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My buddy and I recently received a very generous donation to our collections for the Redford Theatre Christmas Display. A gentleman visiting for one of the shows at the theater passed on his contact information and wanted to donate the collection of Postwar Lionel that he and his brother enjoyed as kids. He arrived with six storage bins full with three fairly high end Postwar sets, motorized units and countless accessories. I haven't even gotten to sort through most of it, but I've begun working on the locomotives. While very nice Lionel stuff when new, it was all played with hard and probably not stored very carefully.

One set was this 1950 2150WS Passenger set pulled by a 681 turbine. This was in the best shape out of everything, although the tender shell will likely be getting replaced. In this video I had my 736W PRR tender from my Berkshire behind it. It'll get a more thorough going through eventually, but a basic cleanup and lube and it runs great.


Next in line was this Lionel 6250 Seaboard NW2 locomotive which I think came with a 1523 work train set (haven't verified all the cars yet). It was wrapped in paper, dirty and apparently sat in some water at some point as the trucks were thoroughly coated in rust. I disassembled it completely, soaked the rusted parts in Evapo-Rust for an hour and a half and gave the shell and de-rusted parts a good scrubbing with soap and water. After a thorough dry-out session and lubrication, it simply needed two new light bulbs and some wire to replace what I cut out during disassembly and it ran great. I need to open it up one more time and do a thorough rebuild of the E-Unit as it'll only run in the forward direction at the moment, but I don't anticipate that being much of an issue.


Next up is a very rough GG1, a Great Northern Rotary Snowplow and a 52 fire car.
 
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Very generous donations. I's sure you will make the most of them, Jake.
 
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Really nice stuff he donated, Jake. They are definitely worth the time it takes to repair, clean and lube. Your visitors at the theater should really enjoy watching them run.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You guys deserve it with the show you put on.

That NW2 really slows on the Fast-Track curves. Are they the 36" or 31" diameters?[/QUOTE

Thanks guys! I love keeping the classics rolling.

The first clip was its first lap after the rebuild. After a couple of loops around it settled in and ran fairly consistently as far as speed. Those were the O-36 curves I had handy so they’re still on the tight side.
 

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I'm very pleased to read of the recent donations, Jake. They've all found a great new home!

(FYI ... I couldn't get the second video to work???)

Thanks!

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm very pleased to read of the recent donations, Jake. They've all found a great new home!

(FYI ... I couldn't get the second video to work???)

Thanks!

TJ

They certainly have! I love taking on projects like these because they make it that much more satisfying to run. There's so many accessories, I wish we had a place for a permanent layout as it would all go together to make one amazing Postwar toy train layout. There's countless Lionel, Corber and other accessories. The accessories seem to have fared better than the trains. Most are in their original boxes. I don't really have space at home to bring them all here at once, but I'll post pictures as I go through things a little at a time.

Here's the video again, if it doesn't work you should be able to get to it through the link to my youtube channel in my signature.

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Discussion Starter #8
Next in line, a 2330 GG1 from 1950. This one is a bit worse than the NW2 I rebuilt last week. It has similar rust issues on the running gear and is missing things such as the pantographs and a couple of screws. The motors turned over and the E-Unit cycled when I jumped power to them, so that's a good sign. The paint on the shell is very well worn, and these are known for fading of the stamped markings over time anyway. I sort of like the well used appearance, so it'll just be getting a careful, but good cleanup. This one has the battery powered horn, and still contained an Everlast battery that looks to be nearly as old as the engine. Thankfully the advertisement of it being a "leakproof" battery seems to have held true. Most of the corrosion seems to be just rust from being stored in a moist environment, versus the battery damage it could have sustained.

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I was going to post, wow that switcher was a mess. Then I saw the pic of the GG1!!

Sometimes there's more enjoyment for me in the tinkering than in the running!

Good work Jake!
 

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I was going to post, wow that switcher was a mess. Then I saw the pic of the GG1!!

Sometimes there's more enjoyment for me in the tinkering than in the running!

Good work Jake!
I do really enjoy the rebuilding aspect of the Postwar stuff. It's nice bringing something back to running condition after many years of being stored away. Then its that much more enjoyable to run after all the work spent fixing them.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
A volunteer at work gave me a box of Postwar Lionel items in various states of completeness. Everything was filthy from sitting in storage. Most of the pieces are good for parts, but these four cleaned up pretty nicely. I've also got several 2-6-4 chassis, shells and other components and might try to assemble one of those someday. The big pieces are all there, but they're missing most of the hardware and some of the rod linkages.

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Wow, you have taken on quite a few challenging restoration jobs! It's a real labor of love. I am sure you'll receive tremendous satisfaction from these projects when complete.
 
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Very nice work, Jake. It's great that you are able to get these old trains running again.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks guys. Getting old trains running again is always fun for me. The last four cars I did were easy, simple, cleanup projects which made for an enjoyable evening. Old trains often have a lot of life left in them, they just need some TLC to get to that point.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I finally got back to the 681 Turbine that was shown in the video at the start of this thread. It did have some operational issues following that video which I seem to have been able to resolve. It got a couple of new body mount screws, a new smoke unit heating element, a thorough cleaning and a round of oil and grease where needed. The reverse unit had some problems that a rebuild resolved.

The tender was a lot worse off. The original shell appears to have had something like glue or paint poured on it at some point, there were several cracks and much of the original paint was flaking off. The water scoop underneath had been melted at some point as well. Several items out of that collection had old repair notes penciled on the boxes and I've been finding some pretty terrible wiring repairs on several pieces that likely led to the melted water scoop. After a cleanup, new shell/water scoop and new wire, the whistle works great and the tender looks almost new (although it is used enough that it doesn't look out of place behind the locomotive). It's ready for another 70 years of service.

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