Dating lionel trains

The next and larger set, the drivers, transfer power to the rails.

The trailing set supports the weight of the firebox. These sets of wheels are arranged in order left to right to show each type of configuration.


How to Find Out How Old Your Lionel Train Is

This wheel arrangement is known as "Adriatic. The "O27" gauge locomotives were more economically priced and there are more of these in existance today. However, a good portion of these engines were the same as their "O" Gauge counterparts with just a change in the number of the locomotive to define it as "O" Gauge. Some of the "O" Gauge locomotives will not run on "O27" Gauge track. One of these engines is the Berkshire No. Refer to the Track Identification Page for details on locomotive and rolling stock compatibility.

Lionel almost always placed their identification number underneath the cab of the locomotive. And the postwar baby boom was just getting started Several animated accessories appear, including the No. Lionel ceases production of electric trains and builds compasses and compass cases for the war. The hard-to-assemble Lionel "paper train" is produced during the holiday season. Remote uncoupling is introduced with Lionel Electric Set. Lionel's version of the massive, twenty-wheeled Pennsylvania GG-1 electric engine features working pantographs that draw power from overhead catenary lines.

The F3 diesel locomotive, its all-time biggest seller, and the mighty ZW transformer, whose watts could power four trains at once.

Lionel expands its offerings with the NW2 diesel locomotive switcher, No. Lionel was at its peak in the early s, with record profits and some of its best products ever. Its catalogs of the period were absolute stunners. Unfortunately, Lionel was selling far more engines and rolling stock than existed on real railroads, which were rapidly overwhelmed by competition from highways and airlines.

Lionel actually had its own television show, but the new medium soon mesmerized America, and interest in toy trains waned. Lionel products of this period included a stereo camera, the pastel-colored Lady Lionel train set, and trains with space age and Cold War themes. The "father and son railroad" of Joshua Lionel Cowen and Lawrence Cowen ended in , when they sold their interest in Lionel to distant relative Roy Cohn.

A set of sleek aluminum passenger cars is released to run behind the powerful No. The highly detailed No. Lionel announces record profits. It is the world's largest toy manufacturer, and a household name to millions. Two popular accessories appear - the No. Lionel releases the ill-fated Super O track with plastic ties.

Lionel introduces the No. New items include the No. Lionel in the s was a company that had lost its founder and its bearings. America was undergoing social upheaval, and the idealized image of Lionel railroading no longer fit in. In a doomed effort to diversify, the company introduced slot cars, science kits, and even phonographs. Despite several creative covers, Lionel catalogs soon featured uninspiring product shots, devoid of all romance.

Joshua Lionel Cowen passed away in at the age of Another American legend, the venerable Twentieth Century Limited, made its last run in That same year Lionel filed for bankruptcy. The company licensed its electric train manufacturing to breakfast-cereal conglomerate General Mills in The Talking Teddy, containing a hidden speaker, is wired to a Lionel-Spear phonograph. This unintentionally symbolic cover from the catalog shows a racecar outrunning a locomotive.

Lionel president Francis R. O'Leary claims the "Lionel has never tried to cash in on passing fads," but the Beatlesque catalog cover contradicts him. This year marks the Centennial of the Golden Spike as well as Lionel's demise as an independent corporation.

By the s, what remained of the original Lionel Corporation was a holding company specializing in toy stores. By Lionel was folded into General Mills subsidiary Fundimensions, which carried on the Lionel tradition with many trains that equaled or bettered the originals. One highlight of the decade was The Mickey Mouse Express -- an instant hit and prized collectible, which revived an association with Disney dating from Lionel purchases American Flyer name and tooling and resurrects the "S" gauge brand under the General Mills toy group "Fundimensions".

This cover is created in response to a letter from seven-year-old Caroline Ranald, who wrote, "Girls like trains too! The Anniversary Special train proves that the Lionel spirit lives on. These freight cars are decorated with pictures of old catalogs, logos, and images of beloved classics. The Mickey Mouse Express, pulling a dozen hi-cube boxcars, recalls the success of Mickey and Minnie in In , Fundimensions celebrated Joshua Lionel Cowen's self-claimed hundredth birthday he was actually born in with seven commemorative boxcars.

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Then in , General Mills shocked Lionel employees when it decided to relocate production to Mexico. The move was disastrous, and production returned to Michigan in That year Lionel recreated its greatest steam locomotive, the No. In , Detroit-based real estate developer -- and railroad enthusiast -- Richard Kughn bought the brand and established Lionel Trains. Joshua Lionel Cowen's life story is highlighted on the sides of these "hundredth birthday" commemorative boxcars.

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A reinvigorated Lionel started off the s with the reissue of the legendary No. In Richard Kughn and rock musician Neil Young, an avid model railroader, created Liontech, chartered to develop exclusive new model train control and sound systems. This all-new digital system captured a real-life Mikado's actual sounds, and propelled Lionel to the forefront of model train technology. Richard Kughn sold Lionel in In , Lionel issued its first fully illustrated catalog in more than 30 years.

The Lionel Century Club, announced in , was the first event in the ongoing celebration of the company's upcoming centenary. As Lionel welcomed the 21st Century along with the rest of the world, the model train company celebrated its centennial in a big way - a sign of other big things to follow during the next 10 years. To commemorate the special anniversary, Lionel produced a special E J-1E Hudson that included platinum and karat gold plating. In , Lionel and Warner Bros.

From the Archives: A Brief History of Lionel HO - Model Railroad News

The Polar Express quickly established itself as one of Lionel bestsellers ever. A year of celebration and change. Lionel moves its years of American manufacturing to Korea and China. The year-old company had no choice if it was to remain competitive and the industry leader. Angela Trotta Thomas, a renowned artist of toy trains, illustrates the Lionel catalog cover in commemoration of its centennial. This is the beginning of many illustrations she will do for Lionel. Lionel reproduces the famous 50th Anniversary set from , the No.

Lionel re-enters the HO gauge market with the introduction of the all die-cast metal UP Veranda diesel locomotive and a line of highly detailed Challenger locomotives complete with realistic sounds.

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The LionMaster name appears with the introduction of semi-scale locomotives with many of the same features of their sister scale locomotives, but with a retail price that is considerably lower. He guides Lionel through several legal matters that could have resulted in the demise of Lionel. Instead, he successfully led the legal affairs that resulted in a favorable outcome in With its legal issues in the rearview mirror, Lionel moves forward, setting the stage for manufacturing the most highly detailed and technically advanced railroad realism in the model train industry.

Lionel begins manufacturing and offering the K-Line brand of toy trains.