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@Will posted:

I can't believe it, I bought this 6464 box car and the lettering is stamped upside down! I am so mad. Does anyone want this? Pay for the shipping ( I am estimating .25 ) and it is yours.

And why we are on the subject, I have this 6464-300 Rutland car with a solid green shield. None of my friends have this- they all have an outlined shield and nobody will trade with me. Say it's a freak. If anyone will trade, pm me and I'll even throw $3 in.

Honestly, I have no luck at all with these d*** Lionel Trains.

Oh, before I forget, my Dad gave me his old Lionels. Some big piece of junk he calls a "state" set. He never ran them, just left them in the box. I don't blame him, they are puke brown. I will trade for a pair of Santa Fe diesels. If you have the shiny passengers cars, I'll throw in this huge roundhouse, bridge and power station. They look stupid on my ping pong table layout.

Your just like the new generation....You just want everyting PERFECT!

@MartyE posted:

The dial up was horrible in the 50s.  I remember my dad telling me it took 3 days to download 1 photo fun picture and that was just the avatar of the guy starting it.

Marty if your dad thought  the dial up was horrible then,  back in the hills of West by-god Virginia they called it "crank up" and they're still waiting on the download.



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Last edited by wild mary

Mom would say in the 1950's :

"TV will be the death of all of us."

"The idiot box will make you blind and stupid"

"The rays from the TV set will hurt you if you set to close to Black and White 12 inch round screen"

"Turn off the TV and go play with your Trains"

"You left your Trains outside and they rusted in the wet night air"

"You have to write a thank you letter to Grandma for the two dollars she sent you for your birthday"

"Here is 5 cents for postage for the thank you letter to Grandma  for the State of Maine train car for the HO train set you do not have yet."

"I wonder how we can afford a 25 thousand dollar 4 bedroom house on your fathers salary at the School District."

Christmas Morning for 1950 turned out to be one of the best for our 10 year old son!  He was so excited to find the new, Lionel No. 2330 GG-1 under the Christmas tree!  And, my wife and I were so excited to give it to him.  Of course, I get to play with it too!.  

Although little Lenny doesn't fully understand the engineering improvements on the all new Lionel GG-1, this completely re-designed version now has two motors, and, what Mr. Lopo told me is the same horn found in those beautiful Lionel Santa Fe F-3 diesels.  Mr. Lopo also raved about a new Lionel feature called,  "Magnetraction", which is supposed to allow the Locomotive to better navigate the graduated trestle set on our layout.  

The Magnetraction feature is supposed to allow the locomotive to pull more cars.  However, given the GG-1's numerous weeks on Lopo's Christmas Layaway Plan, I don't foresee pulling power to be a significant benefit for several years!  We won't be adding many new freight cars for the GG-1 to pull in the near future!  Not unless the construction boom continues into the 1950's, and my brick crew stays busy when weather permits.

Fortunately, Mr. Lopo also helped me to put a fresh "D" Cell Battery into the loco, That way, the horn operated as soon as we put the locomotive on the track on Christmas morning!  Adding to the fun, Lenny's grandparents gave him an Erector Set later Christmas Day, so, he is busy creating his own version of an Engine shed for the layout.

Fortunately, his sister Angela wasn't jealous.  She loves to draw, and received a new art desk, and, quite a few new art supplies.  Now that our two children are a little older, my wife has returned to her career as a high school art teacher.  Given her knowledge and interest, she's able to help Angela pursue her love of art.  Me?  I mess up "stick figures"!

Fortunately, as a brick layer, one of the carpenters on the job taught me how to operate a circular saw, and would let me take it home overnight on occasion. Later, when he was buying a new circular saw for work, he sold me his old saw at a very attractive price.  As a result, last fall when school started, I  built a nice, sturdy, 4' x 8' train table for Lenny and his friends.  They actually play with the trains on many nights after school.  My wife Maria painted a beautiful background for the layout, so we have some fun home movies with the neighborhood kids running the trains, and Maria's artwork in the background.  The neighborhood kids always complain about the "blinding lights" when I run the movie camera, but they love to see themselves in the movies when I set up the Bell & Howell Projector and the large silvery movie screen.  Sometimes Marie and Angela join in  the fun, and Marie will pop some popcorn on the stove upstairs.  All great fun!

@Mark Boyce posted:

Dennis,  That was an excellent story!  It took me back to 1950, a little before I was born.  😄

Thanks Mark.  I'm glad that you were taken back to the 1950's by the story.  The year 1950 was "a little before I was born", too, but Santa did bring my first Lionel set under the Christmas tree before the decade ended -- dangerously close to the end of the decade:  one week before 1960!

You guys got the good stuff in 1950.  My second Christmas in 1948 Dad got me/his self a genuine Marx complete 999 steam engine set.  I still have that train set less box of course and do run it around the layout every once in a  while along with the Santa Fe Marx red diesel AA set with the tin passenger cars that came years later.  You lucky dogs got Lionel.  We were not rich enough to get Lionel but my cousin did and still has all his stuff BUT its been packed away for over 55 years and I doubt it will ever run on tracks again.

Dennis, your comment on paper mache reminded me of a Boys Life article where two other boys built a 4x8 fully sceniced layout for their slot car track.  They had hills and valleys following the contours of their over and under track much like you and I want to do for trains.  I don’t remember if they used paper mache or plaster.  I wish I could find a sponsor for a model railroad merit badge.  I’m a teenager who doesn’t know anyone else in the hobby.

When is Lionel going to start making boxcars like the ones I see everyday when I'm walking to school.  I've never seen anything like those 6464 cars in the 1955-1956 catalog?

...actually, I did wonder about this and a few years later I took matters into my own hands, purchased an abused 6464, stripped the paint, bought a spray can of Boxcar Red and some decals and made my own Lackawanna boxcar (64649)...and then MPC comes along a few year later and has the nerve to copy "my" car!  Of course they gave it their own number 9411.



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Mark, a lot of my friends have really taken an interest in slot cars recently, and are spending less time with their train layouts.  I hope that  Lionel Trains don't begin to lose favor, much like the steam locomotives that are now vanishing from the main lines that we always cross on the ride to see my grandparents on the east side of town.  I used to love to watch those huge steam locomotives pulling strings of automobile carriers filled with shiny new Plymouths and Packards.  My grandfather works on the line at Plymouth, and, an Uncle works at Packard.  My auto carrier freight car is one of my favorites!

As for your Model Railroading merit badge, can you ask your Scoutmaster for suggestions as to a merit badge counselor?  I was lucky because several of my friends are also working on the merit badge.  Our scout leaders had a list of the different merit badge counselors in our area, with phone numbers and addresses.  We were able to find a counselor for the Model Railroading merit badge from another Troop.  It's a bit of a bike ride, but definitely worth the effort!

Last edited by Dennis GS-4 N & W No. 611

Dennis, My long time scoutmaster had a list of mentors for merit badges, but no one for model railroading was on it.  Our new scoutmaster is working with a lot of new kids to get their Tenderfoot badge.  I could ask one of the scoutmasters from neighboring troops when we go to the next council sponsored event, if I get up the nerve.  I'm rather shy, but my dad and former scoutmaster worked with me on that a lot.  Living in a rural community makes it a bit difficult to make contacts and get transportation.  Thank you for your suggestion!!  I have a 4x8 layout with a nice F7 pulling a short freight train.  I wish I had a hobby shop nearby.  I order from a catalog when I have money to give my mum so she can write a check for me.

Hi Mark,  I hope that works out with the merit badge.  Your layout sounds like a lot of fun!  My first cousin and close friend each have F7's and those are among my favorites.  I have a steamer that came with a Super O set, and it's a lot of fun. I also started out with a 4' x 8' layout and had a good time running the trains with my friends -- much better than arithmetic class for sure!

A few other 1950s topic threads come to mind:

My dad is furious, I've painted all of my steamers in fantasy schemes - Author Grand Daddy Kunkle

State of the hobby... What gauge wire? ... How can I make black smoke? (somethings never change )

Do we really need whistles in the tender?  When I was a kid, we did just fine making sounds with our mouths like God intended.  Kids today have no imagination.

Can't we just have a regular old transformer and rheostat?  I don't like the fancy new transformers with direction control, whistle control, and variable voltage control.  Someday, kids won't even know how to use a rheostat.

I'm selling my Lionel and I'm moving over to HO.  O gauge will never be as realistic as HO.

My questions as a kid in the 50s:

My dad gave me his old pre-war Lionel 1684 steam engine set and I want to know why it makes such an O-zone smell, and why does it often derail on the old Marx manual switch tracks? Haha

I still have his set. It doesn't run well but I display the engine and tender alongside a Lionel passenger station on my "modern" 1950s small diesel layout as many old steamers are preserved in real life.

Last edited by Plankowner110

One of the older, fifth graders who lives in a house on the walk home from school found out that I've taken an interest in Lionel Trains.  He's planning to buy one of those new Schwinn 20" bikes with the banana seats and the "high" handle bars, and needs to raise some cash.  He asked me to come over later to see if I wanted to buy any of his Lionel "stuff".  

I rode my bike over before supper to take a look.  The prices were very reasonable, but he has repainted most of the cars, and his steam engine, in these garish colors that look like something from the Munster's TV Show.  I told him the trains looked pretty swell, and, that he had perfected his spray painting techniques, but the trains didn't really match my rolling stock.  (Maybe if my sister had one of those girly Lionel sets in pastel colors, she might like these rainbow repaints.)

I think I'll save my painting for the AMT model car kits that I love to build, and leave my trains their original colors.  That way when I'm much, much older, like in my 30's, the trains will still (hopefully) look nice.  

My Uncle Bob built a giant Lionel layout in the basement of their sprawling mid 50's era ranch house.  The layout is primarily in one large room, but traverses through different parts of the basement on a two track mainline, with lift bridges, signals and lots of lights.  It's so cool, and I love to go over there and run the trains!  

My cousin likes the trains, but since his dad started building the layout with a first train set on his second birthday, my dad thinks the layout is really my uncle's hobby.  At holiday dinners, some of the adult relatives occasionally joke that men Bob's age shouldn't really be playing with trains, but since the train is nominally my cousin's, my Uncle Bob is able to get away with what is really HIS hobby.

Last edited by Dennis GS-4 N & W No. 611

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