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Just picked up the handsome PWC 2356 Southern F3 set and am curious about the history of the Series and what pieces were produced. Was not very active when these were first released and only know a little about them. The original 2356s were a childhood favorite and a neighbor had one but his mother didn't like other kids in their house so I only saw them once briefly. His Dad was a merchant marine and was seldom home. Any info and especially photos would be appreciated. Below are some photos of my new set and a painting I did about 10 years ago from the 1954 Lionel catalog of the set.




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I have this set mainly because dad had the original PW versions.  I bugged Lionel for a long time to get these made.  I don't have any recent picture but I did just have them on the layout about a month ago or so.  I'm sure I posted something in WPF.  Lionel also made a Legacy Super Bass B unit for these as well.

The search worked for a change...LOL! From earlier this year...  I pulled them out after dad passed.  Seemed fitting.

Last edited by Rich Melvin

As far as my knowledge goes, after Lionel scored big with the first Century Club, it inspired them to make more modern updated versions of postwar classics.

The first official model in the line was the 2355 Western Pacific F-3 AA’s in 1998, which wasn’t exactly a good year in terms of quality control for Lionel. Most consumers complained about the sticker on the nose where it should’ve been a decal. Lionel fixed most of the issues with their second F-3 the following year - the 2245 Texas Special, which for a long time along with its matching passenger cars held a considerable value. Lionel made an assortment of other items that year as well, including the boat loader, the GN rotary snowplow and the inspection vehicle, and just kept piling the reissues on as the years went on.

The Southern F-3’s were cataloged in 2000, and just like the Texas Special were sold with a matching set of aluminum cars separately.

Last edited by Mikado 4501

Thanks guys, Marty - do you have any good shots of your Dad's originals? Guess I'll start looking for the Legacy B unit.

Have always admired the Texas Special (thanks Thomas - something new to hunt! )

I have some early MTH Premiere passenger cars that I decaled for the Southern that I will run with these. I made city names reflecting those surrounding New Orleans where we lived. Might consider painting the roofs back too.



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Years ago I bought two boxes of old Lionel from a young man who brought them into my hobby shop. I was fairly new to trains and was astounded at what he had - some O gauge track, an assortment of freight cars, most rusted away but a perfect crane car plus a 2332 GG1, 0-4-0 switcher, and a set of 2356s wrapped in newspaper. The family had been living in a rural place for several years and were cleaning out an old shed out back. These two boxes were underneath some other stuff on the bare earth ground! We had to throw some items out but were able to salvage the three engines successfully. My service man rebuilt the Southerns completely and we sent the cabs to Steve Latta in CA to restore. He had not done the 2356 yet so it took him about a year to get them back to us. Said they were the prototypes! I always felt that they were a little too deep in color and glossy but I was probably mistaken. My friend still has them and sent me some photos recently. These were restored back in the early 1990s. Paid $25 for both boxes. A lot of work went into a few nice items...



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Last edited by c.sam

I loved the PWC celebration series and purchased a number of the items.  While I'm not that much into rolling stock, I did acquire several sets and engines.  There is a soft spot in my heart for F3s, particularly Texas Special.  I always wanted one as a kid and never got it.  Now I have "several".  IMHO - I prefer a conventional e-unit to all of the electronics.  I just want to put the train on the track, turn off the lights and watch it go.

@Trainman52 posted:

IMHO - I prefer a conventional e-unit to all of the electronics.  I just want to put the train on the track, turn off the lights and watch it go.


Just a gentle reminder.  You can "put the train on the track, turn off the lights and watch it go" with any Lionel F3, even those with TMCC or Legacy.  Just make sure, if one has command control, that you have no CAB-x command base connected to the track or powered up nearby when you turn up the throttle.

Conventional control works just fine.


@Trainman52 posted:

Yes Mike, I know.  Believe it or not, I'm a "techie" and have all of the latest "toys".  That being said, I still love vinyl over digital.  I even have a player piano.  Everything old is new again.

Fair enough.  So the issue you have is with electronics; or is it with microprocessors?

Unfortunately all of the PWC locomotives have electronics in them, and even perhaps microprocessors, whether they have TMCC (or Legacy) or not.  The conventional-only PWC loco's all have electronic e-units in them.

BTW -- I'm going to play with you a little more:

   Q: Which captures reality better, Vinyl or CD?


@Norton posted:

I believe Ed’s list includes all Post War modern reproductions including many not actually in the Post War Celebration series with their unique boxes. No matter, really, if you want modern copies of our Post War trains. Most all of the 6464s fall into that category.


No, should just be the PW Celebration Series in my list. It appears quite lengthy, but keep I mind for all the PW Celebration sets I have included the individual set items.

Hi ed h - Just one thing which you may want to add to your overall Postwar Celebration Series list.  I have reviewed your list very carefully (particularly the product numbers down the left hand side) and don't see mentioned anywhere the Canadian Pacific Jarvis Manor StationSounds car (6-39197) which appeared on page 46 of Lionel's Classic Trains Volume 1 2002 catalog; the 9th and final passenger car that completed this PWC set.  I have the entire set and the Jarvis Manor announcements specifically refer to CP's iconic 'The Canadian' which has traversed Canada for many years.

PRR1950 - Sorry, I'd like to, but I'm an old dinosaur that's no good with computers. That said, both the Canadian Pacific's Jarvis Manor and the Pennsylvania's Johns Hopkins StationSounds cars are shown on the bottom half of page 46 of the aforementioned 2002 Lionel catalog which I have.  Perhaps someone else on the Forum who also has that particular catalog (and is more computer literate than me) can scan and post it here.

Alternatively you can view the aluminum Jarvis Manor (6-39197) on Lionel's website simply by going to their Home page and typing in this product number in the blank space shown on the right hand side of the page.

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