Top 5 prewar engines and why?

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Top 5 prewar engines and why?
Posted by Berk765 on Wednesday, October 1, 2008 6:53 PM

I don't own any prewar engines except for maybe a 1666, but I'm not shure about that one. This is just based on my opinion of looks mainly and I know some of you folks on here would know alot more about them and make a better list based on better reasons. This is a response thread to the postwar thread. I guess it could be O-guage or standard guage if you choose.Smile,Wink, & Grin [swg]

1. 700E Hudson

2. 763E Hudson

3. 226E Hudson

4. 224E Prairie

5. 1666E Prairie

Give me steam locomotives or give me DEATH!

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Posted by PostwarMan07 on Wednesday, October 1, 2008 7:56 PM

Should also be a great thread.  The 700E is number one for me.  I have seen one in person and even though it was is bad shape, the detail was amazing.  I can see why JLC said this was his favorite lionel item ever.

When it comes to standard gauge, nothing beats passenger sets.  Number two on my list is the engine for the American Flyer Presidents special.  That gold eagle on the front really makes it unique from any other.  Best looking standard gauge set ever made by any company IMHO.

Following that is the Lionel state set.  I was able to hold a 413 colorado in brown one time and the weight and detail of this train is amazing.  I like all versions of the engines used to lead this train but my personal favorite is the 381E.  For what ever reason I like the streamlined look over the more square 408E.

The 736E is still a great engine and much more economical than the 700E.  Still way out of my budget but heck, you can always dream...

Finally, the 0-6-0 switcher.  Im blanking out on the number but it had front and rear couplers and a pennsylvania style headlight.  Its a shame lionel never reproduced one in the postwar era because Id already own one.  Remember watching a video of stu shuster running this one and a 736 with "magic electro" on one loop.  If I remember correctly, it uses AC to control the conventional engine (763E) and DC for the other.

 

As you can tell, theres no long shots here.  Im not expert on prewar, just a fan.

John W
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Posted by ivesboy on Thursday, October 2, 2008 1:29 AM

 

 Im gonna play the other side of the field here and argue the case of the little guys. The 700E is without doubt an amazing piece that ushered in a new era of toy trains. But we must not forget it's predecessors. 

 1. 259E- This little guy held out on the bottom of the line from 1932(without auto reverse) until the early forties. It was also even modified into the 258 for the O-27 line. It introduced thousands to model railroding and combined the looks and details of the top line 400E with an inexpensive, rugged engine. 

 2. 752E- The M-10000 was Lionel's first scale model, appearing in 1934, 3 years before the hudsons.  Sales were excellent for this model, and it helped bail Lionel out of the depression. It found a place in the publics heart as a model, toy, and thing of beauty.

 3. 1688E/1689E- These rugged little workhorses were IMHO better models than their O gauge counterparts, they ran well (if not at a brisk pace!), had fantastic looks, and were arguably more realistic than many similar priced models offered by Lionels competitors.

 4. 224E/1666E- These two very similar engines contained Lionel's "sewing machine motor," perhaps the smoothest running open frame O gauge motor ever conceived. For those who have never owned a well kept one, they are so smooth they almost act as if they contain a flywheel. Beat that AF!

5. 227/228- Lest we not forget these amazing locos. Preferably the models equipped with "Magic Electrol," and "Teledyne" couplers. How much fun did these new gadgets offer the operator in their time. 1940's Legacy!

If you are looking for a rare train, ask i might surprise you with an asking price!!! A guy asked if i liked fast track, and i replied i used t-rail. He said eww that old stuff you bolt together???? Ignorance must be bliss!
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Posted by Berk765 on Thursday, October 2, 2008 8:00 AM
 ivesboy wrote:

 

 Im gonna play the other side of the field here and argue the case of the little guys. The 700E is without doubt an amazing piece that ushered in a new era of toy trains. But we must not forget it's predecessors. 

 1. 259E- This little guy held out on the bottom of the line from 1932(without auto reverse) until the early forties. It was also even modified into the 258 for the O-27 line. It introduced thousands to model railroding and combined the looks and details of the top line 400E with an inexpensive, rugged engine. 

 2. 752E- The M-10000 was Lionel's first scale model, appearing in 1934, 3 years before the hudsons.  Sales were excellent for this model, and it helped bail Lionel out of the depression. It found a place in the publics heart as a model, toy, and thing of beauty.

 3. 1688E/1689E- These rugged little workhorses were IMHO better models than their O gauge counterparts, they ran well (if not at a brisk pace!), had fantastic looks, and were arguably more realistic than many similar priced models offered by Lionels competitors.

 4. 224E/1666E- These two very similar engines contained Lionel's "sewing machine motor," perhaps the smoothest running open frame O gauge motor ever conceived. For those who have never owned a well kept one, they are so smooth they almost act as if they contain a flywheel. Beat that AF!

5. 227/228- Lest we not forget these amazing locos. Preferably the models equipped with "Magic Electrol," and "Teledyne" couplers. How much fun did these new gadgets offer the operator in their time. 1940's Legacy!

Yey!!! A 1666 made this list. Mine does run like a sewing machine, really smooth and quiet, and has good pulling power for a small locmotive. Is there any shure way to tell when a 1666 was made? Mine has a seperate metal number plate on it but it doesn't have the letter E at the end, so my best guess is that mine was made in the early postwar era?

Give me steam locomotives or give me DEATH!

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Posted by 1688torpedo on Thursday, October 2, 2008 9:02 AM

Hello All!

John W- The number for the Prewar B-6 is 8976 & the catalog number is 701. Lionel made a re-issue of the B-6 in 1989 with Railsounds(No Command Control) it is all mechanical too. I think that Joe Gryzobski's in Scranton has them for around $450.00 mint in the box! They were selling for over $700.00 in 1989 at most places so you are saving quite a bit here.

My favorite prewar engines are the following:

1688- Excellent looks & detail. Runs like a clock & has a smooth motor. One of the best Lionel ever made. Ask the man who owns one!(actually five)Wink [;)]Wink [;)]

1689E- Again, another engine with excellent looks & detail. Running charateristics are the same as the 1688

1666- Very detailed 0-27 Engine. Hard to beat.

249E- When I was a kid. My friend across the street had one of these with the 600 series Passenger Cars in red/w cream windows. Very smooth runner & sharp looking.

1668E- Another winner here that shares the same casting as a 1688 & it has the exact motor a 1666 does.

Bryan- Your 1666 is a prewar engine if it has the metal number plates on it. The postwar 1666s had rubber stamped numbers & black handrails. This is how you can tell the difference between the pre/postwar versions. The other difference is that on the prewar version the end of the cab floor is flat & on the postwar version it is rounded. This was done to close the gap between the engine & tender for a better look. Take Care all.

Keith Woodworth........Seat Belts save lives,Please drive safely.
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Posted by mdainsd on Thursday, October 2, 2008 2:53 PM

For me, the list would look something like the following:

 

700K, can you imagine the lucky owner of this kit locomotive? Im still looking for an original unbuilt kit.

263E Baby Blue Comet, very colorful and fun to run.

752 UP M-10000. Like a long snake  slithering around the layout.

226E One of the best running Lionel steamers I have ever owned.

250E Hiawatha.

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Posted by palallin on Thursday, October 2, 2008 3:02 PM

1:  IVES 1134 - SG die-cast Steam

2:  IVES 3243 - SG tinplate Electric

3.  AF Brass Piper - SG Steam

4:  Lionel 400E- SG tinplate Steam

5:  Lionel 408E - SG tinplate Electric

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Posted by ogauge on Thursday, October 2, 2008 4:17 PM

I'll limit it to ones I have...

226E--2226W

225E--2245W

262E--262T 

636W

203-2203B

and an extra 154, without these early ones we wouldn't have the new ones!! 

Dennis H. W. Lafayette, IN Too many trains feels just right....
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Posted by ivesboy on Thursday, October 2, 2008 5:06 PM

 

 

 To date a 1666 look at the sand dome. If it has two ridges then it was made before mid year 1941. This would make it 1939-40 or early 41. Late in 41 Lionel modified the tooling to delete these ridges. Knowone knows for sure why, but probably because they took extra time to clean up on the raw casting. Postwar 1666s used the number plate until 1947. Only in 47 were they rubber stamped. All 46 versions had the round cab floor keith mentioned. 45 versions were mad eup of leftover prewar inventory and had black handrails. They had an X stamped inside the cab and are quite scarce. Hope this helps. If you post a pic, ill date it for you. 

 

If you are looking for a rare train, ask i might surprise you with an asking price!!! A guy asked if i liked fast track, and i replied i used t-rail. He said eww that old stuff you bolt together???? Ignorance must be bliss!
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Posted by Berk765 on Thursday, October 2, 2008 6:23 PM
 ivesboy wrote:

 

 

 To date a 1666 look at the sand dome. If it has two ridges then it was made before mid year 1941. This would make it 1939-40 or early 41. Late in 41 Lionel modified the tooling to delete these ridges. Knowone knows for sure why, but probably because they took extra time to clean up on the raw casting. Postwar 1666s used the number plate until 1947. Only in 47 were they rubber stamped. All 46 versions had the round cab floor keith mentioned. 45 versions were mad eup of leftover prewar inventory and had black handrails. They had an X stamped inside the cab and are quite scarce. Hope this helps. If you post a pic, ill date it for you. 

I think mine has the ridges on the sand dome. Does it have to have hatches on the sand dome to have the ridges. I can't post a picture because I am at my moms house and I don't have any loco's here.

Give me steam locomotives or give me DEATH!

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Posted by Berk765 on Thursday, October 2, 2008 6:26 PM
 ivesboy wrote:

 

 

 To date a 1666 look at the sand dome. If it has two ridges then it was made before mid year 1941. This would make it 1939-40 or early 41. Late in 41 Lionel modified the tooling to delete these ridges. Knowone knows for sure why, but probably because they took extra time to clean up on the raw casting. Postwar 1666s used the number plate until 1947. Only in 47 were they rubber stamped. All 46 versions had the round cab floor keith mentioned. 45 versions were mad eup of leftover prewar inventory and had black handrails. They had an X stamped inside the cab and are quite scarce. Hope this helps. If you post a pic, ill date it for you. 

I think mine has the ridges on the sand dome. Mine has the hatches on the sand dome too. I'm not really shure right now, because my engines are at my dad's house and I am not over there this week.

Give me steam locomotives or give me DEATH!

Berkshire Junction, bringing fourth the cry of the Iron Horse since 1900.

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Posted by ivesboy on Thursday, October 2, 2008 11:17 PM

 These are the "hatches" found on the early locos.

 

If you are looking for a rare train, ask i might surprise you with an asking price!!! A guy asked if i liked fast track, and i replied i used t-rail. He said eww that old stuff you bolt together???? Ignorance must be bliss!
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Posted by cnw1995 on Friday, October 3, 2008 8:34 AM
I vote for my 248. A lovely little engine.

Doug Murphy 'We few, we happy few, we band of brothers...' Henry V.

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Posted by Berk765 on Friday, October 3, 2008 8:52 AM
 ivesboy wrote:

 These are the "hatches" found on the early locos.

 

Yep, mine has the hatches.

Give me steam locomotives or give me DEATH!

Berkshire Junction, bringing fourth the cry of the Iron Horse since 1900.

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Posted by Berk765 on Sunday, October 5, 2008 4:46 PM

Yep!!! I examined mine today, and it does have the ridges on top of the sand box and the cab floor is not rounded off so mine is PREWAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Give me steam locomotives or give me DEATH!

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Posted by runtime on Sunday, October 5, 2008 6:58 PM

 cnw1995 wrote:
I vote for my 248. A lovely little engine.

 Finally, an Electric (yeah, I know they are really all electric). Wish everyone would indicate what type of engines their candidates are ( eg- steam, streamline steam, approx vintage, etc.) as it's a real pain having to look up every number in Doyle (some of which aren't even listed), for those of us who don't have the prewar catalogue memorized but who nevertheless are interested in following the discussion.

Having said that, I can only vote for my only prewar engine - a No4 'Build-A-Loco' (Electric 0-4-0).

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Posted by Berk765 on Sunday, October 5, 2008 8:17 PM
 runtime wrote:

 cnw1995 wrote:
I vote for my 248. A lovely little engine.

 Finally, an Electric (yeah, I know they are really all electric). Wish everyone would indicate what type of engines their candidates are ( eg- steam, streamline steam, approx vintage, etc.) as it's a real pain having to look up every number in Doyle (some of which aren't even listed), for those of us who don't have the prewar catalogue memorized but who nevertheless are interested in following the discussion.

Having said that, I can only vote for my only prewar engine - a No4 'Build-A-Loco' (Electric 0-4-0).

My list has  all steam locomotives on it.

Give me steam locomotives or give me DEATH!

Berkshire Junction, bringing fourth the cry of the Iron Horse since 1900.

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Posted by phillyreading on Monday, October 6, 2008 9:09 AM

I have a 224E & a 249E that still run very good, don't run them that much. The 224E just needs some maintanance every now & then and it will run great.

Lee F.

Interested in southest Pennsylvania railroads; Reading & Northern, Reading Company, Reading Lines, Philadelphia & Reading.
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Posted by envfocus on Tuesday, October 7, 2008 8:08 AM

Well for now I'm going to limit my answers to ones that I own, but maybe this evening I'll list my top five overall.  I only run O-gauge Lionel, but there are certainly standard gauge and other manufacturers that make listing five tough.  OK, here are the top five from my roster:

1. 259e (Sentimental favorite; it was my mom's and became my first train)

2. 256 (Lionel's largest electric O gauge locomotive.  Two motors and advertised as the "Big Mogul").

3. 238e (My favorite streamline engine.  Unique front eagle banner, roller pickups, and great eccentric linkage set).

4. 258 (Lionel's first O-gauge steam engine.  It was actually an Ives engine that Lionel took over when they purchased out Ives.  Only made for a couple of years).

5. 1700 (Lionel Jr. line of engines.  My streamline version is the 3 car Hiawatha.  Simple, inexpensive and looks great running).

Take Care......RJ (TCA 07-61869)
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Posted by Berk765 on Tuesday, October 7, 2008 9:26 AM
 envfocus wrote:

Well for now I'm going to limit my answers to ones that I own, but maybe this evening I'll list my top five overall.  I only run O-gauge Lionel, but there are certainly standard gauge and other manufacturers that make listing five tough.  OK, here are the top five from my roster:

1. 259e (Sentimental favorite; it was my mom's and became my first train)

2. 256 (Lionel's largest electric O gauge locomotive.  Two motors and advertised as the "Big Mogul").

3. 238e (My favorite streamline engine.  Unique front eagle banner, roller pickups, and great eccentric linkage set).

4. 258 (Lionel's first O-gauge steam engine.  It was actually an Ives engine that Lionel took over when they purchased out Ives.  Only made for a couple of years).

5. 1700 (Lionel Jr. line of engines.  My streamline version is the 3 car Hiawatha.  Simple, inexpensive and looks great running).

Nice trains!!! Love the 259E and the streamlined 238E. Your a lucky son of a gun.

Give me steam locomotives or give me DEATH!

Berkshire Junction, bringing fourth the cry of the Iron Horse since 1900.

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Posted by mpzpw3 on Wednesday, October 8, 2008 8:08 PM

My top 5 is pretty much limited to what I own. The exception being the my #1, for obvious reasons.

1. 700E. What needs to be said?

2. 225E. The beginning of the 675/2025 postwar engine, with better handrails, bell and whistle.

3. 224E. Been done over and over again in the postwar-era, but has the smooth motor used in early postwar engines, and looks good.

4. 1688E. Love that thing. A forum member provided me with all the parts to get mine running. Sure is a cute looking engine, and nothing says prewar O-gauge better than this little guy!

5. 1666E. Because I have one.

My main attractions to the above engines is that they were the fathers to the postwar versions, except for the 1688E, and no smoke. I like smoke, but with no way to turn off an original postwar Lionel smoke unit, it's nice to run almost the same locomotive without having to worry about wether it has fluid in it or not.

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Posted by tinplatacis on Thursday, December 10, 2015 11:02 AM

1.  763E. Need I say more?

2.  258 (2-4-2). I love the little look of the,

3.  263E. Blue Comet always a favorite here.

4.  248. Beautiful aint always expensive.

5.  264E Commodore Vanderbilt. 

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Posted by cwburfle on Thursday, December 10, 2015 4:29 PM

I am quite fond of the 238E and the 265E Commadore Vanderbilt.

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Posted by rtraincollector on Thursday, December 10, 2015 4:53 PM

1688 Can't beat them 

262/262E love the look I have had both.

254 jst cause got one

204 same reason as above 

 

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Posted by mersenne6 on Saturday, December 12, 2015 9:38 AM

1. American Flyer #2020 - their big 4-4-4 electric - dark green enamel paint job, a large, never to be overlooked headlight, massive and runs forever

2. Bing Cast Iron superstructure 4-4-0 - large and could pull the plaster off of the walls if attached.

3. Marx - copper plated Mercury with copper plated, illuminated, articulated passenger cars - runs well and looks great both in daylight and in the dark.

4. AF #1084 - glistening japanned black enamel finish, multicolor highlights, locomotive features "selectively compressed" so that it looks like an electrified cartoon.

5. Lionel #260E "chugger" version - scared me half to death the first time I ran it.  The chugging sound gives the impression that the train is tearing itself to pieces.

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Posted by dad29 on Friday, February 28, 2020 7:13 PM

Berk765
  ivesboy wrote:

 

 Im gonna play the other side of the field here and argue the case of the little guys. The 700E is without doubt an amazing piece that ushered in a new era of toy trains. But we must not forget it's predecessors. 

 1. 259E- This little guy held out on the bottom of the line from 1932(without auto reverse) until the early forties. It was also even modified into the 258 for the O-27 line. It introduced thousands to model railroding and combined the looks and details of the top line 400E with an inexpensive, rugged engine. 

 2. 752E- The M-10000 was Lionel's first scale model, appearing in 1934, 3 years before the hudsons.  Sales were excellent for this model, and it helped bail Lionel out of the depression. It found a place in the publics heart as a model, toy, and thing of beauty.

 3. 1688E/1689E- These rugged little workhorses were IMHO better models than their O gauge counterparts, they ran well (if not at a brisk pace!), had fantastic looks, and were arguably more realistic than many similar priced models offered by Lionels competitors.

 4. 224E/1666E- These two very similar engines contained Lionel's "sewing machine motor," perhaps the smoothest running open frame O gauge motor ever conceived. For those who have never owned a well kept one, they are so smooth they almost act as if they contain a flywheel. Beat that AF!

5. 227/228- Lest we not forget these amazing locos. Preferably the models equipped with "Magic Electrol," and "Teledyne" couplers. How much fun did these new gadgets offer the operator in their time. 1940's Legacy!

 

 

Yey!!! A 1666 made this list. Mine does run like a sewing machine, really smooth and quiet, and has good pulling power for a small locmotive. Is there any shure way to tell when a 1666 was made? Mine has a seperate metal number plate on it but it doesn't have the letter E at the end, so my best guess is that mine was made in the early postwar era?

 

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Posted by ADCX Rob on Saturday, February 29, 2020 9:32 AM

dad29
Mine has a seperate metal number plate on it but it doesn't have the letter E at the end, so my best guess is that mine was made in the early postwar era?



Need more info, & photos to be accurate. Could be Pre or post.

Rob

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Posted by Millstonemike on Sunday, August 9, 2020 4:35 PM

cnw1995
I vote for my 248. A lovely little engine.
 

 

Here's a 248 showing off at 90 years old - Video.

 

 

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Posted by dlagrua on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 6:31 PM

I don't know if it has been mentioned but the Union Pacific Streamliner train 752W is a favorite of mine

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Posted by V8Vega on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 10:06 AM

I considered postwar 2-4-2's a bargan and bought a bunch of them but the prewar 1664 is by far the best. There is another similar one but I don't remember the number.

Full valve gear, wire handrails, swinging bell, enclosed trailing truck, headlight

Dennis  San Fernando Valley CA.  Joined August 2009

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