For countless middle-aged American men, a bit of the essence of Christmas can be traced to a nondescript industrial park just outside this working-class city a short drive from Detroit. It is where Lionel electric trains come from. Building toward the Christmas season, hundreds of workers at Lionel Train Co. A bona fide American icon created 90 years ago by a New York tinkerer named Joshua Lionel Cowen, Lionel has become as much an idea as a product. But the company that makes the trains has a history as convoluted as that of the full-sized railroad industry. Lionel has ricocheted from factory to factory and owner to owner like a runaway train, enduring labor strife, corporate indifference and quality snafus that might have doomed other enterprises. Most recently, it was rescued in by Detroit millionaire Richard Kughn from a near-dormant plant in Tijuana, where General Mills had shipped production two years earlier. Bungled from the start, the move to Tijuana nearly did Lionel in. By the time Kughn came along, dealers say, only 50 of every trains shipped from the new plant were usable.
Getting on the Right Track : After Years of Decline, Lionel Train Is Making a Comeback
The Ellwood City, Pa. As he got older, Scopellite would advertise in local newspapers about train models he was seeking and attended auctions to build his collection. Scopellite may add more from the collection of the late Ronald Rapp, whose collection of Lionel model trains is currently being auctioned online.
Basinger is handling the auction, for which bidding ends at p. Paul Basinger, owner of Basinger Auction Service. Featured items include a Norfolk and Western model with a stripe running from the nose to the tender of the train, and a LGB Wilson Bros.
Lionel Corporation was an American toy manufacturer and holding company of retailers that has been in business for over years. It was founded as an electrical novelties company, Lionel specialized in various products throughout its existence. Toy trains and model railroads were its main claim to fame. Its model trains are still in production as a separate company. Grant in New York City. Initially, the company specialized in electrical novelties, such as fans and lighting devices.
It was historically thought that Lionel’s first train, the Electric Express, was not intended for sale to consumers, but rather, as a storefront display. Delivered in December , it operated on a brass track and was powered by a battery and a motor Cowen originally intended to use in an electric fan. Cowen hoped to use the public’s fascination with railroads and electricity to capture the public’s attention and direct it to the goods for sale. Members of the public started approaching store owners about buying the trains instead, prompting Lionel to begin making toy trains for the general public.
Lionel ended up selling 12 examples of the Electric Express. In , Lionel began offering a three-rail track that simplified wiring of reverse loops and accessories. When other U. Starting in , Lionel followed most of its U.
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This paperback guide is updated yearly to reflect the current market value of Lionel Trains dating all the way back to I buy this for my dad every year as a.
Q: How do I find out about old electric Lionel trains? My set, purchased in , is in good running condition and has its original box and instructions. Is it valuable? A: Condition, age, rarity and demand help determine how much collectors might pay for a set of old Lionel trains, according to Ron Hollander, Lincoln Ave.
He is author of “All Aboard! The most sought-after Lionel models generally predate World War II and are “in as close to the same condition they were on Christmas, when trembling 6-year-old fingers unwrapped them,” says Mr. Hollander, noting that extremely rare sets in their original boxes and with their original gift wrap can bring premium prices. Rare models painted in unusual colors also are high-ticket items. It’s one of the many Lionel sets which have been reissued, so buying from a knowledgeable and reliable dealer who guarantees authenticity is important.
Serious model-train collectors belong to the Train Collectors Association, P. Box , Strasburg, Pa.
Lionel Train Table – (Ships to US addresses only)
Jan 13, AND Tues. Large collection of Lionel trains and accessories from a local, prominent, long-time collector. High end Lionel Sets, Cars, Accessories, from one of the areas most prominent collectors!
There’s a good reason for this fame: Lionel has a long history dating back to , and the Lionel train sets are realistic models. These collector trains and.
Since this company was started more than years ago, the model railroad hobby has seen many changes. Indeed Lionel has created many of the innovative features we now take for granted. Command control is perhaps the single greatest technological change to hit toy trains since electricity. TMCC introduced a whole new way to run a railroad. For nearly a century, train control was really quite simple. You put a train on the track, and by controlling the amount of voltage supplied from your transformer through the rails you could make the train speed up or slow down.
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I inherited a Lionel Train set but can’t determine when it was made. The Locomotive has on a Metal plate on the bottom and on the side. I’m trying to determine what they might be worth. Has several cars and a tender for the Locomotive. One car is a Baby Ruth Box Car. Has Tracks but no Transformer to test it out.
Long Awaited HUGE Lionel Model Train Auction from ONE Prominent Owner! North Lima, OH. Date & Time, Tuesday, January 14th,
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Jasmine takes on the higher end photo-etch kits with its 1/72 scale Valkyrie, modern fighter jet design in this affordable model. The Valkyrie is a perfect weekend.
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Lionel Trains -A Brief History
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Robert has written multiple books on Lionel trains and slot cars. His newest, The Lionel Legend: An American Icon, was recently published by.
During this period Lionel produced a wide variety of engines, rolling stock, accessories, track and transformers. We are listing those engines, cars and accessories that Lionel produced in O Scale. See the chart below for the range of scales that are available in model railroading. The information contained on these pages is not meant to be inclusive of everything that was made by Lionel, but rather to give you enough information to identify the trains that you have.
To find the current prices of these trains we recommend one of the price guides that are listed here. Refer to the links to these pages below to help you in identifying the items that you have. Follow us on Facebook! Use of their trademark symbols have been approved by Lionel LLC and are used with their permission. To them, and especially to Robert Powell who has supplied pictures of some of the rarer Lionel items, the editors are greatly indebted.
Tenders Electric Engines Accessories.