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Old 04-21-2010, 06:54 PM   #1
Chas.
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"0" or "027"

Greeting gents,
When a youngster back in the '50s, I got a lionel train for Christmas. The inventory is 2025 engine, 6466W tender, 6465 tanker, 6462 gondola, and 6257 caboose - fairly typical train for a lad back about 1955 or so.

I always thought it was 027 gauge. The more I read, the more I don't know for sure. How can I tell? Do I have to lay out a perfect circle and measure or are there other ways?

I notice there is no "027" forum. Is that because all "027" discussions are lumped in with "0" since they're so similar?

Thank-you for any responses.
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:12 PM   #2
tjcruiser
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Hi Chas,

I'm hoping that you still have your set.

I think you'll find the links below chocked with helpful info. The 2025 was generally sold as an O27 loco, though it'll certainly run OK on traditional O track.

A bit of track lingo ...

Both O27 and O are the same gauge, i.e., distance between the outer rails.

O27 rails were a bit shorter in height than O, made of a lesser-grade sheet metal, and much cheaper for Lionel to manufacture. As the name implies, O27typically makes a circle with an outside radius of 27" (Though you can get larger diameter O27, too!)

Do you still have the track itself? Check its height ... O27 is 7/16" tall, and O is 11/16" tall.

We lump all O stuff into one section on this forum ... O27, O ... 3-rail O, and even 2-rail O ... lots of permutations.

Good luck,

TJ

SEE LINKS BELOW ...


http://www.tandem-associates.com/lio..._2025_loco.htm

http://www.postwarlionel.com/cgi-bin/postwar?ITEM=2025
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:00 PM   #3
Boston&Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjcruiser View Post
Do you still have the track itself? Check its height ... O27 is 7/16" tall, and O is 11/16" tall.
Or just look at the metal ties, O27 are brown and O are black...

A lot of times in the postwar era, O27 vs. O was just a technicality... It was more or less a refection of the track which came with a set, and not on the locomotive itself... For example, your 2025 (O27) is the EXACT same locomotive as a 675 (O), besides the number stamped on the side of the cab

Last edited by Boston&Maine; 04-21-2010 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:11 PM   #4
Chas.
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I still have the set, along with another set that I bought for my son back in the early 70s. However, it's his if he ever wants to claim it. About the same compliment of rolling stock, but his engine is a 2037.

Now I'm really confused. The track measures roughly .258 in height, .385-.401 if I include the crosstie.

7/16 is .437 and 11/16 is .688. I'm way off from that.

It is a 3-rail track with 3 cross-ties per section.

EDIT: The ties are black(or were black). Actually if I remember correctly, they were sort of "blued" like a gun barrel.

Last edited by Chas.; 04-21-2010 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:38 PM   #5
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Chas, the rick in recognition is having the two examples. FInd a Lionel Dealer and they will stock both. The difference is evident. Your track has to have Lionel stamped on it, to be such. It could possible be Marx track. The O ties are made a lot heavier than the o27. Also they do not use the same track pins.
Then you can lay out the curves and find the diameter.
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:50 PM   #6
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Chas,

Per your dims, very likely O27. See:

http://www.lionel.com/ForTheHobbyist/AboutGauge/

Per B&M's comments above, you shouldn't dwell too much on O vs. O27 ... as far as the loco and cars go, it's all pretty much interchangeable. The only exception would be if you had a very large O loco (several drive wheels, long frame base) and were trying to get this to run on O27 tight radii curves ... likely too tight to navigate turns adequately.

But again, likely not any concern for you.

What are your goals with the set? Is it all in OK shape? If you plan to get it up and running again, I'd highly suggest giving the loco a proper tuneup ... cleaning the armature and brushes, lubricating the gears, etc. Not nearly as daunting as it sounds ... several guys here on the forum can step you through the process pretty safely.

Maybe post some pics?

Regards,

TJ
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:20 PM   #7
Chas.
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Yep, tj. I plan to get them running, but they are irwipi's(It Ran When I Parked It). I have 2 grandsons about the same age. Although they're too young now, time flies. The reason I was asking about "0" vs. "027" is that I'd like to buy some more track and didn't want to mis-match. Your idea about CLA (clean, lubricate, adjust) the engines is a good idea and one that I am wanting to attempt. But you are correct, it's a bit daunting. When I am ready to tear them down, I will holler for guidance. It would make a good winter day or rainy day project. Right now, the outdoor work is taking priority.
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:51 PM   #8
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Chas,

First (and most importantly), conrats on the grandkids ... enjoy!

I was in a similar boat recently ... dusted off a 1958 O27 set that was passed down in my family. I cleaned up the simple oval track to get everything running ... the brown-stype ScotchBrite pads work great for this. However ...

As you think about building a layout, your choice of track type will be influenced by several factors ...

1. Nostalgia ... is it important to you that you use the "very" track that came with that old set? If so, they you'll have to stick with O27-profile for track-to-track (and pin) compatibility.

2A. Layout size ... basic O27 is 27" diameter ... quite tight, and perhaps limiting for larger locos and rolling stock (cars). However, you can also get O27-profile track in larger radii ... 42" diam and 54" diameter.

2B. Layout size (again) ... O is available in 31", 42", 54" and 72" diameters. Those latter radii are well suited (and often necessary) to run larger locos.

3. Cost ... O27 is cheaper than true O track ... both for used stuff and new stuff. Check ebay for sources. Many people (including me) are quite happy to buy decent-shape used track, give it a cleaning, and use it. It's generally pretty servicable, but check to make sure that the ends aren't bent / splayed out too much. In either case (O27 or O), you can pick up big bundles of decent used track pretty cheaply ... ebay, Craigs List, train shows, etc.

4. Durabiliy ... O is certainly beefier.

5. Compatibility with switches (turnouts).

Unless #1 above is a driving factor, you have options both ways.

What we've been talking about is "tube style" track fabricated from extruded sheet metal. Not to complicate things further, but several mfrs offer higher-quality (and much more expensive) O track with much more realistic railroad ties, camoflauged (sp?) middle rails, etc.

Lots of options ...

Good luck!

TJ
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Old 10-17-2010, 02:27 PM   #9
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There were at least two different 2025 engines. In the late '40s, Lionel made an O-31 gauge 2-6-2 that had a plate on the bottom that said O Gauge Locomotive. In the '50s they made a 2025 that was an O-27 engine and was a 2-6-4. I have one of each that I got from the original owners, so I think the data is accurate. I think both had whistle tenders.

Bruce Baker
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:02 PM   #10
lawnmoose
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Question 0 vs 027 scale

I, too, had a 027 scale set when I was a boy, and I'm starting to get back into trains again. My understanding was that, even though 0 and 027 stock would run on 0 scale tracks, there was a considerable difference in scale. 0 scale being 1:48 and 027 being 1:64. Thus, 0 scale cars run in an 027 scale train would look large and out of place. I'm buying rolling stock on ebay and getting all kinds of conflicting information as to whether this is true or not. Is there a difference in size (scale) between the two??
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