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If you had both the Atlas and Lionel units in hand, you could compare the mounting screw locations. I have not done this and I am not familar with Lionel units. However, I have taken apart many MTh and some Atlas units. My guess is you stand a good chance of mounting the lionel shell on the Atlas frame. The two prototypes are the same length.

You would probably have to drill new holes in the atlas frame to match the Lionel shell and maybe make mounting pads out of styrene for the inside of the Lionel shell.

And you would probably want to make new handrails but you might be able to modify or use the Atlas 2 rail ones.

I think it is a very doable job - just some fiddling work to get things together.
As I said, I know nothing about the lionel units.

But you are right, all the Atlas units I have seen have a cast frame that includes the walkways. The "shell" is just the hoods.

That makes using a lionel sheel with an Atlas mech very difficult.

I think a possible solution in that case would be to get a 2-rail mechanism from P&D hobbies and build it into the lionel frame. That will take some imagineering, but it preserve all paint work and whatnot on the shell.
NJCB imported a decent GP30 in the 80s or 90s. I had one and it ran pretty well.

MTH in their first go around with 2-rail in the 90s made GP30s in a number of road names. I have 2 of those now. The top speed is a little high, but I wire the two motors in series and it tames them down. ON DCC they run well too. Not as detailed as the brass ones obviously. But the overall dimensions were good.

I think some of the higher end brass importers such OMI have also imported versions of a GP30 in brass.
I have one of the later MTH Premier GP30's. Has the old "shallow" fuel tank, but the superstructure is better detailed than the original. If you can get hold of one of those (fuel tank aside) you could have the truck blocks re-done for 2-rail operation, toss the DCS (old 9-volt) electronics, and series-wire the motors (or go DCC.) I like the engine (demonstrator paint) and am debating hot it fits in the grand scheme of my "transition" process.

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