model train set on track

Homey-Did It Again!

e*Train Issue: Sep 2022   |   Posted in: ,

Home Made Locomotive

By J. Russ Dolbear   Chester, VA.  TCA# 91-34606

EDITOR’S NOTE: I received this email from Russ and felt that it deserved notice.  Clem was impressed with the homey-made items that Russ had found.

Hi Clem, and Carol,    

I enjoyed your article, Clem, about the homemade anomalies, and had to add my 3 cents worth.  I didn’t build the loco I am sending pictures of, but I admire the work of whomever did. If you can identify its maker, I would be elated.

Someone, probably before WWII based on the parts, took an old humpback Lionel 0-4-0, with the Dog Leg brush plate, welded some wheel driver counter weights to the spoke wheels (Die-cast, not Cast Iron), and scratch built a Steam locomotive around it. The front Cow catcher appears all scratch built and if the boiler is off another manufacturer’s product, I don’t recognize it. A 22-caliber bullet shell casing was used for the whistle, and all the side rod work is scratch built.

The Sand Dome piping to the drivers are continuous through the running board, and the handrails running the length of the boiler are held in place by stanchions the likes of which I have never seen.

   Home Made Tender

I believe the tender is scratch built as well.  Note the Prewar trucks. I traded for it at a local Virginia Train Collectors Meet about a year ago and got a $million dollars worth of fun carrying it around the meet quizzing all my friends,,,,”You have 10 seconds….Who made this?”  Amazingly, no one had a clue.  By the way, what do you call a man with no body and no nose?….NOBODY KNOWS! (NOSE). Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

  Orange Ives 3253

The orange Ives 3253 I will have to take full credit for.  I’ve always loved ORANGE trains.  I found this derelict Ives shell under a table in a box of shells at York about a year ago.  I wanted to do something unique with it, so I test fit the shell on a Lionel 156 motor and frame, and with minor adjustments, it fit.  I had to carve out a fender for the reverse switch to protrude, and then I went to my parts bin.  I added a Lionel Cast Headlight housing, two small pantographs, and a scale bell. Drilled some tiny holes in the corners of the frame of the 156 to mount tiny HO Flag Holders. The Lionel Hook Couplers work fine. I liked the Orange shell, even though it was losing its paint and graphics, but now I am contemplating taking it all apart and making it beautiful. 

Any suggestions on a color or proposed Road name?  I know, I know….leave it alone.  But in THIS case, I am the artist creating the forever unique project! 

   For your review and comparison!

 I included a pic with a real Lionel 156 next to this Ives 3253 Hybrid for comparison of its lack of height and overall unique appearance.  I welcome all comments, Good or Bad.

Clem commented – “Love your homey did locos and love of them. I don’t know who done them. For you, the l only repaint color is ORANGE!!!!! What rail lines used orange? Charge on.”  Your editor agrees, Absolutely!