The Lionel Santa Fe No. 617 Switcher is one of the very few examples during the Post War period that Lionel added details to its equipment. With extra added details like the radio wheel antenna, bell, horn and marker lenses, it is a shame that this switcher was only offered for separate sale in 1963. All of these details had not been seen since the No. 6250 was available eight years earlier. Produced on a BLACK painted body with WHITE safety stripes on the sides and ends, heat-stamped lettering "ATSF" and railroad herald. This engine had a horn unit that operated off of a C sized battery that was held in place at the bottom of the sheet metal chassis. This engine is found with solid non-operating and operating disc couplers at both ends. It came with a light on the front of the unit, Type IIE motor, Magnetraction, and was equipped with a three position directional unit whose control lever was adjustable from the bottom of the body. There are two variations:
Variation A: Early sheet-metal frame with skirt and die-cast frames.
Variation B: Late sheet-metal frame with skirt and die-cast frames.
Lionel issued this diesel for use on O27 Gauge track, but it will operate equally well on the larger radius curves of O Gauge track.