I often buy cosmetically decent Postwar Lionel equipment that sometimes needs mechanical work to run well as I don't enjoy doing cosmetic restorations as much as the mechanical work. I picked up this Lionel 1400 passenger set from 1946 on eBay because I've been wanting an example of the two year only 221 Dreyfuss style locomotive for some time.  While I'm not sure it's an original set versus one that was put together later, it was available at a decent price.

The locomotive needed a little work. One of the lead truck wheels was loose on the axle and could slide right off. I peened the rear of the wheel around the axle hole which snugged up the fit and reinstalled it. Other than that I gave it a good cleaning and lubrication and installed some new pickup shoes. It runs great.

The cars were a little rougher. The roofs were horribly scratched and scraped and the trucks have been modified over the years to replace damaged or missing couplers. Somebody installed a coupler on the rear truck of the observation car which involved bashing in a portion of the skirting around the rear railing to allow clearance for the coupler that wasn't originally there. That modification I will leave as a touch of its history.

I broke down and decided the roofs needed some attention. The blue paint on the bodies is in pretty good condition aside from a few chips here and there, but the roofs just distracted from the condition of the rest of the car. Three coats of Rustoleum Aluminum enamel later and they look great once again. Although the overall condition isn't show quality, it looks much better than it did with the chipped up roofs and the paint really makes the set look nice.








Photos (8)
Original Post

Looks great.

With the price of old trains falling as much as they have I don’t think one needs to be concerned about repainting it and destroying their value. Unfortunately, many have next to no value anyway. They become harder and harder to sell as you have to keep lowering the price until all you get out of selling them is to declutter yourself. 
Do I resent this?  Not really. You’ll  waste your existence resenting reality.

I’ve enjoyed my trains and I accept that they are worth a whole lot less than they used to be. Somehow, I’ve even enjoyed the trains that have  been stuck away in my attic for years on end. How is this so you might ask? I don’t know. I guess it’s just the collector mentality


M. Mitchell Marmel posted:

Might want to neaten the back platform, a'la this conversion I did some years back: 



I agree.  Looks like a shoemaker job on the original.  

Dan Padova


"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill


Thanks guys!

Mitch, the coupler conversion on your car definitely looks neater than what they did on mine.  They had a similar idea, but didn't cut the apron on either side of the bend.  I may have to consider that in the future.  I haven't bothered messing with it because its hardly noticeable when it's going around the track.

I don't have a photo of the paint can I used, but I can give you the details of it.

Rustoleum High Performance Enamel (we use it at work on various real locomotive parts, so it's reasonably sturdy stuff).  The color is 7515 Aluminum.  It should be available at Home Depot or any other similar store that carries the brand.  It's pretty close to the original color, but maybe a touch brighter.  Tough to say since the original paint is 73 years old and probably a bit weathered (I didn't repaint any other silver on the car, just the roofs).  Overall it's close enough though at a glance.

Add Reply

Likes (4)
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653