? There are extra sockets in the opposite direction for this addition of two signal heads. It too is a well made accessory. I also have other MTH signals. Love the close to scale size. Looks great on the layout.

Glad to have TTR on line. Keep up the good work.

Glen In Indy

Lionel did a great job with the 97 Coal Loader in particular. As for the MTH signal bridge, I don't know of extra signals to put up there. With the enclosed base and internal electronic board it would probably be difficult to do. The extra ports on the other side are for you to flip the position of the signal assemblies.

Do you know if the MTA is holding its annual model train show at the Big E in Springfield, MA again this winter? The MTA is the Model Train Association. The show is at the Big E conference center in West Springfield, MA. It's usually the third or fourth weekend in January.


I know of a show at the Big E Conference Center during the first week of February. But I don't think it's the Model Train Association. Amherst Railway Society <---click on this link for the website of the organization holding the event.

I've just enjoyed your ONLINE versions (VOL #'s 1,2,3, are there more? when's the next??)

Here, though, is my KEY QUESTION: Why don't you DATE them so, for example, I can know WHEN you interviewed R. Maddox, etc. Would you please tell me the dates of your first 3?

Also, how about a list of limited edition cars, like the the Zep cars, Smuckers and others with the address phone numbers where to get them? Keep up the work.

Phil Gresho

The first issue was published the first week of August, about a week after Dick Maddox became Lionel's new president. The second issue was published in October just after York. The previous issue was published in the middle of December. We've been getting them out every two months. Your dating the issues is a good idea, and we'll start doing that, thanks.

As for keeping track of all the limited edition cars there's too many. We don't have the time.

Hi! My name is Chris and I am looking for any info on Ives trains that you may be able to forward to me. My dad, who is a descendant of the maker of these toys, and I are trying to learn more about them. We are interested in any help you might be able to offer us.

Where can we begin our search ? Are they very valuable? Are there any books that you know of that are about this particular type of train? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

We thank you for your help if you are able to help us at all or point us in the right direction.

Your best bet for information is the nice folks at the Ives Train Society. Tell your dad if it wasn't for some of his ancestors, this wouldn't be the great hobby it is today.

Can I write an article for the newsletter? (product review?)

Thanks, John P. Doddridge

Absolutely. We will consider all articles. You can send them to us via e-mail for consideration.

I have all Toy Train Revues & Guides, but the "continuing saga" about the Pugliese/Ritter law suits was never completed. What happened? 

Kevin Bernard LCCA 24216

The last we heard the judge ruled in favor of Ritter but we don't know if he ever collected.

I'm trying to find a book: "Price and Rarity Guide of Lionel Trains", a 2000 edition, Volume 1, 1900-1969. Believe it was mentioned by TMBooks.

Any help?

This one's easy. Just click on the link to access the page for the TM guides. By the way, this month we will be delivering the Vol. 2: 1970-2000 edition.

Just found your website while looking for information on Kusan trains. Hope you can help. In 1957, my parents gave me a Kusan train set for Christmas. I had almost forgotten the set except for some O scale buildings I had. Recently I found pictures of the set. I found out that it was a two rail O Kusan set. I am trying to find information on this brand and hopefully, find a set like I used to have. I had a KATY freight set. From the pictures, I think the engine was a diesel F series or ALCO. I can't reallly tell. The caboose was yellow with KATY and the number #780. Any information you can provide about this brand and where I might be able to locate a set like I used to have would be greatly appreciated.

By the way, your website is great! Keep up the good work!


Tom McComas is a big fan of F-3s, and deems the Kusan models among the best operating models ever made for the 3-rail market. We'll e-mail you the name and phone number of our resident Kusan expert.

Tomorrow will be January 25th, 2000. Christmas was a month ago. Don't you think its time to change the web site?

I'm just getting into the model railroading craze. The more I know about O scale the better. I have two Lionel sets and like to get more. My game plan is to have 4 units running at the same time on the same line.


We publish the webzine every two months. The previous issue with the Holiday message was published in December. This being February it is time for the new issue. Welcome to the hobby, where Christmas is pretty much year-round. 

You failed to mention that the new rotary snowplow has a traction tire on it, so it should be able to pull more than the 2-3 cars expected. Also, the message boards on AOL claim that some of the snowplow blades do have the white stripe.


Actually, I failed to SEE the traction tire, and that's the reason it wasn't mentioned. However, after reading your e-mail I gave the piece another once-over I did notice it. As for the blades having a stripe, that is false. We asked Lionel about it and they said none of the plows have that stripe. The reason they gave was that they only had side-view pictures of the original and didn't know about a stripe on the front.