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Here's something I think is pretty cool. I was looking over this Lionel #124 station today and it looks like somebody put a home made smoke unit in the chimney. They soldered up the seams on the chimney corner and inside the base to make it liquid tight. There's a little heating element looks like 3/8" square of mica with nichrome wire wrapped around it. I don't know enough about post-war Lionel to say but the smoke unit may have been pirated from a PW engine. Looks like the work was done a long time ago...like 70 years ago. A little crusty but I'd like to try it out someday,  would be neat to see smoke wafting from that little chimney again.

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I never really studied this station before but the detail's on it are impressive. Besides the fine stampings, the corner light stanchions are made of heavy castings and the spring-loaded/self -closing litho doors with their little brass knobs are great.

I guess it had to be nice to justify the princely sum of $9.00 in 1925 !

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This repro Standard Gauge Dorfan Electric engine is currently on its way. Snagged on the evilBay.



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With this addition (a filly) to my Standard Gauge "stable" of engines, I will have in repro or originals:

Dorfan Electric, AF "Shasta" Electric engine, AF Gold Millenium "Commander", Ives 1134 loco, Lionel 392E loco, Lionel Electric 381E, Lionel Electric 408E (filly).

One more is soon to be forthcoming- an original 1931 AF bell ringer Brass Piper locomotive, with an original  AF 1931-1932 Vanderbilt Tender.

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This repro Standard Gauge Dorfan Electric engine is currently on its way. Snagged on the evilBay.



fullsizeoutput_b890

With this addition (a filly) to my Standard Gauge "stable" of engines, I will have in repro or originals:

Dorfan Electric, AF "Shasta" Electric engine, AF Gold Millenium "Commander", Ives 1134 loco, Lionel 392E loco, Lionel Electric 381E, Lionel Electric 408E (filly).

One more is soon to be forthcoming- an original 1931 AF bell ringer Brass Piper locomotive, with an original  AF 1931-1932 Vanderbilt Tender.

They are very smooth running, you'll like it. They do have a unique coupler though.

Steve

I have been making balustrades/guard rails for my Christmas "display layout". Here are some along the front in their unfinished state. They are made from poplar with small gallery rail turnings. I am debating whether to make them cream or green. I think I will start with cream, which will differentiate them from the station platforms behind them. You can also see the unpainted fascia with moldings that is the front of the table.

The scenic plot on this layout, seen in the background of several photos, can be seen in OGR Run 315 in an article on making the trees.

I haven't posted pictures of the whole thing this year, because I have been trying to get it more finished.

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Will those look great! These will add a lot of character to the display. Initially I had the same thought as John for the color combination. However, the question I have is what about the display fascia and molding, is that staying natural or being stained/painted? That or the railing would influence my decision on the other. Again, I really like the finished detail these will add to what looks like a fantastic display.

Last edited by Rich Wiemann

@G-Man24 very interesting pre-war modifies smoking station! The station itself look in nice shape. Apples to oranges, but I have a K-line ranch house with a smoke unit(the kind you see in a modern day train) that doesn’t work. Hope you have more luck with yours!

making an interesting connection with the aforementioned and @TrainFam ‘s post of his Ives 113. First- very nice pick-up, looks to be in fantastic shape. I have an Ives 115? It’s very similar but only one door that “opens” on each side. Gray tile like sidewalk around it. Someone modified it to have a light on the inside quite a long time ago- the wire is covered in old fabric- but it works well.

@Carey TeaRose very nice loco! Also/ congrats on your photos appearance in the most recent Interchange!

@Will very nice consist- looks great for a Christmas layout! The cars are in great shape!

@Pete in Kansas FANTASTIC work on “turning garbage in to gold”(as one of my favorite sports commentators used to say). That Reading paint job is great. Kudos on the wonderful work!

Picked up this little guy recently. 1920s Bub produced , from what I’ve read, and also sold by Issmayer and Carretes however the Issmayer version that I’ve seen has the typical “Bing style” l European type couplers. No clear markings on this car. The fixed upright tab and oval opening is I assume because it was a wind-upz simple car but colorful and actually in decent shape except for the lack of a roof

on the tracks, side A

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Side B, looks like there was a marking in the middle long ago rubbed off

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One of the ends15AB3566-0B0F-476A-8A42-BDE7E78C9681

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Will those look great! These will add a lot of character to the display. Initially I had the same thought as John for the color combination. However, the question I have is what about the display fascia and molding, is that staying natural or being stained/painted? That or the railing would influence my decision on the other. Again, I really like the finished detail these will add to what looks like a fantastic display.

This reply is for John Shelter too. I actually have a pair of 106 bridges on the layout. I hadn't thought about a two-color scheme, so I may have to ponder on that. If they matched the bridges, I guess the columns would be cream and the actual balustrades green. Or maybe the opposite would look better. Not sure.

The table fascia will be painted cream like the prewar table layout in Ron Hollander's book. I may put a "Lionel Trains" logo on the face. I probably should paint the fascia first and prime the ballustrade in cream and see if it looks ok blended in.. Then decide if I want to take the plunge and add green. There is already a lot of green in the two 46 crossing gates and the two 156 platforms which are right behind this. They are hidden by the train in these photos.

@TrainFam posted:

@StevefromPA

do you mind sharing a picture of your station?

                                                    Trainfam

Trianfam, no prob. That said, I’m sorry because I got my Ives items and catalog numbers confused. I have the  rather cumbersome115 FREIGHT station and, according to the Ives Society, an early version of the 201 Passenger station(1923-1928) which I think I also combined with the #96 Prewar Flyer station that has a baggage room door and waiting room door, though no lithographed people on that station. Anyway, the pictures of the 201 are below.

Front:

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Back

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The light used to hang from the ceiling via two wires that went through holes made in the station roof(due to the darkness of the 2nd photo you can’t really see them). Now they just go in the back door.

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I have another prewar Flyer Northern on the way. Tender is a little rough, but should be able to get it back running again with some side frames and a pilot. Looking forward to getting this one as it as nice solid numbers on it unlike my other 806.  This would be the 1939 spur gear motor version with the RDC reverse (sort of like Lionel's Magic Electrol).  It triggers using the Lionel whistle control if you don't have the proper Flyer RDC controller button.  It is a little interesting that the tender is a chugger which they did not start making until 1941 so either it's a put together loco and tender or the accepted timeline is  suspect.



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<snip>  This would be the 1939 spur gear motor version with the RDC reverse (sort of like Lionel's Magic Electrol).  It triggers using the Lionel whistle control if you don't have the proper Flyer RDC controller button.  It is a little interesting that the tender is a chugger which they did not start making until 1941 so either it's a put together loco and tender or the accepted timeline is  suspect. <snip>

The chugger tenders were offered for separate sale in 1941, so the mating of an older spur gear version of the Northern with the newer tender is easy to imagine. I have a complete No. 4024 set (OBs) with a No. 554 and the three die cast Tuscan heavyweights. The pulling power of the Gilbert prewar Northern is truly amazing.

Have fun!

Bob

This is kind of funny.  I do have a 001 Hudson in great  shape already, but I also have a spare boiler and bare chassis.. well just because...  Anyway, I was  surfing like I tend to do and the old keen eye caught something in these pictures and I was able to win this little pile for about $18...  I don't see any pest at least not in the pictures of the listing.  I'm not sure if this is a two rail or a three railer missing the center pickup.  Would the two rail ones have also had the reverse unit?  Will still have a few parts to track down, but this should about wrap up a second 00 Hudson sans tender lol

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Here's hoping a long search is over. Nothing exotic, but for some reason a single arm A.R. Fergusson semaphore has been tough to find. This showed up last night as a buy it now, listed as Ives/Flyer. Won't know for sure till it gets here. I've "bought" a few that turned out to be 2 arm ones with a missing arm. Seeing this, if it's real, there is a definite difference in height.

Steve

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I didn't make this...someone long, long ago made it. It's a Standard Gage crossing made using a wooden base and rails scavenged from some old tubular track. Really neat the way they notched, folded and soldered the corners to make the 90* bends. Small screws on top of the track flange hold the track to the base. They even ran some type of jumper within the wood to carry power through the center "+" section. Likely made out of necessity by someone who needed a compact (7") crossing for their layout or by someone who couldn't afford to buy one from the catalog. I always enjoy seeing stuff like this.

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I have another prewar Flyer Northern on the way. Tender is a little rough, but should be able to get it back running again with some side frames and a pilot. Looking forward to getting this one as it as nice solid numbers on it unlike my other 806.  This would be the 1939 spur gear motor version with the RDC reverse (sort of like Lionel's Magic Electrol).  It triggers using the Lionel whistle control if you don't have the proper Flyer RDC controller button.  It is a little interesting that the tender is a chugger which they did not start making until 1941 so either it's a put together loco and tender or the accepted timeline is  suspect.



806 loco bottom806 parts806 tender bottomnew 806

I've got a love/hate relationship with those prewar Flyer 3/16ths O gauge locomotives - my first exposure to them was rebuilding a small fleet of them for a train  museum. I loved the look, especially the UP 4-8-4 and long tender - I quickly discovered the dirty secret of the prewar Flyer pieces. I chose a 4-8-4, started to back out a screw and suddenly a chunk of the casting came off with the screw in place - grrrr, the dreaded Dorfan's Disease (zinc pest) reared its ugly head - this would be where the hate part ot the equation came into play. The shell disintegrated - I ended up with a chassis which I got running, all the non-cast detail pieces and luckily a boiler front; the tender shell had crazing and crumbling, all the steps had snapped off, and the chassis was warped from front to back L got all the trim pieces, a drawbar and unbelievably a pair of tender trucks with minimal bowing of the  sideframes. Each piece was a crapshoot- some were solid, others looked solid but turned to zinc crumbles - never a dull moment working on those Flyer locomotives.

Last edited by MTN

I’ve been busy working on cleaning a motor that was, well, to put it lightly, dirty. Needless to say the motor had most likely not been cleaned in a long while, most likely years. I used q tips, a toothbrush, oil, toothpick‘s, and a paint brush to clean the motor up. It will still need some work as it needs a new pickup plate and new wiring, but I’d say it’s quite the turn around:

before:

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after:

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                                                Trainfam

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@G-Man24 posted:

Nice job. Is there a solvent , like mineral spirits or naphtha , where it would be safe to soak the entire assembly ?


.



Hi @G-Man24

I am not aware of any solvents that this type of assembly would be safe to totally soak in. I’ve always taken the whole thing apart to clean the motor as some parts (such as the commutator and it’s windings and rings) react differently to solvents, and can be damaged easily. Maybe there is a solvent that could work, but I am not aware of it. Interesting idea.

                                                     Trainfam

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@G-Man24 posted:

I didn't buy it but I spotted this interesting item in a recent auction lot. It was presented as a "Dorfan O Gage Helix" and sold for just under $1,000. That seems an awfully long unsupported section at the top.. must have been exciting !   Does anybody have a catalog picture of this ?



I don't believe that is a Dorfan item.  I have seen those helixes advertised, but I do not recall who made them.  I do recall that they were not made by one of the train manufacturers.  I believe they were sold in both O and Standard gauges.

NWL

Last edited by Nation Wide Lines

I don't believe that is a Dorfan item.  I have seen those helixes advertised, but I do not recall who made them.  I do recall that they were not made by one of the train manufacturers.  I believe they were sold in both O and Standard gauges.

NWL

Interesting now that I did some searching it definitely looks like there were other manufacturers of those helix setups. However I did find a photo of another example with identical support bracing and it has a very detailed description to go with it ( if it's to be believed.)   I'm not a Dorfan collector so I can't even give an educated guess.

DESCRIPTION
Circa 1928 Dorfan O gauge figure-8 helix store display layout. 76 X 34 X 18". Found in a upstate Connecticut Barn! This awesome 3-rail O gauge layout designed to showcase the pulling power of the diecast Dorfan locomotives. As apposed to the 1940s Delton solid rail helix, the Dorfan utilized its tube style track and used its unique white center track insulators. This is the red & gray version and could use a detailed cleaning. We did a cursorily cleaning to test its operation which was very smooth. Few of these Dorfan layouts have survived, this example is better than the other 3 we have seen. It is assembled and center rails have been soldered in spots, so full dis-assembly is not easily possible. It requires 2 power sources, as the down side will be faster.
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Here's my latest, an Edaville RR train in Standard gauge. Now I know standard gauge is far from what Edaville was but some time ago I made an Edaville boxcar from a junk 114. I couldn't have just one car so I put together a small train. A green 33 ( as I recall Edaville had a small center cab and I think it was even green) my 114 boxcar, a 116 ballast hopper, and a reworked 117 caboose.  Overall it makes a nice little train.

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Last edited by Pete in Kansas

25 years ago I acquired a white Ives Limited Vestibule Express  Yale car in super condition.I've always been interested in completing the 3 car set and yesterday I was the winner of  the #60 mail/express car in prettyLVE NR 60 Mail CarLAYOUT IVES YALE COACHin pretty good shape though not as pristine as Yale. Beggars can't be choosey.  Now, all I have to do is find the early White Harvard 8 wheeler with tab and slot couplers.Here are two photos.  When Nr 60 arrives I'll take some shots of the two cars being pulled by an Ives Nr 17. It will be my version of the famous New York and New England White Train.

Lew Schneider

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The Amazing American Flyer No. 5 1/2 Clockwork Locomotive

  Not too long ago I won a bid for an American Flyer clockwork set.  I was almost certain the pictured set and possibly its set box weren't - that is to say I didn't think the set was an actual issued set and I didn't think the set box corresponded to the illustrated contents.  The reason I was interested in making the purchase was because I had parts of other American Flyer sets in need of the pictured items to make them complete.

  When everything arrived my suspicions were confirmed - the set box was for set #16 ca. 1918-1920, the two passenger cars were from about the same period but had nothing to do with a Set #16 nor with the engine they came with. The engine was a Greenberg Type IX with no brake which made it a No.1. The tender put the engine/tender combination in the 1920-1921 time frame.  This, coupled with the count of straight and curved track that was part of the purchase suggested the engine, tender, and track were most likely from Set #1 ca 1920-21.

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  The only thing missing was the No.1103 passenger car...fortunately I just happened to have an orphan looking for membership in a set so I put everything together (the 1921 catalog cut is a modification of an earlier catalog illustration. By 1920 the #1103 just had "American Flyer" on the letter board) .

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  The Type IX engine can be found just with cast "A.F." letters under the cab window or with the cast letter and number combinations of  "A.F. 10" or "A.F. 11". Over the years I've seen all three types.  The Greenberg book states," It would make sense that American Flyer would use "A.F. 10" for No. 1 and "A.F. 11" for No. 2, but in true American Flyer fashion both numbers show up on both locomotives."

  Once I got everything cleaned up I took a closer look at my No.1 and found something curious...

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  Instead of a 10 - which would be the accepted code for a No. 1 the cast letter/number combination under the cab is "A.F. 1".  Needless to say, I was a bit surprised.  When I checked the other side I found...

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which is in keeping with the Greenberg quote. So, since, 1+10 = 11 and 11/2 = 5.5 it is obvious what we have here is an American Flyer No.5 1/2.

  Seriously, what is interesting is this casting would suggest for some short period after the introduction of the Type IX engine Flyer did turn out No. 1 engines with a #1 cast under the cab window on both sides...now all I have to do is find one.

  As for the why of this engine I'm sure it is just the standard Flyer practice of using up old inventory. I have several Flyer items which are the result of this parsimonious manufacturing methodology.

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Last edited by Robert S. Butler
@pd posted:

A hand-crafted "remake" of a prewar composite Elastolin castle and tunnel, with a number of artistic liberties taken:

Hats off to my friend Howard (sawdust43) for the inspiration and motivation, not to mention a few supplies.

Now, what to do with it.

On to the next.

PD

Okay, that's one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Tell us more.

Elastolin had an extensive line of toy forts/castles it developed during the interwar period which they produced up until 1941 or 1942, than resumed production following the war. The prewar toys were manufactured of a fibrous composite material; after the war Elastolin moved to an extruded/formed plastic. During the 1950s, the range was expanded to include HO or OO scale versions.

Here's an example of a composite Elastolin castle toy which included a tunnel (not all versions had tunnels running through the base):

We used this version as the basis for a remake. It's missing a few bits, but provides a good sense of what the components and structural scale is. The Elastolin version is basically the base with a number of components that are arranged to form the castle. We built our interpretation in two sections: (1) the tunnel base and (2) the castle structure on a separate base.

Construction of the base and tunnel was pretty straightforward using traditional model railroad techniques. We used papier-mâché to cover it, not plaster-cloth, as we thought this was something often used by the various toy manufacturers for such things during the prewar period. I hadn't done any papier-mâché since high school and had forgotten a number of its characteristics, one being its tendency to shrink as it dried. This resulted in the underlying ribs becoming visible in a few places, but no worries. The papier-mâché comprised torn up paper grocery bags and diluted white glue.

Nearly all of the materials used for construction, with the exception of the drawbridge hinge, a small bit of chain (leftover from a Christmas "garden" project), and a couple bottles of acrylic craft paint, were either scraps from the workshop or bits found for free. Cereal boxes, USPS shipping boxes, single-faced corrugated from liquor store signage/displays, and a few scraps of O-scale brick-paper were all used. Here's a montage of construction at various stages:

The dimensions are approximately 16 inches end-to-end, and roughly 18 inches tall. I intentionally compressed the design a bit while making it taller and a bit closer to O-scale. I freely admit to making a number of design gaffes along the way resulting in "Oh, that's why they did that" moments.

I can't stress enough, Howard (sawdust43) blazed the trail on this with a version of his own. He included a number of features in his that I omitted, including some very professionally designed and installed LED lighting. I can't say I would have ever attempted this without seeing his first, together with the words of encouragement and the hints he provided along the way. Perhaps the best result was I got a new friend out of the process.

That's about it. Should make a nice backdrop for a few European clockworks I have. Hopefully I won't inadvertently put my foot through the side of it before then.

PD

Last edited by pd

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