According to Lionel, the design is based on an amalgamation of several types of equipment used by the railroads. The fire hose is retractable and the WHITE fire outriggers also can be positioned perpendicular to the direction of the unit. Also featured is an ornamental bell and a GRAY compressor situated opposite the fireman.
Lionel had originally planned to use a flashing lamp No. L-257 when this unit premiered in 1958, but they were not available until the next year when they were included in the Lionel Service Manual. Further problems were caused by the fact that the foam lamp pad usually deteriorates over time and causes the lamp to tilt to one side and melt the red dome housing. Collectors should be aware of this problem and check these units for heat damage.
Lionel issued one Instruction Sheet No. 52-43X dated 9-58 that used DARK BLUE ink on WHITE paper. A picture of the front page of this sheet is shown below and the second page can be viewed here.