Amid the height of the Great Depression, the Pennsylvania Railroad continued an ambitious modernization process of its mainlines between New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. The investment kept employees working during the lean years and would pay dividends as World War II brought record-setting traffic levels to what was already the world’s busiest rail corridor.

As part of these improvements, the Standard Railroad of the World needed a new locomotive for mainline operations. True to its engineering pedigree, the Pennsylvania began vigorous testing of two potential designs in 1934. When the victor was chosen, Raymond Loewy was given the task to refine the new power house into a modern beauty.

Loewy’s vision – a locomotive which appeared to be already at speed as the passengers walked beside it on the station platform – provided not only a fitting shroud but a unique form as striking and iconic today as it was on its debut.

While the public marveled at their looks, railroaders quickly came to respect these new motors for what lay under the hood. Designed to propel heavy passenger trains at sustained 100 mph jaunts, the GG1’s were quickly proven capable of much more.

A total of 139 locomotives were completed by 1943. Used in both passenger and freight service throughout their careers, GG1’s could be found on everything from the Broadway Limited to ore trains.

The legendary status of the GG1 grew stronger with age. Outliving the PRR itself, the G’s went on to serve Penn Central, Amtrak, Conrail and New Jersey Transit. They finally lost their grip on the catenary in 1985. Today 16 of the memorable motors have been preserved in museums, some far from the corridors they once owned.

The GG1 is no stranger to the Lionel catalog. First cataloged in 1947, the instantly-recognizable face of a GG1 has captivated generations of fans. It continues to call to us today.

In homage to the Pennsylvania, who’s engineers and management alike appreciated the refinement of a locomotive to its zenith, Lionel is proud to raise the pantographs, and the bar against which all other models will be judged, yet again.

What makes our newest GG1 a VISION GG1? Let’s start from the top!

A brand-new “catenary arc” light effect is built into the collection bars atop the pantographs. You’ll see, and hear, the sparks as the train rides along “under the wires.” As anyone who has ever watched an electric train pass, especially at night, can attest, this arcing effect is a memorable part of the experience. And it’s now available on your models for the first time.

We’ve also refined the design of the pantographs themselves. The pantographs will raise and lower appropriately and automatically as you start the engine, change direction or shut down. You can also raise or lower the pantographs with the touch of a button on your LEGACY remote. The pantographs are now sprung to ride realistically on catenary, or just prevent accidental damage if you press down on them in the raised position.

Perhaps the only thing as memorable as the sight of a GG1 is the deep sound of those big single-chime air horns. That horn will come to life with stereo sound from speakers mounted at both ends of the locomotive adding dimension and depth unobtainable from a single speaker sound system. Additional sounds, like the coupler opening when the ElectroCoupler™ is fired, will be localized to the proper end of the locomotive.

Our new VISION GG1 will include both the welded car body used for the 138 production units and an all new riveted car body so that we can accurately deliver the original “Old Rivets” in all her glory. Lionel is working directly with the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania to bring you the most prototypically accurate models of these remarkable locomotives.

GG1 Products

6-82749 PRR 4935 (Welded)
6-82751 PRR 4913 (Welded)
6-82752 PRR 4877 (Welded)
6-82754 PC 4828 (Welded)
6-82755 AMT 926 (Welded)
6-83165 PRR 4899 (Riveted)
6-83166 PRR 4800 (Riveted)
6-83167 CR 4800 (Riveted)

GG1 Features

  • LEGACY™ Control System equipped – able to run in LEGACY™ Control Mode, in TrainMaster Command Control mode, or in Conventional mode with a standard transformer
  • Odyssey®II Speed Control
  • LEGACY RailSounds® system featuring:
  • Stereo and localized sounds with speakers at each end of the locomotive
  • Cab number – specific CrewTalk dialog and TowerCom announcements, each with different scenarios depending on whether the locomotive is in motion or stopped.
  • Six official railroad speeds with CrewTalk dialog
  • Realistic electric locomotive motor and background sounds synchronized with the locomotive’s speed
  • LEGACY™ “Real-Time Quilling Horn” control with instant response for realistic “quilling” and correctly timed warning signals
  • Sequence Control plays the sound effects of an entire trip, including warning sounds and announcements, based on the movement and speed of the locomotive
  • Current speed dialog
  • Dual sprung pantographs
  • Operate automatically with train start-up, change in direction and shut down
  • “De-icing” mode with both pantographs raised
  • Can be manually triggered with remote
  • Individual on-off switches on locomotive to lock out feature
  • Sprung for better tracking under model catenary
  • “Catenary arc” lighting effect
  • IR Sensor Equipped
  • Fan-driven smoke unit (steam generator)
  • Dual powerful maintenance-free motors
  • ElectroCouplers™ at each end
  • Directional lighting
  • Illuminated classification lights
  • Traction tires
  • Interior cab illumination
  • Die-cast metal body, pilots and trucks
  • High level of separately applied detail parts
  • Separately applied etched builders plates
  • High air intake screens where appropriate
  • Cab window “glass”
  • Engineer and Fireman figures in cab
  • Length: 20”
  • Minimum Curve: O72

Lionel would like to thank the staff of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania for providing assistance in the research, design and debut of our new VISION GG1. To learn more about the prototypes, and how you can help preserve them, please visit!

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