Lionel logo image My Model Train Collection –
Lionel's Fallen Flag Series # 2 –
Milwaukee Road Items
Milwaukee Road logo image
In 1979, Lionel introduced a series of top-of-the-line train sets commemorating five of the greatest railroads in American history. Known as the Famous American Railroad Series (FARR for short), they were a great success, and Lionel wanted to continue the theme-set idea. However, when the company first announced the FARR series it specifically stated there would only be five sets, so in 1986, a new series, the Fallen Flags, replaced the FARR series.

The Fallen Flags are named so because they commemorate railroads that were merged into other systems (for more information on the actual railroads in the Fallen Flags series, see below). In all seven Fallen Flags sets were produced between 1986 and 1993, and one was catalogued every year except 1990.

The Fallen Flags sets were produced during a time of great transition at Lionel. The company was breaking away from the technological stagnation of the MPC Era (1970 - 1986) and was beginning a period of exciting innovation. As new features such as Railsounds became available, they were incorporated into the Fallen Flags sets. The cars were all typical for Lionel at the time, with operating couplers and die-cast trucks. The cabooses for all of the sets were lighted.

The series may have undergone some running changes in terms of the road names planned for the sets--in the 1986 catalog, which premiered the FF series, there is a picture of several road names, of which only about half of which made it into production. Others in the photo, such as the New York Central and Rock Island, never were produced as Fallen Flags.

The sets were similar to their FARR predecessors, but there were some notable differences. Whereas the FARR sets were always headed by a steam locomotive, the Fallen Flags featured a more diverse locomotive roster, including a steam engine, an electric, and a host of diesels. The FARR sets had a very structured format in terms of the rolling stock (boxcar, tank car, refrigerator car, hopper, caboose, and one extra add-on car), but the Fallen Flags sets were assembled in a more random fashion, and this series even featured a passenger set. Each piece in the FARR series has a special diamond logo on the each side, but the Fallen Flags have no such signature emblem, making it sometimes difficult to delineate FF engines and cars from regular Lionel production.

Lastly, unlike the FARR series, which had a definite starting and ending point, the Fallen Flags were abruptly discontinued after 1993.

The Fallen Flag series consisted of the following railroads (dates are when the sets were featured in Lionel catalog):

Set # 1 - Wabash Railroad (1986 - 1987)
Wabash logo image
Set # 2 - Milwaukee Road (1987)
Milwaukee Road logo image
Set # 3 - Great Northern (1988)
Great Northern Railway logo image
Set # 4 - Western Maryland (1989)
Western Maryland logo image
Set # 5 - St. Louis-San Francisco [Frisco] (1991)
St. Louis-San Francisco [Frisco] logo image
Set # 6 - Nickel Plate Road (1992)
Nickel Plate Road logo image
Set # 7 - Erie (1992)
Erie logo image

Fallen Flags Set # 2 – Milwaukee Road (1987)
(click for larger image)
Fallen Flags Set # 2 - Milwaukee Road image
(pages 28 and 29 from the 1987 Lionel Catalog)

The second of the Fallen Flags honored the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific,
better known as the Milwaukee Road. The set was headed up by a GP-9 diesel with
magnetraction, but no sounds. Unlike the Famous American Railroad sets, which
always included five freight cars in the initial release, the Milwaukee set a
precedent for future FF freight sets and had six – a boxcar (6-19204), refrigerator car,
(6-19500), hopper (6-19302), gondola (6-19400), tank car (6-19600), and a caboose (6-19701).

Milwaukee Road GP-9 Diesel (6-18500)
Milwaukee Road GP-9 Diesel image

Milwaukee Road Boxcar (6-19204)
Milwaukee Road Boxcar image

Milwaukee Road Hopper w/Coal Load (6-19302)
Milwaukee Road Hopper w/Coal Load image

Milwaukee Road Gondola (6-19400)
Milwaukee Road Gondola image

Milwaukee Road Refrigerator Car (6-19500)
Milwaukee Road Refrigerator Car image

Milwaukee Road Tank Car (6-19600)
Milwaukee Road Tank Car image

Milwaukee Road Caboose (6-19701)
Milwaukee Road Caboose image

The Milwaukee Road featured an add-on car, the Milwaukee Road stock car (6-19515).
It was introduced in 1990 and was uncatalogued.
Milwaukee Road Stock Car image

Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific (Milwaukee Road) – By the beginning of the 20th Century the Milwaukee Road was considered one of the strongest railroads in the Upper Midwest, connecting Chicago, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and just about every other spot in between. In the early 1900s the decision was made to extend the railroad to Seattle; this along with the decision to electrify much of the new route bankrupted the railroad in the 1920s. The Milwaukee Road recovered during WWII but got caught in the general decline of railroads in the 1960s. It staggered through the '70s, abandoning the line to Seattle in 1977, and was finally merged into the Soo Line (Canadian Pacific) in 1985. Most of the road's routes have been abandoned.