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My collection of post war locomotives includes two dis-similar Lionel 2026 locomotives - a 2-6-2 and a 2-6-4. The     2-6-4 has roller pick-ups. The 2-6-2 has tabs the sled over the center rail. Although I will be running them on O gauge tubular track when I finish my basement layout. The 2-6-2 ran only in fits and starts (mostly fits and stops) on the fastrack around my Christmas tree. The other 2026 as well as the 665, the heavyweight Fairbanks Morris Diesel, and a little switcher all ran fine. Two questions

1.  Do you think the sliders on the 2-6-2 might be the problem and what’s the fix. I am hesitant to just bend them down. There is some kind of spring which appears to be responsible for holding them on the track.  

2.  Any idea why Lionel used the same number on two locomotives?B2E45DFB-13A7-4F29-98A8-4E61FD30C68EA0F3D955-C402-436A-8F40-34A338720B06image

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Don, I would say that the old girl needs to be torn down and serviced, it is probably not the sliders that causing it to run erratically. Before starting to service the locomotive, on a piece of paper I note what position the drive wheels and side rods were in before I started to take it apart. And what position the eccentric cranks were pointing to. Just as you were looking at the hours on a clock. This is very important, so you do not get the synchronization of the rods, and the eccentric cranks out of alignment. I would remove the eccentric rods and linkage, and then remove the body. I would remove the brush plate, and clean the motors commutator plate with a piece of a green scrub pad until it is nice and shiny copper color again. (The same pad that is used to clean Teflon coated pans). I would also clean the end of the motor brushes carefully. If you find that the motor brushes and the commutator plate are all greasy and dirty. I would gently clean them with lighter fluid and cotton swabs first, before using the scrub pad. Then I would clean off as much old dirt and grease from the drive gears, and re-grease them. Oil the center bearings on the gears and the wheel bearings. Oil both sides of the motor bearings, but do not over oil the side with the motor brushes, just a tiny drop. Or you will have the same problem all over again. After you put it back together, oil the side rods and every moving part on the drive linkage. You can also use the scrub pad on the sliders, just don’t scrub the finish off only the dirt and oxidization. It should run after that.

Thanks. I’ll screw Up my courage.

Richie, that explanation makes sense. I received my first train in 1953. The mother of friend gave the older one. She was 15 years old when received it. The family lived in West Virginia near the Clinchfield Line.  She had always wanted a train but the family was too poor during the depression and war years. Against her mother’s wishes (“ a foolish gift for a 15 year old girl and money we need to put food on the table”), her father bought it for her for Christmas. It was a treasured gift which ran under her tree until her own children were raised and moved away. It’s a wonderful story I’d like to submit to Classic Toy Trains. I feel honored that she chose to give it to me. I’m in a race to finish my layout while she is still alive to enjoy it.

my grandson says, “Papa, I hope you finish your layout before you die.”  He doesn’t realize that I’m working against a more pressing deadline than that.

@Don Baird posted:

Any idea why Lionel used the same number on two locomotives?

The later version with rollers was a 2036 without MagneTraction due to wartime material shortages, and can be considered a "2026RR" a la 671RR & 726RR, which were 681 & 736 steamers also without MagneTraction due to wartime material shortages. The 1952 2025 can be considered as such as well, being a 2035 with MagneTraction deleted... "2025RR". Lionel never went that far to letter them as such.

In another chain ((“Which version of the 2026 do you like best?”) Mikado 4501 pointed out that the 1948 version of the 2026 included a smoke Unit hot wire underneath often came in contact with the ground rails shorting out the engine. The 1949 version of the early 2029. Took care of that problem.
I think I see that hot wire (see picture). When the slide is pushed up by the track the two are even.
Am I identifying part. Of my problem?  Or is this the ‘49 with the fix.

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  • Smoke unit hot wire
@ADCX Rob posted:

The later version with rollers was a 2036 without MagneTraction due to wartime material shortages, and can be considered a "2026RR" a la 671RR & 726RR, which were 681 & 736 steamers also without MagneTraction due to wartime material shortages. The 1952 2025 can be considered as such as well, being a 2035 with MagneTraction deleted... "2025RR". Lionel never went that far to letter them as such.

So Lionel produced a 2036 which happened to have roller pickups and that funky four wheel truck and labeled it a 2026 because of wartime shortages (and the 48-49 2026 also lacked magnetraction)?

@Don Baird posted:

So Lionel produced a 2036 which happened to have roller pickups and that funky four wheel truck...

It was not happenstance, the 2036 was new for 1950 and was a 2-6-4, equipped with MagneTraction & smoke, in their mid-line O27 steamer based on the 224/1666 boiler casting dating from the 1930s that was what the previous 2026 was based on.

@Don Baird posted:

...labeled it a 2026 because of wartime shortages...

Well, as you study Lionel catalog numbers for locos and rolling stock(& lots of other items too), you will see a pattern emerge that was generally followed in the postwar era that correlated the features and levels of detail on the unit with the number. When the 2036 lost MagneTraction, its features reverted back to those of the 2026... smoke only, in the small 6 driver O27 steamer.  Same parallels for the 681--->671RR & 736--->726RR.

@Don Baird posted:

...the 48-49 2026 also lacked magnetraction)?

Wasn't really lacking, it's just that it didn't exist yet...  MagneTraction was introduced on steam engines in 1950.

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