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  • Time Travel

Dad’s Lionel Trains

Posted by LOTGK on November 28, 2007

Today at work the topic of toy trains came up and I went into some deep thought about the Lionel Trains my father had set up in the basement.
The time was the mid 1960’s, and my father had the entire basement filled with trains. At one time, he had 13 complete trains running at the same time. The entire track was hand made by my dad. He wired the entire track with intricate switches and changers. It was a sight and sound to behold.

The power plant behind the trains was two powerful ZW transformers that were capable of running all the trains at one time. Dad had a master control board with all the switches and controls so he could easily see.

The names of some of his trains were the New Haven, Texas Special, Chessie System, B&O, Virginian, Penn and Pacific, Baltimore & Ohio, and many more. These trains were not the plastic cast of today. These trains were made of metal. The engines were dual diesel and were magnetized to the track. The New Haven could actually pull me around the track. I know, because I took a ride on it once as a wee lad.

The New Haven pulled the family line of passenger cars. The set included an ABBA unit, meaning a front pulling diesel engine, two middle power plant engine, and a reverse diesel engine plus 7 passenger cars for each child in the family. The caboose was mom and dad.

It’s been almost 40 years since the trains were laid out in the basement. I still have some of the trains, as does my brother Jack. I can still vividly recall the smell of the train oil, the sound they made moving around the track, and seeing the entire switch lights blinking as I made each one switch from track to track.

One day,…One day I will set them back up. Someday.
The pictures are fuzzy, they were captured off an old home movie, and I don’t mean VHS movies.

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2 Responses to “Dad’s Lionel Trains”

  1. Max Jackl said

    That is one hell of a nice train set. Must have cost thousands of dollars. Very cool.

  2. Remote Getaway said

    That is a fine handsome set up you have. Those would be worth a fortune today. Thousands and thousands of dollars.

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