Ha ha ... I'm awake ... I'm AWAKE!
T -- You're right ... some of these old Lionels flip direction via the field coil, with the armature downstream and grounded to the frame. It's only a matter of wiring ... the mechanics are all the same ... one could easily wire a motor the other way, with the direction flipped via the armature, and the field coil grounded to the frame.
Hey ... exciting news ...
I made my LIST today ... my list of parts that I need to order from Jeff Kane to get this 1688 and my 258 back in shape. I haven't talked to Jeff yet, but I'm hoping he has most things.
I'm pretty much in motor repair mode for the foreseeable future. I can't really get back into paint/body work until the warmer spring weather. And it was most definitely NOT warm here in RI today!