Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Lionel's Kansas City Southern Legacy SD70 ACe

An O gauge locomotive in a colorful paint scheme
Lionel SD70ACe O gauge model
Price: $599.99 Stock no.: 20333330)
Features: O-36 operation, two can-style motors, two remote couplers, smoke unit, Legacy sound system, Legacy Command Control for operation in conventional, TrainMaster, RailSounds, or using the LionChief Universal Remote or the Bluetooth LionChief app Low speed (Cmd): 2.2 scale mph Low speed (Conv): 3.5 smph High speed: 70.4 smph Drawbar pull: 1 lb., 15 oz.
Lionel SD70ACe O gauge model
This is our second peek at a model of Kansas City Southern SD70ACe no. 4006 saluting the railroads employees who are veterans (See the review of the MTH version in the December 2019 issue).

The SD70ACe has been a popular locomotive and a platform for the development of more efficient and environmentally friendly emissions for years. It also makes a very interesting canvas for celebratory graphics.

Since the Civil War, when the nation calls, America’s railroaders have responded. Employees have been in all branches of the military and took the time to put their careers on hold for the nation. In 2018, KCS decided to acknowledge that with its Shreveport Shops repainting no. 4006 in a vibrant patriotic paint scheme.

The design evokes images of patriotism through the red, white, and blue and national service with a stylized camouflage pattern. This is a great way to recognize the sacrifices of veterans who worked for the railroad, as well as other occupations.


The selling point is the livery for this model. The cab has a field of blue with white stars that really stand out. This evokes the upper left design of the flag itself. A flowing series of red and white stripes run from behind the cab the rear “wings.” The effect is that it is a flag blowing in the wind.

The last third of the car body is a replication of a digital camouflage pattern. It mixes a green background with random sand brown and gray splotches. Below the radiator wings you’ll also see the looped yellow ribbon symbolizing those waiting for loved ones to return from duty.

From earlier reviews, you may recall that I like boxy modern locomotives with lots of angles, and the SD70 is one of them. The pilot has a snowplow with air brake and multiple-unit connections. There are white trimmed grab irons and with handles on the simulated coupler arm. The deck is black with safety tread. The handrails are white and there is a chain across the drawbridge. There are ditch lights on both corners of the decking. These lights are dark when stationary and illuminate steadily when in motion.

The cab has a gently pointed snout with add-on blue grab irons on both sides. There is an access hatch on the engineer’s side of the nose. There are three grab irons on top and on the angled corners are sand filler pipes on each side.

The forward windows are single-pane with twin-arm wipers. Above are illuminated number boards on both sides of the twin-beam headlight. The two crewmen are protected from the elements with cab window rain deflectors. Up top are white GPS and communications hubs.

The body behind the cab is gaily decorated with the stars and stripes. It’s the same height as the cab and has air intakes. Lift rings are placed on the top and side. Next is the exhaust point for the smoke unit. The body drops in height and has angled sides. There is a horn on the top of this segment.

The radiator wings are probably the standout feature of this design. They jut out at an angle, have flat sides, then arc back toward the roof. There are three fans on the end, with see-through screens and clearly visible rotor blades.

The rear of the body has both cast-in louvers and see-through screens. It then angles inward, but it has a flat end. This mounts a double beam headlight. Just below are two cast-in louvers. The corners have add-on grab irons to help the crew to hoist themselves up.

This is a very nice looking model with a great paint scheme. But how does it operate?

This is a large locomotive, with a frame approximately 18-inches long with a 19-inch coupler-to-coupler length. It easily navigates O-36 curves.

I tested this using the LionChief app on my iPhone and performance was terrific. This isn’t the first Lionel engine that I’ve tested with the app, but it seemed to be immediately responsive to the slightest movement of the throttle icon that caused me to be a bit more cautious before increasing the speed, especially when backing to couple.

The speed range for the SD70ACe was quite good, ranging from 2.2 scale miles per hour to 70.4 scale miles per hour. The model’s drawbar pull was a solid 1 pound, 15 ounces.

The locomotive’s sound reproduction was superb and the various crew announcements add some flair and interest to operation.

If special liveries or military trains are on your want list, this should be up top. If you could give a hoot, but want an all-around good O gauge freight hauler, this
is it!

Locomotive courtesy of Sommerfelds Trains & Hobbies, Butler, Wis.


Read and share your comments on this article

Want to leave a comment?

Only registered members of are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.


Learn which classic toy train track works best for your locomotive's power.


Get the Classic Toy Trains newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Classic Toy Trains magazine. Please view our privacy policy