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2014-01-09

Christmas with Lionel

Doug White

There I was, celebrating Christmas 2013 and trying to decide which train to put under the tree. That was really a no brainer. It had to be my good ol' Lionel train that has been with me since 1960. Yep, that was 53 years ago!
The big test was to set up the ZW transformer and test run the old steam engine. Everything worked.
The old steam engine #2018, a 2-6-4, started up right away. However, it didn't take off right away. It ran very slowly, then picked up momentum just like the real thing. Even the coal tender with its built in whistle and the smoke generator worked!
Wow! I was impressed, but a bit nervous due to the fact that the engine had sat for many a year without preventive maintenance!
That was about to change after I was lucky enough to find a Lionel No. 927 Lubricating and Maintenance Kit in the train box. All the oil and grease with a bottle of smoke pellets and the wooden plunger were present! That was a great find. I oiled and greased the 53-year-old engine and it ran very smoothly afterwords.
Another very cool find was a very special metal bus made by the Corgi Classics Limited. The logo on the side of the bus reads, "Lionel City Motor Coach Co." A card packed with the bus reads, "This is to certify that this is a limited Edition and is 1405 of only 6,000 produced."
The detail of the bus is remarkable. I did some checking and noticed that the Corgi company was founded in the year 1956. Corgi Classics Limited is a die-cast model manufacturer which has its origins in the Corgi Toys brand introduced by Mettoy.
The bus design looks just like the ones I remember from the 50s in San Antonio, very neat looking.
Now that Christmas is over, I will have to put away my 53-year-old Lionel train. I will pack it up very carefully and save it for Christmas 2014!

I hope you enjoyed this week's story. Happy New Year to you all.