Lionel Spotlights American Flyer Heritage Series ES44ACs

Oct. 8th 2013

Fans of last year's American Flyer Heritage Series pieces will be excited by Lionel's latest product spotlight. There's a rainbow of new trains on the way and they're wonderful tributes full of great features. 

If you've been dreaming of an impeccable set of Norfolk Southern's Heritage Series trains in S Gauge, then your dreams are coming true thanks to Lionel. Check out the details and photos of their new ES44ACs and SD70ACE locomotives below. 

New Product Spotlight – American Flyer Norfolk Southern Heritage ES44ACs

We introduced our American Flyer replicas of Norfolk Southern’s now famous Heritage Series of locomotives in 2012. This year we are completing the run with the remainder of the twenty locomotive fleet including a new-to-S Gauge ES44AC!

Shortly after their introduction, these locomotives were turned loose on Norfolk Southern to perform daily chores just like the rest of the roster. They can show up almost anywhere at any time on any train. Several have even made it well off of Norfolk Southern’s rails, being seen as far away as Washington and California. Despite their “regular roles” the locomotives are still required to be washed monthly and crews will often take the extra time to make sure they are in the lead on a consist whenever possible.

Whether you are a fan of modern era railroading or just like seeing a favorite fallen flag back again, these locomotives have something for everybody. And our American Flyer models are designed to please as well.

Both the SD70ACE and ES44AC models have similar features. Powered and non-powered models of each scheme are available with unique numbers. Powered locomotives include:

  • LEGACY Control System – able to run on LEGACY, TMCC or Conventional power. The models are also DCC enabled.
  • AF Speed Control with on/off switch for maintaining an even speed through curves and grades
  • LEGACY RailSounds featuring
    • CrewTalk and TowerCom announcements with varying scenarios based on the train’s motion
    • Eight diesel RPM levels
    • LEGACY Quilling Horn
    • Single hit or continuous mechanical bell
    • Independent volume control
  • Two maintenance-free motors
  • Front and Rear ElectroCouplers
  • Mounting holes and support plate for scale couplers (sold separately)
  • Pivoting Pilot allows for operation on tight curves with better appearance
  • Operating headlight, ditch lights, illuminated number boards and detailed cab interior
  • Traction Tires
  • Metal Frame
  • Fan-driven smoke unit
  • Die-cast metal trucks, pilots and fuel tank
  • Separately applied metal details
  • Cab window glass
  • Engineer and conductor figures

Non powered locomotives feature:

  • Metal Frame
  • Die-cast metal trucks, pilots, fuel tank
  • Front and Rear operating couplers
  • Separately applied metal details

All locomotives will negotiate S-36 curves. All come with American Flyer wheels but can be switched to scale wheels which will be available separately through Lionel Customer Service. ES44AC locomotives retail for $529.99 (powered) and $269.99 (non-powered.) SD70ACEs retail for $479.99 and $239.99.

In addition to the locomotives, separate sale cylindrical covered hoppers are also available decorated in complementary schemes for each road name. Twenty of these would certainly create a colorful consist! Cars retail for $79.99 each.

If you are looking for colorful modern power for your American Flyer layout, it doesn’t get any better than this. Keep your eyes open for these Heritage Units coming to the rails and hobby shops near you!

I love seeing the same locomotive in a variety of colors and railroads, and Norfolk Southern brought that desire to life last year with the Heritage Series. Now we can really capture their tribute on our shelf or our layout thanks to Lionel's newest pieces. It's amazing how much the character and appeal of a train can change with little more than a paintjob. The beautiful black and gold Virginian is a stunning locomotive that's full of personality, while the vibrant red of Lehigh Valley looks as pure and classic as can be. Whether buying a single locomotive or the entire series, you're going to get something great.

There are no surprises with the models, as they feature all of the great Lionel functionality for powered models. And the non-powered options include the high standard of quality construction and design you'd expect. I can't imagine a more exciting piece for an American Flyer layout, and you can keep your eyes out on the DASH Marketplace for these trains in the near future. 

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