Skip to main content

20210926_170007_HDR~2

I don't have any specific question, just want to tell how excited I am, making some inroads into the world of Lionel (sorry for such a lengthy, rambling post).

Of course, I very much appreciate any advice and suggestions regarding maintenance, known issues to be aware of, or whatever info you think you may want to share about these engines.

  I am not a collector, and my budget is quite limited. I buy trains mainly for running them, and I enjoy tinkering with them and fixing them up. But maybe the 623 could be collector material?

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I am (or at least have been...) mainly an HO guy, but lately have been aquiring O-scale Lionel trains. This weekend i went to a local train swap/show and doubled my Lionel engine inventory from 2 to 4 engines .

My first one was a brand new Christmas set back in 2002, including a 4-4-2 steam engine. Then fast forward to this year, when I found a MPC 634 diesel switcher (or possibly fake 8010, who knows) at a local private sale.

So this weekend I bought myself the 623 switcher, along with a 1960's low-end 242 steam engine. I might use the steam engine for some garden railroading, maybe, and add a smoke stack to it.

I believe the 623 is early 50's. I can tell it hasn't been run in a very long time. Looked like it was in good shape, except everything, including the wheels, were covered with a film of black sooth or dust.

At first try, it did buzz, but didn't move at all. I did a quck clean and oiled & greased the moving parts, and cleaned the wheels and brushes. After that, the engine started working properly, including the forward-reverse function on the e-unit. The e-unit had that loud buzz in all positions, so i took it apart and cleaned it all up, and that reduced the buzzing sound to what i assume is the normal level.

I set up a temporary track, and hooked up the few o-scale cars i own at the moment, a total of 9 cars, and the switcher didn't have any trouble pulling them.

So looks like this almost 70 years old engine is still going strong! There are signs, though, that this engine has been worked on before (mismatched screws, cut & resoldered wires, etc...).

In the attached video, I am running the train at about 65-75% throttle.

Attachments

Images (1)
  • 623, 242 and 634
Videos (1)
The 623 at about 2/3 throttle
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

@yankspride4 posted:

Nice engine! A bought a 623 a few years ago as my first PW engine as well. Smooth runner and one of my favorites. Congrats.

Thanks! It will definitely be a favorite for me too.

A couple things i didn't mention:  I haven't cleaned the shell yet, need to first figure out a safe way to do it. Soap and water, I assume. The two light bulbs were burned. It calls for the 363 bulbs, but after doing some research, I ordered some 1445 instead, for better durability.

You should not wash it with soap and water.  The Santa Fe decal is a water release decal and soap and water may take it off. Try going over it with a soft paint brush. For hard to get places I use Armoral on a q-tip.  

Thanks! I did some more searching and started cleaning, very carefully. The letters are cleaning up nicely without any issues so far.

The logo looked like that when I bought the engine. It has a transparent film overlapping it. Could this mean that the original logo has been replaced, and the clear film was supposed to be removed when applying the logo?

Maybe i should look for a replacement logo?

20210926_213605_HDR~2

Attachments

Images (1)
  • 20210926_213605_HDR~2

Congratulations. The NW2s are among my favorites and the 623, 624, and 6250 are the best of the lot. While it doesn’t have the bell, that can be a plus or a minus, it does have the best magnatraction along with its die cast frame.  You could only pull about half of those cars with a 622. As for 3 or 10 stanchions, all the diecast NW2s came with ten holes in the shell. Mine all get ten stanchions regardless if they had them originally.

Pete

@Norton posted:

Congratulations. The NW2s are among my favorites and the 623, 624, and 6250 are the best of the lot. While it doesn’t have the bell, that can be a plus or a minus, it does have the best magnatraction along with its die cast frame.  You could only pull about half of those cars with a 622. As for 3 or 10 stanchions, all the diecast NW2s came with ten holes in the shell. Mine all get ten stanchions regardless if they had them originally.

Pete

Thanks! This is my first post-war, first e-unit (my MPC NW2 has only manual switch), my first magnatraction. It is always fun to learn new stuff

I also purchased a 623 this year and I love it!
However, it does not have much magnetism left. I had a Magne-Traction engine back in the 1950's and I know that my current 623 engine needs help.
I found an OGR post from a couple of years ago that said, "The magnetized axles loss their properties more easily and are more difficult to maintain/service." Another post said, "It takes a whole  20 seconds to charge the magnets!"
So, is there someone in California that charges Magne-Traction engines or is it something I could do myself?

John, Magne-traction was developed by Lionel on the 622/623 model locomotives. I believe most 623 locos use frame magnets, not axle magnets. When Lionel built a locomotive, they magnetized the truck after it was assembled. The only person I know who had the equipment to magnetize a Lionel truck was Denis Waldron. Denis dies last year and I am not aware that anybody has taken over his business.  You might look for a magnet person, rather than a train person, to see if they can help with remagnetize your locomotive.   First you may want to check that your loco was a truck frame magnetic arrangement and that the magnetic are there.  These should be one magnetic glued into a recess in each end of the truck frame on top.  These magnets are available.

If it turns out that your locomotive does have axle magnetic, Jeff Kane, The Train Tender,  has reproduced then.  You could give Jeff a call and ask him who he might recommend to change the axles. Changing axles does require some special tools to pull and reinstall the wheels. On the 623 getting the worm wheel off and back on the axle can be tricky.

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×