model train set on track

Joshua Lionel Cowen’s little factory

e*Train Issue: May 2004   |   Posted in: ,

By Mike Stella GHS;AA;BSEE;MSLT;Esq.

It seems it is not enough that Lionel has seen fit to copy, reintroduce, reproduce, and reissue just about everything ever made by Joshua Cowen. The latest trend now is to offer models of buildings that were or are located on famous toy train railroads. I cannot wait for the Frank Ellison series as I have always been his biggest fan.

This picture of the Lionel Showroom Layout shows where the J.L.C. Manufacturing Co. was located.

One building that I have always liked is the J.L.C. MANUFACTURING CO. that appeared on the famous 1949 Lionel showroom layout. The exact location of this factory can be seen just behind the main station. The “Bantam” book on model railroading utilized much ‘help’ from Lionel and might have even been written by Lionel editors.

Included in the pages were plans on how to construct a factory based on the showroom model. I cheated a bit and bought a kit that was first produced by Kober. When I finally got around to constructing it, I decided to put in a wooden floor made from individual popsicle sticks and also make the roof removable to look inside and see what those Lionel boys are doing.

I made a 1/4″ scale mockup of “Lionel Lines” (the Largest Lionel Railroad on my Block) and mounted it inside the 1/4″ scale J.L.C. factory. You can see that either my Lionel Railroad is either pretty large or the Lionel Factory is actually quite small.

The folks at Lionel gave instructions on how to build your own factory.

Maybe a combination of both? Anyway, in a short while I will be rebuilding a part of my railroad to incorporate this factory as well as about a dozen detailed buildings while replacing a town of Plasticville. It may then come to pass that the Largest Lionel Railroad on my Block has the Largest 1/4″ model of a Lionel Railroad! Sometimes I just confuse myself?