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The Christmas Train
The Lionels' Christmas train runs under the tree.
December 16, 2002
From the introduction, each child's car is in a line 1st-5th in order going from the engine to the caboose. By clue 1, the Rock Island car immediately precedes the log car, which immediately precedes Kelly's Christmas train car; while by clue 3, the Norfolk & Western car immediately precedes the barrel car, which immediately precedes Alexis's car. There must be at least one overlap between these two clues, or six different cars would be named. By clue 5, the Rock Island car isn't Alexis's; while by clue 7, the Norfolk & Western car isn't Kelly's. Therefore, clues 1 and 3 can be arranged in two ways: The Rock Island car immediately precedes the Norfolk & Western log car, which immediately precedes Kelly's barrel car, which is coupled at its rear to Alexis's car; or the Norfolk & Western car is followed by the Rock Island barrel car, which is followed by Alexis's log car, which is followed by Kelly's car. In either case, by clue 4 where the cattle car and the Milwaukee Road car are in consecutive order in the train, the Milwaukee Road car must be the 5th in order after the four named, with the cattle car then 4th in line and Alexis's in the first case or Kelly's in the second. Similarly, in either case, by clue 6 where Ben's car is immediately followed by the Erie-Lackawanna car, Ben's car must be 2nd in the train (either the Norfolk & Western log car in case one or the Rock Island barrel car in case two) and the Erie-Lackawanna car must be 3rd. By elimination, the Burlington Northern car must be 4th in either case. Then Chad's car must be the 1st one right after the engine (clue 2) and Jamie's car the 5th one right ahead of the caboose. Chad's is the operating milk car and Jamie's the coal car (2), Then the second case combination of clues 1 and 3 cannot work, since the Norfolk & Western car isn't the milk car (7). So, arrangement one completes the Christmas train: the Rock Island car is 1st, the Norfolk & Western log car is 2nd, Kelly's barrel car is 3rd, and Alexis's car is 4th. The Lionels' Christmas train runs as follows:

  • Engine
  • 1st - Chad's Rock Island milk car
  • 2nd - Ben's Norfolk & Western log car
  • 3rd - Kelly's Erie-Lackawanna barrel car
  • 4th - Alexis's Burlington Northern cattle car
  • 5th - Jamie's Milwaukee Road coal car
  • Caboose

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