I own only modern trains except for this Lionel 1615 that I bought about a year ago because I wanted to have at least one authentic Lionel piece from the 1950s that was “Made in USA,” which is what I had as a youngster. Today, while in the basement and inspecting my layouts, I began to study the 1615, which I keep on a stub track at the front of my 10’-by-5’ layout. So, I picked it up and began to look closely at it from every side, top and bottom. The manufacturing quality impressed me the most. And, after at least 62 years, no zinc pest and virtually no defects in the original paint that I could see – except for the effects of handling. Some light file marks are evident at the parting line on top of the boiler and cab roof. They must have been done by hand. Of course, modern technology has left this little locomotive behind. But it certainly is a good example of why Lionel trains were so highly respected when I was a boy.

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MELGAR

MELGAR_2019_0914_LIONEL_1615_01MELGAR_2019_0914_LIONEL_1615_04MELGAR_2019_0914_LIONEL_1615_06MELGAR_2019_0914_LIONEL_1615_07MELGAR_2019_0914_LIONEL_1615_08MELGAR_2019_0914_LIONEL_1615_09

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Original Post

The 1615 was in my first set received from Santa Claus for Christmas 1955.  I think you are spot on with your comments!

For the price point at which these sold ($19.95 for the set, I believe), they are very well built and had enough rod detail to amuse any kid. 

This engine, along with the rest of the set I received long ago; still sees time around one of our two Christmas trees each year.

Curt

I have admired the 1615.  I will probably add one.  I need a good line-up from the 50's.  Lately I've been drooling over prewar cars on the 'Bay. 

MELGAR, if I can drive my 1955 Ford up north for family reunions, you can make that jewel earn her keep.

Bill

The Bald Rock Mountain RR

Over, around, or through.

We haul the freight for you.

 

Odenville Bill posted:

I have admired the 1615.  I will probably add one.  I need a good line-up from the 50's. 

MELGAR, if I can drive my 1955 Ford up north for family reunions, you can make that jewel earn her keep.

Bill

Thanks, Bill.

My 1615 earns its keep when I admire it every time I'm at the layout. I'm sure you drive that '55 Ford gently too. I would.

MELGAR

I bought a 1615 at a show last January that was frozen solid for $5.00.  No tender .  Probably why it was $5,00.   Spent about 30 minutes clean, lube, chk e-unit, etc.  Runs very smooth.

Does yours have a copper cover riveted over the tongue of the drawbar?20190914_22050420190914_22044220190914_22033420190914_220319

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aussteve posted:

Does yours have a copper cover riveted over the tongue of the drawbar?

20190914_220504

Yes. You can see it in the second and fifth photos that I posted, and also this one. I believe this is indicative of the 1956 and 1957 versions. The 1955 version supposedly had a black drawbar.

MELGAR

MELGAR_2019_0914_LIONEL_1615_03

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I've got a 1615 that I bought back in the Seventies.  A great -- if way too fast -- runner.  I have never run it very often, since, to my eyes, those big drivers just look very strange on what's meant to be a representation of a small switching locomotive.  Yeah, I know, it's a toy train.  But it still looks wrong to me.  And Lionel should really have put an illuminated tender on it.

It's easy to add a light to the slope-back tender.  My dad did this with our little MPC-era 8300 when I was a kid.

The 1615 is loosely based on the PRR B6 or A5; as such it's slightly LARGER than 1:48 scale.  The body may be close to Q-scale (17/64" to the foot.)

I've been waiting 30 years for someone to offer a slow-speed retrofit for Lionel's 4- and 6-wheel parallel plate motors.  I know for a fact that a couple different folks have come up with something like this for American Flyer steam.  Why not Lionel!

Lionel redesigned these motors at least five times since 1970, and took the easy way out every time.  Yes, I know they're "toy trains."  But these 0-4-0's have a high center of gravity, and many examples bear the scars of a trip off the table.  I'm not a kid anymore, and I would enjoy it more if it ran slower, especially for those of us with small layouts and sharp curves.

Maybe Neil Young will read this, and make a 'Signature Line' version of the 1615 with Legacy features and performance (as he did with the Texas Special F3 some years ago.)  I doubt it, but I'll never give up hope!

 

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

Ted S posted:

It's easy to add a light to the slope-back tender.  My dad did this with our little MPC-era 8300 when I was a kid.

The 1615 is loosely based on the PRR B6 or A5; as such it's slightly LARGER than 1:48 scale.  The body may be close to Q-scale (17/64" to the foot.)

I've been waiting 30 years for someone to offer a slow-speed retrofit for Lionel's 4- and 6-wheel parallel plate motors.  I know for a fact that a couple different folks have come up with something like this for American Flyer steam.  Why not us!

Lionel redesigned these motors at least five times since 1970, and took the easy way out every time.  Yes, I know they're "toy trains."  But these 0-4-0's have a high center of gravity, and many examples bear the scars of a trip off the table.  I'm not a kid anymore, and I would enjoy it more if it ran slower, especially for those of us with small layouts and sharp curves.

Maybe Neil Young will read this, and make a 'Signature Line' version of the 1615 with Legacy features and performance (as he did with the F3 some years ago.)  I doubt it, but I'll never give up hope!

 

Agreed, and let's have good smoke and sound too.

I wonder if the LC+2.0 steam switcher with front and rear electrocouplers in the latest Lionel catalogue priced at about $250 will be like this. Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Ted S posted:

It's easy to add a light to the slope-back tender.  My dad did this with our little MPC-era 8300 when I was a kid.

Yes, it's a fairly straightforward job.  I did that to mine, and installed Lionel plastic-frame archbar trucks at the same time.  Also relettered it "Pennsylvania."  Improves the looks quite a lot.

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