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A couple of years ago (before I started building my layout), I had a flood in my basement. While most things were up off the floor, the water rose to the bottom of the box which my original Lionel trains were stored in (a 1962 13008 Super O set). Unfortunately, the bottom of the 637 steamer got wet and I didn’t realize it for a couple of weeks. This is what it looked like...


Based on many comments on the forum, I decided to contact Len Carparelli to see if the engine could be repaired... I sent him some pics of the damage And we discussed my options. From the pics, Len suggested that the damage was pretty bad and a repair might be expensive - more than the engine was worth. Since there is substantial sentimental value in the engine, I sent it to Len for a full inspection and evaluation. After he  got the engine on his workbench, he found that the corrosion, while significant, hadn’t attacked the wheels, so he was able to remove all the rust. Len also checked out the motor and did some lube work. Here is the engine after he sent it back...


So, today, for the first time in probably 45 years, my original train set road the rails (well, almost my set - I can’t fine the work caboose from the set, so I substituted my older brother’s rather generic caboose). And, in a break with current operating procedures, I popped an original smoke pellet in the stack - it still works!!!

Thanks Len for a beautiful job!!! Later this week I will pack up the 2360 I bought from Madison Hardware for my mother back around 1980 - the shell needs some TLC!!!


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Last edited by Apples55
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the 6119-100 is an easy caboose to replace if you can not find the original

Thanks, Bill. Actually, the caboose in my set wasn’t quite the 6119-100. Mine is the same style, but all red and marked for Santa Fe. Of all the trains in the set, the caboose was the one I know I’ve had in my hands recently... just can’t remember where I put it. I’m in the process of doing a major clean up of my crappy basement, so I think/hope it’s only time until it shows up!!!

@MELGAR posted:


Engine looks like new. To me, the whistle and smoke are just as entertaining as on a modern engine.


Thanks, MELGAR... fortunately, the engine shell was in excellent condition (I guess I was pretty careful with my toys!!!)… the smoke is great since it has absolutely no scent (can’t stand the petroleum smell from any of the new liquid smoke ). The sound, overall is rather nostalgic... the engine has that old growl I remember. As for the tender, the whistle is a bit rough, but it was serviced and hasn’t been used in over 40 years. One of these days when I get some time, I’m going to have to look into how the whistle can be serviced.

Last edited by Apples55
@hold*on posted:

Didn't know that Len repaired as well as repainted engines.  Another example of his "done right" workmanship.  I cherish items he has done over the years for me.

Not only does Len repaint, he doesn’t repaint!!! In discussing my engine with Len, one of my main requirements was that the shell - which was in great shape - not be touched since it was all original. Len didn’t disappoint!!! I am so happy that he was able to bring my very first Lionel engine back to life!!!

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