News & Reviews Product Reviews Lionel brass hybrid Strasburg 90 2-10-0

Lionel brass hybrid Strasburg 90 2-10-0

By Chris Montagna | November 30, 2023

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Lionel brass hybrid Strasburg 90 2-10-0

The history of Strasburg RR No. 90 starts with the Great Western RR, which purchased the standard light 2-10-0 Decapod from Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1924. After 40 years of traveling through the mountains of Colorado, the steam engine was sold to the Strasburg RR in 1967 for $23,000, which in today’s dollars is just under $200,000. Learn more about the Strasburg Museum:

Steam locomotive hauling a freight train on a sunny day.
Strasburg Rail Road’s 2-10-0 Decapod-type steam locomotive hauls a west bound freight train to Strasburg, Pa. The locomotive is a former Great Western Railroad. Trains: Jim Wrinn

No. 90, which is the largest locomotive in Strasburg’s current operating fleet, has never before been made in O scale. This outstanding model was first announced in Lionel’s 2021 Volume 2 catalog.

Lionel used a brass hybrid design for this engine, which it has cataloged in multiple variations: Great Western, Strasburg 1990s paint scheme, Strasburg 2000s scheme, Strasburg 1967 scheme (redone in 2020 for a photo charter), Great Western 2000 repaint, Seaboard Air Line, and Osage Ry.

black model steam engine on layout
Side view of the Strasburg RR 2000s version. Chris Montagna photo

This 19-inch-long model features the standard Legacy features, including command control through Legacy, TrainMaster Command Control, or Bluetooth with the Lionel app. It has whistle steam, stack steam, Electro-Coupler, bi-color marker lights, an illuminated cab interior, and more. The Decapod requires O-54 curves to operate.

black model steam engine
Chris Montagna photo

Since the catalog announcement was made, Lionel has conducted a few live streams to show prototypes of the model. Doing so enabled the firm to gain feedback and make adjustments to the model. Lionel has also visited Strasburg to record sounds from No. 90, including idling sounds, whistle, and crew talk.

close up of model tender with red logo on the side
The tender of the Strasburg RR 1967-2020 version. Chris Montagna photo

The delivered models feature cab specific crew talk calling to J Tower, the restored switch tower at East Strasburg station. The aux 3 key will activate the “Ghost Whistle,” which is done at Carpenters Crossing on the train to Paradise, Pa.

close up of model train
Chris Montagna photo
close up of model train
Details on the Strasburg 1990s version. Chris Montagna photo

The detailing on the locomotives is fantastic. Add-on features are era specific, with the 1990s version missing some boiler top detailing. The cab features painted gauges, knobs, and levers with add-on detailing inside the cab that surpasses what’s found in most other models. The cab has a drop plate with a clear tape on the underside to protect the deck of the tender. The detailing is protected in transit by an outer shipping container, an inner shipping container, and a Lionel box, all featuring foam inserts. The locomotive is screwed to a solid base, and the foam is held in place with hook-and-loop fasteners.

side of black model steam engine
Chris Montagna photo

This is a fantastic model that many hobbyists are elated to finally have in their collections. The shipping cartons on the delivered models indicate the total produced. For the current 2000s scheme (No. 2231030), the boxes indicate 150 made; for the 1967-2020 scheme (No. 2231050), they indicate 197; and for the 1990s version (No. 2231020), they indicate 237.

Get more O gauge action on the Chris’s Trains & Things channel on YouTube.

Lionel brass hybrid Strasburg 90 2-10-0

MSRP: $1899.99

Features: TMCC, Legacy, or conventional control; Bluetooth control; Lionel Voice Control; ElectroCoupler on tender rear; directional lighting including headlight and backup light on tender; adjustable smoke output; Legacy RailSounds sound system; O-54 operation

Paint schemes: Great Western (No. 2231010); Strasburg RR 1990s (No. 2231020); Strasburg RR 2000s (No. 2231030); Great Western 2000s repaint (No. 2231040); Strasburg RR 1967-2020 (No. 2231050); Seaboard Air Line (No. 2231060); Osage Ry. (No. 2231070);


One thought on “Lionel brass hybrid Strasburg 90 2-10-0

  1. It’s a beautiful model of 90. I have riden behind it many times, but I wish there was an option wthout all for the TMCC, Legacy, Bluetooth etc. The price, $1900.00, is prohibitive for the majority of the interested hobbyists. Maybe just Bluetooth for me, but still may be too much.

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