model train set on track

Blue Sky and Spirit!

e*Train Issue: Dec 2022   |   Posted in:

My GG1s, Blue Sky and Spirit

By John S. Halajko, TCA# 84-29653 Winter 2023 e*Train

Perhaps the most prolific toy train engine ever produced is a model of the PRR GG1. It appears in almost all gauges (there is no LIONEL OO Version to my knowledge), and in the author’s opinion it is the most produced toy train locomotive in O-Gauge. The link below details its many paint schemes.

GG1 Paint Schemes (

Our son, David, and I used to play toy trains on the floor of one of our bedrooms in our Lawrenceville, NJ home. Our favorite motive power was to double head a pair of early Williams GG1s. David’s Lego collection and a part of my train collection were on the wall. The single twin bed served as a super tunnel, and the areas next to the walls became a great place to locate building and accessories. The door bottom had enough clearance to guide over the tracks. All was well for many years; until my knees went south forcing me to build a layout in the basement.

Why did we pick the GG1 to run on the bedroom floor with the potential of unexpected door openings? Simple, the front truck would impact the door if opened by accident, causing damage to the door and not the locomotive. It is a lot easier to repaint and door bottom than a GG1 body.

When preparing this article, the author discovered that the star pattern of my early MTH Premier GG1 did not match the star pattern of my Post Card Image of Spirit sold by the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. I also discovered that the Lionel Vision Line GG1 does not match either.

Unfortunately, I could not locate a Vision Line GG1 to confirm paint colors against the MTH version.

The Star pattern of the early MTH scale GG1 does not agree with the post card photo, side 1.

The Star pattern of the early MTH scale GG1 does not agree with the post card photo, side 2.

Carefully examine the star pattern of the Vision Line locomotive against the Post Card which follows. Conclusion, star patterns do not agree with Post Card Photo. Note the additional detail of the Lionel piece. The light blue of the Lionel Vision Line GG1 may be a lighting issue.

Photo of Spirit sold as a Post Card by the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

Back of Post Card  
Back of postcard enlarged


Side1 of Lionel Vision Line

Side2 of Lionel Vision Line

Side by side of GG1 Fronts

So why do I favor the Scale GG1s over the Classic Size? (Link takes you to the e*Train article “Amtraking with the GG1s” in the April 2019 edition)  Simple, I am hooked on their size and sound systems. Why sound systems? Simple, I served PSEG in a court ordered environmental project in their Jersey City facility. One of my GG1s have a passenger stop at Jersey City.