Eric's Postwar Lionel Trains & Accessories

Included in this page is the stuff that started it all for me. For years as a child I had heard my dad talk about his childhood train set. My dad told me that in his day, his O-27 train set took up 2 ping-pong tables. He always said he'd give it to me at some point, but that time never seemed to come. Sadly, it took a death in the family for things to finally be set into motion. When my grandparents died around 1990, I was 14 years old. My grandparents had been married for over 50 years and had lived in their house (In Virginia Highlands, Atlanta) for something close to that, so you can imagine there was quite a bit of "crap" to clean out. Family members ransacked the house, taking whatever was willed to them and bargaining for anything that was not. As a 14 year old kid, though, I couldn't give a rat's ass about who got the dining room table or the china set. I was solely interested in one thing: The train set.

We finally found the old set where my dad's mom had left it, casually thrown into big cardboard boxes in a dark storage room in the back of the basement. The key word in that last sentence being "thrown", the set was a wreck to say the least. I don't know what it is, but all mother's seem to have this built-in talent for casually trashing anything a kid has that will one day be worth loads of cash. How many mothers over the years have tossed a postwar Lionel set into the back room as if it were a pair of old gym shoes? How many moms out there mindlessly threw away that Marvel comic #1 that would be worth a zillion dollars now or the original Luke Skywalker action figure that would be pricesless now? They all do it, so my guess it just comes with being a mom. Anyway, the train boxes got "thrown" into my parents car and were then deposited in my parents' basement. I slowly began the immense task of sorting through the boxes and piecing the set back together. In the space below, you can find a detailed account of my experience with the old postwar set.

Also included in this page is postwar items that I've added in recent years, thanks mostly to ebay!

The original Lionel O-27 track - I'd say that about 95% of the original tracking was rusted and useless. I trashed the majority of it and replaced it with shiny new 0-27 track. I have since replaced all that O-27 track with standard O gauge track made by Atlas.

The original Lionel O-27 switches - Many of the switches were busted and inoperative. A few of them remained in operation on my set for several years, but they have all now been replaced by standard O gauge switches made by Atlas.

Now to the real stuff, the trains...

Postwar Engines

Postwar Rolling Stock

Postwar Accessories

Postwar Town Pieces

 

 

Postwar Engines

Lionel 2023 Union Pacific Also Diesel

Other than some scratches and other physical wear and tear, this engine was functioning perfectly when I found it and still runs like a champ to this day. What a workhorse! In fact, it served as the main locomotive on my set until 2005, when I got a new MTH diesel. Now that I have converted my layout to 100% digital, this beauty has gone into retirement and currently sits on a display shelf. When we get a new house and I'm able to make the set ridiculously huge, I may try to bring this engine out again on it's own conventioanlly powered line. Greenburg's indicates that this set was made in either 1950 or 1951.

Lionel 2023 Union Pacific Also Diesel (Non Powered)

The unpowered partner to the 2023 above. Its front coupler is busted, so I've been looking for a replacement part on ebay. I also replaced the clear plastic window piece in this unit, as the original was gone.

No Picture Yet

Lionel 2025 Steam Engine w/tender

This was also in good operating condition when I found it, but had lots of external blemishes. For some reason, I've always had a preference for diesel engines, so the old 2025 steamer hasn't gotten much run time. Currently, it's in a few pieces on my workbench while I fix the smoke unit and order some replacement wheels for the back.

Unidentifed New York Central Steam Engine w/tender

When the set was taken from my grandparents' house, my uncle grabbed the locomotive from this set for sentimental reasons. I've never seen the engine that he took, but I'm told that it was the Postwar Dreyfus steamer. As you can see, this tender is in pretty bad shape on the outside. Lots of rust, scratches and dings adorn the exterior along with some body damage. Amazingly, the horn unit inside still works perfectly!

 

 

Postwar Rolling Stock

2400, 2401, 2402 Passenger Cars

This is the 1950 series consisting of "Maplewood", "Chatham" and "Hillside". They work well, considering how old they are. I've retired these cars and they are now on a display shelf.

2411 Flat Car w/stakes

Both this car and the one below were part of my dad's set. Pretty boring cars, but a cruicial component of any good freight set. Lionel's "Celebration Series" has put out a beautiful remake of this car. All of the "Celebration Series" cars are wonderful and I've thought about picking up a couple more of these little jewels for my set. I think the new reissues run about $45 or so a piece.

2411 Flat Car w/stakes

Just like the one above, and from my dad's set. Over they years several of the original stakes got lost. I've since replaced the missing stakes, so the cars are now complete.

2460 Bucyrus Erie Crane Car

The classic Bucyrus crane car from my dad's old set. Its 6 wheel trucks indicate that it was built between 1946 and 1950. I had to put a new cable line onit and it's got a few scratches here and there and some rust on the trucks. Other than that, though, it's is good order and is in use on my layout.

3359 Twin Bin Dump Car

I got this off of ebay for $35. It just looks neat! It came in good working order, so I've been very pleased with it.

3464 Animated Boxcar

Originally from my dad's set, this car was trashed when I found it. One of the trucks was broken and the shell of the car was broken off from the base with the screw holes shredded. It was in bad shape. I replaced the bad truck and, after some serious surgery on the shell's screw holes, I was able to get this car back into good working order. Yeah, I've probably decreased the value slightly by fixing it, but since I never plan on selling any of this stuff anyway I really don't care. I tend to value functionality over resale price. I'm not sure of the exact build date, but it's plastic door indicates production after 1951.

3469 Operating Dump Car

This was part of my father's original set. It was dinged and scratched when I found it, but it has always been in good working order. Lionel's "Celebration Series" has a reissue of this car that is simply gorgeous. I picked up one of the reissue cars, which you can view here.

3472 Operating Milk Car w/Dummy Car

When I inherited my dad's set, it had 2 of these Milk cars. One was the 3472 operating milk car that had those little milk jugs that the figure grabs and releases. The other was a dummy unit 3472. I don't know if they came as a set or if he got them seperately. Anyway, somewhere along the line the operating car got destroyed and all I have left of that now is the shell. However, I recently bought another 3472 on ebay that's in beautiful condition and works perfectly. So I now have both the operating unit and the dummy unit in operation on my layout. The operating car that replaced the broken one was built in March of 1947. The dummy unit was built in April of 1950. The original operating car that is now broken was also built in March of '47.

3519 Satellite Launching Car

I've been wanting one of these things for a while now. I finally won one in decent shape from ebay for $43. This car is missing the little yellow radar dish that comes with it, but I have ordered a replacement. According to Greenburg's, Lionel started making these cars in 1961.

3330 Sumbarine Car

By now you can probably tell that I'm addicted to ebay. Picked this one up for about $30. Twisting the nose of the ship winds up a rubber band inside and the, with the flick of a switch, the propellor on the back spins around for a few seconds.

6002 NYC Gondola (Black)

I got this off of ebay. I think I paid $5 for it. Built in February of 1949.

6119 D.L. & W. Work Caboose

Another ebay buy. I'm usually not a big caboose fan, but I liked this one for its functional look.

6456 Lehigh Valley Hopper

Another ebay acquisition. This car is not very rare at all, from what I've seen, and can be picked up very inexpensively. Usually around $15 or so. Again, an economic way of beefing up the freight yards. This car was built in January of 1948

6462 NYC Gondola (Red)

This car was included in my father's set. Nothing too fancy, but solidly built. The car was built in February of 1949.

6462 NYC Gondola (Black)

I got this car off of ebay. These old gondola cars are usually very inexpensive, and I've found them to be a cost friendly way of adding some sheer numbers to my freight line.

6464-425 New Haven Boxcar

Built in March of 1956, I got this car off of ebay from a postwar train warehouse here in the Atlanta area. I've got a a new Lionel Archive Collection clone of this car that makes a nice companion to this one. Click here to check it out.

6520 Searchlight Car

Part of my father's set. If I recall correctly, I had to rewire this car to get it working. I also had to order a replacement lens for the spotlight. Other than that, it works just fine. I'm not sure when this was made, but I'm guess early 1950's.

6650 Missile Launching Car

Grabbed this puppy on ebay for about $24. Not a bad deal. I've really started to get a liking for these cold war era cars. The firing mechanism on this thing is pretty cool and it launches the missle with considerable force! The missle will fly about 6 feet!

6650 Missile Launching Car

I was bidding on 2 6650's on ebay and ended up winning them both. Oh well. The more the merrier. The missle on this car is missing the little nose cone, so I'll have to try to find a replacement for it.

6656 Cattle Car

From my father's collection. I've thought about getting a few more of these to have nice little cattle line. However, MTH makes a really pretty Union Pacific stock car, so I will probably end up getting those instead.

6818 Transformer Car

I snagged this one off of ebay for aorund $20. It's in great condition and really adds some variety to the frieght line.

 

 

Postwar Accessories

38 Water Tower

I got this from my father's train set. It is in good working order, except that the spout needs to be replaced. I replaced the spout once back in 1990, but it broke in storage so I've got to get another one at some point.

45N Automatic Gateman

From my dad's train set. This thing works fine, but for some reason, I've never really put into operation on the layout.

75 Tear Drop Lamp

I've got 2 of the goodies from my dad's old set. Unfortunately, they both have major cracks in them. The work, but since they are in such bad shape, I don't use them on the layout.

97 Coal Elevator

This was one of the gems of my dad's collection and is one of my favorite pieces all around. Let's face it, the coal evevator is just cool! Other than a few scratches, this thing has worked perfectly since day 1. When I was younger, I gave it a new paintjob and added a "Southern Railway" decal to one side. Yeah, in retrospect, it probably wasn't a good idea but as I've said before I have no plans of ever selling this stuff so it doesn't really matter anyway.

132 Illuminated Station

This came from my dad's set. Other than a few paint drops on the roof (which I an slowly getting rid of), the thing works and has always worked perfectly. This station works via the same coiled metal mechanism that the water tower above works on. Instead of blinking a light, however, it regulates the speed of the train as it approaches the station. Pretty neat, eh?

151 Semaphore

A great item from my dad's old set, but it was inoperable when I found it. I've recently been able to order replacement parts for it and I've almost go this jewel back in working order. Once it's working again, I will put into operation on the layout.

153 Block Signal

Part of my father's set. It has always worked well, with the exception of a few bulb replacements. It is now hooked up to an infrared sensing device that works so much better than those old track sensors.

154 Highway Signal

My dad's set had 2 of these. I'm in the process of figuring out how to make them work correctly with the new infrared sensors instead of those old clunky track sensor devices. I'm sure there's a way!

193 Industrial Water Tower

I got this nice addition off of ebay. It really looks nice in my freight yard. As you can see, my cat likes it too! I think it's really cool how the blinking light works. For those of you who don't know, there's a metal coil hooked up to the light. Electricity passing through the coil causes it to heat up. When it heats up enough, the connection to the light bulb is cut off. Then it cools off just enough and the connection is made again. The result is a tower light that blinks about every 4 seconds or so. There are several other old Lionel accessories (and probably some new too) that work in this way.

195 Floodlight Tower

Got this baby on ebay. Really lights up the yard!

394 Beacon

I started out with 1 of these babies, but thanks to ebay I now have 3! The original tower that my dad had was red and the 2 recent additions are both metalic colored. I have a bad habit of breaking and/or melting those oh so fragile beacon tops, so I've started ordering them in bulk. Good thing they still make them!

395 Floodlight Tower

Another item from my dad's set, and such a nice piece to have on any layout. I think before it's over with I will get a couple more of these things. When I was younger, I repained the tower. In retrospect, a bad idea, but since I am never going to sell it I'm not losing any sleep over it.

451 Noma Station w/announcer record
No Picture Yet

316 Trestle Bridge

A nice postwar bridge from my father's set, but one end has some damage on it. Still, it's usable so I'd like to have it on the set eventually.

 

 

Postwar town pieces (plasticville etc.)

Plasticville Super Market
Plasticville 5 & 10 Store
Plasticville Airport
Plasticville School
Plasticville Fire House
Plasticville Red Roof Cape Cod House (2)
Plasticville Ranch Style House
Plasticville Barn
Plasticville Hardware/Pharmacy
Plasticville Church
Plasticville New England Ranch House
Plasticville Frosty Bar
Plasticville 2 Story House
 

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This page last updated: January 1st, 2017      Contact me at:  eric@ericstrains.com

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