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2-8-4 Bipolar Electric Locomotives

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This is a "Bipolar" electric locomotive of the Milwaukee Road (class EP-2).  If it seems somewhat familiar -- it was the model for many of the early Lionel, American Flyer, and Ives toy trains.  In 2002, MTH Electric Trains reproduced a very early (1925) Lionel electric locomotive loosely modeled on the EP-2.  This model of the Lionel #10 was done in red and green for Christmas, with three matching cars, also reproductions of those from three-quarters of a century ago.  Together, the train is called The Christmas Express, and came in a set with track and transformer, ready to run.  This is worthy of note since this set is in Standard Gauge and is the only non-O-Gauge train that I own.  Also, as far as I can tell, it's the first ready to run Standard Gauge set in about 65 years!  As you can see in the photographs below, it's an absolutely exquisite train!  Standard Gauge trains generally came in two size categories, small and enormous, and these are from the small school.  The first photo shows the locomotive. Note the extensive brass add-ons.

Here's the first car.  The three cars are named for Santa's reindeer.

Here's the second.

And here's the observation car. The drumhead reads "Christmas Express".

Here's the face of the locomotive.

Here's a shot of the train on it's Standard Gauge track up in the library, next to the three loops of O-Gauge track that I already have up there.  The difference is size is striking!

In November of 2003, MTH released an additional car for the set, Cupid, to go along with Comet, Blitzen, and Dancer.

In December of 2008, I got myself an early holiday present with the purchase of the 2007 MTH Tinplate Traditions reproduction of the 1929-1930 Ives Olympian set.  Whereas the Christmas trains, above, are from the small school of Standard Gauge, the Ives Olympian is from the enormous school, with the locomotive and four cars stretching out over six feet in length!  Here are some photos showing the exquisite locomotive and cars.  As you can see in the last photo, they dwarf the Christmas trains in the background.

Last updated: 24 Feb 2023

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