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This RR Under Construction

This RR Under Construction doesn’t describe any particular Lionel train set, but is more descriptive of this page. Smiley GIF (6K)

The Santa Fe Super Chief

The Santa Fe Super Chief is probably the most popular of all the Lionel sets. It’s shown here with the wide door version baggage car, and the "striped" version of the extruded aluminum passenger cars. The red striped Santa Fe cars were only available between 1959 and 1961. GIF (5K)

The Scout

The Scout was Lionel’s low priced train sets from 1948 to 1954, and is shown here in a composite of those years. It was always the lucky kid down the street that owned the "Super Chief." This is the set that you got. Smiley A somewhat shorter horizontal bar. GIF (4K)

Operating Cars

Operating Cars were always a feature of Lionel trains. The simplest of these were the remotely operated box cars. The door opened and the man "popped" out with the use of a UCS uncoupling track. Some of these cars are among the rarest of the freight cars that Lionel made during the postwar era. Here they are pulled by the most desirable of the NW-2 switchers, the Santa Fe. This engine came with a bell, and the caboose is the very scarce "smoking" version. GIF (7K)

The Minneapolis & St. Louis GP9

The Minneapolis & St. Louis GP-9 was the first of the GP-9s’ introduced by Lionel in 1958. Modeled after the famous General Motors road switcher Lionel only added a plastic dynamic brake housing to the roof of the GP-7. In reality the GP-7 locomotive actually came either way from the General Motors factory. This set was the first "Super O" set in the 1958 catalog. The No. 415 Diesel Fueling station was made between 1955 & 1957 and is very difficult to find in working condition. GIF (5K)

The 665

The 665 was another in the wide variety of Hudsons (4-6-4 wheel arrangement) offered by Lionel. With the distinctive feed water heater above the boiler, and a shortened valve gear rod, this locomotive was a pleasure to watch run. It is no co-incidence that when MPC took over Lionel Trains in 1970, that this was the first of the large locomotives that they produced. This set from 1959 contained one of the rarest cars Lionel made in the post war era. The "Bosco" operating milk car was only available this year and in 1960. GIF (6K)

The Southern F3

The Southern F-3 was the only other road name besides the "Santa Fe" and the "New York Central" that Lionel made in an A-B-A combination. Manufactured from 1954 to 1956 this was the first new F-3 that Lionel had made since the first three road names were produced in 1948. GIF (6K)


The GG-1 debuted in 1947, and carried Lionel’s rich tradition of electric locomotives into the Post-War era. It’s shown here pulling the "Congressional" cars from 1956. GIF (6K)

The Great Northern EP-5

The Great Northern EP-5 was the fanciful concoction of a Lionel marketing executive. The Great Northern railroad never owned any of these electric locomotives. This set was introduced in 1959 and came with an exciting array of cars including, the 3444 cop and hobo car, and the new 6650 IRBM Missile Launching Car, which was capable of "busting" the 6470 "exploding" box car, and the No. 943 ammo dump. Smiley GIF (6K)


Magne-Traction allowed Lionel’s locomotives to pull more cars, and by the mid-50s’ had been installed on all but a few of the Lionel engines. The set shown here is from 1957 and is one of the longest they made. It is illustrated on page 14 and 15 of that years catalog. GIF (6K)

The Milwaukee Road F3

The Milwaukee Road F-3 was introduced in 1956. Equipped with dual vertical drive worm motors and magnetraction this diesel was an exciting addition to Lionel’s fleet of F-3s! One unusual aspect of this set was that every car in the set was an operating car. The 342 Culvert Unloader was new this year and the other operating cars were all perennial favorites. This set is illustrated on page 22 and 23 in this year’s catalog. GIF (7K)

  The Rectifier Top of Page
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The Rectifier was a new design by Lionel in 1958. Based on the GE E-33 it was not quite accurate in that the prototype had six wheel trucks. None the less it is proportioned to size, and was a nice runner. This was the year that Lionel went all out to produce "new" and "up to date" cars and accessories. The Atomic Energy Disposal Car was available only this year and the next, and is scarce. The 175 Rocket Launcher was available until 1960 but is very hard to find today without broken hand rails. GIF (8K)

The Marine Corp Set

The Marine Corp Set appealed to all those kids who liked Lionel Trains but also wanted to do it in the dirt! This set was made only two years, in 1958-9, and because of the abuse this set took it is very hard today to find one with the original military vehicles intact. The original vehicles in this set are labeled "PYRO / MADE IN / U.S.A." on the underside. Reproductions abound, so the collector should be cautious. Smiley GIF (6K)

The 2037

The 2037 supplanted the 2026 in 1953 as being the most ubiquitous locomotive made by Lionel. Lacking the eccentric crank on the sides it was designed to keep the cost of production down and at the same time provide as much operating enjoyment. This engine was made from 1953-55 and 1957-63. The two dome "Gulf" tank car was made only this year and is very under priced for its rarity. In the 1958 catalog it is shown as being orange in color but it was never manufactured this way. GIF (6K)

The New Haven Alcos

The New Haven Alcos were introduced in 1958. Like many other Lionel engines they were not entirely based on prototype railroad equipment. The New Haven railroad used the "checker board" paint scheme on only one of their diesels, but Lionel employed it here, and on many other engines, because they believed that it would sell electric trains. These diesels were only made one year and are the rarest of the late Alcos made by Lionel. The cars in this set were numbered: Pullman 2434 "Newark," Vista Dome 2432 "Clifton," and Observation 2436 "Moosehart." GIF (6K)

The Wabash F3

The Wabash F-3 brought several changes to the Lionel F-3 in 1956. Gone were the dual horizontal drive motors to be replaced by a single vertical worm drive motor. Lionel maintained that this diesel engine along with the 2243 "Santa Fe" introduced a year earlier were capable of negotiating 027 track. This really wasn’t true as the engine frame dimensions were identical to what came before. Center fuel tank scrapes will indicate if these diesels were run extensively on 027 track, and that the "overhang" of these engines caused the scraping by negotiating 027 switches where they hit the switch motor housings. The 6467 Bulkhead flat car (which Lionel called a "Miscellaneous Car") was only available this year and is rare. GIF (6K)

The Northern Pacific GP9

The Northern Pacific GP-9 was a colorful addition to Lionel’s fleet of GEEPS.. Introduced in 1959, it was the top of the line in 027 sets. Here it is pulling two of Lionel’s newest operating cars, the 3512 "Fireman and Ladder Car," and the 3435 "Aquarium Car." GIF (6K)

The Space Race

The Space Race was in full swing in the early 60s’ when Lionel made sure that every kid who wanted to could participate. The astronaut is preparing to board the Mercury capsule perched high a top the rocket with the aid of the "cherry picker" car. Additional capsules are available on the "Mercury Project" car for launch, as is a supply of "rocket fuel" in the tank car. Subsequent launches can occur at any time because you became "Mission Control" in this exciting set from 1962. Smiley GIF (6K)

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