Original Lionel Std Gauge track, 1906-1942: detail variations ?

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  • Member since
    November 2019
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Original Lionel Std Gauge track, 1906-1942: detail variations ?
Posted by Fran McM on Saturday, November 9, 2019 10:39 AM

Greetings !

Am working on assembling a working outfit with my newly acquired Lionel Std Gauge train, Engine #38, coaches #35 (x2) and #36.

The engine seems to date between 1913 & 1918 (Lionel Mfrig Company), the coaches probably 1923-24 (latch couplers, oval lavatory windows, etc.). Seems to be most of Catalog Set #40.

I got a quantity of original track, and am looking for more.

The track that came with seems to be "very old", some sections have "Lionel" lightly stamped on one end of a cross tie, and "NY" on the opposite end of the same tie, some sections no stamp at all. Doesn't matter if straight or curved.

The rails are dull in color, little to no evidence of bright, shiny tinplate like the later stuff.  Undersides of rails almost have an olive-green color (see below).

The cross ties are not painted (?) but seem to be chemically colored, having an olive green appearance, similar to "olive drab" army green. (Think steel ammo box).  The undersides show signs of brighter tin plate. 

This bunch lived in a damp environment at some point, as some sections are heavily rusted; if that has any effect on overall color / appearance.

Is there any info available on track details (appearance), for Lionel Std. Gauge through the years from 1906-1942 ?

I would like to have this outfit put-together with "period" patina-ed track...

I have a beautifully patina-ed Type T transformer ready to use.

I have seen what I presume is later Lionel Std Gauge track with bright tin rails, and black ties...

I know there is a train of thought that encourages "bright, shiny new track for running the trains", and I may wind up there, but would like to try for "antique track" if I can.

Sorry I don't have photos, I need to get hooked-up with an online photo hosting site.

Thanks for your help !

Fran McM.

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Posted by Leverettrailfan on Monday, November 18, 2019 10:42 PM

just my quick 2 cents here... I have a few of those sections with the dull almost 'olive drab' patina. From what I can tell, I think they used to be plated/coated with a shiny silvery color, but it either wore off, flaked off, or oxidised into the color it is now. I've also noticed different std gauge track has different styles of crimping of the ties onto the rails. If I could post pictures, I'd show you what I'm reffering to, but I haven't really been able to work out the 'photo hosting site' part of things.

"If it don't work, then gosh darn it, get a' fixin!"

Can I fix trains? Mostly. How long have I been doing it? Took me years to get much success beyond the "taking it apart" step. Where am I at now? Well, does she run?

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Posted by rtraincollector on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 5:48 AM

Green track was a Product from Lionel, I forget why.

Life's hard, even harder if your stupid  John Wayne

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Posted by Fran McM on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 9:12 AM

Thank you ! 

I'm still working on that remote photo-hosting thing too...

Fran McM.

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  • From: Parma Heights Ohio
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Posted by Penny Trains on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 6:43 PM

Heavy rust = higher voltage.  If it's badly rusted on the outer surfaces it's probably bad on the inside too.  Assembling vintage track is a great idea, but take care choosing sections.  They may run hot.

Big Smile  I'm Cuckoo For Choo Choo Stuffs!  Big Smile

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 6:58 PM

By the way, some of the earliest track had brass contacts for connecting to either dry or wet cell batteries.

Big Smile  I'm Cuckoo For Choo Choo Stuffs!  Big Smile

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