Lionel Electric Trains Identification Guide Sub-Title
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This Identification Guide for Lionel Electric Trains covers the "Post-war Era" only from 1945 until 1969.

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Lionel Trains Highway Signal No. 154 LIONEL TRAINS HIGHWAY SIGNAL No. 154

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No. 154 D Variation

Lionel Trains Highway Signal No. 154The Highway Signal No. 154 was the accessory that is most closely associated with Lionel Post War electric trains. This is because it was sold throughout the entire post-war period from 1945 until 1969 with the exception of the year 1967.
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As out of scale as it is, this is the one accessory that was almost always found on toy train layouts of the period.
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With the use of the No. 154C track contact (shown to the right) this signal would flash its lights in warning as a passing train conducted the ground current through the outside rails. First produced in 1940, Lionel showed this accessory in the RED color base from 1940 until 1948 in their catalogs, it is, however, doubtful that this signal was ever produced with this colored base. The RED color is easily reproduced so authentication is doubtful and no premium is added for this color.

No. 154C Top ViewNo 154C Bottom View
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No. 154 Box End

In 1950 Lionel would change the light sockets from screw mounted (No. 1449R) to bayonet mounted (No. 363R) bulbs. At the same time the cross buck would change from being made out of metal to injected molded plastic. All of the post war versions of this signal have a SILVER post. The pre-war examples from 1942 have a semi-gloss MEDIUM GRAY painted post. In 1957 Lionel produced this post in unpainted aluminum.
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Component parts for the Highway Signal were contained in envelope No. 154-23 illustrated to the right.
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There were many different instruction sheets that were issued over the production span of this signal, but all bear the number 154-20. From 1945 until 1949 they were printed in with DARK BLUE ink on LIGHT BLUE paper. BLACK ink on WHITE paper was used on the sheets dated 7-49 and 2-50. An illustration of this sheet is shown below. In 1959 the size of the instruction sheet was changed from 9-1/2" x 6-1/4" to 8-1/2" x 5-1/2".

No. 154-23 Parts Envelope

To completely show the evolution of this accessory we’ve also included information on the pre-war variations. There are a total of seven variations including the blister pack No. B154 issued in 1966:
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Variation A: WHITE painted die-cast cross buck with BLACK raised letters. "STOP" in raised WHITE lettering on BLACK die-cast lamp holder. Lights are screw base. If there is a viable RED base version it would be this variation. Produced from 1940 to 1941, and again in the post war period from 1945 until 1949.
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Variation B: Identical to Variation A except the post is painted semi-gloss MEDIUM GRAY. The post finial is usually the same color, but is also found as unpainted nickel, brass, or BLACK in color. 1941-42 production.

Variation C: Identical to Variation A except with an ORANGE painted metal base. 1940-41 production, but was illustrated in the catalogs with this color as late as 1952.
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Variation D: SILVER painted post. WHITE plastic cross buck with BLACK raised letters. "STOP" in raised WHITE lettering on BLACK die-cast lamp holder. Lights are bayonet base. This is the most common variation and was produced from 1950 until the end of the post-war period in 1969.
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Variation E: Identical to Variation D except unpainted aluminum post. This variation does not weigh as much as the others. Produced in 1957.
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Variation F: Identical to Variation D except post is mounted on the base of the No. 151 Semaphore. This may have been a Hagerstown production, but was most likely produced by MPC in 1970 as they were using up left over original post war parts.
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Variation G: Cataloged as No. B154 and displayed in a blister pack, this variation is identical to Variation D except for the packaging. Produced in 1966.
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Dimensions: Base is 4 inches long by 2 inches wide, 8-3/4 inches high.
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No. 154 C Variation No. 154 F Variation
No. 154-20 dated 2-50 Instructions
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