Interurban or MU Commuter Trains

I purchased a K-Line MU unit.  Unbeknownst to me it will not negotiate O31 curves. The seller has allowed me to send it back for a full refund.  Are there any interurbans or MU commuter cars that will run on O31 curves.  They must be of the electric type, i.e. with a pantograph.

This is what I bought.  it's 18" long.  The trucks do not have enough swivel.   

reading

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

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Dan, We had a pair(one powered, one not powered) of 18" K-Line which were suppose to be able to run on 42" curves.  I don't know about other track, but these would not run on K-Line 0-42 track (the track with close ties like Gargraves).  The pickup roller would kick off.  We sold them and now run a K-Line 15" pair pulling an MTH 15" repainted baggage car.  John in Lansing, ILL

There are a few examples of the Lackawanna cars on Evilbay.  Can they be wired to take current through the pantograph ?

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

Anyone know if the Lionel MU commuter cars can be wired for overhead power ?

# 6-18306

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

Regarding your original question, the 15" Interurban 2-car set that I have, 6-21329 Chicago South Shore and South Bend, will definitely run on standard O-31 Lionel tubular track and indeed Super-O track of the same dimensions, including negotiating O-31 switches. No problems with the pickup rollers.

But this set and I think other 15" Interurbans are a lot later than the ones you are looking at. I believe that mine were catalogued in 2007 and that they are based on K-Line tooling. They are conventional only but have great sounds, which are specific to the line the prototypes ran on. They also have complete interiors with passenger figures. And no shortage of rivets to count in the bodywork.

Possibly the most accurate catalog illustration Lionel has ever produced was of this set, which looks exactly like this:

6-21329_3920

Lastly, from looking at the pantographs I was sure that they are "dummies" but that is not what the manual says (see here: https://www.lionelsupport.com/...ents/72-1262-250.pdf). However I can't trace any instructions for wiring the cars for catenary operation. It may well be the same process as in the 1992 service document linked above. 

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Dave45681 posted:

There is a manual on the Lionel support site (it's a bit of a poor scan, but it has the info).

The answer seems to be yes, though you have to re-wire it yourself, there is not a simple switch or anything like that included.  Scroll down to page 4, near the end.

-Dave

Thanks Dave.  Are these cars 15" long ?

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

Dan Padova posted:
Dave45681 posted:

There is a manual on the Lionel support site (it's a bit of a poor scan, but it has the info).

The answer seems to be yes, though you have to re-wire it yourself, there is not a simple switch or anything like that included.  Scroll down to page 4, near the end.

-Dave

Thanks Dave.  Are these cars 15" long ?

I'm afraid I don't know for sure (while I've seen/played with these at some point, I don't have a set here with me to check), but being they were from 1992 or so, that seems likely. 

Larger 18" passenger cars came about later from Lionel, to the best of my knowledge.  I'm not sure if even the TMCC versions of MU's that were referenced above were 15" or 18".  Did Lionel ever make 18" MU's? 

I have the SP single unit version that I recall buying a pair of them from JC Penney when they closed them out, but that was around early 2003, so probably the same as the other TMCC ones (like the set Dick mentioned), but not sure if it would be the same as the 1992 ones in PRR and Lackawanna.

I simply looked up the number you asked for.   POTRZBE indicates they work OK on O31, so that was your main concern, right?

-Dave

scale rail posted:

It would be a snap to wire the pans. Just undo the pickup roller wire and run it up to the pantographs. You will most likely need to drill a hole for the wire in the roof but it's an easy job. Don6-21326_3919

There's a set of these on Evilbay that expires soon.  I'd like to pull the trigger but as yet no one, even the seller has been able to tell me the length of these units.  

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

Dan Padova posted:
6-21326_3919

There's a set of these on Evilbay that expires soon.  I'd like to pull the trigger but as yet no one, even the seller has been able to tell me the length of these units.  

What you've posted is the Lionel catalog illustration of the 6-21326 PRR Interurban 2-car set from 2007. If those are indeed the cars on offer on EvilBay they are 15" as you can see from the catalog description here:

http://www.lionel.com/products...und-loco-607-6-21326

These are the same generation of Lionel Interurbans as my South Shore set described above so bear in mind that they have full interiors and not window silhouettes. Has the seller posted a photo of the cars/their boxes? If so you should be able to tell if they are this particular model or not. 

The box for the 18306 pictured in this auction (see third pic) states 33 1/4" long (which is obviously for the pair).

Also, here was an older thread (long since locked) on this forum discussing this same question.  One person says they measure "nearly" 17" coupler to coupler, which seems to jive with the above.

Last suggestion (though I realize I am stretching here ), the pic on this site of the Lackawanna version shows them sitting on what looks like Ross or Gargraves track.  If you count the ties, it's roughly 25 ties from one end of the car body to the other.  I just measured 25 ties on a piece of Ross track, and it came in at around 15 1/2".  So the cars might not be EXACTLY 15", but that seems to also corroborate that they are not 18".  (Again, I realize I am making an assumption on the track there)

So the 18306 would seem to be 15", not 18" (roughly, coupler length, etc, since the stated length on the box includes couplers... )

-Dave

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