Test Track: Lionel Acela -1

The Cadillac of my collection, an Acela Express by Lionel takes center stage with the full 6-coach trainset. This train is noteworthy for being the *first* O scale model of a high speed passenger train. Other HST’s have been modeled before, in HO or N scales, but as far as I know, this is the first time one has been done in O scale. This train chock-full of little electric motors, giving it the ability to raise and retract its pantographs, open and close the passenger doors and tilt the coaches in curves at speeds over 25 scale MPH. I turned all of that off to avoid blowing the 6-amp breaker on my transformer (which happened after running with the passenger car lighting turned on), and to avoid tempting fate (like the real Acela, this train is highly sophisticated and has a matching penchant for electrical/mechanical gremlins). I also did not try to simulate the speed of the real thing, as a derailment with this train’s hook/loop couplers would be messy and expensive. In Part Two of this video, you can see a low-speed runby close-up where the interior details of the passenger cars are fairly easy to see.

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