If you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the forums homepage, you'll find the homepage of the Classic Toy Trains crowd. That's where the Lionel experts hang out.
My (fond) memories of Lionel are a bit dated. I 'graduated' to HO scale in 1948, and then to 1:80 scale Japanese prototype more than half a century ago.
Chuck (Modeling Central Japan in September, 1964 - in 1:80 scale, aka HOj)