prewar 00 scale

Lionel’s 00 Scale Cabooses

0017, 0027, 0047, 0047K and 0077

Lionel 00 cabooses were offered in both scale (0017 and 0047) and semi-scale versions (0027 and 0077). The 0017 and 0027 had three rail trucks while the 0047 and 0077 featured two rail trucks. The 0047K was a kit version of the two rail tank car.

Two rail cars would run on either two or three rail track, but three rail cars would cause shorts on two rail track.

The semi-scale versions did not have a smoke stack. The earliest versions of the 0017 caboose had maroon painted roof walks and PRR lettering. Later versions had NYC lettering and all red roofs. The other numbers of the caboose are found only with NYC lettering.

Lionel 0017 PRR caboose

Lionel 0017 PRR caboose with maroon painted roof walks.

Lionel 0027 NYC caboose

Lionel 0027 caboose with decal on left.

Lionel 0027 NYC caboose

Lionel 0027 caboose with decal on right- note position of brake wheel and tool box. This may be a factory error.

Lionel 0047 NYC caboose

Lionel 0047 caboose. This is a scale version with a smokestack. Many cabooses are found today missing the stamped sheet metal top of the stack.

Lionel 0077 NYC caboose

Lionel 0077 caboose.

Introduction to Lionel 00 Trains

prewar 00 scale

Lionel’s 00 Scale Tank Cars

0015, 0025, 0045, 0045K and 0075

Lionel 00 tank cars were offered in both scale (0015 and 0045) and semi-scale versions (0025 and 0075). The 0015 and 0025 had three rail trucks while the 0045 and 0075 featured two rail trucks. The 0045K was a kit version of the two rail tank car.

Two rail cars would run on either two or three rail track, but three rail cars would cause shorts on two rail track.

The cars were offered in black with Shell decals and silver with Sunoco decals. The semi-scale versions did not have the tank underneath the frame. The black cars have catalog numbers rubber stamped on the bottom of the frame. The silver cars either have the catalog number on the decal or the number 2699 on the decal with the number on the frame. There are more variations of the tank car than any other Lionel 00 car.

Lionel 0015 shell tank car

Lionel black 0015 Shell tanker

Lionel 0015 Sunoco tank car

Lionel Silver 0015 Sunoco tanker with number on decal.

Lionel 0025 shell tank car

Lionel 0025 black Shell tank Car. Note the lack of a brake cylinder.

Lionel 0075 shell tank car

Lionel 0075 Shell tank car with 2699 on decal. All later versions of the silver tank have this decal.

Introduction to Lionel 00 Trains

prewar 00 scale

Lionel’s oo Scale Boxcars

0014, 0024, 0044, 0044K and 0074

Lionel made four different numbers of boxcars. The 0014 and 0024 came with three rail trucks and the 0044 and 0077 featured two rail trucks. The lower numbers (0014 and 0044) are scale models, while the higher numbers (0024 and 0074) are semi-scale models lacking some detail. The 0044K was also offered in kit form. Two rail cars Two rail cars will run on three rail track, but three rail cars will cause shorting on two rail track.

Here are pictures of the different variations:

lionel 0014 boxcar

The earliest version is painted cream with maroon cat walk and multi-colored decals. Only found in 1938 sets as an 0014.

lionel 00 boxcar

Second color is tuscan with black painted ladders. Found in ALL numbers 0014, 0024, 0044, and 0074. A picture of an 0044 in this version is shown below. Made from 1939 to 1941?

lionel 0024 boxcar

Last version has unpainted ladders. found in all numbers? Although this looks like a different color than the car above most collectors consider this a normal variation in paint. The O gauge 2954 Semi scale boxcar is also found in these different shades of tuscan.

lionel 0074 boxcar

This 0074 is a cream painted 0014 factory repainted and decaled as a 0074. You can see the cream paint under the tuscan paint. These can be found in the all numbers?

Most of these cars were sold in small rectangular orange and blue Lionel boxes. The kit version of the 0044K and the separate sale 0044 boxcar came in display boxes.

Here’s a picture of an 0044 in the display box.

lionel oo44 boxcar in display box

Introduction to Lionel 00 Trains

prewar 00 scale

Lionel 00 Locomotives

001E, 002E, 003E and 004E

Lionel 00 Hudson Locomotive

Lionel only made one type of locomotive. A model of the New York Central Hudson steam engine. All Lionel models had the same 5342 number on the cab.

The model numbers were numbers are usually rubber stamped on the inside of the cab roof. The 001 locomotive can be found with the catalog number stamped into the metal ashpan under the cab (1938-39) and no number rubber stamped in the cab or with a blank ash pan and the number in the cab (1939-42). The other locomotives come with blank ash pans and the number in the cab.

001E and 002E were three rail locomotives while the 003E and 004E are two rail locomotives. All locos can be found with or without whistle tenders. All engines have three position reverse units and run on AC current.

The 001E and 003E were super detailed locomotives with added parts. The 002E and 004E were semi-scale locomotives with less trim. An 002E with tender is shown above.

Here are some close up pictures showing some variations:

Lionel 001 Super-detailed Locomotive

Lionel 002 Semi-scale Hudson

Comparison of super-detailed (top) and semi scale locomotives.

Lionel Hudson Locomotives

Comparison of super-detailed (left) and semi scale boiler fronts. Notice the added coupler and number board on the super detailed loco.

Lionel 00 Hudson Locomotives

Comparison of super-detailed (top) and semi scale locomotives. Notice the added detail on the top locomotive.

Lionel 003 steam engine

All locos can be found with large or small catalog numbers.

Lionel 00 Hudson Tenders

Super detailed tender (top) has added handrails and underframe details. Two rail 003W on top has whistle and ground plug. 002T on bottom is for three rail and lacks ground wire.

Lionel 00 Hudson Tenders

Top view of tenders. 003W on left, 002T on right.

Introduction to Lionel 00 Trains

prewar 00 scale

Lionel OO Trains

In 1938 Lionel introduced it’s OO (pronounced double 0) trains. These trains were made to a scale of 1:76. A little bit larger than the current HO trains. Why Lionel made OO instead of HO is unknown. HO was already established and had a good following. American Flyer and other companies made HO kits and ready to run train sets. There were other OO makers like Scalecraft and Varney, but OO was an orphan gauge. Maybe Lionel felt they could influence the marketplace.

Maybe Lionel’s marketing team felt they could repeat the Standard gauge marketing coup of 1906. In 1906 Lionel introduced Standard gauge trains running on 2 1/8 inch gauge track. It was anything but standard. No other manufacturer made trains on 2 1/8 inch track. Within 15 years all manufacturers of electric trains were also making standard gauge trains.

If Lionel was trying to influence the market, they failed. Lionel stopped making trains in 1942 due to the war, and never resumed OO production. Only a small handful of manufacturers made OO trains. Another reason Lionel may have made 00 trains rather than the smaller HO is there is more room inside for motors and reverse units. The European HO/00 trains are 00 scale and run on HO track.

Whatever the reason for choosing OO rather than HO, Lionel’s offerings were short lived. Made only between 1938 and 1942, these trains featured die cast construction.

Lionel 00 trains were high quality. Offered in two rail and three rail versions. The items were also offered in scale and semi-scale versions. The semi-scale versions had less detail and were a bit cheaper. The hopper was never offered in a semi-scale version.

In 1938. Lionel began offering 00 trains. Starting with a smaller version of the 700E full scale NYC Hudson loco called the 001E. Only four freight cars were made in this smaller gauge. The four cars were a boxcar, tank car, hopper car and caboose.

Lionel 00 Locomotives 001E, 002E, 003E and 004E

Lionel’s 00 Scale Boxcars 0014, 0024, 0044, 0044K and 0074

Lionel’s 00 Scale Tank Cars 0015, 0025, 0045, 0045K and 0075

Lionel’s 00 Scale Hoppers 0016, 0046, and 0046K

Lionel’s 00 Scale Cabooses 0017, 0027, 0047, 0047K and 0077

Postwar 0 Gauge

Lionel Promotional Matches

Here’s something interesting, a book of matches from about 1960. The Earnest Machine Products Company offers a free set of trains for the purchase of White Diamond plow bolts. Buy 2000 1/8 inch diameter bolts or 1000 larger size bolts, or any similar sized order and the Earnest will give you a set of Lionel Trains.

Note the Lionel train set on the matches themselves and the handy advice not to mail the matches. The artwork for the train set does not show a tender. I think this means Lionel did not create the artwork for this promotion. It looks like a cheap starter set.

Lionel Train set Matches

Lionel Matches

Lionel Promotional Matches

Postwar 0 Gauge

Lionel Employee Pins

Lionel gave employees gifts to recognize service. Below are shown a five year and a ten year employee pin. Employee service pins are very rare. These pins featured a steam engine and inserted cloisonné lettering.

Lionel Employee 5 Year Pin

Lionel Five year pin.

Lionel Employee 10 Year Pin

Lionel ten year pin.

Postwar 0 Gauge

Lionel Nabisco Shredded Wheat Premiums

In the late 1950s these interesting cardboard displays were included in boxes of Nabisco’s Shredded Wheat cereal. Young boys must have badgered their mothers for cereal so they could add to their collections.

Different scenes were made featuring various Lionel Locomotives. Here are three of them.

Lionel nabisco premium
Lionel 2338 Milwaukee Road GP Diesel Locomotive

Lionel nabisco premium
Lionel 2350 New Haven EP-5 Electric Locomotive

Lionel nabisco premium
Lionel 520 Box Cab Electric

Postwar 0 Gauge

Lionel Postwar Trains

Lionel Postwar Trains

The Lionel trains made between 1945 and 1969 are called Postwar trains. This terminology defines Lionel production very well. Trains were not made during the war, and Lionel changed hands in 1970. Trains made between 1945 and 1969 are called postwar trains.

Lionel took advantage of the production gap to introduce their new operating knuckle couplers. All Lionel postwar trains except the short lived Lionel Scout series had the famous cast knuckle couplers. Lionel had begun moving towards more realistic model trains in the late 1930s. In the postwar period Lionel continued the trend to realistic models.

The biggest postwar innovation was the introduction of smoke in 1946. Within a few years all Lionel locomotives except the cheapest starter sets had smoke. Lionel postwar accessories featured men who did things. Opened car doors, threw out milk cans and mail bags, unloaded and loaded barrels, loaded ice and many other interesting activities.

Lionel’s postwar offerings were model trains you could play with.

Postwar 0 Gauge

The Russian O Gauge Train Set.

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: The pictures are not 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! My dad suggested it was because they were made in Communist 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 boxcar 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.