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Um... that might be a tad beyond my ability. LOL ;)

I think i will keep it a 0-4-0 saddle tank but will make the power pickup and chassis a bit more reliable. Also maybe add some detailing to the body as well as add some sound and maybe a good smoke unit. Internal space is going to be a challenge.

Currently the axles do not sit level or parallel to each other and the wheel spacing is off to the point where the wheels fall inside the track. ( im thinking this is the old Lionel slipping "tire" issue )
Unsure about the goal for the passenger cars There is roof damage that needs to be repaired and i am considering upgrading the lighting to LED.
Wow ! That's a great deal on the Thunder Mountain Express set.
I've seen people pay that much for a single one of the cars on Ebay.
I have one of those sets, as well as the Lionel Gold Rush Express freight set (for which I paid $50.00 on Ebay back in 2004 ).
I installed a Seuthe #5 smoke unit in the stack of the Thunder Mountain Express 0-4-0.
There is an opening in the boiler in front of the cab for a small on-off slider switch for the smoke unit.
It's an easy install as the locomotive is fairly simple and easy to work on.
Make sure to give the gears fresh lube.
I use Labelle lubricating products on all of my various scale trains .
Labelle products do not dry out like some other similar products such as those made by Bachmann,as an example.
Hope this helps!
Have fun with your "new" Lionel !

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