model train set on track

Lionel model trains travel from Bronx, N.Y. to San Diego, circa 1950 to 2012

e*Train Issue: Jan 2015   |   Posted in: ,

By Norman Saks

On February 24, 1950 my father bought me for my first birthday a set of the 1950 Lionel Union Pacific freight set 1467W type 1.  At the time, we lived in the Bronx.

Sixty four years later I would had preferred the passenger set Lionel 1464W 1950 Anniversary set with the three yellow passenger cars, but there is always Ebay or York.  In fact, I did fulfill my wish at April 2013 York.

The Lionel 2023 Diesel Alcos came in three different variations: yellow and gray roof, silver and gray roof and the rarest variety, yellow with gray roof and gray nose.  My father probably purchased the train set at a department store but I never asked which one.  I played with the trains on and off until the late 1960’s at which time I discovered, drum roll: Girls !!!!!

Who needed Lionel trains too, at that point, so they went in to the attic.  My brother kept asking me for the trains, claiming they were bought for him also, although he was born in 1953, you do the math.  I gave him the three boxes of trains and track about twelve years ago since I had no interest in them.  In hindsight, what was I thinking?

He never took them out of of the three boxes and two years ago, I took them back and to my amazement, they still worked.  I set them up on the attic floor here in sunny San Diego California.  The attic ceiling has a slanted roof so no room for a table level layout so I had to set up my layout on the floor of the attic.

Those trains made quite a long cross-country trip, and as a result, many years later so did I!

After running the trains for a number of weeks, I decided to join the local San Diego train club called the AGTTA (All Gauge Toy Train Association).  I also joined “The Three Railers” club, where I can run trains in the train museum in Balboa Park in San Diego.

I was told by one of the members of the AGTTA that there is a train show twice a year in York, PA. It’s like a kid going to Disneyland, more trains than you could ever imagine and all I had to do to attend was join the TCA.

My first visit to the train show in York, PA was in April 2012 and it was all they described to me and much much more.

And it hasn’t stopped since…