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 Water Tank No. 30 LIONEL TRAINS WATER TANK No. 38

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Lionel Trains Water Tank No. 38 B Variation
No. 38 Box Top

Lionel Trains Water Tank No. 30The Water Tank No. 38 was produced in 1946 and 1947. The Lionel Service Manual states that it was produced in 1947, however, the instruction sheet that came with it is dated 6-46, so it was probably only available in 1946.

The tank spout would be lowered by pushing a No. 96C Controller and water would be pumped out of the doubled walled outer section of the tank into the inner section giving the impression of a lowering water level. There are two electrical binding posts on the TAN colored base. The two cap nuts that hold the roof to the tank are connected to metal shafts that conduct the electricity from the electrical binding posts that activates the spout and the water pump.
Unfortunately, this tank, as originally produced, has several built-in problems. The first is the incompatibility of the hoses that were supplied and the plastic pump nipples. When connected, these hoses would melt the nipple and eventually fall off, and if they came in contact with the tank they would then melt the tank! This incompatibility is similar to what happened with the No. 65 Handcar.
This is not the only problem. The pump seal often leaks water. This leakage will eventually cause the pump motor to rust and seize up. As a result, it is doubtful if an original operating example of this water tank exists today. Because of all of the inherent problems with this tank it is difficult to find excellent or better examples.

No. 96C Controller

It came with a No. 38-70 envelope that contained water color tablets and a No. 5CL-73 clear plastic funnel to add the water to the tank. The color tablets were intended to make the water more visible and this might have worked if the tank was clear as it was pictured in the 1946 catalog. Whether through design, or simply discoloration of the tanks, all of examples that are found today are AMBER in color and the water level is hardly visible. Only one instruction sheet was produced for this tank, numbered 38-62, it is dated 6-46. There are two variations:

Variation A: Has a roof that is painted BROWN.
Variation B: Has a roof that is painted RED.
Dimensions: 6-1/4" x 6-1/4" base, 10-7/8"high.

No. 5CL-73 Funnel
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