The 256 was introduced as the top of the line O gauge engine in 1924, and cataloged through 1930. This engine featured two motors, Lionel called this the twin motored locomotive. The 256 is 11 1/2 inches long- not including couplers.
Early 256 with strap headlight, non operating pantographs and rubberstamped lettering
Later 256 with cast headlight, operating pantographs and brass plate lettering.
Early versions had stamped headlights with working on/ off switches, Non operating standard gauge pantographs, and rubber stamped lettering. Later versions had cast headlights, standard gauge operating pantographs, and brass plate lettering.
There are variations of both types of lettering. The rubber stamped engines come with or without a border, and with stamped or cast lights.. The brass plate engines come with or without a black border on the plate.
Sets: The 256 came in sets with the 710/ 712 passenger cars from1924 through 1929. In 1930 it was cataloged for separate sale only.
Rarity: The rubber stamped version with the border is the hardest to find. The rubber stamped version without the border is easiest to find. All 256 locomotives are highly sought after by collectors.