Lionel Ambassador Review

by Phil Calabria

Lionel 684451 Pennsylvania Flatcar 6 pack    
Lionel 684458 East Gondola 6 pack
Lionel “Six Packs” - Ready to Run and Ready for your Railroad.

Lionel 684451 Pennsylvania Flatcar 6 pack
Lionel 684458 East Gondola 6 pack
  • 6 Individual road numbers
  • Die-cast metal trucks and operating couplers
  • Length: 10”
  • Minimum curve: O27
I’m always on the lookout for inexpensive rolling stock to add to my railroad. I came across the Lionel “Six Packs” on page 56-57 of the 2017 Ready to Run catalog. Six cars priced at 119.94. That’s less than 20 bucks a car. I couldn’t wait to see what these cars had to offer.

The East Gondola set (684458) includes individual numbered cars lettered for the more popular Eastern Railroads (Central of NJ, Erie, LeHigh Valley, NYC, Pennsylvania, and Reading).  Body molds include vertical ribbing and rivet details. The Pennsylvania Flatcar set (684451) has individually numbered cars with simulated wood decking. Both sets also include a separately applied brake wheel, die-cast metal trucks, and operating couplers on each car.

We took these cars for a few laps around the TMB mainline. The cars tracked nice and smooth and the 12 car train stayed coupled with no derailments during the one hour test run.   See Video of "Six Packs" in action .

These are great cars for expanding a starter set, creating a scene, or letting a junior engineers play with.  I took 2 of the gondolas home and my 6 year son has put them into service hauling Lego’s around the layout. Flat cars are also great for creating your own loads with vehicles, animals, dinosaurs, or anything else a 6 year old mind can imagine.  Check out the 2017 Ready to Run Catalog for additional “Six Packs” and other items to add to your railroad.

Check back next month for a review of the Lionel Operating Scrap Yard.