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Archive for the 'Postwar O Gauge' Category

The Russian O Gauge Train Set.

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

The Russian train set was made in the late 1950’s and early 60’s. At least I think so because there are dates or at least things that could be dates rubber-stamped on the bottoms of all the items. This was sold as a set with all the items shown below and a bridge and crossing gate not shown.

The track is numbered with riveted on metal tags. You start with the section numbered one and connect number two to it and so on until you have set up the entire layout. There are wire harnesses that clip to the track and have plugs similar to the type found on Marklin HO trains.

All the contents appear to be copies of toy trains made by other manufacturers. Oddly the Russians did not copy new trains, they copied older items. This could be because their technology was better suited to making trains with 20-year-old manufacturing methods.

The die casting of the engine is very well executed, and the overall construction is superb. These could be the only toy trains produced in a command economy. Obviously the profit motive was not a factor in the design. As far as I know after 1948 no American company made complete ready to run train sets that included accessories except Marx’s low cost train sets and the failed All Aboard train sets made by American Flyer in the 1960’s. The accessories included with the Russian train were not available separately. However, there does seem to be a lot more accessories out there than trains. This could be because the trains were thrown out instead of being repaired and the accessories were then used with other trains.

Note: Pictures are note to scale. Engine is actually longer than the passenger cars.

The Set.

This is the set with a few extra items added.
The Station.

The station has a bell inside it and light. The station has punched out widows with nice sheetmetal frames in them. They look like they were designed to hold glass in the frames. There is no glass in the frames though. There is, however, plated sheetmetal in the frames. Note sheetmetal, unlike glass is NOT transparent. So why is there a bulb inside? I used to joke with my dad when he had only one station to look at that it must be because they were designed by a committe. One person wanted a lighted station, while another thought the shiney metal looked good so they compromised and did both! As an aside I hate committes and run when ever one
is suggested. We also surmised that it was because they were made inCommunist Russia and the guy who added the bulb to the station needed the job. Only one station came with the set. The station on the left should have light covers like the upper station on the streetlights.

These small holes are the only place light can come out of the station. Notice black lettering on one and red on other.

The Engine.

The engine is a big blue 12 wheeled diesel locomotive. It is diecast metal. Only the four inner wheels are powered. The loco can also be found in brown or green.

The Passenger Cars.

The set came with two of these green coaches. There is a variation of the lettering and the color changes to a brighter shade in the later trains.

The Boxcar.

Only one of these came in the set. There are probably variations in the lettering, but with only the one shown to look at I can’t make any statements. The door slides. All cars have die cast metal wheels with oversized flanges. And couplers similar to American Flyer Link and Pin style couplers.

The Flat Car.

One flatcar came in each set. This car comes in two shades of brown. Only one is shown. I don’t know if this car came with a load.

The Gateman and Flagman.

The Gateman is a copy of a Lionel 45 gateman introduced in 1935. When a train goes past the man comes out and waves at traffic. It does not have warning sign like Lionel’s version. The Flagman is a smaller copy of the Lionel 1045 Flagman introduced in 1938. Like the Gateman there is not a crossing sign.

Streetlights and Block Signals.

I don’t know how many of each came with a set. Two different bases were made over the years. The block signal also came with two different heads. The streetlight has a glass bowl over the bulb to give it the shape you see in the photo. The Transformer is rated at 75 watts and runs on 127 volts 50 cycle current. The output is 5 to 13 volts AC for the train and 13 volts for the accessories.This is a beautiful set of trains with an interesting history.

Lionel 3309 Turbo Missle Launcher 1963-64

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

Lionel 3309 Turbo Missile launching flatcar

The 3309 is an uncataloged car and doesn’t have a number on it. At least three variations were made. The one shown above is the most common. The car is also found on a darker red flatcar or a drab olive flatcar.

The 3309 turbo missile launching flatcar in red comes with or without the holder for the extra missile shown on the right side of the car above.

All versions of the 3309 flatcar are equally common except the drab olive which is quite rare.

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Lionel 2461 Flat with Transformer 1947-48

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Lionel 2461 transformer flatcar

Lionel intorduced the 2461 transformer flatcar in 1947. The gray base is diecast metal, and the transformer is plastic. The first cars were made with red transformers. Later production runs had black transformers. Red is harder to find and more desirable.

The insulators on top of the transformer are usually broken. On the car above the two on the right are broken off. Replacement insulators are available and are easy to install. Original insulators are translucent white plastic. Reproduction insulators are dense white plastic and are flat colored.

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Lionel 2460 Crane Car 1946-50

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Lionel 2460 Crane Car
The 2460 crane is Lionel’s most realistic crane. It replaced the 2660 and 2560 tin bodied cranes in the O gauge line.

The 2460 has diecast frame, six wheel trucks, and operates. The knob on the back of the cab raises and lowers the boom. The knob on the side raises and lowers the hook.

Lionel made 2 variations of the 2460 crane- black cab as shown above and gray cabs. Gray is worth more. The black cranes are still quite popular and are very common.

In 1951, Lionel replaced the six wheel trucks with regular four wheel trucks and renumbered the crane as the 6460.

Lionel 2458 Boxcar 1945-48

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Lionel 2458 boxcar

The 2458 boxcar is a carry over from the prewar 2758 boxcar. In fact in 1945, the 2458 number appeared only on the box. The car was still lettered as a 2758.

The earliest 2458 boxcars came with whirley wheels and flying shoe trucks. See Lionel 2452 Gondola for information on early postwar trucks.

There are no variations of this car. It’s all metal and a good looking car, so still has some desirability to operators.

Note: The ends of the 2758 and 2458 boxcar are diecast metal. This metal sometimes degrades. So when considering one for purchase make sure the ends are sound. These cars are common enough that there is no reason to buy one in poor condition.

Lionel 2452 Gondola 1945-47

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Lionel 2452 Gondola
The 2452 gondola was Lionel’s first plastic bodied train. The 2954 semi scale boxcar and the Madison cars introduced in 1940 were made of Bakalite. Bakalite is molded from granulated material.The material is compressed and heated to form the car.

The 2452 is made of a dense styrene plastic. Styrene is molded by forcing liquid material into a mold.

Anyway, the 2452 gondola comes in two basic versions. The O gauge 2452 has brakewheels and came with wooden barrels. The 0-27 gauge 2452X has no brakewheels, and didn’t come with barrels.

There are a lot of different versions of this car having to do with the mold - earliest bodies have three round holes in the floor, while later bodies have a large rectangular hole. The holes are for the electronic receiver used on the 4452 gondola.

There is also a lettering variation. The G27 is either small or large. Large is later. None of the variation mentioned above effect the value of the car.

There is another variation that does effect the value. The trucks. The 1945 cars come with flying shoe trucks. The pick up for the uncoupler is open. Later cars have a metal plate under the entire truck to provide support for the shoe.

2452 gondola with flying shoe trucks

Two versions of flying shoe trucks were made. The earliest versions have wheels with spirals on the backs - “Whirley wheels,” while later flying shoe trucks have plain backs. Plain backs are shown above.

Flying shoe trucks double the value of this car. A 2452 with whirley wheels can bring 4 times the value of a standard gondola.

Lionel 2411 Flatcar 1946-48

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Lionel 2411 flatcar

Lionel introduced the 2411 flat car in 1946 as the “Big Inch Pipe Car.” It came with 3 blackened steel pipes. These pipes are hard to find today and are worth more than the flatcar.

In 1947 and 1948 the 2411 came with wood logs. These are the same logs used on the 164 log loader.

The 2411 flatcar is very common. It’s all metal and looks great with any train. In 1949 the trucks were changed to the new magnetic type and the 2411 was renumber to the 6411.

Lionel 2359 Boston And Maine GP-9 Loco 1961-62

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Lionel 2359 B&M gp-9 switcher

Lionel made the 2359 Boston and Maine GP-9 in 1961 and 62. There are no variations of this loco.

As a side note, the difference between a GP-7 and a GP-9 is the addition of a dynamic brake to the top of the cab.

In 1965 the B&M switcher reappeared in the catalog as the 2346 loco. The 2346 Boston and Maine GP-9 was cataloged in 1965 and 66.

Both versions are equally available today and neither commands a premium.

Lionel 2338 Milwaukee GP-7 Loco 1955-56

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Lionel 2338 Milwaukee loco

Lionel introduced the 2339 Milwaukee geep in 1955. The first versions came with an orange cab. Later versions came with a black cab as shown above.

I think the orange cab versions come in boxes marked 2338X. The orange cab is worth considerably more than the black cab.

Lionel 2337, 2339 Wabash GP-7 Loco 1957-58

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Lionel 2337 wabash loco
Lionel made two versions of the Wabash geep.

The Lionel 2339 Wabash GP-7 was cataloged in 1957 only. It was an O gauge engine and was available in sets or by itself.

The 2337 GP-7 was made in 1958, and cataloged as an 0-27 loco. Most 0-27 locos only came in sets, and 0-27 sets came with track and transformer.

The two engines are identical except for the number on the hood. Neither version is harder to find, but the 2339 is slightly more desirable than the 2337.