Prewar 0 Gauge

Lionel 4 Wheel 600 Pullman O Gauge 1915-25

Lionel 600 passenger set in orange

Lionel introduced the O gauge line in 1915 with 3 different sizes of passenger cars. The little 4 wheeled 600 Pullman cars were the smallest O gauge car. In fact this is the smallest O gauge passenger car ever made by Lionel.

The first year the 600 was made in dark green with a gold stripe under the windows and in dark olive green. In 1916 the gold stripe was dropped.

In late 1917 or early 1918 Lionel produced brown cars that were sold in sets with matching short bodied 150 locos.

Later in 1918 Lionel changed the color of the car to maroon. Maroon is the most common color of the 600 Pullman car as it was made until 1925.

The orange cars shown on this page were probably made in 1921. They are extremely rare.

Some of the dark green cars without gold stripes may also be specials from the 1920s, but they don’t look any different from the cars produced earlier so are largely ignored by collectors. A dark green 600 Pullman with a corporation stamp on the bottom is probably a later special rather than a regular production item.

The pullman was almost always lettered New York Central Lines over the windows and pullman under the windows in gold. The number 600 is usually on the car end to the right of the door, but some cars have the number on the bottom. Earlier cars have “The Lionel Lines NY USA” stamped on the end, later cars have a Lionel Corporation stamp on the bottom.

Dark olive geen cars came in 1915 only sets with gold ventilator 700 locos.

The dark green 600 Pullman came is sets with the 700 and long 150 locos in dark green. Corporation dark green cars without gold stripes may have come with matching short 150 locos or 158 locos. Maroon and brown cars came with matching 150 or black 158 locos. The orange cars came with the maroon 150 loco shown in the photo above.

close up of orange 600 pullmans

Lionel reused the number 600 for a Pullman car in the 1930s.

Prewar 0 Gauge

Lionel 820 Boxcar O Gauge 1915-26

Lionel Brown roof 820 box car from 1915

The 820 Box car was introduced by Lionel in 1915. The first runs of cars were yellow-orange with brown roof as shown above. Few of these brown roof cars were made, and they are very rare. Some guides say the roofs were produced in brown and maroon, but I’ve never seen a maroon one.

The brown roof 820 is much rarer than the brown roof 4 wheeled 800 boxcar.

After a few brown roof cars were produced, Lionel changed the roof color to match the body.

Cars were produced from 1916-26 in yellow-orange and in a darker shade of orange. Both shades of orange cars had Illinois Central or Union Pacific road names. There are quite a few variations of the lettering on the orange cars.

Sometime in 1916 or 17 Lionel made a run of dark green 820 box cars lettered for Santa Fe. My dates are based on a photograph of trains running under a Christmas tree that shows two dark green cars that is
dated December 1917 on the back.

The dark green car is worth more than the brown roof car, because it’s more widely known. The all orange cars are quite common and relatively cheap.

Any box for these cars is harder to find than the car itself, and if in nice shape with all flaps, will bring more than the car.

I’ll add pictures of the other colors of The Lionel 820 boxcar in the future.

Note: The number 820 was also used on a floodlight car made by Lionel in the 1930s.

Prewar 0 Gauge

Lionel Mickey Mouse Circus Train 1935

Lionel Mickey Mouse Circus Set

This is a really desirable Lionel prewar windup train set from 1935 only. It’s O gauge.

The set is pulled by a 1508 loco with Mickey Mouse stoker tender. Here’s a closer shot of the loco and tender.

Lionel Mickey Mouse Barker

Also shown in the photo above is the composition Mickey Barker. Made of compressed sawdust the figure is very fragile and few survived.

The cars are a 1518 Diner, a 1536 Band Car, and a 1536 Animal car. While the cars share the same body, the litho is different.

When sold the set came with a cardboard tent and tickets. These are seldom seen today, but reproductions have been made.

Pride Lines made copies of this set using an electric motor rather than a windup.

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

Lionel 3356 Operating Horse Car And Corral 1956-66

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 both the car and corral is quite common.

Postwar 0 Gauge

Lionel 3309 Turbo Missle Launcher 1963-64

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.

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.

Postwar 0 Gauge

Lionel 310 Billboard Set 1950-68

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.

Postwar 0 Gauge

Lionel 264 Operating Fork Lift Set 1957-60

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.

Postwar 0 Gauge

Lionel 163 Target Signal 1961-69

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.