Lionel Soo Line Train Set from Menards

Here's my latest acquisition to my O scale train fleet - Lionel's Soo Line freight train set made exclusively for Menards, a midwestern home improvement chain, during the 2010 Christmas season. This set is a WINNER! It has an RS3 locomotive, a flatcar with a Menards truck trailer, a Soo Line 4-bay coal hopper car, and a Soo Line boxcar with a flashing E-O-T device on one end, which I thought was a nice touch. The RS3 locomotive featurs a nice horn which is an actual diesel horn recording, rather than the shrill, tone-like horns on older engines that I was expecting on this one. I was pleasantly surprised! The set came with a small oval of FasTrack as well as a "PowerMax" transformer (which as far as I can tell is like a CW-80 except it is only 40 watts and doesn't have an extra port for accessories), and a Menards billboard with two different advertisements. The set costs $300 but I paid $230 since the set is on sale until December 5th. I think this could be the best "Menards exclusive" train sets Lionel has made to date. It's not SUPER high quality or anything (the RS3 has only one motor, plastic frame and plastic handrails, for instance) but for what it is it's perfect. I love it!

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