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.