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1950s era HO switcher engine inquiry

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1950s era HO switcher engine inquiry
Posted by Benjamin Maggi on Monday, September 21, 2020 2:07 PM

First off, let me say that I originally asked me question a couple of years ago on CTT (http://cs.trains.com/ctt/f/95/t/211159.aspx) but never discovered the answer. So I thought I would ask here.

When I was young I played with my grandfather's Lionel train. It was only a LV #625 0-27 freight set but I had lots of fun with it. I hoped to inherit it someday but it has since disappeared. One of the things that my grandfather would keep in the box of trains for me to play with was a smaller train engine. It was completely made of plastic, except for metal wheels and metal couplers. For couplers, it had metal tabs that extended out and then bent down- roughly in the same fashion as cheap plastic train sets today. The engine looked like an SW-7, and can be on the flatcar directly behind the engine.

It was roughly HO scale, but I don't think it was designed to run on HO scale track. If you flipped it over, the inside was hollow... no motors, no gears, etc. Each "truck" was only one axle with tinplate flanges, and the trucks were actually like steam engine pilot or trailing trucks in that they pivoted on the inside of the body. Aside from maybe handrails there wasn't much detail, and I don't think a manufacturer's name was stamped on it.

I could put it on the Lionel track between two of the three rails and push it with the Lionel engine. Since it didn't short out the engine I guess the wheels were insulated. Whenever it got to the automatic uncoupler track it would ride up over it and sometimes come back down on the other side, and sometimes derail. 

I don't collect vintage HO trains and I haven't any books to look it up in. Since it probably dates to around the same time period as the Lionel set looking on CTT made sense. But, perhaps an HO collector here might know what it is. Any ideas?

Thanks.

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

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Posted by snjroy on Monday, September 21, 2020 2:15 PM

Varney maybe? Hard to say with so little information.

Simon

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, September 21, 2020 2:34 PM

It is very hard to tell with such a poor picture and very little to go on.

Since it is a toy, and not a model train, it is very doubtful you will get much help. I have been to many antique stores, and never ran across a toy that meets this description.

I hope you can find out something.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by Benjamin Maggi on Monday, September 21, 2020 3:00 PM

Sadly, you might be correct. It was a toy. But, I imagine that the tooling might also have been used to make powered trains too. Because the wheels pivot instead of being fixed in the frame, it could go around curves so it probably had track that went with it (a pull toy with pivoting wheels would bind). And, with all the collective experience here I figured I would ask. 

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

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Posted by Trainman440 on Monday, September 21, 2020 4:45 PM

This has become super interesting to me. I'd like to help, but I might be far off, since I dont know much about vintage toy trains. 

You said it rode on two of 3 rail track. That makes me think S or HO scale.

This looks like the "tinplate" sides, and there's only two wheels on this engine.

Though it doesn't look quite like this.

----------------------------

https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/marx-lemon-yellow-union-pacific-1821499059

^this item's last picture has a similar looking underframe to the one you described. If you removed the center power unit, and just kept the outermost "pivoting" wheels, it sounds like it may somewhat resemble what you were talking about. 

Charles

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Modeling the Santa Fe & Pennsylvania in HO

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Posted by rbturner on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 6:31 AM

I believe the loco is a Sakai. I have one. I'll try and send you a PM.

Randy
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Posted by rbturner on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 6:49 AM

Randy
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Posted by Benjamin Maggi on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 7:38 AM

Randy,

That sure looks like it from the top. What does the underside look like? I don't reall the trucks having 2-axles but from this view they are just molded plastic. The actual wheel assemblies will be more telling. Thanks.

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

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Posted by rbturner on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 9:44 AM

Benjamin, This one has a motor and the 2 inside axles are powered. I'll try and get you a picture of the bottom. As you can see, I put Kadees on it. Why I did that, I have no clue.

 

Randy
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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 10:09 AM

 Even 'regular' HO will sort of run between the center and outside rail of Lionel O-27 track.I know because I remember doing that with some of my Tyco HO, swapping the Lionel transformer for a DC power pack (I knew it wouldn't work with AC). Doesn't exactly stay on the track very well, since it's really just the outside edges of the wheel treads touching the tubular Lionel rails, but in a straight line it's ok.

 Tyco HO locos will not, however, jump a gap like Hot Wheels cars. Whistling

                              --Randy (the one without a loco in my avatar - though I could change to that shot of me in the cab of FP7 #903...)

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by Benjamin Maggi on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 11:08 AM

Thanks. Mine clearly had no motor and was a dummy, but Sakai might have made multiple lines of trains using the same molds.

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

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Posted by rbturner on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 8:25 PM

Here's the bottom;

 

Randy
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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 8:27 PM

Is that the same chassis as in a Hustler?  Seems like a repurpose of convenience...

And are those pointed axles actually held in the casting only by the tension of the rubber bands?  That's Amfibia-level clever use of crude simplicity... Wink

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 9:58 PM

 The Lionel HO track car that had the big blue bumpers and a built in reversing switch did the same thing. Only 1 axle was driven with a rubber band, but that axle was retained by the rubber band alone.

                                 --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by Benjamin Maggi on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 9:12 AM

Thank you so much. My engine certainly did not have the power unit, but perhaps it was designed to fit over a power unit or the company may have sold them both ways. Regardless, I appreciate all of your pictures! 

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

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 12:55 PM

Benjamin Maggi
Regardless, I appreciate all of your pictures! 

I am pleasently surprised that the forum members could provide you with the right answer.

They are amazing!

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 9:53 PM

RBTURNER - Realizing it has no real prototype, your model looks like it was based on  a very early EMD SW1 Phase I as it has the "front porch" tool box (also seat for brakemen) and stepped hood-cab junction with no exhaust stack (added later by RR shops and original equipment on later SW1's)

https://i2.wp.com/digitalrailartist.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/WWV-77.jpg

What is wierd is the mid-hood exhaust fan - not needed as the engine fan and radiators are at the front of the locomotive. I guess I'd explain it away as being for dynamic brakes for units used in road service ,although it has no intakes for cooling air (DB equipped SW's existed but looked noting like this (note DB installation just ahead of cab)

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/e6/06/13/e60613828c971c9581649831606dfac1.jpg

The holes in the frame are just mythical

The trucks are the so-called "AAR Type A"

 

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 11:48 PM

Ben and Randy. I can't believe I was so blinkered it never occurred to me! Try taking your question to the Train Collectors Association - the toy (assopposed to model) experts

https://traincollectors.org

Lets us know the results, please. 

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