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Prewar Lionel

This Web Page Last Updated: November 23, 2014

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This page contains our current inventory of Prewar Lionel engines, rolling stock, cabooses, passenger cars, accessories, original boxes and other paper items. It includes both standard gauge and O-gauge trains made during the prewar era (1901 - 1942).

* * * Click on "Yes" in the Photo column to see a picture.
* * * Click on "Grade" in the 3rd column heading for an explanation of grading.

Prewar Lionel Sets, Engines, Cars and Accessories
Cat # Item GradePhotoPriceDetails
Prewar Engines & Tenders:
2224W Coal Tender E+++ Yes $195 A gorgeous semi-scale, deluxe "LIONEL LINES" whistling tender. Has a diecast body, white heat-stamped lettering and a full complement of railing detail with separate steps on each corner. Has four-wheel trucks with black journals and a box coupler.
Photo of the other side.
Minimal flaws! The coal pile is completely intact and the shell is very, very clean with nice vibrant paint and crisp lettering. The frame is also very clean with the "2224W" numbering on the underside completely visible!
Photo of the rear deck.
This sharp-looking tender has a nice sounding whistle.
An "aerial" view.

Correct tender for the 224 sold in 1939 and 1940; it is also the correct style tender for a few other prewar engines.
Prewar Accessories:
35 Boulevard
Lamp Post
Ex. Yes $ 25 A nice, medium-gray painted, die-cast lamp post from 1941-42: has an opalescent, octagonal lampshade that is topped by a cap shaped like a crown of thorns. The fixture measures 6 1/8 inches high. Made after WW2 as well as before but this is the prewar version.

Repair made to a crack in the globe plus the finial has rust on it and there are some scratches on the post. However, the flaws are not major and do not detract from the beauty of this unusual piece. It is very clean overall, all original and all intact -- and of course, the fixture does light!
Close-up of the globe where the repair was made.
Note that the close-up photo makes the crack appear to be worse than it really is.
Close-up of the base underside.

File Photo showing both a 1941-42 prewar version and a postwar version of the #35.
The postwar version is painted silver; the 1941-42 version of the prewar version is painted medium gray.
Close-up of the bases of both the prewar and postwar versions.

This useful layout piece is described in one guidebook as "a detailed replica of a prototype design that can still be seen in some American towns and cities." The gray-painted prewar version is the hardest #35 Boulevard Lamp Post to find.
154 Highway
Crossing Signal
E+/OB Yes $195
SOLD
Here's a very unusual item: the 154 road crossing signal but it is the version from 1940-41 with the base painted in "Hiawatha" orange. Has a silver-painted steel post plus a die-cast crossbuck with black lettering and screw-type bulbs.
Photo of the base.
A few scratches and some paint loss around the mounting holes on the base providing evidence that this signal was once used on a layout. In addition, a small amount of insulation is missing from the original wiring but that does not affect operation as it works perfectly! It is also very clean with nice lettering.

This prewar signal has a die-cast crossbuck with lettering applied to the surface but not raised. The lettering on the postwar version is embossed (raised).
File photo of the crossbuck on a prewar version & the one on a postwar version.

Photo of the box.
Grade 7+ original box (tears; creases; tape). A solid box: clean, complete, square and sturdy!
Another view of the box.
Has the circular cardboard insert to protect the crossarm! It is the correct "Art Deco" prewar box.
Photo of the cardboard insert, envelope, instruction sheet contactor & wires.
Includes the correct original envelope #154-23, the correct instruction sheet #154-20, dated 6-40 (tears), the original 154C contactor and the three original (used) connecting wires.

Very useful illuminated highway crossing signal. The black base version was offered by Lionel for many years but this orange base version is a tough one to find!
156 Station Platform VG/OB Yes $225 An illuminated Station Platform with these signs: (FLEERS -- BABY RUTH -- SUNOCO -- REMINGTON).
Photo of the other side.
Version from 1942 with light red roof, BLACK finials and GRAY-painted posts.
Close-up of all four signs on one side.
Has repro fencing plus paint chips on the roof and on the base. The unit is clean overall with nice vibrant colors -- and it does light.
Photo of the roof.

Photo of the box.
Grade 5 original box.
Photo of the sealed end of the box.
This corrugated box was made by the Consolidated Paper Company.
Close-up of the end-flap label.
Box flaws: missing two inner flaps; tears; punctures; brittle; tape; "aged" look; corner tape is separating; no inserts.
Close-up of the manufacturer's information.
Lots of flaws but this box is still useful -- it will protect the station in shipping and in storage.

A very uncommon piece -- the 156 Station from 1942 is the hardest version to find!

This very popular piece (which was also made in the postwar era) is always a nice addition to any layout. (Many operators have purchased six (6) over the years with a goal of duplicating the Lionel layout scene in New York in the late 40's.)
165 Gantry Crane Ex./OB Yes $110 Fascinating accessory from 1942: -- the "triple-action" Magnet crane: has the original cab, boom, hook and electromagnet. Measures 10 1/2 inches in height with the base 6 inches by 6 1/2 inches.
Photo of the boom & magnet end.
Has a green-painted Bakelite base, steel tower with a red ladder, die-cast tower top which encloses the motor & gearbox assembly, a cream cab with a red roof and a green Bakelite boom.
Another view of the crane.
The cab roof has a few small rust spots plus the base and tower have some small scratches and paint chips but nothing severe. Missing the bag of scrap metal.
Close-up of the lettering on the cab.
This unit is very clean overall and completely intact! The cab has nice vibrant paint with gorgeous lettering!
An "aerial" view.
Has the correct 165C controller that was rewired at some point in its life and all functions of this accessory work perfectly!
Close-up of the controller.
Has the original #165-80 instruction sheet (dated 3/41).
Photo of the instruction sheet.

Photo of the box.
Grade 7 original box (tears; stains; "aged" look).
Another view of the box.
The box label has some un-original tape on it but the number is very readable.
Photo of the box label.
This solid 72-year-old-box was made by the Bogota Paper and Board Corporation.
Close-up of the manufacturer's information.
Has the elaborate insert! It is not that easy a box to find and the insert rarely shows up!
Photo of the box insert.

~~ Nice operating crane that will provide lots of "play value" on a layout! It is also the unusual one-year only-version from 1942 with a gray tower -- not the more common silver tower.
184 Bungalow Ex./OB Yes $110 An illuminated, lithographed, stamped-steel cottage from 1923-1942: has a red chimney, peaked roof, dormer, separate green window inserts and an open porch area with a shed roof.
Photo of the Bungalow.
Rubber-stamped "184 A-1" on the base underside. Measures 2 3/4 inches wide by 4 3/4 inches deep by 4 inches high.
Another view of the Bungalow.
Some paint chips and scratches plus the base has a mild crease.
An "aerial" view.

Photo of the box.
Grade 7 original box (tears; creases; stains; writing; mildly distorted). A solid box: complete, square and sturdy -- and there is no tape anywhere!
Another view of the box.

The flaws are minor and actually add a little character and this piece looks presentable and realistic thanks to the colorful lithography! It lights and it is a great layout piece! Very unusual to find this piece in nice shape and with its box!
Prewar Lionel Original Boxes
#DescriptionGradePhotoPriceDetails
2226W Whistling Tender 6 Yes $ 65 A box for the large die-cast bodied, 12-wheel "LIONEL LINES" semi-scale whistling Tender sold from 1938 to 1941:
Another view of the box.
Flaws: missing one inner flap and a small piece of one of the end flaps; tears; creases; cuts; stains; tape; somewhat distorted; possible incorrect insert and/or missing a second insert.
Photo of the insert found inside the box.
Lots of imperfections but the box is fairly clean and it is mostly there.

Prewar boxes are not that easy to find and a 2226W box has to be harder to find than most.

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In the early years of the 20th Century, Joshua Lionel Cowen built a toy train company that became an industry giant. Thanks to high-quality products and innovative marketing techniques, the Lionel Corporation developed into a piece of Americana.

In the prewar era, Lionel offered some of the most colorful and ornate trains in their history. Although in many cases, they have a primitive look about them, they also possess an old-world charm unmatched to this day. The quaint accessories of this era were ingenious and impressive.

Increase the attractiveness of your modern-day railroad and add an alluring Prewar Lionel accessory or signal. Expand your collection by purchasing an engine or car from Lionel's wonderful early years.

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