Prewar 0 Gauge Prewar Standard gauge

Lionel 5A Test Set 1938 Only

Lionel 5A test stand

Lionel made a series of test stands for service station use. The one shown here is 5A for 1938 only. In 1939 Lionel changed it a bit and renumbered it the 5B. In the postwar period they made 5C, 5D, 5E, and 5F with different capabilities.

The 5A and 5B test stands tested Standard gauge, O gauge, and OO gauge trains in addition to every type of accessory and transformer Lionel made.

Close ups of the knobs and switches are shown below:

Lionel 5A test stand

Lionel 5A test stand

Top view showing T-rail track. I think the end bumpers on this are not correct?

Lionel 5A test stand T-rail track

When you connect an automatic station or semaphore to these terminals:

Lionel 5A tester station terminals

This motor inside the unit simulates a train entering and leaving the block:

Lionel 5A tester Inside view

Here’s an end view:

Lionel 5A tester end View

The Lionel 5A tester is 24 inches long, 7 inches wide at the base, and 7 inches tall to the track platform.

The Lionel 5A test stand came with instructions so the service station operator knew how to connect the accessories, and run the diagnostic tests. The instructions with this testor are mimeographed sheets because there weren’t enough copies needed to warrant the cost of offset printing. The instructions are held in a common file folder with bent over clips.

Here’s a photo of the cover page of the instructions:

Lionel 5A test stand instructions

The instructions also include a diagram of the tester itself so it can be repaired if needed. Here’s a photo:

Lionel 5A test stand diagram

There is a page on the Toy Train Revue website that shows photos of all of Lionel’s test Stands along with some other service station tools. Here’s a link.

Postwar 0 Gauge Prewar 0 Gauge

Lionel 314 Girder Bridge 1940-42 and 1945-50

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.

Prewar 0 Gauge Prewar Standard gauge

Lionel 208 Toolbox With Tools 1934-42

Lionel 208 toolbox with tools

Lionel made the 208 toolbox with tools from 1934 to 1942. It came in sets with the 400E work train, and was available separately. The 812, and 2812 O gauge gondolas came with the tools but without the box when the gondola was part of a work train.

Work trains were a steam engine, tender, crane, gondola, searchlight car, and caboose. Standard gauge work trains were always pulled by the 400E and had 200 series freights. O gauge work trains were pulled by the 260E, the 263E, the 226E, and the 763E.

The tools are nickel plated cast iron, and each measures about 4 inches long. The metal tool boxes come in aluminum as shown above and gray. I’ll add a picture of a gray toolbox in the future.

Prewar 0 Gauge

Lionel 700K Scale Hudson Kit 1939-42

Lionel 700K Kit Hudson Assembled In Primer Grey

In 1937 Lionel introduced the famous 700E Hudson locomotive. This was a scale 1:48 model of the New York Central steam locomotive. The assembled 700E came with a walnut display stand and was the first commercially produced die cast O scale locomotive made.

The 700E Hudson was very popular with the newly emerging O scale operators. By the mid 1930s a movement towards scale or realistic locomotives had grown up in the US and many operators built kits. Factory
assembled scale locomotives and cars weren’t available. So the Lionel Hudson was a first.

In 1939 to accommodate O scalers who wanted to build their own locomotive Lionel began offering the 700E in kit form. 5 kits built the locomotive and tender, and a sixth kit contained a whistle for the tender.

The kits could be built for inside or outside third rail.

To make it easier for modelers on a budget, Lionel sold the kits separately. Some modelers built the locomotive and never painted it black so there are a few original gray 700K locos out there. (The one shown at the top of this page is an original kit locomotive assembled and unpainted.)

I always wanted to build a 700K so since I had acquired most of the parts I decided to build my own Hudson kit.

The first kit 700K-1 came with the frame with wheels mounted, the crossheads and valve gear need to be mounted.

I lost the picture of the frame before adding parts, but you can see it under the trimmed boiler shown in the third kit.

This portion was a mess. Because I was using parts from junk Hudsons I used the best of each part I had and bought the missing parts. The frame I used came from a 763E so this loco has blind center drivers.

I had Don Hagar replace one of the wheels and straighten the frame. The wheel Don replaced broke in the mail on the way back so the frame had to make a return trip. Don didn’t charge me for the shipping or the work required to replace the wheel.

This whole process of getting the frame ready to mount the valve gear took 2 months acquiring the parts and dealing with the broken wheels.

Then I sat down to start putting the parts in kit 1 on, and the cranks and crankshafts on the parts engines were either modified or broken. I ordered replacements from Sal Olsen.

Sal sent me the wrong rivets to attach the cranks to the crankshafts, and one of the cranks was defective. Another month as the parts went back and forth.

Everything sat in boxes for months waiting for the parts. Some of the time was occupied by other pursuits, but it was quite frustrating to sit down and start working only to realize something was missing or broken.

If I wasn’t already bald I would have been pulling out my hair.

Anyway I finally got kit 1 put together. Here’s both sides after the assembly of kit 1:

700K-1 frame assembled

700K frame with valve gear

The second kit 700K-2 included the motor, e unit, collectors – inside and outside, the headlight and a lead weight.

The second kit went together in minutes. I test ran the loco to make sure everything was correct only to find a short in the e-unit. I don’t have an e-unit to cannibalize for parts so I decided to temporarily wire the engine without the e-unit so it only runs forward.

Here’s photos of both sides after the parts in kit 2 have been added to the frame:

700K frame with motor

700K-3 assembled

The third kit contained the boiler and cab assembly and all the trim. Below is a photo of a Hudsonboiler without the trim installed.

700K boiler unpainted

I added the trim to the boiler while I was waiting for the frame parts. Here’s both sides of the boiler after mounting trim. I set the boiler on the frame before the parts in kits 1 and 2 were added to the frame for these pictures.

700K boiler primer gray with trim

700K boiler primer gray with trim

The next step is mounting the boiler to the frame. Another short showed in a wire coming off a brush at this point. The original wire is cloth covered and it was pinched between the cab and the frame. I’ll
rewire it when I put the new e-unit in.

Here’s pictures of the trimmed cab mounted on the frame with valve gear from step 2:

700K boiler mounted on frame

700K boiler mounted on frame

Kit 700K-4 contained the ash pan, ladders, coupler and pilot, boiler front, lead and trailing trucks and some small bits of valve gear that attach to the boiler.

These parts were easy to mount. Because I used a 763E frame, I don’t have the holes to mount the coupler chain assembly. When I pull it apart to mount the e-unit I’ll drill the holes and mount the coupler chain. The boiler front also needs the lower grab irons.

I did get the rest of the loco assembled, and here’s pictures of each side:

700K finished model

700K finished model before painting

Now I am supposed to take the whole thing apart and paint it black. Not going to happen. I do have the decals and will letter it in the future.

Kit 700K-5 contains the tender, and kit 700K-6 contained the whistle. I have a tender in my box of parts, but I don’t want to repaint a nice looking tender so this loco won’t have a matching tender until I find a restorable 700T tender. Got one?

Postwar 0 Gauge Prewar 0 Gauge Prewar Standard gauge

Lionel 115 Station 1935-42 And 1946-49

Lionel 115 stop station

Lionel added a stop mechanism to the popular 112 station in 1935 and called it the 115 stop station.

The station can be found with two different shades of red. Either lighter red as seen here, or a slightly darker shade of red that was produced only in 1935.

This station is the same as the Lionel 117, but has added lights beside the doors.

The station was also made in the postwar period. It’s the largest Lionel station made after the war.

Clean examples like the one shown above will bring a large premium.

Reproductions of this station have been made.

Prewar 0 Gauge

Lionel 48W Station With Whistle 1937-42

Lionel 48W whistle station

Lionel put a whistle into the little lithographed sheet metal station in 1937 and numbered it the 48W.

The station was originally sold in green litho with a transformer in it with the Winner line.

Lionel 48W whistle station

The 48W allowed kids with trains that didn’t have whistles to add whistles to their layouts. This was a cheaper option than buying an extra tender with a whistle.

The box for this station is rarer than the item itself. The box is just flimsy cardboard and didn’t survive.

Prewar 0 Gauge

Japanese Copy Of Lionel 114 Station

Lionel 116 Station

I saw a building similar to this about 15 years ago. I’ve been looking for one since then. This is a small Japanese – it’s marked “Made In Japan” on the bottom – Christmas building. Probably from the 1930s.

It’s made of plaster of paris.

The one I saw years ago was about half the size of this one. This one is much more detailed. It has added window frames, doors, and clock.

Lionel 114 Station Side View

It’s painted in the early Lionel colors meaning it was copied from a station Lionel made before 1935. In 1935 Lionel changed the color of the station to red and white and added train control to make the 116 station.

It has a small hole in the back so you can stick a Christmas tree light into it.

Lionel 114 Station Side View

I’d like to get the smaller one.

There are all kinds of Japanese made Christmas buildings around. Some are paper or cardboard, some are composition, and some are plaster. These are commonly called Putz buildings.

Prewar 0 Gauge

Lionel 2814R Reefer Car 1938-42

Lionel 2814 reefer car

Lionel added remote control couplers to the 814R reefer in 1938 to create the 2814R refrigerator car.

Two versions were made; both are shown on this page. The earlier white with blue roof is more common than the later rubber stamped car.

Lionel 2814R reefer car

White with Blue Roof and Nickel plates 1938-40

Lionel 2814R reefer car

2814R Flat white with tuscan roof and rubberstamped lettering.

Prewar 0 Gauge

Lionel 814R Refrigerator Car 1929-42

Lionel 814 reefer car

Lionel introduced the 814R refrigerator car in 1929 in the ivory and peacock color scheme. Because this car was not made in 1926 no short wheel base cars exist.

In 1934 the color was changed to white with a light blue roof. The white and blue cars were made until 1940, when the flat white and tuscan cars replaced them. The first run of flat white cars had nickel plates- not shown, but I’ll add a picture as soon as I can buy or borrow one. The rest of the flat white/tuscan cars had rubberstamped lettering.

The flat white/tuscan 814R with nickel plates or with rubberstamped lettering is the hardest reefer to find. Both version of the flat white car are among the hardest Lionel 800 series cars. Personally, I think the one with nickel plates is harder because I have a rubber stamped one.

The other refrigerator cars are common with the exception of the cars from 1934 and 1935 with mixed trim.

While many collectors get excited about the aluminum frame cars, they are no more difficult to find than the earlier black frame cars.

Lionel 814R Ivory sides, peacock roof, black frame. Brass trim.

814R White, light blue, aluminum. Brass trim. 1935 notch car.

814R White, light blue, aluminum.

814R Flat white, tuscan, black. Rubberstamped lettering.

Lionel added remote control couplers to the reefer in 1938 and sold the resulting car as the 2814R

Prewar 0 Gauge

Lionel 2813 Stock Car 1938-42

In 1938, Lionel added remote control couplers to the 813 stock car and introduced the 2813. The 2813 was made from 1938 through 1940, and came in cream and maroon only. The 2813 is not shown above but it looks the same as cream and maroon 813