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About Lionel Polar Express

You know a Lionel Polar Express is coming when you hear the sounds of a clear, crisp whistle, striking unusually high and low notes, thanks to expert sound input from famous musician and avid train collector Neil Young. This humble train traces its origins to Lionel, a toy manufacturer dating back over 100 years. The concept for the model train arose as an idea between Lionel and General Mills. Despite seeming an odd couple, the companies joined forces, initially producing low-budget model trains from plastic. The first series of trains, spanning the decades between 1969 and 1980, feature lightweights and bright colors, but lack the intricate detail and durability found in later models. These models also have inaccurate proportions, making them top heavy and more likely to derail. Lionel and General Mills eventually switched to metal and high-quality parts. Now, Lionel Polar Express trains receive recognition for fine details like grilles, headlights, and whistles. Some, like the Lionel Polar Express O Gauge, even appear in movies and literature. This series of trains includes die-cast metal, a steam engine, a lighted coach, and a track with a railroad station. A unique whistle, inspired by company holder Neil Young, rounds out the set. For a simpler but equally charming model, consider the Lionel Polar Express Berkshire. This train comes in die-cast metal, and features a steam engine locomotive, available in passenger car and freight sets. Look for these trains on eBay, where a large inventory gives you many options to choose from.