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Hi, at York I bought a Flying Yankee! I'm very excited, but it has brought up a few questions:


1. The "chrome" could use a cleaning. What would you guys recommend to clean this? Chrome polish? Just water?


2. The 3rd rail pick ups on the vestibules, what should they look like? I have two with rollers (and what look to be more modern fiber boards), and two other designs of what look like springy metal with a button that slides along the track to pick up electric. Which is correct? The engine has sliding shoes, so I'm assuming the rollers wouldn't be correct?


3. Did some of these sets come with whistles? The set number ends in an "e", so I know this particular one didn't have one. The engine however, has a cut out in it that suggests one could be added, and the screw holding the weight inside could be used for a whistle. Anyone know what whistle would fit?

Thanks for any help you may give!

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Hi Michael

 well for the chrome we will wash it up with soap and water and then clean with chrome cleaner. 

  The pick ups that Lionel used were the metal plates with button in center.

   The ones with rollers we're replacements from MTH.

   The MTH ones work very well.

  Yes thy had whistles.

      Most of the ones we have had in for repair Have had whistles in them.

      It should be SW-125 postwar whistle.

Originally Posted by CarGuyZM10:

It's interesting that you guys give two different whistles, and Olsen's has listed a specific whistle for the 616, and then other places says it's the ws-19.


I'm confused to say the least, and thinking of just ordering the modern whistle and weight from Lionel...

WS-85 is the one,  for box whistles.

WS-19 is correct.... it is original to earlier 616W's... many of mine have in them.

Some Yanks have roller vestibules.... they are not all from repairs!

Last edited by Rob English



   As mentioned I would not recommend using any abrasive products on the chrome. It is not very thick. Meguir's (sp) paste wax in the can works great, just enough abrasive to get off the scum, and not enough to scratch the chrome. 


  Like Rob said, the later versions used roller pickups mounted on black fiber. You probably have a mixed set. 


  The two prewar whistles differed by their mounting screw arrangement. I do not mess with Lionel much these days, but if memory serves me correctly some used a little metal bracket like a foot. I would see if you can measure your screw pattern against another and compare pics. 


  Good luck!

I believe that your set would use a WS-85, which is a rectangular, die cast whistle. It should mount with the two screw holes and the whistle port will be where the square hole is.


Pretty sure that you will not be able to use the weight with the whistle in place. One or the other.


A word on these whistles. Over time, they sometimes warp, and either won't whistle, or won't turn, or the gasket goes bad. Make sure you find one that can have the side removed, so you can replace a bad gasket if necessary. Also, the impellers can be destroyed from fatigue and zinc pest.


There are replacement parts for these whistles, so it's not too terrible if you find one and it needs attention.


As for the vestibules, early Lionel yankees used a metal contact that was held by two posts. Later ones used the roller contacts. So it's likely that you have had a vestibule swapped out or it came from the factory mixed.


Never-Dull does a good job on chrome.

Thanks, that would make sense too, and it seems like an easier whistle to find.


As for the weight, with the weight of the whistle in there, I wouldn't see a need for any additional weight.


I've had one whistle (in my 2224W) that was bad and not able to be opened. I sealed the outside with shower caulk, and it works great! So for this, that's not a big issue to me (since the whistle isn't original or truly correct to the piece)


Thanks for the info!

Just use a good quality chrome polish and be sure to not get any on the number plates just in case.


The ROLLER pick up assemblies are correct for the smaller streamlined sets, the slider spring pick ups are for the larger UP sets. I've never seen the sliders on the smaller streamlined sets. I suppose one could be converted as they are the same basic make up as the larger UP ones.


Use any good pre war cast metal box style whistle.





Last edited by TheGandyDancer

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