You're gorgeous! Your favorite Lionels

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You're gorgeous! Your favorite Lionels
Posted by Penny Trains on Thursday, April 06, 2017 6:55 PM

We haven't done this in a while so I figured I'd start a "Favorite Lionel Trains" thread.  I thought about creating 2 separate threads as "You're Gorgeous" and "You UGLY!" but I just combined them instead.

This is just for fun, it's not a competition.  I stuck to 20th century Lionel production and tried my best to include only cataloged items on my list.  You can add other areas if you like and you can explain your choices as much or as little as you want to.  If you have pics, great!  If not, that's great too!

This may seem like old hat, but I was surprised at how much my own preferences have changed since the last time I participated in a thread like this.  So yours may have changed too!  Big Smile  By the way you don't have to own an example of your choices either!  Wink  Without further ado, here we go!

Prewar Standard Gauge

  • Steam:      385E first version with Lionel tender
  • Electric:     381E
  • Freight:     515 tank car in terra cotta
  • Passenger: 424, 425, 426 Stephen Girard
  • Accessory:  300 Helgate

Prewar O gauge

  • Steam:       262/262T with orange stripes
  • Electric:      253 terra cotta and maroon
  • Freight:      653 hopper in Stephen Girard green
  • Passenger: 1700E Lionel Jr. streamliner
  • Accessory:  313 bascule bridge
  • Catalog cover: 1926

Least favorite prewar items

  • I couldn't come up with any personal choices for my own list.  If I have to say one thing, I'd say that Lionel came out with gorgeous scale and semi-scale cast locomotives in the prewar era and their appearance was instantly compromised by those gigantic couplers on the tenders.  That's why I didn't include any on my list and focused my choices on the sheet metal locos.  But you don't have to if you don't want to!  Big Smile

Postwar

  • Steam:       2035
  • Electric:      2350 New Haven EP-5
  • Diesel:       2333 Santa Fe F3
  • M. U.:        54 ballast tamper
  • Freight:      6417 Pennsylvania N5c
  • Operating:  3472 Milk car
  • Passenger: 2530-2534 silver series
  • Accessory:  342 Cilvert Loader and 345 Culvert Unloader
  • Catalog cover: 1947

Least favorite postwar items

  • Steam:       6110 Scout.  The one with the big hole on the boiler front
  • Electric:      Didn't have one
  • Diesel:       221 Santa Fe.  In olive?  Really?  Ick!
  • M. U.:        3927 Only because it wasn't self-propelled.  A dedicated vulcan switcher in the same scheme would have been great.
  • Freight:      3512 Fireman & Ladder car.  I just don't get it.
  • Accessory:  462 Derrick Platform (because it didn't work well with the 6805 Radioactive Waste car

1970 to 2000 favorites

  • Steam:      8003 Chessie berkshire
  • Electric:     8754 New Haven GE E33 rectifier
  • Diesel:      8466/8467,8475 Amtrak F3 A-B-A
  • M.U.          8264 Canadian Pacific vulcan switcher with plow
  • Freight:     Nothing jumped out at me as something I'd run out and search for tomorrow.
  • Op. car:    Same as above
  • Passenger: 9581-9586 Chessie baby madisons
  • Accessory:  62317 Automatic Remote Control Drawbridge
  • Catalog Cover: 1972

Least favorie items 1970-2000

  • Steam:       8302 Southern 2-4-0
  • Electric:      None
  • Diesel:       18860 Phantom
  • M.U.:         None
  • Freight:      None
  • Op. car:      None
  • Passenger:  5189-1614 Pratt's Hollow

Have fun!  Big Smile

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, April 06, 2017 7:30 PM

OK, here we go!

My list of favorites isn't going to be as elaborate as Becky's, I'm an operator, not strictly a collector, however if I like it, I buy it.  And these are all favorites, if I don't like it I ignore it.

Pre-War Standard Gauge

The Blue Comet Set, locomotive and cars.  What can I say?  An absolute masterpiece of the toymakers art.  Don't own one, unless I hit the lottery I never will, although I did see one at an antique show several years back.  I was stunned at the size of it, photographs and videos don't do it justice, you have to see one up close and personal.  Tinplate collector John Potter hit the nail on the head when he said a kid that got one of these for Christmas back in the 30's must have had a heart attack when he saw it under the tree!  And remember, that set was $75 in 1939.  That same $75 would have gotten you a Winchester 30-30 rifle and a Colt .38 revolver, and you would have had change coming!

Pre-War "O"

What else, the "Baby Blue Comet!"  Don't own one of those either.

Post-War

Now we're talkin'!  Steam, steam, steam!  And these I own!

The 221 "Baby Dreyfuss."   Lucked into this one at a hobby shop in Florida, Metro Trains and Hobbies, Fort Meyers.  1946 production and cute as a button!  Looks great with four "O-Line"  NYC streamline cars.

The 2055 Hudson.  Elegant, the best way I can describe it.

The 2056 Hudson.  I call this one "The Bruiser,"  it'll pull tree stumps out of the ground!

The 736 Berkshire.  What can we say?  Got one last year and it's all it's cracked up to be.  Another great puller and produced the same year I was, 1953.

The 2018 2-6-4.  A sentimental favorite, my childhood Lionel steamer.  Take care of it as you should and it just runs and runs and runs.  Not fancy, but it sure is reliable!

1970-2000

Only one here, a 1989 Susquehanna RS-3.  "A diesel?"  you say?  Well, I had to compromise.  I'm a fan of North Jersey railroads and couldn't find a Susy-Q steamer anywhere.  Well OK, MTH made a Susy-Q Russian Decapod a few years back, but at $899 I just couldn't afford it.  Wouldn't run on my 031 layout anyway.

Everything else I've got is MTH or Williams or K-Line or RMT and beyond the scope of this discussion.

Two amendments, since some nights my brain's not working as well as it should and I forgot I had 'em...

Post-War

A 224 2-6-2.  This was a Christmas present from my best friend Shotgun Charlie last year.  We ran out to the Chugger Barn and slapped it on the tracks, shot it the juice, and it took off like a rocket.  Charlie was amazed, "Wow, made in 1946, 70 years old, and it runs like it's new!"  Amazing all right!

1970-2000

The B&O "President Washington" Pacific, another great runner, 1994.  If I can find a Bicentennial Set out there somewhere at a decent price I'll grab it and put the "PW" at the head end instead of that diesel.  That'll be something, the thirteen original states with the original president pulling them along, which is what General George did, when you come right down to it.

Dat's all, folks!

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Posted by rtraincollector on Thursday, April 06, 2017 8:43 PM

Favorite 

Prewar 

262 with 262T ( I have freight cars for this and passenger cars niether make this a complete set ( wrong cars) 

Post war

has to be my 2572 set ( 2359 B&M GP-9, 6544,3830,6448,3519,& 3535

Modern 

Paul Revere set ( Yes B&M 2346 remake Big Smile )

Least like

Prewar

probably my 258 and it cars

Postwar

Any scout engine 

Modern 

Anything I can't afford Laugh

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Friday, April 07, 2017 12:04 AM

This is a fun topic !

Faves :

the 681, and all turbines for that matter.

the 2046,  ( love those big chunky drive wheels , and the size and heft of this engine )

all Hudsons

all prairies ( I have 224e, 2026, and 2025s)

the 2025's are especially nice. Hefty, and smooth running.

the 2037 is a bit of an ugly duckling ( That was my first impression, but it grows on you ). But it pulls very well.

Oh, and the big Berkshire. I have 726 rr. How could I forget that ? A sure sign you have too much stuff. 

least faves?

none.

love ' em all !

 

 

Paul

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Posted by sir james I on Friday, April 07, 2017 8:43 AM

I always thought the E33 electrics were ugly.

I don't think anyone likes the cheap steam engines Lionel made. Marx had nicer ones and they ran forever.

Most everything else I liked. Of course my Christmas gift sets with a 2025 and another the NYC F3s.

S.J.

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Posted by cwburfle on Friday, April 07, 2017 9:25 AM

Of course everybody is intitled to their own favorites and un-favorites. I find some of Becky's unfavorite postwar items to be interesting:

221 Santa Fe in olive - I guess I wouldn't pick it as a favorite either, but it is scarce.

462 Derick platform - I agree that it is not a very good accessory. I had a really nice boxed one years ago, but I did not hang onto it. I must not have liked it either. In retrospect, I do wish I held onto it. But there were no guides back then, and I didn't know how scarce it was. A number of things like that passed through my hands.

6110 "scout" - I actually like this engine for it's uniqueness. No other Lionel locomotive was made with it's odd smoke arrangement. When I was a kid I was given a second hand one by it's original owner. It was the first die cast metal steam engine I owned. (maybe that's the real reason why I like it)


I'd have to think a whole bunch to pick out my favorites in so many catagories. That might be fun. For now, I can write my single favorite piece of all Lionel electric trains, regardless of era:

The 1946 smoke bulb version of the 726 Berkshire with the 2426 tender.

 

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Posted by phillyreading on Friday, April 07, 2017 10:28 AM

One of my pre war favorites is the 224E steam engine, it's a 2-6-2 with a 4 axle tender. Also have the 3 passenger cars that came with it in a set; two 2460 & a 2461.

My least favorite steam engine is the 235 from the 1960's as it has a very difficult motor to service other then brush replacement. Also the center roller wheels wear out after many years and are difficult to replace.

Lee Fritz

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Posted by Roger Carp on Friday, April 07, 2017 1:46 PM

Hi everyone,

 

I'm also enjoying this thread, especially because I spent much of the past couple of years evaluating every item in Lionel's postwar line when doing the research for my brand-new book, "Collectible Lionel Classics: Treasures from the Postwar Era."

 

In this 128-book softcover book, I have newly written essays with photos and graphics about 100 great yet affordable steam and diesel engines, motorized units, rolling stock, and accessories. You will get a solid appreciation for what Lionel sought to accomplish during the critical years after World War II.

 

You can order the book from Kalmbach Publishing Co. by going to our website: www.KalmbachHobbyStore.com or by calling 1-800-533-6644. Let me know what you think of my selections.

 

Roger Carp

Senior editor

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Posted by alcofanschdy on Friday, April 07, 2017 5:20 PM

My favorite pre war loco's are the 224e and 1666 

Favorite post war steam are any turbines but especially the 671rr and the 736 Berk

Favorite Diesel 2343

Favorite electric Milwaukee Rd 2351

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Posted by Penny Trains on Friday, April 07, 2017 6:59 PM

Roger Carp
my brand-new book, "Collectible Lionel Classics: Treasures from the Postwar Era."

I'm waiting for my copy at the moment so I've been re-reading the SIP's.  It was the article on the top F3 sets in 2005's "All Star" that made me think of doing this.  Big Smile

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Friday, April 07, 2017 11:26 PM

I might add that some of the low end Lionel stuff has a sort of "Funky Charm" to them, similar to Marx. And I like Marx, too. Don't get me started on that. It's all about the fun. I have a cheap 246 that is all plastic, feels like it weighs about 2 ounces, and I love the simplicity of it ! Just running trains, no fooling around ! The 1688e started out as a low end o-27, but she's a beauty ! But my favorites will always be the engines you have to pick up with 2 hands !

Paul

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Posted by choochoo72 on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 4:25 PM
Definitely a plus one for the Blue Comet. What a sight that must have been under a Christmas tree. Back in January I had very serious spine surgery and was in pretty bad shape. To make me feel better my wife said it was OK to but one train of whatever I liked. I didn't think twice. I'll be paying for it for the next year but it is worth every penny.
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Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 5:56 PM

Anyone else?  Don't be shy folks, there's no right or wrong here.

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Posted by bridgeengineer on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 2:57 PM

As a kid growing up in the 1950's on Chicago's South Side, living halfway between Rock Island's mainline on the east and Rock Island's Beverly Branch on the west, my favorite diesel was their RS3 in red, black and white, with the white "wings" on the ends.  I didn't have access to Lionel catalogs at that time, but the 1955 Montgomery Ward Christmas wish book showed a set with Lionel's 2328 Burlington GP7.  To my 7-year-old mind, it was a close-enough match, and I had to have it, and was lucky enough to receive it that Christmas.  I learned more than 30 years later that my father couldn't afford the whole price of the $40 set, so my maternal grandfather chipped in half.  That explained why he came over to our house on Christmas Eve to watch me excitedly open it.

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Posted by LL675 on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 10:08 PM

for me the Prewar 225E in gunmetal is hard to beat. Postwar would be the 675,2056, and 736 are tops for steam. any Brunswick Green 5 stripe GG1 electric is a beauty.

Dave

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Posted by Roger Carp on Thursday, April 13, 2017 12:29 PM

Hi to the reader called bridgeengineer, I would like to learn more about your childhood train and your memories of it.

 

Please contact me at Classic Toy Trains: 262-796-8776 ext. 253.

 

Thanks,


Roger Carp

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Posted by fifedog on Thursday, April 13, 2017 5:26 PM

When I checked gorgeous in my Webster's, it was defined as the LCCA's General/Texas 2-pack, commorating the Great Locomotive chase's 150th.

You can look it up if you want...

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, April 13, 2017 7:23 PM

fifedog

When I checked gorgeous in my Webster's, it was defined as the LCCA's General/Texas 2-pack, commorating the Great Locomotive chase's 150th.

You can look it up if you want...

 

I just tried man, went to the LCCA 'site and no luck.  Could you help us out with a link if you have one, or tell us where to start looking?

BTW, I've got the MTH "General" and "Texas" (Cool engines, got 'em cheap, too!) but of course they're beyond the scope of discussion here.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Friday, April 14, 2017 6:21 PM

Firelock76
they're beyond the scope of discussion here

They don't have to be!  Big Smile  The object here is fun!  Big Smile

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, April 14, 2017 8:31 PM

Really?  I took the "Lionel" in the title quite seriously, but if you're tearing the lid off Becky...

I'll have to think about this one overnite.  More anon.

OK, pickin' it up again.

I've got five MTH 4-4-0's, love 'em all and have had no problems.  The "General', the "Texas", the UP 119, the B&O 231, and the USMRR "General Haupt."  All beautiful locomotives and great runners.  Why five?  They were on sale!  Well all right, I didn't get 'em all at once but it's an illustration it sure pays to keep your eyes open.  Three from an antique shop, one from an antique show, and one from a train show, and none more than $150. Used? Probably, but you sure couldn't tell by looking at them.

I've always loved 19th Century steamers, the way they looked and especially the way they were decorated, more like works of art than machines.   But then, there was an expression in use back in those days that might explain it...

"What works well, looks well, because beauty and utility are one in the mind of God!"

Isn't that something?

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, April 15, 2017 6:31 PM

Lionel, Flyer, Ives, Williams, MTH, LCT, AMT, ETC...It's ALL good!  Big Smile  I used cataloged Lionel products for my list because that's what I have the most info on (primarily all 3 volumes of the Standard Catalog of Lionel Trains).  I only have one Williams loco (a GG1) and 1 Flyer prewar and 2 Flyer S gauge locos plus half a dozen MTH locos (and cars and other pieces from various manufacturers).  So it would have been hard for me to make objective comparisons regarding any of those lines when I don't even have reference materials with photos of nearly everything they made as I do with Lionel products from 1900 to 2000.

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Posted by G BEAR on Saturday, April 15, 2017 6:36 PM

I'm in a rather awkward situation as far as the number of trains that I have.  Living here at the Veterans Home space is an issue as too how much we can have in our rooms.

As such I have two (2) identical Lionel diesels that I really like.  The two (2) diesels are the Lionel Legacy Nickel Plate Road RS-11s # 855 & # 859.  These diesels look really nice running on my Carpet Layout.  There is something about the RS-11s that I really like.  I'm thankful that Lionel made these diesels

G BEAR

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, April 15, 2017 7:12 PM

You know G Bear, sometimes it's not so much what you have as much as it is what you do with what you have and how much you enjoy it.  It's certainly not my intent, nor I suppose any other's to get into a contest here over who has the most toys.

Thanks for your service, and this old Marine says "Semper Fi!" to you and your compatriots!

PS:  How many vets can you pack into your room to watch the trains roll?

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, April 15, 2017 7:18 PM

Hi Becky!  I lucked into a copy of MTH's "A Toy Train Story" a year or so ago, so I've got a pretty good reference guide to the product line, at least up to 2000, which is the publish date of the book.

So if you've got a question on a MTH product I might be able to help.

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Posted by G BEAR on Sunday, April 16, 2017 1:41 PM

Hello Firelock76 - My room is 8 feet 6 inches wide by 24 feet in length.  I can get about 9 to 10 people (standing) into my room to watch the trains, but having 5 would allow some to sit on the floor.  My present layout is 3' x 8', but I have gone as big as 6' x 15' in size.  I'm thankful for this room, all of the other rooms in our section are smaller in size.  Take care my friend and thank you for your service.  "Semper Fi."  

G BEAR

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, April 16, 2017 1:54 PM

G Bear, it sounds like you've got enough space for a pretty good train watching party.  Load up on the coffee and doughnuts and "C'mon baby, let the good times roll!"

Or instead of coffee, maybe something (ahem) a little stronger?

Happy Easter!

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Posted by phrankenstign on Sunday, April 16, 2017 3:49 PM

 

Prewar Standard Gauge

 

  • Steam: 390E in Black (The red cowcatcher looks great with it!)

  • Electric: 42 in Black (I love the side rods on an electric engine with thin-spoked wheels!)

  • M.U.: 8 Red/Yellow (Cool colors & lots of room for passengers!)

  • Freight: 219 Peacock/Dark Green Operating Crane (What fun!)

  • Passenger: 1 Electric Rapid Transit w/Trailer (Plenty of room for figures of all kinds!)

  • Accessory: 200 (What's more fun than spinning locos around?)

 

Prewar O gauge

 

  • Steam: 700E Hudson/(700K for even MORE fun!)

  • Electric: 256 (Bigger is Badder! Great paint job!)

  • Freight: 3859 (Red/black automatic dump car. It's fun dropping a load once in awhile!)

  • Passenger: 250E, 250W, 782, 782, 783, 784 (What a smooth-looking train!)

  • Accessory: 313 Bascule bridge (Impressive!)

  • Catalog cover: 1929

 

Least favorite prewar items

 

  • Why: 1500 Locoscope (Printed pics would have been better than a filmstrip.)

 

Postwar

 

  • Steam: 233 (It started my interest in Lionel trains!)

  • Electric: 2332 GG1 Pennsylvania (What a change from the electric prewar styles!)

  • Diesel: 2333 Santa Fe F3 (The original was fantastic!)

  • M. U.: 3360 Burro Crane (Not only does the crane work, but it can pull other cars too!)

  • Freight: 6517 Erie bay window caboose (Cool lightning graphics!)

  • Operating: 3456 Operating Hopper car (The fun never ends!)

  • Passenger: 2521, 2522, 2522, 2523 (Nice stripes!)

  • Accessory: 342 Culvert Loader and 345 Culvert Unloader (Fun, fun, and MORE fun!)

  • Catalog cover: 1957 (The “J” and Super “O” make the scene!)

 

Least favorite postwar items

 

  • Steam: 1061/1061T (No leading/trailing trucks, light, smoke, whistle, reverse, nor fun.)

  • Electric: 520 80 ton box cab (Very basic with non-working pantograph.)

  • Diesel: Tie 202 Orange UP/1055 Red Texas (Plain ugly with NO coupler in the front!)

  • M. U.: I like them all!

  • Freight: 9024 Yellow C & O flat car (It's yellow and it's flat. Whoop-dee-doo!)

  • Accessory: 1009 Manumatic uncoupler (I had a lot of trouble trying to use it.)

 

1970 to 2000 favorites

 

  • Steam: 6-18043 C&O Streamline Hudson (Unique & spectacular look!)

  • Electric: 6-8762 Great Northern EP-5 (Orange contrasts nicely with dark colors!)

  • Diesel: 6-18128 Santa Fe F3 (Classic styling w/yellow stripe over nose!)

  • M.U.: 6-18433 (Mickey and Minnie handcar racing towards Christmas!)

  • Freight: 6-19831 (GM electric mobile power generator car powers spotlight!)

  • Op. car: 6-19824 US Army Operating Target Launcher (Amazing invention!)

  • Passenger: 1991 Santa Fe Super Chief set with ABBBA units

  • Accessory: 6-12741 Mi-Jack Union Pacific Intermodal Crane

  • Catalog Cover:1991 Book One (Classic locomotives in classic scenes!)

 

Least favorie items 1970-2000

 

  • Steam: 8140 (It has a light! Ooooo)

  • Electric: L.A.S.E.R. Engine (It's chrome! It's weird! It's cheap! Plastic panto!)

  • Diesel: Fundimensions, LTI Inc., and Lionel LLC did a good job. I like 'em all.)

  • M.U.: None (I like the concept of motorized units. That's why I like them all!)

  • Freight: None (I'd add anything to my roster produced then!)

  • Op. car: None (I enjoy any car that has something extra!)

  • Passenger: None (Even the ugliest paint job is saved by the lighted interiors.)

 

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Posted by rtraincollector on Sunday, April 16, 2017 6:15 PM

1061 was made as a 0-4-0 and also as a 2-4-2. I have owned both. When I got the 0-4-0 I thought someone took them off but was informed no they where made both ways

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Sunday, April 16, 2017 6:27 PM

I like your picture of Dwight Frye, Phrankenstign. I get it .

Paul

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Posted by phrankenstign on Sunday, April 16, 2017 6:37 PM
Actually, that's a picture of Colin Clive who played the part of Henry Frankenstein in Universal's classic 1931 version of "Frankenstein". Dwight Frye played his assistant, "Fritz", in that movie.

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