Note: I am rebuilding this website.
Here's a link to the old site.

Archive for the 'Postwar Accessories' Category

Lionel 3356 Operating Horse Car And Corral 1956-66

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

Lionel 3356 operating horse car

Lionel introduced the 3356 operating horse car and corral set in 1956. It ran until 1960 when it was dropped from the catalog. It reappeared in the catalog in 1964, and ran through 1966. There are no variations.

The horse car and corral are used together. When the car is positioned as shown above the doors open and horses go in and out of the car. This accessory works much better than the earlier 3656 operating cattle car.

Lionel 3356 operating horse car

The corral was offered separately as a replacement item. The box for just the corral is worth more than the entire set. The rare box says 3356-150 and holds ONLY the corral. The 3356 box that holds the car and corral is quite common.

Lionel 314 Girder Bridge 1940-42 and 1945-50

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

Lionel 314 Girder Bridge
Lionel Introduced the 314 Plate Girder Bridge in 1940. It was made originally in aluminum, and then the color changed to gray in late 1940. After the war, production continued in gray.

Most of Lionel’s accessories changed from aluminum to gray in late 1940. The story is the aluminum paint was in demand for the war effort and gray was cheaper. Gray is also a more forgiving color. It covers better.

A lot of sellers will use the war story to make their gray 314 girder bridges more desirable. The aluminum 314 bridge is harder to find than the gray one. There are at least 10 gray bridges for every aluminum one Gray being more common is true for both the 314 and 316 bridges. The 315 trestle bridge with a light is harder to find in gray.

Lionel 310 Billboard Set 1950-68

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Lionel 310B billboard set on Blister card

Lionel introduced the 310 billboard set in 1950. The set came with 5 plastic frames and some cardboard billboards. Most years the billboards changed.

The billboards were also included in Lionel Sets. I’ll add pictures of billboard sheets from different years in the future.

The earliest versions of the 310 billboard sets were sold in the classic orange and blue Lionel boxes. The last versions of the billboard set came on a blister car as shown above. The blister card is worth more than the set of billboards even in poor condition like the one above.

Lionel also made a 410 billboard blinker to go with the 310 set.

Lionel 264 Operating Fork Lift Set 1957-60

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Lionel 264 Operating Forklift

Lionel made the 264 forklift set from 1957-60. Everything included with the set is shown above except the box inserts.

This is a neat accessory. the forklift grabs a single wood beam from the 6264 flatcar, and backs away from the car. It then pivots to the side and drops the beam. It does this until one side of the car is unloaded. Then you have to move the train a few inches to allow the forklift to unload the other side of the car.

The Lionel 6264 flatcar with lumber is packed in the box without it’s own box. The 6264 box is worth 4-5 times as much as the flatcar itself.

Lionel 6264 Flatcar and 264 Forklift set

There are no variations of the flatcar or forklift set.

Lionel 163 Target Signal 1961-69

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Lionel 163 Target Signal
The 163 signal replaced the 253 and 353 signals in the Lionel line up.

It has a single light showing. Compare this to the Lionel 253.

There are no variations of the 163 signal.

Note it would be easy to exchange the light hoods on a 353 and 163 signals to get base variations. The 253 and 353 always have black and tan bases, the 163 always has a plain tan base.

Lionel 253 Block Signal 1956-59

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Lionel 253 block signal
Lionel introduced the 253 block signal in 1956. The all plastic signal replaced the earlier metal 153 signal.

The 253 has a stop mechanism in it. The train approaches a red signal and stops. A timer in the base of the signal hold the train. When the time is up, the signal turns green and the train goes on it’s way.

The same signal WITHOUT the stop mechanism is a 353. A similar signal was made with ONE lamp showing called a 163. The 163 has two bulbs, but a different head. Here’s a page showing the Lionel 163 Signal.

Lionel Radar Antenna 1958-59

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Lionel 197 Radar Tower

Lionel introduced the 197 radar antenna in 1958. It was offered again in 1959 and then canceled. it was made with gray or orange base. The orange base is harder to find. Gray base is shown above.

The rotating antenna and the guardrails are usually broken. replacement parts are available.

The 197 radar tower has been reissued by both Lionel and MTH.

Lionel 175 Rocket Launcher 1958-60

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Lionel postwar 175 rocket launcher

The 175 rocket launcher is the largest of the space and military items Lionel made in the late 1950s. These are quite common, but the railings around the top of the superstructure andb around the rocket launching platform are usually broken. Replacement railings and rockets are available.

The rocket launcher was designed to be used with the Lionel 6175 flatcar with rocket, but the car was not included with the launcher. When the launcher was included in sets, the car was also a part of the set.

The operator could lift a rocket from the 6175 flat car and then position it on the firing platform. The countdown controller would count down, and then fire the rocket into the ceiling. After a few firings, the rocket would break. Usually the break is in the white portion.

Reproduction rockets are made of better quality plastic and hold up longer.

Lionel 175 rocket launcher

Lionel 148 Dwarf Signal 1957-60

Monday, January 28th, 2008

lionel postwar 148 dwarf signal

The Lionel 148 dwarf signal was made from 1957 to 1960. The signal has manual operation and uses a special 148-100 control switch.

When the 148-100 is in one position, the signal light is green and current is on to the block section. In the other position the dwarf signal shows red, and track current is off.

These didn’t sell well, and are somewhat hard to find today. Especially in nice condition like the boxed one shown above.

Copies of Lionel 148 dwarf signal were made in the late 1970s by a man in Nevada of cast metal. The Lionel postwar dwarf signals are made of plastic.

Both Lionel and MTH currently offer similar dwarf signals. This has caused a large drop in the value of postwar examples.

Lionel 140 Banjo Signal 1954-66

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Lionel automatic banjo signal
Lionel introduced the 140 automatic banjo signal in 1954. The 140 was cataloged through 1966. These were also sold by MPC, and cannot be differentiated without the box.

The signal uses a vibro motor to make the sign go back and forth. The ibro motor requires a thrust washer with nipples on it to work correctly.

This is a common accessory, that looks good on any Lionel postwar layout.

Lionel currently makes the banjo signal in brown rather than black, and MTH makes them in black.