Popular Lionel Model Trains Sets From 1946

Published: 05th July 2010
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Popular Lionel Model Train Sets From 1946



If you look at the history of model trains, you will likely say Lionel model trains are among the most popular. Since 1946, Lionel produced a wide range of outfits that are look-alike of those in their prewar catalogs. This included the 23 sets which Lionel offered at several prices starting with the least expensive outfit retail price of $24.95 to the deluxe price of $85.



The same year also marked the debut of many Lionel designs, like new motive powers O-Gauge 726 Berkshire, and the all-new 6-8-6 Pennsylvania Turbine. The first was produced by installing a 2-8-4 mechanism in a boiler based on a prewar 226E, while the latter was offered in O-Gauge outfits as catalog 671. Outfits in O27-Gauge were offered at a designation of 2020, while the lower end of the line was streamlined 2-6-4 with catalog number of 221.



Lionel also introduced new freight cars. Number 2411 big inch flatcar shared its die cast frame with 2419 and 2420 cabooses. Dump cars 3451 for logs and 3459 for coal also used die-cast frames. Crane 2460 riding on a pair of six-wheeled truck also used the same casting. These trucks have the same components with other six-wheeled trucks used on Bakelite-bodied 2625 passenger cars, and die-cast bodied 2426 Wtender used by the 726.



Included were 2454 boxcar, 2465 tank car, and 3454 operating merchandise cars in plastic bodies on steel frames. The 1945 Gondola-2452 adorned with brake wheels and barrels was expanded and joined by a second Gondola-2452X without any of the adornments. Most O27 sets that were reworked from prewar designs were branded as the low-end product line.



Lionel Model Trains produced more new products that were included in more expensive outfits. The success of 1945 Knuckle Couplers was followed by Lionel's spectacular new "smoke feature", and the ever more spectacular "electronic control" which were included in the better sets. Electronic control feature was only available in set 4109WS making it is less popular. All 1946 outfit boxes were simple corrugated cartons properly labeled to identify the set they contained.



Here are some of the most popular Lionel O27-Gauge Outfits from 1946:



1400W-Lionel O27 Passenger Set / Retail Price - $35.95



Included in the set is a 221 2-6-4 steam locomotive with operating headlight; 221W sheet-metal tender; two 2430 blue Pullman cars; 2431 blue observation; eight 1013 curved tracks, and three 1018 straight tracks; 1019 O27 remote control track section; 1041-60 watt transformer; and TC Lockon 926-5 instruction booklet.



This set was $5.95 more expensive version of the 1400 outfit with its 221T whistling tender replaced by 221W, and a transformer upgraded to 1401 60-watt unit. An excellently conditioned 1400W-Lionel O27 Passenger Set could be worth $650, and $1400 in its newest condition.



1407B-Lionel O27 Switcher Bell Outfit / Retail Price - $ 37.50



Included in the set is a 1665 0-4-0 steam switcher with operating headlight; 2403B slope-back tender with ringing bell; 2560 crane; 2419 work caboose; 2452X Gondola; eight 1013 curved and five 1018 straight tracks; 1019 O27 remote control track section; 1037 40-watt transformer; UTC Lockon; and 926-5 instruction booklet.



This train set was powered by a 1665 0-4-0 switcher, from the revamped prewar 1662 switcher. The locomotive was installed with new postwar trucks on the tender, with new knuckle couplers mounted on the rear of the tender and pilot.

An injection-molded plastic cab and two injection-molded plastic toolboxes mounted into the die-casted body created a 2411 flatcar crating the 2419 work caboose, with a die-cast smoke jack installed on the caboose cab.



Another prewar line carried over was the sheet metal 2560 crane car in its original yellow-colored cab with red roof. Lionel name was molded in all of these 1946-produced cranes. The price of an excellent condition of this outfit is about $900, and like a new condition could be worth $1500.



1421WS-Lionel O27 Freight Train / Retail Price - $85.00



Included in the set was 2020 6-8-6 steam turbine with operating headlight and smoke; 2020W early coal whistle tender; 3451 operating log car; 3454 merchandise car; 2465 Sunoco double-dome tank car; 2472 non-illuminated Pennsylvania N5 caboose; 164 operating log roader; ten 1013 curved tracks and five 1018 straight tracks; 1121 pair remote control turnouts; 1019 O27 remote control track section; 1041 60-watt transformer; UTC Lockon; and 926-5 instruction booklet.



Set at the same price, 1419W provided a coal empire, while 1421W offered lumber empire. A die-cast 3451 log dump car was used with 164 log roader to trail the 2020 steam turbine. Five unstained logs were carried by the 1964 log car rubber-stamped in silver. To be able to incorporate 164 in the track layout, a pair of 1121 remote-control turnouts was included along with blue wire that was wired on the pick up shoes.



For an added attention, a silver 3454 operating merchandise car finished with a red non-illuminated 2472 caboose was added to the train. Like the 1419WS, there are other samples of this train set that have been found with a 75-watt 1042 transformer, than the common 60-watt 1041. For this train's excellent and like new condition, could both have the price of about $1500.



For Lionel's most popular O-Gauge outfits from 1946, here are some:



2110WS-Lionel Three-Car Passenger / Retail Price - $ 75.00



Included in the set was 671 6-8-6 steam turbine locomotive with operating headlight and smoke; three 2625 heavyweight Pullmans; 2466W early coal whistle tender; eight OC curved tracks and five OS straight tracks. RCS uncoupling/operating system; 167 whistle controller; UTC Lockon: and 926-5 instruction booklet.



Lionel revived the prewar Bakelite "Irvington" passenger car, for a more premium O-gauge passenger set. This car bears a postwar incarnation in all newly designed six-wheel trucks with knuckle couplers. Derivatives of these same trucks were used on the 2460 crane and 2426W tender. In contrast to the prewar medium brown color pattern, the car bodies were painted maroon or reddish brown. To tow this passenger train, Lionel used the 671, or the replica of the Pennsylvania 20-wheel steam turbine. This set excellent condition is worth $1750, while a like new condition can be worth as expensive as $2975.



2113WS - Lionel O-Gauge Three Freight Outfit / Retail Price - $67.50



This includes 726 2-8-4 Berkshire steam locomotive with operating headlight and smoke; 2426W die-cast whistle tender; 2855 black Sunoco single-dome tank car; 3854 operating merchandise car; eight OC operating merchandise car; 2457 illuminated caboose; eight OC curved track, and seven OS straight track; RCS uncoupling/operating section; 167 whistle controller; UTC Lockon; and 926-5 instruction booklet.



The 2-8-4 locomotive is among Lionel's top-most O-gauge sets into the 1960's with its new 2-8-4 Berkshire steam locomotive premiering in the 2113WS outfit. On top of this trend, many people still considered the 1946 model as unique and one of a kind with its light bulb-based smoke unit, horizontally mounted motor and reversing E-unit, and handrails mounted on turned stanchions. The earliest versions of the 726 were equipped with "large stack" motor. When the number of field laminations was reduced in the later times, collectors have referred it as the "short stack" motor.



The 1946 locomotive came in unique corrugated component boxes. The carton was sealed in the prewar-style orange and blue sealing tape with the manufacturer's seal "GAIR BOGOTA CORR. & FIBRE BOX CORP." marked on the carton. Both ends of the box were stamped with the letterings, "No. 726". The cars were also uniquely catalogued. The common silver 2755 tank car was actually the scarce black 1855. The prewar semi-scale box car tooling, which was one of the most difficult to find items from the postwar era, was revised with an additional detail of a roof hatch and internal mechanism to create a 3854 operating merchandise car. You will find an excellent condition of this outfit worth approximately $2000. For a like new condition, you will find this set at a price of $3200.



2114WS - Lionel O-Gauge Three-Car Passenger Outfit / Retail - $77.50



Included: 726 2-8-4 Berkshire steam locomotive with operating headlight and smoke; 2426W whistle tender; three 2625 heavyweight Pullmans; eight OC curved track, and five OS straight track; RCS uncoupling/operating section; 167 controller; UTC Lockon; 926-5 instruction booklet.



This was the most expensive passenger outfit offered in 1946. The three Bakelite 2625 Irvington passenger cars presented the 726 with a formidable load, like the locomotives equipped with the "short stack" motor. The originally white-lettered die-cast tenders later were stamped with silver, and equipped with die-cast whistle housings. This outfit is worth $2500 in excellent condition and $4000 in like new condition.










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