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I was recently offered an original Lionel Standard Gauge #5 "thick rim" locomotive and three frieight cars. I am not real familiar with these so I have a few questions:

1-It does not have a tender but has a "coal box" looking piece to the rear of the cab. Is that correct? Did they all come with tenders?

2-What cars would this engine have been supplied? It currently has three common 100 series freight cars with the "solid" trucks (not flex trucks) #112, 114, and 117.  I do not think these are the Lionel Mfg. variations. Would/could this be correct?

3-What years was the thick rim #5 made?

4-It looks like the boiler front is removable. Is this correct? Maybe it is just loose and not attached?

5-I have not seen it yet. I just got two  bad phone photos. The seller mentioned something about the boiler front and/or the cow catcher being wood. That does not sound right to me but I don't know.

6-Anything I should look for or be aware of?

It is being offered to me from a local, general line antique dealer that does not know trains. He got it from an estate that supposedly owned this set for a long, long time.

Thanks in advance. I appreciate the advice.

Last edited by GZ
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I don't have all your answers, but here's what I know:

The "coal box" on the rear of the cab is correct for a #5. The #5 special came with a small slope-back tender

The boiler front can be removed. There should be a rod through the boiler that goes through the boiler front and a decorative screw that holds the boiler front on. If the screw is missing, no big deal. Replacements are available.

The boiler front and the the drawbar that the cow-catcher mounts are indeed painted wood. That is correct.

Check out the condition of the motor armature for excessive wear, and the sliding pickup shoe for wear.

I don't know the exact age of the thick rim #5. I know my thin rim 5 spcl is 110 years old. The reverse switch is a bit sticky and needs service. Otherwise it still runs.


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  • mceclip0
Last edited by CJ Meyers

Thanks for the information. Interesting about the wood boiler front and drawbar. I would not have guessed that to be correct.

So, are the 100 series freight cars correct or appropriate for this engine? What would be the typical cars that this engine would have been sold with?

Does anyone have any catalog photos showing this engine with cars?

Thanks again, it is amazing how much knowledge is on this forum-especially for something that was made nearly 100 years ago.

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