Skip to main content

New to Standard Gauge but came into possession of a mint Lionel Classic 400E Blue Comet with 4 cars.  At first I was going to display only but am starting a new O gauge layout and am tempted to include an oval of Standard Gauge track.

1. Do you run your LC Blue Comet or just display it ?

2. Will 57 curves be sufficient for running ?

3. Can you recommend a reliable, readily available, Standard Gauge freight set (loco and cars) that I can run when not running the Comet ? Electric loco preferable to steam for freight. If I do run the Comet, I would prefer to limit the run time to special occasions.

4. Are the 200 series cars larger than the 500 series car and which do you recommend for freight ?

Not looking to obtain a lot of Standard Gauge, just something to run something besides the Comet on a daily basis. PW O gauge is my primary interest but sometimes I wish I had gone the tinplate route instead.

Thanks for any advice offered.


Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

1) don't run an operational locomotive for years and you will eventually wind up with a static display, but then that's what you were shooting for, right?

2) if at least 16 of them are 36" radius, yes.  #400 locomotives will run on 42" diameter curves (at least original ones will), but they look ... silly is the only word that comes to mind.

3) for ~$500 -$600 you can pick up a fairly decent original #384 locomotive and  3 - 4 500 series freight cars w/ a caboose.  higher end original Lionel is still pricey, but #384's and #385's in common liveries are selling dirt cheap, IMO.  you can always buy the new stuff and the headaches that go along with them, or bank on a typically reliable original set, ... probably with a story, too.

4) i have both #200 and #500 series freight cars, but for a #384/ #385 size loco, the 500 cars will definitely look better.

good luck...gary

Last edited by overlandflyer

Buy what you like. 200 series cars are bigger than 500 series.

The 400E is quite large compared to other STD gauge. The big electrics in Lionel are the 381 and 408.

STD gauge comes in small,medium and large.

All pre-war STD gauge and all reproduction STD gauge will run on 42 curves. Like all gauges the wider the curve the better it looks.

F&G RY posted:

 ... All pre-war STD gauge and all reproduction STD gauge will run on 42 curves. Like all gauges the wider the curve the better it looks. ...

thanks, Jim, i wasn't 100% sure.  i have two original #400's but have only run one once on an old track sectional layout i threw together.  sorry to use such strong language in my description, but i still stand by my words.  probably why i am a fan of the #384; IMO the only SG locomotive that looks ok on prewar track.

and in case you are unaware... USA Track for quality, new, SG tinplate track.


Add Reply


OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
800-980-OGRR (6477)

Link copied to your clipboard.