I Like Collecting Lionel Cataloged Sets
By Mike Stella
There has always been a large number of Lionel collectors that like to display their trains the way they appeared in the Lionel catalog.
Or, if they do not display their trains, they like to have original set boxes with all the individual component boxes, paperwork, track etc.
There is a huge demand for empty set boxes and locomotive boxes and rolling stock boxes in order to “create” that complete set as offered by Lionel in the 40’s or 50’s or 60’s.
While I like my trains as much as the next guy, I do not hunt boxes and in fact have sold off hundreds of them over the years.
I do enjoy finding a complete Lionel set as offered in a catalog and one that is totally original as came from the factory and not put together by some wheeler-dealer.
Original owners with complete sets are fun to meet and always a thrill to deal with.
The two sets shown in the accompanying picture were obtained from two families that no longer wanted them.
The 726 set from 1948 is simply gorgeous and in fact did come with all the boxes.
The 2036 set is from 1950 and the family actually traded it in on a new Lionel set with Fastrack.
These are not the most valuable Lionel trains and there are certainly sets that are worth a lot more money but I still get a huge rush whenever I can add a complete train set exactly the way it was when it left the Lionel factory.
I watch the Internet auctions and I am greatly saddened when I spot some seller that is selling a steam locomotive in one lot and the whistle tender in another and each of the freight cars one at a time.
Oh, maybe they do make a few additional dollars but NOT FROM ME.
Those items that the folks at the Lionel factory first put together in a common box should always be kept together.
It only seems right. Don’t break up the family!
And, Happy Collecting to All.