During model railroading's early history, standard gauge tinplate locomotives ruled the day. Immensely appealing for all their color and flash, these giant locomotives consumed vast amounts of real estate in their owner's homes. The call went out to pre-war model railroad manufacturers for smaller model trains. Soon thereafter, O Gauge model railroading was born.
As time marched on, Lionel developed many different O Gauge tinplate locomotives and cars but, like standard gauge before it, the market's appetite for tinplate trains eventually waned in favor of more detailed and realistic O Gauge models. Tinplate superstructures were eventually replaced with die-cast metal boilers and chassis, each infused with more intricate detail than the add-on, large and out-of-scale pipes and domes found on tinplate locomotives.
Despite the clamor for more detailed O Gauge models, not everything was a hit with the customer. One of the most colossal failures in Lionel's post-war history was the 1957 Girl's Set which was Lionel's lone attempt to woo another market segment into their toy train business. Despite the market's rejection of the Girl's Set, it eventually became a favorite with collectors and is now one of the most sought-after Lionel products of the past.
Now, for the first time ever, tinplate fans can obtain a tinplate O Gauge version of the famous Girl's Set from Lionel Corporation Tinplate. Outfitted with a 263E steam locomotive and five 2800 series O Gauge freight cars, the 2012 Girl's Set is available in both Proto-Sound 3.0 Contemporary trim or with a repro AC motor and mechanical e-unit in Traditional trim.
When purchased in Contemporary trim, operators will enjoy state-of-the-art features that were unheard of in 1957 including synchronized puffing smoke timed to the drive wheel revolutions, full digital sound and bright, constant-on lighting. The smooth operating drive train can not only handle the 5-car consist found in the set, but can easily pull additional cars including the two add-on cars featured on the set's catalog page.