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I guess we posted at the same time.

The wires inside didn't look too bad and some have certainly been replaced. The leads with the plugs though are showing age bad. I'd like to at least replace those and the grommets at least. I've already considered just living without the fancy couplers.

Runs well enough otherwise. The e unit is sluggish but I've noticed that with my 763 also. I guess when they mostly sit on a shelf they don't get enough exercise 🤣

I sent my switcher off for repair. It had some issues inside the rear truck causing issues for the coupler as I suspected. The train shop I got it from offered to fix it under warranty so I let them handle it. Luckily I did as the sliding shoe needed replacement among the issues and I am not sure where I could have sourced one.

I have not had any time to mess with it but when I do I will record it.

David Johnston thank you so much for all your detailed information .Such a wealth of knowledge.I have been wanting to buy one of these switchers for a while and nowI thinks it's time to seriously hunt for one.I do have one question.When you have all the screw information what does the "ms" at the end of the screw description stand for.I understand all the other info in the description just not the "ms" .

John K


  MS stands for Military Standard.

  MS- Military standard started around the 1950s and for the most part replaced the AN hardware series. However, a few of the AN standards have stayed around. The MS series was canceled in 1994 by the Secretary of Defense, at the request of contractors in order to save money.



Last edited by PRR8976


  I encourage you to buy one of the 227-series switchers. If you get one, please post pictures here.

  I've been operating and collecting them for over 25-30 years now and they are lots of fun. However, if you can find one that actually is complete and runs, your life will be a little easier.

  This past year, for the first time, I've had problems getting parts for them including places that I have relied on for years. Hoping that will improve once COVID is over--but not sure.

  I picked up this #228 recently:

Lionel 228 bought from Trainworld March 2021 no5

Before anyone asks, yes, I will be changing the front pilot and dummy coupler to go back to the original prewar pilot & coupler.



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  • Lionel 228 bought from Trainworld March 2021 no5


  I actually have one that I bought several years ago. Someone else made such a conversion and it ran sporadically. I think my path to these switchers may be similar to yours. I also had a #1615 then a #1656. (Those clouds were hand painted by me and I should have been a professional cloud painter!)

Here is a #1656 on a prior layout:




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Last edited by PRR8976

I think the 227 family of engines is the easiest Lionel locomotives to work on. They are put together with screws. No bent tabs, no tubular rivets. And the OO e unit is much easier to work on than the 259E eunit. The only exception is the front coupler. Replacing the super flex wire to the coil can be difficult. The downside to working on these locos is that parts are getting hard to find. Yes,  MS in a fastener description indicating Machine Screw.  The other common type seen on Lionel trains is ST, self tapping.

I think the 227 family of engines is the easiest Lionel locomotives to work on. They are put together with screws. The downside to working on these locos is that parts are getting hard to find...

As David wisely stated, parts are indeed getting hard to find including what used to be easy to find parts like headlights...I tried the usual, great parts providers and could not find one, so I posted another topic: and my new friend AlanRail came to the rescue.

Here are 2 photos, showing the newly installed headlight by the 3-D artist, AlanRail


Before anyone mentions it, yes, I do have the parts to restore the original prewar couplers and pilot (I may have mentioned that before, earlier)...then will be happening soon.

Thanks again to AlanRail



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David had asked for a picture with the headlight on.

Here are some new pictures.

First is my last original headlight lens in my inventory (on the left) vs. the 3-D printed one from AlanRail (on the right). The 3-D printed one appears frosted instead of clear, but with the headlight on, I don't see a difference!


This headlight search was done for my newly purchased prewar #228, bought from TrainWorld in Brooklyn in March. I never got around to unpacking it until yesterday and never was able to run it until today, life (work, outdoor yard work, etc.) just kept getting in the way. I knew from TrainWorld's original pictures that the headlight lens was missing.


After test fitting the headlight yesterday I thought for sure it would never pop out but it did today. So, today a little Duco cement carefully placed inside the headlight housing and 2-3 gentle whacks with a small hammer on the lens got it positioned perfectly (I used an old t-shirt over the lens to protect it). By the way, thank you to TrainWorld for such a great running locomotive...this is the smoothest running of all of my prewar switchers.

Some pictures from the first running on Saturday, May 1, 2021 at "Tom's Home for Old Prewar Switchers" as it should be known!



...and my favorite of the bunch, a panning shot with the rods in a socially acceptable angle of "Rods down:"




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