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PRR8976 (Tom)... THANK YOU !  Thinking STEF would be an unknown acronym I had not tried to "Google" it * and hence had not found the link you provided.  I found the history fascinating and the fact that STEF had been in fact a part of and owned by SNCF for over 50 years!  Thanks very much.  The company really provides an excellent historical introduction on the web site you provided.

* OK I admit it, at 77 years old, I sometimes don't think of modern solutions to research like the internet. !

Hello @Don McErlean , pretty nice car, and finding one in Australia, on @Fatman territory that is definitely something special... it would have more easy to buy one in France and so much less dangerous...

Now you have to find the BB loco, common piece here and not expensive. If you need help you can ask, not a problem for me.

If you enjoy trains from France here is a strange looking one made by BLZ just after the second world war, very successful  even if this engine is more Pennsy looking than any French model....  No idea why and how the manufacturers took inspiration from a GGI, it is even shorter than the Lionel model...There is several color variations, most common one is the green model. Here all my models are running on carpet central with original BLZ cars.

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Very best,   Daniel

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@FRENCHTRAINSS:  Daniel, I would most appreciate any help you might give in me finding that BB locomotive.  As best I can observe from your picture the engine appears to be the OBB loco in dark green livery with the 20 volt motor.  It would not have to be perfect but I would want to operate it.  I would certainly welcome your help as their advertisement here on  e-bay  is very scarce.  Thank you for your offer.

Don

@FRENCHTRAINS I forgot to mention that BLZ locomotive does look remarkably like the GG1, especially one of the early ones that was called "old rivets"  which was made before the streamlined shell was welded and in fact on this one engine it was riveted.  It would be interesting to know what prototype BLZ was modeling on the engines in your collection.  I .don't recall any French prototype that resembled a GG1.

Best Wishes

Don

I feel that I have been letting the side down a lot the last few weeks and will probably be doing so for another few weeks still .. apart from the broken foot issue , as luck would have it I went to have a poo the other weekend and it loved me so much it just wouldnt go away ... no matter what I tried it just sat there mocking me LOL!!!    

Old fashioned kinda, sorta, off grid living here .. so after vigourously attempting to rectify it myself for several HORRIFIC hours I waved the white flag, thus the poor Septic Man came and worked tirelessly for a few hours with his big sucker truck and pressurized hoses  ( yep it was THAT bad ) ....any trainy wainy budget went right out the window and halfway into the next state over !

But I did manage to score one little item for mega low bucks this week that might interest some of you ...

I have had a three-wheeler version of a Lutz-Hielscher steam car for a while now , but I found his fancier brother , the 4-wheel Steam Coach and snaffled him up ...

They look very basic ( and they are ! lol ) but at the time they cost a pretty penny and are made out of laser cut Stainless so were pretty high tech in the day I guess

Live steam with a tiny wobbler piston



Last edited by Fatman

You May @beardog49  simply because it was a ridiculous find ... I laid out the immense sum of $39AUD Buy it now and $12AUD postage .... about $36USD

It actually came from the same ePay seller I bought the three wheeler off 6 or so months ago ... We were talking about it in a group and I knew the seller ( at the time ) had another 3-wheeler listed at the time I bought mine so I popped in to see if it was still there ... it wasnt .. but THIS one was ! ... needless to say my finger hit the button in 0.001 seconds to make it mine as well ... sadly no more listed except one in France that the seller wants 418 EURO for it !!! ( they were spendy at the time , but not THAT spendy ! )

@Fatman posted:

I feel that I have been letting the side down a lot the last few weeks and will probably be doing so for another few weeks still .. apart from the broken foot issue , as luck would have it I went to have a poo the other weekend and it loved me so much it just wouldnt go away ... no matter what I tried it just sat there mocking me LOL!!!    

Old fashioned kinda, sorta, off grid living here .. so after vigourously attempting to rectify it myself for several HORRIFIC hours I waved the white flag, thus the poor Septic Man came and worked tirelessly for a few hours with his big sucker truck and pressurized hoses  ( yep it was THAT bad ) ....any trainy wainy budget went right out the window and halfway into the next state over !

But I did manage to score one little item for mega low bucks this week that might interest some of you ...

I have had a three-wheeler version of a Lutz-Hielscher steam car for a while now , but I found his fancier brother , the 4-wheel Steam Coach and snaffled him up ...







Great find at a great price.  I'm always amazed by the stuff you find.  Thanks for sharing.

And if you want a laugh regarding your other "situation", search for Red Green Show Winston Rothschild and watch a few scenes.  Here's one...  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXzGt7ryoYk

Correct @Mannyrock  these are from the 2000's to 2010

The examples came from a specialty technical company that was formed when Heilscher visited a steam factory in the late 60's and fell in love with them to the extent he used his engineering background to start making models as technical examples of old time technology ...

Not a lot on the web in English but a short synopsis here

https://www.mysidewheeler.com/hielscher.htm

Interestingly the family has kept the youtube channel after Hielschers demise with lots of examples of this clever mans work preserved for future generations ... He loved making small things .. anyone with a heap of money could buy big steam engines

https://www.youtube.com/c/Lutz...irlingmotoren/videos

He also made beautiful scale reproductions of steam trains and traction engines, but the business was just as much about clever tiny toys

In "normal" train circles he is probably most known for his Wuppertal monorails

https://www.monorails.org/tMspages/CPWuppModelRR.html

An Idea of his BIGGER models

https://commons.wikimedia.org/...ex.php?curid=5630357

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Decided to do a video this weekend.  I just repaired the 447 and it is now running great!  I was having a problem with the armature overheating to the point that after a few minutes one could not touch the brush tubes without getting burned.  I pulled a wheel and swapped armatures and that did the trick.  After getting the original armature out, I discovered it was coated in grease/oil and was unlike the used one that I put in, which was clean and shiny.  It ran great with the newly swapped armature, no overheating.

So here is a 1939 American Flyer 447 Hudson with 3 chrome streamline cars, a 1938 American Flyer 1680 Hudson with 4 red streamline cars, and a 1931 American Flyer 3109 engine with 3 freight cars.  Unfortunately, I did not have a set on the Standard Gauge loop, so nothing is running on the outside loop.

NWL

I bought this Gondola with LCLs and the chains on Ebay it came this week. Fundamentally all is in good shape, except someone in the home was a big smoker, I could smell it when I opened the package, and it all had a brown tint. I could see in the EBay picture it was dirty and expected to have to do a little work.

After a few hours of wiping it all down with soapy water, rinsing with clean water, drying, and a rub down with some liquid car wax, it’s like new again! (And no more smell)

EBay photo:

0979BF7B-1FD2-4D86-9916-83AB7D47F355

After the clean up:


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Having some fun and showing off😀:

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Well hello everyone...I am going to wander a bit to the side of the tinplate trains today, follow Fatman's lead a little bit.  This offering is definitely tinplate and its from the wonderful era of the 1950-1960's of superb Japanese tinplate toys.  This would  be a little large for O gauge but not by much.  I found it virtually new in the box so I just had to have it, you know boys - "trucks and trains" ! 

Here is the cardboard box, really in remarkable shape for its age and not really dried out.  The manufacturer is Craigsten of Japan.

Craigsten Dump Truck box

Here is a better look at the box top.

Craigsten Dump Truck box lid

Here is the truck, about 12-14 " in length and about 4 " high.  The lever with the blue knob is how you dump the bin.

Craigsten Dump Truck side

Rear quarter view.

Craigsten Dump Truck rear quarter

Here he is with the side dump bin tipped for unloading.  He has a friction type motor powering the front wheels of the cab

Craigsten Dump Truck side dump

Well I hope you enjoy this truck, l know its not trains but I thought you might like to see it anyway.

Don

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Hello Don, Thanks, and I have much more models, only one engine, the gunmetal 400e, have been founded in France at an auction, all the other ones came from trip in your country and each of them as a little story for me. Unfortunately in the two past years  nothing  due to covid situation, maybe in a near future who knows....  Very Best,  Daniel

Well I certainly hope that you will be able to travel to the US, maybe for York?  Now that you have started down the trail of 400E locomotives, your next step is to seek out the "pinnacle" of the tribe, the blue one!  It was used to head up the "Blue Comet" express where each of the cars was named after a real comet.  In case you didn't know, the actual "Blue Comet" was a passenger train on the Jersey Central Rail Road that went from NY City to Atlantic City on the New Jersey coast.  Interesting for the time for a premium train, it was an all coach train.  More importantly this trip was a favorite of Joshua Lionel Cowen and his family,  founder and leader of Lionel.

Best Regards

Don

Good idea Don, I will have to find one complete set as i do not have the cars, main problem it is just a question of price.... I saw several at York but really too much for me.  The blue 400e is an icon but I would prefer a blue 390e that is more well sized with the Blue Comet cars. Maybe next year for a trip in USA.

Best Regards, Daniel

I've been indulging in some Marx and Hafner clockwork this year. I picked up a neat postwar Marx set at the Old Colony Model Railroad Club's Show last weekend.

marx postwar plastic wheel windup as received

I don't think it's anything rare or remarkable but I like it anyways. The cars have black plastic wheels and twisted sliding couplers, so it must be postwar, although I don't know much else about it (maybe some of the Marx experts can make commentary on it). After dusting, cleaning and lubing, the set was ready for the track!

ready to roll

Despite all the modern thingamajigs cluttering my layout, the little clockwork Marxies can still manage the mainline pretty well!

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A train French set made by LR ( Louis Roussy )  very similar in size to 027 trains and made with high quality materials, also used a lot of wood for ties. In that time you good have been considered as a modeler with those tracks.  This set dates from 1935 and the loco is a good representation of an electric box cab used on the Paris-Orleans railways. It was also the year of the introduction of automatic couplers which where not very easy to fix but it was a great improvement.... 85 yeas later the train is till running fine.

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Have a great weekend,  Daniel

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Trainguy Key...I looked in my Marx reference material and in short found no perfect match to your set.  Here however is what I did find.

The engine is a 591 windup and it is accompanied by a 551 wagon top, NYC tender.  This combination was made between 1950-1958.  Note that the engine also came with an electric motor and even in wind up had many variations (9) but yours with both side rods and hand rails is one of them.  Further dating might be possible if you would state whether or not your locomotive and a headlight and / or a sparkler.

In terms of the set, the closest I came was set # 9507 (B) which appeared in the 1955-56 Sears catalog.  This set came with 0-27 2-rail track to make a figure 8 (thus it would have had the cross over),  instruction sheets 212 and 71 and a key.  It sold in the Sears catalog those years for $3.97.  This set had all your cars with one exception.  It had the high sided, 28500 LV green gondola as well as the 554 red one that your set has.  However, this set did NOT have the 738701 PRR hopper car.  However the variation of this car that you mentioned, with tab /slot couplers and plastic wheels is listed and this car was made from 1940 onward so it is certainly appropriate.

My guess is that sometime in its 70+ years of existence, someone either lost or broke the LV high sided gondola and replaced it with the PRR hopper.  After all, these cars were sold in the 1950's via 5 and dime stores for about 25 cents apiece.

Its a GREAT SET, congratulations. Finding anything this old and still more or less complete is a wonder for sure.  That happens to be especially true of Marx because as the "low end" leader, parents etc were more prone to throw them away after a few years around the Christmas tree vice expensive Lionel's that were carefully protected between Christmas seasons.

Before I forget, Daniel that is a beautiful LR set that you posted.  To me, one of the interesting things was that I observed that the picture on the LR box was what was actually in the box!!  We all know that toy train manufacturers (Hornby was one of the worst) greatly exaggerated what was in the box through the picture on the cover!!

Best Wishes Don

Trainguy Key...I looked in my Marx reference material and in short found no perfect match to your set.  Here however is what I did find.

The engine is a 591 windup and it is accompanied by a 551 wagon top, NYC tender.  This combination was made between 1950-1958.  Note that the engine also came with an electric motor and even in wind up had many variations (9) but yours with both side rods and hand rails is one of them.  Further dating might be possible if you would state whether or not your locomotive and a headlight and / or a sparkler.

In terms of the set, the closest I came was set # 9507 (B) which appeared in the 1955-56 Sears catalog.  This set came with 0-27 2-rail track to make a figure 8 (thus it would have had the cross over),  instruction sheets 212 and 71 and a key.  It sold in the Sears catalog those years for $3.97.  This set had all your cars with one exception.  It had the high sided, 28500 LV green gondola as well as the 554 red one that your set has.  However, this set did NOT have the 738701 PRR hopper car.  However the variation of this car that you mentioned, with tab /slot couplers and plastic wheels is listed and this car was made from 1940 onward so it is certainly appropriate.

My guess is that sometime in its 70+ years of existence, someone either lost or broke the LV high sided gondola and replaced it with the PRR hopper.  After all, these cars were sold in the 1950's via 5 and dime stores for about 25 cents apiece.

Its a GREAT SET, congratulations. Finding anything this old and still more or less complete is a wonder for sure.  That happens to be especially true of Marx because as the "low end" leader, parents etc were more prone to throw them away after a few years around the Christmas tree vice expensive Lionel's that were carefully protected between Christmas seasons.

Before I forget, Daniel that is a beautiful LR set that you posted.  To me, one of the interesting things was that I observed that the picture on the LR box was what was actually in the box!!  We all know that toy train manufacturers (Hornby was one of the worst) greatly exaggerated what was in the box through the picture on the cover!!

Best Wishes Don

Thanks for the information, Don! I believe that this is a #898 locomotive and not a #591-- according to the neat locomotive guide on MarxTinplateTrains.com, the #591 has fake leading and trailing trucks stamped into the body and is a bit longer than mine.

cleaning up a marx windup set

The locomotive does have a sparkler mechanism-- the flint is ages gone but the flint lever that would have held it is still hanging inside. There's no headlight and no provisions for a battery to power one. I forgot to photograph the motor while I had it out for cleaning but it looks very similar to this example.

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Ken...I checked again.  IAW "Greenberg Guide to Marx Trains", second edition the #898 has the number stamped on the shell in white and I could not see that. But you are indeed correct that your loco does seem to lack the stamped leading truck of the # 591 and indeed the #898 did come with a sparkler.  However, if it is a #898 windup then this locomotive only led 3 mechanical sets (Greenbergs Guide to Marx Trains , Vol III "sets").  The set numbers were #815 (Circa 1950 Allied catalog), #823 (1949-1950 Allied catalog) and # 860 (A&B) both from the 1952 Allied catalog,    These sets do not match your picture except for the #556 red NYC caboose and in one instance in set #823 the 787701 PRR brown hopper.  Even more unexpected,  in all set cases the #898 is listed with a #551 NYC tender with a grey band or in one case the #951 black "wedge" tender.  Now Marx made any collectors life miserable by switching tenders all the time and the #551 has many variations so this is not too unexpected.  The cars all changing however to this extent seems a bit odd, although any Marx fan will tell you that he had no difficulty switching cars to please some retailer and all the cars in question are 4 wheel 6 inch lithographed cars with tab/slot couplers.  These cars were commonly used from the middle 1930's to the 1950's and then faded through the 50's but some were still in use in the 1960's.

Anyway its a great set, made up by Marx, or some retailer, or some customer who had (no doubt) hrs of fun with the set,  Its a great find.  I loved the video of it running.  Thanks for posting.

Don

The drought at Musée de Fatbloke came to an end recently which also signalled a new beginning for me ... In my hunt for all things wonderful to me I have always drawn the line at "No Plastic" ( lol ) but in order to finally get my hands on  a Marx setup I have always liked, that unwritten rule had to be bent ... although Marx etc is very common to you fellows in the States , outside the U.S.A. its actually hard to find sometimes , but luckily I came across the following set at a very FatFellow friendly pricing along with local shipping to boot ...

A sight familiar to almost everyone here I would think ...

But inside lurked a set I have wanted for a long time ( loco-wise anyway)

And yes ( shudder...) Plastic 8-wheel wagons ... but look at that glorious Monon A & B !!!

           

Hasnt seen a lot of track time either by the looks ..

So while its a very common piece over in the USA , I am pretty stoked to have found it here in such good nick ( even with the plastic )

But....

I realise it just wouldn't be me if I didn't post something hopefully exotic lol ... Sooooo in other news this week , I also managed to pick up a little bit of French history in the form of a rather sun faded , but otherwise nice condition  Martinan & Larnaude ML180 toy locomotive ... A quick bit of research so far shows me only one other example in an auction listing grouped with several other trains on a European catawiki sale,  Apparently Martinan & Larnaude started C1920 and produced until the mid to late 30's , Mainly cars trucks and planes , but obviously also at least one locomotive .. they were interrupted by the war then at some point resurfaced ( possibly in name only? ) to produce many tinplate toys in the 50's-60's on ?

Apart from that one auction reference I can find no other info ( yet) about this well made floor train, it looks to have wheels similar to those types found on cars of the time which ran on litho tracks , so maybe there was also a circle or oval supplied ( all that is pure conjecture tho)

( Might need some intervention from @FRENCHTRAINS here?)

Hello Simon, nice to see you are doing good in the collection. Sorry but I do not have any knowledge about ML, they are not rare in France but not easy to find in good condition. They are floor toys so no tracks where ever made.

Lasr piece in the collection for me is a nice LR steam loco for the ETAT railways, made around 1935. As usually with LR trains very hard to find in good condition but this one doesn't look to bad..

1938-51938-6

Daniel

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@Fatman posted:

The drought at Musée de Fatbloke came to an end recently which also signalled a new beginning for me ... In my hunt for all things wonderful to me I have always drawn the line at "No Plastic" ( lol ) but in order to finally get my hands on  a Marx setup I have always liked, that unwritten rule had to be bent ... although Marx etc is very common to you fellows in the States , outside the U.S.A. its actually hard to find sometimes , but luckily I came across the following set at a very FatFellow friendly pricing along with local shipping to boot ...

A sight familiar to almost everyone here I would think ...

And yes ( shudder...) Plastic 8-wheel wagons ... but look at that glorious Monon A & B !!!

           

Hasnt seen a lot of track time either by the looks ..

So while its a very common piece over in the USA , I am pretty stoked to have found it here in such good nick ( even with the plastic )

Great find on the Marx stuff!  I live in Monon territory - just a half mile from a rails-to-trails path on former Monon right of way.  I've always found it interesting that Marx chose to put the Monon livery on so many pieces, as it was a relatively obscure line that wasn't prominent in Marx's major markets (despite "Chicago" being part of the line's official name). 

Trainguy Ken - Nice find on the Marx windup set! 

Greenberg's can be confusing when it comes to mechanical Marx locomotives... but Marx mechanicals can be confusing all by themselves.  The following is what I have been able to determine from my research on Marx mechanicals concerning the 897/898/833 and 591/533 locos. Marx came out with the #897 prewar, and that number was used for both the electrical and mechanical versions of the loco with the lithography on the body.  I have seen period ads from 1941-42 for mechanical 897's:

897-1

Postwar, Marx used this same basic body for electric and mechanical locomotives, but they were just plain black, no lithography.  It is my belief that the 898 designation is for the electric version and 833 is the proper designation for the mechanical version.  From period ads I've seen, I believe that Marx produced the 833 from 1947 through 1953, although I do have one ad from 1954 with a set led by an 833.  However, I suspect that Marx was getting rid of leftover sets through that retailer at that point, since the 591/533 had been introduced by that time (more on that in a minute).  I've documented six different variations of the 833, not including the 897.  Below is a common set with one of the simpler versions of the 833; Marx was notorious for taking details off the locos in order to meet a given price point for a retailer.  Note that the 833 doesn't have handrails or side rods - it came this way from the factory:

833Set

1953 is the last year the 833 is seen in most retailer ads, but it is the first year that the 533 makes an appearance.  Again, I believe that 591 is the proper designation for the electric version, and 533 is proper for the mechanical version.  Note that the construction of the 833 is considerably different than the 533.  The 833 is all stamped steel, whereas the 533 has a stamped steel body with a plastic piece in front for the smokebox door/pilot.  I believe the 533 was cheaper to produce, which was very important in keeping the price low on the entry-level mechanical sets.  I have retailer ads from 1953-58 showing various 533 locomotives.  The 591/533 was also sold in a battery operated version powered by two "D" cells with a switch on the top of the boiler - I haven't figured out what the Marx number designation would be for this version.  I consider it an honorary windup since those sets came with 2-rail track - haha!  I've documented ten different variations of the 533 (mechanical & battery).   Here are a few variations, with a couple of battery operated locos at the top, mechanicals below:

533shelfCropped

I won't go into sets or possible sets, but I will say that I was unable to find a set exactly like yours in the ads .  That's not to say that it isn't a valid set, and it seems that Marx didn't have any qualms in substituting cars to get sets out the door, either.  But, it is a nice train, thanks for posting it!

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