Lionel #520 Boxcab engine

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Lionel #520 Boxcab engine
Posted by Benjamin Maggi on Friday, April 2, 2010 1:18 PM

I will admit up front that I am not an expert when it comes to Lionel, instead building my layouts in N scale or 1:19 scale. However, after many Lionel history books and searching the forums for years I thought I knew all the engines that Lionel came out with. Then, oneday I came across a website showing a Lionel #520 boxcab. I love boxcab engines and would have remembered one if I had seen it before, and I thought this was a fake. A little digging didn't turn muchup. Then, last week I walked into an old hobby store in a gentleman's house and he had one for sale that he had just taken in that day!

What is going on? How popular were these engines, and what variations existed for them. I see in the Lionel 2009 catalog that one was reissued for "Red River Lumber" but I mean from years ago.

Thanks.

Modeling the D&H in 1984: http://dandhcoloniemain.blogspot.com/

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Posted by Seayakbill on Friday, April 2, 2010 2:18 PM

The Lionel Lines 520 back during the Postwar period was the low end poorman's electric. Neat little electric but performance was marginal.

K-Line by Lionel has reproduced a couple in new roadnames, I bought the Great Northern version a couple years ago.

Bill T.

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Posted by ADCX Rob on Friday, April 2, 2010 5:19 PM

Rob

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Posted by rtraincollector on Friday, April 2, 2010 6:06 PM

Most of them are missing original pantograph's and have either cracks or chipped out where the screw connects to hold shell on

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Posted by dsmith on Friday, April 2, 2010 8:10 PM

 Here's the real engine that the 520 is modeled after.

 

 Here's the Lionel 520 Boxcab on my layout.  It adds a little bit of variety to the usual steam or diesel engines.  I added headlights to mine and run it with the operating coupler and pantograph towards the rear (just like in the photo of the real 520).

  David from Dearborn  

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Posted by arkady on Saturday, April 3, 2010 8:55 AM
dsmith
I added headlights to mine...

How did you do that? I've always toyed with the idea of putting operating headlights on a 520.

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Posted by PhilaKnight on Saturday, April 3, 2010 9:20 AM

I love mine. I don't know why they have such a bad rep. Wouldn't trade my for the wolrd. Even bought the new K-Line PRR one and love that even more.

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Posted by navyjack on Saturday, April 3, 2010 11:32 AM

the 520 boxcab cant be beat.  it runs and runs.  looks kinda funky but keeps the electric flavor.  the k-line by lionel reproduction is much prettier, has a horn, headlights, drivers, and handrails as well as two metal pantographs.  i have not seen it run yet, but if it runs as good as it looks it will be a winner.

"the older the violin the sweeter the music"
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Posted by cnw1995 on Saturday, April 3, 2010 1:56 PM

 I bought one off eBay. Like NavyJack says, it runs like a top. I replaced the missing pantograph - but realized I've been running it back-ward for years too.  Wink

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

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Posted by lionelsoni on Saturday, April 3, 2010 3:14 PM

I doubt that you were running it backwards.  A locomotive like that would almost certainly be designed to run in either direction.  In fact, you can see one of the headlights symmetrically located on the other end.  I would also be surprised if it didn't have two pantographs.  I think I can see the left front corner of one just above the roof at the front.  Does anyone know of a better picture of the prototype?

It is usual to run an electric locomotive with the rear pantograph, so that a pantograph crash will not disable the front pantograph.  Only when double-heading would the front pantograph of the front locomotive be used instead, to distribute better the force lifting the wire.

Bob Nelson

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Posted by navyjack on Saturday, April 3, 2010 6:37 PM

i always wondered about the weird   0-4-2 or 2-4-0 wheel arrangement.  did lionel make this out of surplus steam loco parts?

"the older the violin the sweeter the music"
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Posted by arkady on Sunday, April 4, 2010 8:51 AM
navyjack
I always wondered about the weird 0-4-2 or 2-4-0 wheel arrangement. Did lionel make this out of surplus steam loco parts?

I don't know, but I've always assumed that to be the case. Has anyone out there ever tried mounting a second leading truck on the other end of a 520? I don't own one, so I don't know if there'd be room for another wheelset or not.

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Posted by Benjamin Maggi on Thursday, April 15, 2010 10:05 AM

Thank you everyone for all of the great information!

Modeling the D&H in 1984: http://dandhcoloniemain.blogspot.com/

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