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Post-War Lionel Gallery
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Author:  winced36 [ Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Post-War Lionel Gallery

This Lionel 221 belonged to my father, one of two electric trains I got from his collection (the other is a Consoli Zephyr set, which technically belongs to my daughter):
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A child of the Depression, he had a huge soft spot for the Streamliners. His childhood train was a Hoge 900, a chrome-plated wannabe Streamliner made during the 1930s.

The 221 was Lionel's postwar "model" of the Dreyfus Hudson, the famous New York Central locomotive which saw service with the 20th Century Limited and other high-end passenger trains of the NYC. I can remember the day he bought it at a Greenberg show down in Timonium, Maryland. A poor refurbishment, it sat in his project pile for a very long time. It was missing its eccentric rods, a headlight lens, and a few other parts which we eventually tracked down and replaced, and it had no tender. Someone had given it a respray of satin-black paint and painted the nickel-rimmed drivers similarly with black paint. I found him a 221-W tender that was in really rough shape, missing its whistle, which I stripped, repainted, and re-lettered with a set of transfers. He was pretty happy with it, but said the paint job on the tender made the loco look even worse.

Lionel made a couple of versions of the 221, one in gunmetal/gray and one in black. The gray one looks a bit more prototypical, if that matters. It must have been something seeing one of these things hurtling past with a long drag of steel coaches, running up the eastern shore of the Hudson River to Albany, then west to Chicago.

It's been sitting up on the shelf now for some 20 years. It really needs to be cleaned up and returned to its former glory. At some point, the awful dry-transfer cab numbers need to be removed and replaced with transfers replicating the silver ink version it originally sported, and the rims of the drivers need to be stripped and polished. I'll have to bump it up in the project list.

Paul

Author:  javinda [ Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Post-War Lionel Gallery

How fortunate you are to have this...I have always been fascinated with the lines of this train.

Author:  winced36 [ Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Post-War Lionel Gallery

Yes, it brings back a few memories. My father's collection was quite modest by most standards. He was truly an operator, not a collector, so everything he had he ran. I know he had planned to acquire a set of postwar sheet-metal passenger cars for the 221, just never got around to it.

I really miss the train meets. Other than York (which tentatively won't be held again until April 2021), there are precious few local meets anymore. Those are an opportunity to not only add to the collection, but a place to meet and chat with old friends. I think that's the worst part of their disappearance.

Author:  winced36 [ Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Post-War Lionel Gallery

The April 2021 TCA meet in York has been cancelled. Pennsylvania, for good reason, has not lifted the rules on large gatherings. I'm not sure the Eastern Division of TCA, the meet sponsor and organizer, would have held it even if the restrictions had been lifted. I'm good with the decision; it gives me more time to sort through all of the stuff I've acquired over the years that now sit in various project piles.

Hopeful for an October gathering.

Author:  winced36 [ Sat Feb 06, 2021 8:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Post-War Lionel Gallery

Just my opinion, but one shared with a few others, the Lionel 3472 "automatic" milk car is the best operating accessory of the postwar era. It works well, is relatively easy to operate and maintain, and the kids just love it. Nothing like watching the little dude inside chucking milk cans onto the platform (and occasionally across the layout, lol).
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This one is in as-found condition. It works well, but is rather dirty. Being an early painted version (I believe the later versions were unpainted white plastic), one needs to be a bit careful with cleaning. You need to use a very mild soap to bathe it without removing paint or markings, and you need to be really careful not to get water/soap in the mechanism. It's probably best to remove the shell for cleaning, something I just haven't gotten around to.

You need the platform and a section of of the five-rail remote control track (UCS) for O-gauge operation.

Lionel made additional versions of the 3472, and did a bottoms-up redesign during the MPC era (I think), but my understanding is that this earliest version is one of the best and most reliable in operation. Hats off to the Lionel product engineering staff.

Paul II

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