Model Train Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Over Christmas we found my dad's old train set from 1952. It is the 726RR Berkshire set along with a few accessory pieces. Everything was in pretty bad shape and required a lot of work to get running again. The track was mostly rusted and the transformer was cut up. I couldn't tell what any of the pieces that I saw in the box were for. I ordered a new transformer and started the process of cleaning everything up.

A lot of research was done over the past 7 weeks or so and I have been able to restore almost everything to working order. I did take the engine to a lionel repair shop which you can check out how that went in another thread in the o scale section :) I'm really glad I picked up the 1993 Coastal Limited Set when we went to the train show as it has let us enjoy the whole setup while the main train is fixed.

Dad had a Lionel #175 Rocket Launcher that was missing a lot of parts and didn't function. All of the wires had the insulation corroded and falling off. I was able to find some replacement wire and redo all of the connections as well as source a reproduction rocket. This has to be my son's favorite item that we found. Cleaning up and making that old control unit functional took a lot of time though. Lots of rust all over this thing. One thing that has been an issue is the rocket platform. It used to have a lot of railing around it but it's so old now that when the rocket lands on it the railings brake off. Still trying to find a replacement part for that service platform with all of the railings.

We also found a #356 Freight Station. It was missing the orange freight car and the green one was beat up but it did function ok. I had to replace a lot of the wire on it as it was also corroded and clean it up really good. A few parts later and it's now working wonderfully but I do need to find a reproduction baggage piece. I found some small pictures of the original posters and my wife, a graphic artist, is recreating them so we can make it look like it used to.

The Marx beacon has been fun to get working. It has a lionel beacon cover that is pretty melted inside. I need to find a new cover for it eventually but as you can see in the video below it works quite well. Graphite is your friend in getting these things working. Larger openings than you would think in the top slats as well.

The crossing gate has to be the easiest thing to fix. I basically cleaned the gate and housing and then used a dremel to clean up the pressure plate really well. I've been really shocked at how easily all of this old Lionel stuff is to get working. Some very long term thinking in the engineering back in the 50's.

Finally I did have to add onto what my dad had. I found some k-line switch tracks and added a lionel cross track and created a little L setup. My son and I are having a blast with this thing and it's been so much fun restoring my dad's train. We can't wait to have 3 generations around that train table.

Thanks for looking.

 

·
Railroad Tycoon
Joined
·
24,021 Posts
Nice, everything operates smoothly it looks like.
Something tells me you're going to want a larger table soon.:)

How high does the rocket go? Does it hit the ceiling?

Keep an eye on ebay for a junk lot, search Lionel lot. Or try O gauge lot.
A lot of times you might find the parts that you need in a junk lot.

Sometimes use the lettering LionAl, instead of lionEl,sometimes I get some good deals with the misspelled word search.
When they misspell it a lot of bidders that may be in the market don't see it.:dunno:

You let the kid run the throttle? I forgot how old he is, but even a young kid loves actually working the throttle. Or let him work the switch, anything so it is a hands on experience.
Teach him young the correct way of how to operate it so he won't do what I did as a kid.:eek:

You still fly your whirlybirds?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks :) It is running really smoothly now thanks to all the help from this forum. Last night I fixed the last little issue with one of the switches. Nice and smooth now.

The rocket does hit the ceiling and we have a few dings in the drywall. We have 9 foot ceilings too! It has to be my son's favorite part of the setup as he has probably launched that rocket a thousand times already. He's 4 years old and is really getting the hang of all of it. I let him run everything. We had a number of derailments on the switches and a few fly a ways on the curves early on but he's a pretty quick learner :) He's definitely a steam engine fan.

Thanks for the tips on the junk lots. Finding that service platform for a decent price is not easy. There is one on ebay but they want more than $60 for it. I'll have to keep an eye out.

If my son keeps interest I'm guessing this thing will take up the whole basement soon :) My wife says I have to use up all of the existing space before I can do anything else. I don't think that will be to hard :D

We have been debating picking up a HO scale for this setup downstairs and let me son just have fun with it. With the current 0 scale setup being my dad's I do have to make sure he's more gentle with it than a normal 4 year old would be. I was a bit surprised to see the ho scale curves aren't much smaller than the 0 scale ones.

Thanks again for all the help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks :) Next weekend my Dad gets to see it all running for the first time in more than 40 years. I'm really excited for him to see the train set he got when he was 4 and get to play with his 4 year old grandson. Special times :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Thanks :) Next weekend my Dad gets to see it all running for the first time in more than 40 years. I'm really excited for him to see the train set he got when he was 4 and get to play with his 4 year old grandson. Special times :)

This is awesome. Three generations bonding with your Dad's old train set. Enjoy!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
My dad was blown away at how well we did restoring his old train set. He said it looked like new again. Unfortunately, the 726RR engine was not repaired in time for his visit but we still got to play with the scout. The week after I got the bottom section back and rebuilt it. Now it's running like new. http://www.modeltrainforum.com/showpost.php?p=322314&postcount=82

I've figured out a much better layout for this table. One that is much kinder on that old engine. I was able to remove a lot of curves and make the ones that are there a little longer. I have a feeling we are close to expanding the table :)

Here's a quick video of the new layout. I have 2 more switches on the way to make a little train yard. So much more space to put buildings and stuff on this size table. Plus my son loves that we have a bridge now :)
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top