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Lionel Rules Introduction Post War Lionel Rules Page 1 Post War Lionel Rules Page 2 This Page Modern Lionel Rules Page 2

A New Begining

A New Beginning for Lionel happened in 1970 when the company was purchased by Model Products Corporation (MPC), a division of General Mills. Smiley While the quality of the trains was not up to the classic "Post-War" standards, it was better than what was being produced in Japan in the final years of Lionel, and left collectors panting for more. The "Illinois Central" GP-9 set was the top of the line in MPC’s 1971 catalog. MPC was not above putting their own advertising on some of the cars as they did here on the "3-dome tank car." Smiley GIF (6K)

A Humble Start

A Humble Start for kids in model railroading was offered by MPC during their years of producing Lionel trains. Sets like this one called "The Cannonball" were available in major retail outlets like "Toys R Us." While the quality and durability was suspect, many of the cars and engines were new designs and little is known about the rarity of these. These sets are a reasonably priced venue for collectors today. GIF (4K)

The 9700 Collector Series

The 9700 Collector Series was the second major series of collector cars made by MPC. Fraught with variations and color changes they are as challenging to collect as their "Post War" predecessors the "6464" cars. But whereas, the "6464" series cars were only box cars, MPC also included double deck cattle cars in the 9700 series. They are led here by the "Detroit Toledo and Irontown" NW-2. GIF (6K)

Almost There

"Almost There!" Was how collectors felt when this set premiered in 1983. Real portholes and front grab irons had returned to the F-3. Smiley It was still lacking the vent screen and metal horns on the roof and "numbered" number boards, but this was a definite step in the right direction. There was some lamenting of the loss of the "extrusions" on the aluminum passenger cars but most collectors realized that this was necessary for these cars to hold the paint. The addition of the newly designed "Combination Baggage Car" brought smiles all around. Smiley GIF (5K)

The Black Widow

The Black Widow finally came to Lionel in 1979 and WOW, they did it up right! Smiley The Southern Pacific was the only road that used the Fairbanks Morse Trainmaster that was not made by Lionel during the "post war" era. They had made a prototype but it was never produced. As it was, until MPC produced this engine, collectors were left to reproducing the paint scheme, known as the "Black Widow," of this diesel from available shells. It is shown here leading some of the 9400 series of collectable box cars. This was the third series that MPC issued and ran from 1978 until 1986 when they sold the company to Richard Kughn. GIF (7K)

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The Circus came to Lionelville in 1990, with clowns that chased each other around what was the post war "Cop and Hobo" car, and an elephant on top of the box car that lowered his head to avoid the tell tail. The engine was the reworked "General" with new colors. This set was available for only two years. The kids loved it! Smiley GIF (7K)

Fallen Flag Series: The Wabash

Fallen Flag Series: The Wabash initiated a new series of sets in the first year of Kughn’s ownership of Lionel. Now known as Lionel Trains Incorporated (LTI), these sets that were produced by them proved to be very popular with collectors. The tooling was all there for this set from the "post war" era. The "646" for the engine and the "Madison Coaches" for the heavy weight cars. But extensive modification occurred including adding "smoke deflectors" to the engine, and additional molds to create the baggage, baggage combination, dining, and observation car. GIF (7K)

The Trailer Train

The Trailer Train flat cars were made as a set of two by LTI in 1992. They came with an extra fifth wheel and truck so that you could run the cars independently. They were numbered 16345 and 16346 and came with "Southern Pacific" "Golden Pig Service" trailers. They are pulled here by the GP-38-2 done up in "Chicago & Northwestern" colors. This diesel and all of the cars were only made this one year. GIF (7K)

The Reading U36B

The Reading U36B headed up the "Quaker City Limited" set in 1979. This was a limited edition set and was only available for this year. The engine and all of the cars are hard to find today. GIF (7K)

The Port of Lionel City

The Port of Lionel City offered lots of action for kids, including the operating searchlight and radar cars, operational boat, derrick car, and first aid caboose. It all came as a set without the "B" unit in 1997. The "B" Unit was available for separate sale and came with a diesel horn. This set was only available this year. The inter modal crane was a new design by LLC and was an impressive accessory. GIF (7K)

The Empire Builder

The Empire Builder was the Great Northern Railroad’s premier passenger train. Lionel had used the "green/orange" colors before but had never produced an entire consist until 1992 with this set. They restored the F-3 to its classic "post war state" which featured side ladders, roof vents, metal horns, and they added "RAIL SOUNDS tm," in the dummy "A" unit that could be activated remotely from the transformer. Awesome! Smiley GIF (7K)

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