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Discussion Starter #1
We got this set for my 8yr old son for Christmas.
http://www.lionel.com/products/lion...-diesel-ready-to-run-lionchieftm-set-6-82972/

Understanding that this is "not a real locomotive" (it can't pull more than about 6 cars), he has told me that he plans to ask Santa for "a real version".


So, first off, is this locomotive based on anything that actually existed, or is it something that Lionel dreamed up to sell with this inexpensive set?

If it is based on a real locomotive, what will this locomotive (#9431) be when it grows up? Santa needs to know (York is just around the corner).
 

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Yes, it is pretty close to real. Google "Industrial Locomotives" and select images, then just scroll down.
 

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I vote with big Jim, I was thinking "industrial switcher locomotive" either way you will find many similar .
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Looks like the Plymouth switcher.

View attachment 524596
That's what I was thinking, but the back is different. The Lionel has a short hood at the rear while the prototype does not. I guess the Lionel is "inspired by"....

I've looked (Google) and only found conventional versions of the Plymouth Switcher, mostly in K-Line. Does anyone know if they make a Lionchief version?
 

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That's what I was thinking, but the back is different.
I'm with John, a Plymouth would be about right. However, I wouldn't worry about it one bit. If you look through these things, you will see a lot of difference. Companies modified their units to their tastes.
What would go a long way toward making this a better looking loco would be the addition of some handrails.
 

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8 year old

Your child is 8 years old.
Take him to Strasburg PA, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.
Tell him I said Lionel modeled this one but made it smaller.

It is a toy train set after all. The Lionel engine is way too tall, most likely to fit the motor in. The rolling stock is missing half the wheels!
 

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The shell of that locomotive is based on the tooling from Lionel's Postwar #51 Navy Yard switcher locomotive. That toy locomotive was based on a switching locomotive built by the Vulcan Iron Works for the New York Navy Yard in 1938. That being said, it was indeed a real locomotive and since it was a switcher, the real locomotive probably wasn't moving super long trains either. Lionel originally used the chassis from their 41 Army Turbine Switcher (based on a prototype built by Davenport) which has side rods similar to the prototype, but wasn't exactly a perfect representation either other than the shell. The current version of that locomotive is based on a cheapened one that Lionel came out with I believe in the 1980's in various DC powered starter sets.



Photos of the prototype can be found towards the bottom of this page:

http://members.trainweb.com/bedt/milrr/bny.html
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That certainly looks like it's the one. So it's not a scaled down something... it's really that something - a small yard switcher.

I suppose an RS-3 would look like its big brother, so I'll keep my eyes open for one of those in York.

Thanks guys!
:)
 
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