Old Lionel PreWar Switches

5859 views
12 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • 302,230 posts
Old Lionel PreWar Switches
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, January 23, 2005 1:22 PM
I picked up some old Lionel PreWar 'O' gauge switches for my train layout. they work really well as far as reliability is concerned, but I do have a problem with the rollers on my engines sometimes getting hung up in the rails that form the junction between straight and curved. It is where the center rail goes down under the curved rail and there is a big gap. Is there something I can fill the gap in with? I'm afraid of have a roller torn off if it keeps getting stuck there. Newer switches have a different setup for the center rail and this does not seem to be a problem. I would like to run these older switches if I can because the wheel flanges are too deep for the newer switches and besides I like the look of the older metal switches.

I hope someone here like 'lionelsoni' or 'Brianel' might have an idea or two. I was thinking of making a piece of wood filed down in the shape of the space and maybe that might work leaving enough room for the wheel flanges.

I had a great holiday season and my uncle gave me a Lionel #3652 Gondola car that is yellow and unloads by remote control. It is metal and PreWar! Cool!
It has those funny elctric couplers on it but it matches up to my stuff that has manual couplers. I also got some Plasticville buildings too. My girl friend got me those. She thinks my trains are way cool!
  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Austin, TX
  • 9,847 posts
Posted by lionelsoni on Sunday, January 23, 2005 1:52 PM
Sorry. I've never worked with a prewar switch. But your idea seems reasonable in principle.

Bob Nelson

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: North Texas
  • 5,128 posts
Posted by wrmcclellan on Sunday, January 23, 2005 2:32 PM
Pease,

If you are talking about 021 switches, you are right. The gap is wider and there is no assistance from the bakelite or plastic casting to lift the roller a bit before it crosses the outer rails of the opposite route.

We have had the same problem with Atlas O switches on the club layout where the gap destroys roller arms (particularly the MTH MIkados).

Rick B of our club made balsa wood (or plastic - Plastruct) fillers to prevent the rollers from dropping.

However - on the 021 (if this is what you have), this will be a bit more difficult as there is just not much to mount a filler on and not interfere with the flangeways.

The pre-war 022 and 1122 (0-27) are supposed to be the same castings as the post-war versions. I do not have any of these (that I know of) - so I cannot comment if there are any major differences in the castings in the area of the frog and carrying of rollers.

Regards,
Roy

Regards, Roy

            

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • 302,230 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, January 23, 2005 2:57 PM
My switches are metal, painted black, with silver motors, no bakelite or plastic in them. they have a little metal plate on them that says "AUTOMATICALLY CONTROLLED ILLUMINTAED SWITCH" "THE LIONEL CORPORATION,NY"
"#011". These are non-derailing type switches in 'O' gauge not 027. Part of the rails are made of a composition material that is brown colored. All the rest is metal except for the insulators and pins.

Hope this helps a little more.
  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • 302,230 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, January 24, 2005 7:59 PM
Try cutting a triangular piece of that blue insulating board
that is about 3/8" thick and pushing it down into the cavity
between the brown rails that you describe. Once you have
seated the foam board firmly down, take a wide flat bladed
screwdriver and push down along the edges nearest the
rails to make a flangeway for your wheels. The top surface
of the foam board should be even or just below the level
of the rails around it. This should let the rollers travel over
the void and not get hung up. I have used this method for
many years now and it works great and it doesn't alter the
original switch. Also when the foam board gets some wear
or starts to get dirty, I just lift it out and insert a new piece.

My Dad showed me this idea way back in the 70s when he
had his Standard Gauge layout. He had the same trouble
with those switches. MTH has a newer version out now that
has corrected the problem. Wish MTH made those things
in O Gauge.

Oh yeah, the blue foam board will last quite a long time and
will wear better than regular styrofoam.
  • Member since
    August, 2013
  • 29 posts
Posted by George Thill on Tuesday, July 08, 2014 6:34 AM

Hi,

Have you run any of the lionel Box Cab Locos (248, 152) and early cars on 011 0r 012 switches useing this gap-filler? Are there any paticular problems?

I'm building a combo Standard Gauge and early O gauge layout and would like to use similar looking switches for both: #222 for STD, and # 011 for O.

Thanks,

George Thill

  • Member since
    November, 2015
  • 211 posts
Posted by JTrains on Sunday, September 25, 2016 7:58 PM

I'd like to take apart the switch mechanism on a pair of Pre-War 011 switches (to both clean as well as to add a fixed voltage source) but can't seem to get the cover off.  I removed the two screws from the sides of the top plate - but things didn't seem to want to budge and I didn't want to apply more force than what I was using.  Haven't been able to find many notes about these switches.  Does anyone have pointers as to how these come apart?

IT consultant by day, 3rd generation Lionel guy (raising a 3YO 4th generation Lionel Lil' Man) by night in the suburbs of the greatest city in the world - Chicago. Home of the ever-changing Illinois Concretus Ry.

  • Member since
    October, 2016
  • 4 posts
Posted by Oregon Ace on Thursday, October 06, 2016 2:42 PM

I'm not finding any provision to edit a previous post. Trying to fix photo posting issue.

[quote user="Oregon Ace"]

This is something I've wondered about, whether those old prewar switches will snag rollers. Sure looks like it. I was given a rusted batch of prewar switches a couple years ago and sold them off cheap because I had too many other projects to deal with. Lionel's postwar switches have the big center-rail 'blob' betwen the switchpoints, apparently a redesign to accomodate rollers better. I suspected the prewar switches would be a problem for postwar trains, although I never tried them because the rusty switches needed a lot of clean-up work.

http://i1273.photobucket.com/albums/y413/Ace97601/100_3684_zpsrymw1ggr.jpg

  • Member since
    November, 2015
  • 211 posts
Posted by JTrains on Sunday, October 09, 2016 7:34 AM

Oregon Ace

This is something I've wondered about, whether those old prewar switches will snag rollers. 

Having read others' previous comments, as part of my effort to incorporate them into my layout I thought I'd run some tests.  At this point I've had one of the 011s substituted in place of a straight piece of the track on my ICRR and it has yet to snag anything I've thrown at it over the past couple of weeks.  I haven't run any PW shoe operating cars at it - I'll do that later today.  From there I'm going to move it "on a little farther down the line" (as Johnny Cash would say) and substitue it for a curve and repeat the experiment.  Will report back what I see.  Of course YMMV - so far, so good though.

IT consultant by day, 3rd generation Lionel guy (raising a 3YO 4th generation Lionel Lil' Man) by night in the suburbs of the greatest city in the world - Chicago. Home of the ever-changing Illinois Concretus Ry.

  • Member since
    November, 2015
  • 211 posts
Posted by JTrains on Saturday, November 05, 2016 9:27 AM

JTrains

At this point I've had one of the 011s substituted in place of a straight piece of the track on my ICRR and it has yet to snag anything I've thrown at it over the past couple of weeks.  I haven't run any PW shoe operating cars at it - I'll do that later today.  From there I'm going to move it "on a little farther down the line" (as Johnny Cash would say) and substitue it for a curve and repeat the experiment.  Will report back what I see.  Of course YMMV - so far, so good though.

Well, after a month of testing I only ran into a clear problem with cars that have a circa 1970 "hollow roller" pickup (like some early Fundimensions whistle tenders).  The roller almost gets lodged in the switch causing a derailment.  I was also less than impressed by the "thump" that the roller on my #50 gang car made when going through the 011.  Perhaps what was the "worst" was that the switch coil energized each time cars went through it because of its anti-derailment design, drawing about 1A off the track current in the process.  Once the switch did not quite fully close and the coil remained energized, eventually causing my 3A circuit breaker to open.

Because of all of this, I'm not sure where/how I'm going to use my pair of 011s. Putting it on a mainline operating at normal speeds has its issues - and using it in a yard/siding exposes the coil to constant operation if cars are left across it.  We'll have to see...

IT consultant by day, 3rd generation Lionel guy (raising a 3YO 4th generation Lionel Lil' Man) by night in the suburbs of the greatest city in the world - Chicago. Home of the ever-changing Illinois Concretus Ry.

  • Member since
    October, 2015
  • 114 posts
Posted by Toy Trains FTW on Sunday, November 06, 2016 7:41 AM

Anonymous
I picked up some old Lionel PreWar 'O' gauge switches for my train layout. they work really well as far as reliability is concerned, but I do have a problem with the rollers on my engines sometimes getting hung up in the rails that form the junction between straight and curved. It is where the center rail goes down under the curved rail and there is a big gap. Is there something I can fill the gap in with? I'm afraid of have a roller torn off if it keeps getting stuck there. Newer switches have a different setup for the center rail and this does not seem to be a problem. I would like to run these older switches if I can because the wheel flanges are too deep for the newer switches and besides I like the look of the older metal switches.

I hope someone here like 'lionelsoni' or 'Brianel' might have an idea or two. I was thinking of making a piece of wood filed down in the shape of the space and maybe that might work leaving enough room for the wheel flanges.

I had a great holiday season and my uncle gave me a Lionel #3652 Gondola car that is yellow and unloads by remote control. It is metal and PreWar! Cool!
It has those funny elctric couplers on it but it matches up to my stuff that has manual couplers. I also got some Plasticville buildings too. My girl friend got me those. She thinks my trains are way cool!
 



i am not familiar with this issue but i do recall someone somewhere stating to put track pins in the track so they stick out and cover the gap. i dont know if thats right and i am not familiar with those type switchs so sorry if this doesnt help you at all.

  • Member since
    July, 2019
  • 1 posts
Posted by Folsomprisoner on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 12:13 PM

Does anyone have a wiring diagram for the left and right Lionel prewar 012 switches? And for the 011 switches? I have a 2 of the 012 and 4 of the 011 and only about half of them work so I need to pop them open and look at the wiring but I don't have a guide. One of the 012 switches won't switch, it just hoovers in the center and makes a terrible buzzing noise, not sure what's going on with it. any help would be appreciated. Some of the 011 work but intermittently, not sure how to fix that either.

  • Member since
    April, 2005
  • From: South Carolina
  • 9,521 posts
Posted by rtraincollector on Thursday, August 22, 2019 1:17 AM

Do you have issolation pins on the two inner rails

 

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

http://rtssite.shutterfly.com/

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Get the Classic Toy Trains newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month