Good afternoon!  Total newb - I’ve inherited an O27 (I think,) Lionel set from the late 60s early 70s (again, I think.) The locomotive and coal car have 8204 and Chesapeake & Ohio markings.  The track is in pretty rough shape, but after cleaning the loco contacts, I was able to put together a short section and verify that the loco works, including light and smoke.  I have the styro liner that the set came in, but no instructions or box. I wonder if anyone could either tell me more about this set or point me to a resource where I could learn more about this set.  This is purely curiosity as I have no desire to sell it.  My intent is to have it running on a shelf around my gameroom, where I have a bunch of pinball machines that I’ve restored.  Pre-cleaning photos attached

Cheers!

Bob

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Last edited by Bobnatlanta
Original Post

You only show a locomotive with TENDER and transformer. Lionel made a bunch of trains. Difficult to know what set that is. IDK what you want to know. Not much instruction needed. Connect the positive terminal to the center rail and the negative terminal to the outer rail. Don’t bother with old track. This can be an expensive addiction. 

Last edited by CoolHand

First off, don't connect the wire from the tender to the one coming from the rear of the locomotive without doing this FIRST...

Look for the screw on the front side of the tender that faces the locomotive. Unscrew this. Inside the tender you will see a circuit board. This is for what Lionel called "The Electronic Sound of Steam." The foam below the circuit board is most likely rotted and needs to be replaced with another piece of foam, or even a piece of cardboard or wood to keep the underside of the circuit board from shorting on the tender frame. Otherwise you'll blow the board (if it's not ruined already), and replacements are tough to come by. The Electronic Sound of Steam is primitive by today's digital sound standards, but at the time it was cutting edge.

Also a common question here: There is NO roller pick up on the tender. Just a clip in pick up with contacts to the wheels ONLY.

Other than that, looks like you have a lot of surface cleaning to do. If you take things apart, you can clean the plastic car body shells with Dawn dish detergent, warm water and a tooth brush. Don't scrub the lettering too hard.

If you go to You Tube, you can find videos on servicing the older Lionel pullmor motors, which is what you have in your engine. You will certainly want to get some plastic safe lubricant for the gears of the locomotive. The actual wheels of the engine are metal with metal gear teeth on the back. But the other gears are plastic.

The locomotive does come apart via 3 screws: Two on the front underside of the engine holding the front wheel assembly and one screw on the top of the loco towards the cab. Getting them back together is a little bit of a trick. Not impossible by any means, but if you're going to attempt it, pay close attention to how you take it apart, because that's how it'll go back together.

The main thing here will be cleaning the motor: The brushes and the armature. That's where a video will come in handy. If you do a Google search, I'm certain you can find more maintenance info.

If the transformer works, don't do anything but wipe it down. Also check the power cord that goes into a wall socket - make sure it's not frayed or damaged. Otherwise the cord will have to be replaced. Not a hard job, if you know what you are doing. Some would tell you to ditch the transformer instead of replacing the cord. But the smaller transformers can come in very handy for powering accessories should you decide to build a layout.

Depending on the time you want to put into this (and how badly the track is), you can wipe the track rails with WD40, let it set for a day, then scrub the rails with one of those 3M green scouring pads. Don't use steel wool as tiny pieces can get on to the track, and then into the locomotive gears.

I had one of those engines at one time and was very happy with it.  I sold it for no other reason than I had to downsize and I now sort of wish I still had it.

Welcome Bob.

I've found that the easiest way to learn a little about a train such as yours is to look up the number on EBAY. For example I typed in "Lionel 8204" and a bunch of examples came up.

In a minute I learned that this engine was made by Lionel (MPC) in 1972, O27 gauge, Forward/Reverse "E Unit" (NO neutral position) and a early "Sound of Steam (static sounds to sound like a steam engine chuffing) tender.

I'd take the shell off of the engine and tender and wash them in a diluted solution of dishwashing detergent and water, using a soft tooth brush. Dry well and, for a little sheen, spray and wipe down with ArmorAll. While the shell is off the engine lube the motor with a couple drops of oil and the gears with a lube like white lithium grease. Re-install the shells. Clean the wheels with a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol and oil the turning points on the axles.

Your train will run on both O and O27 profile track. If your track is not rusty, just dirty, I'd clean it by scrubbing loose dirt off first with a fingernail brush (a brush about 1 inch wide and 3 inches long) will work well for this purpose. I'd then polish the railheads with a plastic scrubbing pad (the green kind that you can get bunch for at the 99 cent shop will work fine). Finish with some rubbing alcohol on a folded paper towel. Don't forget that the connecting pins should also be cleaned. Do not use steel wool.

IMHO, if the tracks are rusty discard them and get new ones. Good used track is available at train swap meets, EBAY and you may even find them at some hobby shops.

The above are just the basics - search this forum for more details. UPDATE: brianelO27 provided some great info as I was typing this post

Good luck, keep us updated.

Last edited by Lionelski

You’ve got a Lionel “Allegheny” set from 1972. I think the set number is 1284?   The full set had a hopper, boxcar, flatcar, gondola and caboose. 

Here’s a pic.   

 

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Welcome Bob- You've come to the right place.

You are where I was about 4 years ago.....at the top of a long slippery slope.....the bottom of which I haven't found yet. .

The advice from Brian and the others is very thorough. If the track doesn't clean up then replacements are readily available. Use the widest radius curve you can fit. Lionel made various radii from 27"-72". If you use a wider curve you can run larger equipment in the future.

Please feel free to ask away. Everyone here is happy to help.

Bob

I have 2 or 3 of this type of engine I keep for visitors or children to run.  They are very good engines for their size and relative cost.  Check the circuit board as mentioned above.  Even if it doesn't work   it's still a great engine and smoker.  

Thanks all for the info and welcome!  I told a friend about this and he dug up an HO train and donated it to the cause as well.

Tommy F, that’s it!  Complete set except for the uprights on the flatcar.  What are the dowels and plastic ‘drums’ for?  Stuff to put in the gondola, on the flatcar, or....?  There was a bunch of other stuff in the styro box, some of which I recognized immediately as old GI Joe accessories (mostly broken weapons) and thought the dowels etc. might belong to other toys.

One more newb question - I’ve scrubbed the transformer (4150) and looked for some kinda marking, but still don’t know which terminal is which, and which should go to which rail.  Found a document that said right = common, but that didn’t say which way the box was oriented.  So clearing that up would be a real help.  I tested the train enough to know it works, just not sure it was going in the correct direction.  Sitting by the transformer with a sharpie waiting for a reply....

Cheers!

Bob

Bobnatlanta posted:

Thanks all for the info and welcome!  I told a friend about this and he dug up an HO train and donated it to the cause as well.

Tommy F, that’s it!  Complete set except for the uprights on the flatcar.  What are the dowels and plastic ‘drums’ for?  Stuff to put in the gondola, on the flatcar, or....?  There was a bunch of other stuff in the styro box, some of which I recognized immediately as old GI Joe accessories (mostly broken weapons) and thought the dowels etc. might belong to other toys.

One more newb question - I’ve scrubbed the transformer (4150) and looked for some kinda marking, but still don’t know which terminal is which, and which should go to which rail.  Found a document that said right = common, but that didn’t say which way the box was oriented.  So clearing that up would be a real help.  I tested the train enough to know it works, just not sure it was going in the correct direction.  Sitting by the transformer with a sharpie waiting for a reply....

Cheers!

Bob

Hey Bob, cool set. That old 4150 'Trainmaster' transformer won't get you too terribly far but it is a bare bones, pure AC transformer, there's really not a  wrong way to set it up in this case. Just make sure the left terminal (looking at it with terminals on the top) goes to the center rail and the other goes to the outer rail. That's it! If you end up with more locomotives that have more features (bell, horn/whistle) , then you might want to get a transformer that actuates those features.

Edit -> yes, all the other miscellaneous stuff in the set (dowels and drums) makes great flatcar loads.

Hot and common lines are more used with operating accessories. Think of the common as - and the hot as +, even though this is A/C. Some transformers are labelled ABCU where ABC are different hot posts and U is common.

 

This site can be helpful too in identifying what you have:

https://www.tandem-associates....oneltransformers.htm 

Last edited by SteamWolf

Thanks SteamWolf, very helpful.  I did discover, on closer examination, that the ‘drums’ have L I O N E L printed in raised letters across the top...probably would have been a big clue.😀

Don’t know how far this will go.  I still think of myself as a pinball guy who has a train er...trains.  We’ll see if that changes over time.

Good Afternoon Bob

I recently resurrected my childhood Lionel set from 1950 with the intention of building a layout for my grandson, which is in progress.  The set was in storage from 1966 when I left home to join the Navy and I've kept it packed away until last year.  On the advice of a couple of local railroaders I took the set to a Lionel repair center in St Paul.  They went over the engine and told me to take the rest home and break out the Dawn, Toothbrush, and Hairdryer.  Carefully scrub the various parts down being very gentle with the lettering.  Looks pretty good an antique and runs great.

They did tell me to chuck the track though and move to the newer FasTrack.

You have landed on a goldmine of knowledge on this site, so sit back an do a little surfing and have fun.

Watching my grandson's face makes the whole adventure worthwhile.

Bobnatlanta posted:

Thanks SteamWolf, very helpful.  I did discover, on closer examination, that the ‘drums’ have L I O N E L printed in raised letters across the top...probably would have been a big clue.😀

Don’t know how far this will go.  I still think of myself as a pinball guy who has a train er...trains.  We’ll see if that changes over time.

You're very welcome. You're where I was a decade or so ago... And long before I discovered tin .

If you do one day get interested in all the things that are train related out there, there is an obscene amount of information just in this forum and a bajillion times that buried in the internet in little archives and stacked away in virtual boxes. It would be like someone walking into pinball machines for the first time. 

If you want an actual layout one day that's more 'prototypical' and has an unbelievable array of stuff available for the scale, HO (1:87) is the way to go. If, however you're like the rest of the denizens of this forum and prefer to have big, fun, loud, flashy 'toy' trains? O gauge is the place to be. 

Good luck and welcome! 

 

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