Nassau Lionel Operating Engineers
by William Meyer, Richie Williams & Al Schwartz
Nassau Lionel Operating Engineers, Inc. (NLOE) was formed in June 1983, and, from that point on until December 1999, they enjoyed working and OPERATING their trains on a 40 foot by 60 foot “O” gauge Hi-Rail layout with well over 3000 feet of Gargraves track and more than 120 Curtis Hi-Rail switches. A change in ownership of the building they occupied forced them to move. Sadly, very little of their layout could be saved. NLOE. is presently in the process of building an even larger layout at a new location in Levittown, New York, just a short distance from their old location.
Richard Williams, Club Car Agent, began a program to produce an annual club car for their members with a club logo and markings. Since they are mostly a Lionel Club and are located on Long Island, it was decided to use Lionel products and Long Island markings on their cars.
1989: The first car produced was a Lionel boxcar re-decorated by Pleasant Valley Process Company (PVP). The decorating was done over Lionel # 9620-21-22-23 sports series cars. The car was tuscan red with white lettering to the left of the door and a black and white L.I.R.R. keystone to the right of the door. The car is marked #8389 and 51 cars were produced with Symington Wayne plastic trucks. The built date is 9-7-89 with no variations. A picture of this car an be found on the cover of the June 1991 issue of “O” Gauge Railroading magazine, along with an article about their club inside.
1990: Their second car was a 4 bay covered Quad hopper, decorated over a Lionel # 6-19309 Seaboard Hopper. This was a gray body with orange lettering and logo. The car was marked #8390 and 48 cars were produced. 45 cars were produced with an orange roof and hatches.
There is a variation in the decorating of this car. Three cars were produced with a gray roof and hatches. The built date is 2-90 and they rode on Symington Wayne plastic trucks. Cars were decorated by PVP.
1991: The club car was actually a two car set. These consisted of a bunk car and tool car, both had arch bar trucks and were illuminated. The re-decorating was done over Amtrak bunk car # 6-19652 and Jersey Central tool car # 6-19653 cars. Both cars were decorated by PVP and 51 sets (102 cars) had orange sides with gray roof and ends. All lettering was in black (incorrectly published as gray lettering in “Greenberg’s Guide to Lionel Trains 1970-1991, Volume II, on page 34).
The car contains the “Dashing Dan” logo used by the LIRR in the 1950’s & 1960’s, which has the words “Route of the Dashing Commuter.” The bunk car is marked #8391A and #8391B for the tool car. Both cars have a built date of 6-91. No variations exist except for the different car bodies they were decorated over.
1992: NLOE was able to establish a contract with Lionel, LTI for blank, unassembled cars to be decorated by PVP, therefore there are no re-decorated cars from 1992 to the present. This year their club car was a Lionel single dome chemical tank car. It is marked #8392 and Lionel cataloged # 6-17893. The car is a black plastic body mold painted gray with orange ends. The frame, ladders and platform are natural black. All lettering is in black with LIRR and keystone background in red. The Club logo and 1992 was stamped inside both end panels. 55 cars were produced with a built date of 2-92 and no variations exist.
1993: This was a banner year for NLOE. Three club commemoratives were produced because it was their 10th anniversary.
The first was a Lionel RS-3 Diesel locomotive with dual can motors, electronic reverse and a horn. Catalog # 6-52007 was a gray plastic body mold with a standard blackened metal chassis. The diesel body was painted dark gray with orange ends. The truck side frames, fuel tank and chassis are painted dark gray. The handrails and coupler pilots are painted orange. All lettering is in white. There is a 10th anniversary logo on the side of the cab under the locomotive number. The number on this RS-3 is marked 1552 (a break in their number sequence), because it is decorated after Long Island Railroad’s # 1552 prototype used in the 1950’s. There is no built date on the locomotive but the delivery date was 8-93. Decorated by PVP with no variations.
Their second car was a Lionel illuminated bay window caboose marked #8393 and cataloged # 6-52020. It is a gray plastic body mold with die-cast Timken type trucks. Caboose sides and ends were painted orange, roof and end platforms were painted gray. Lettering is black and has the “Dashing Dan” logo and their 10th anniversary logo. 66 cars were decorated by PVP with no variations.
Their third car was a re-issue of their 1st 1989 boxcar with minor changes for their 10th anniversary. This car was available for club members and for the first time in their club’s history, was available to the general public. This was because of the numerous requests they received from people wanting to purchase this car ever since it appeared on the cover of the June 1991 issue of “O” Gauge Railroading Magazine. This car marked #8393, not to be confused with their 1993 caboose, which is also marked #8393. The reason both cars have the same marking is because the Club’s numbering system has some significance. 1983 is the year their club was formed, therefore the first 2 digits are “83” and 1993 is the year the car was produced, therefore “93”, is the last 2 digits. Catalog #6-52019 is a white plastic body mold with a metal floor. A small amount of cars came with the newer plastic floor that Lionel would use in the future, except for their 6464 series cars. This car is the same as their #8389 boxcar except the LIRR keystone, background is in red, the addition of their anniversary logo, and the car is marked #8393. 425 cars were decorated by PVP with a built date of 6-93, with no variations. This car was equipped with the newer style Lionel plastic trucks.
1994: The Club car was a catalog #6-52026 trailer on flatcar (TOFC) decorated for the Grumman Corporation and is marked #8394. This car started as a red plastic flatcar body mold and a white trailer mold with metal undercarriage. The flat car is painted gray with white lettering and the trailer is painted Grumman blue with white Grumman lettering and a logo of the Grumman Tomcat with the inscription “Any Time Baby.” Their club logo is on the front of the trailer. 144 cars were produced by PVP with a built date of 6-94, with no variations and is equipped with die-cast sprung trucks. A late addition to the #8394 Grumman TOFC was a Grumman tractor # 6-52072 in white with a blue Grumman logo on the doors.
1995: NLOE produced 114 Lionel vat cars cataloged # 6-52061 and decorated for the “Stern Pickle Products Company” of Farmingdale, Long Island which was marked #8395. Lionel’s blue plastic body mold was painted with white sides and a silver roof. The car lettering is red with the vats decorated in yellow and green. The car has die-cast sprung trucks and a built date of 6-95 with no variations. Once again PVP did an outstanding job in decorating this car.
1996: No freight car was produced as the club began a 4 year program of passenger cars. These cars are Lionel 60 foot smooth sided aluminum cars similar to the series issued by the TCA The car numbering system was reversed for these cars to distinguish them from any freight cars also produced during this 4 year period.
The first car in the passenger car series is a skytop observation car decorated for the LIRR in their 1964-65 World’s Fair color scheme. This # 6-52076 is a gray car with an orange stripe running the full length of the windows. The #9683 car’s lettering is orange with the inscription below the windows “Your Steele Thruway to the Fair Gateway.” 89 cars of “Montauk” were decorated by PVP with no variations.
1997: The second car in the passenger car series is a #6-52112 Lionel full Vista Dome car decorated the same as the 1996 car. The car is marked #9783 and 102 cars were produced with the name “Ronkonkoma.”
1997 is the 50th anniversary of their club’s home. Levittown was a model community for GI’s returning home to New York after World War II. The Meenan Oil Company of Wantagh, L.I. installed the original home heating systems in these houses and was celebrating it’s 63rd anniversary. To commemorate this event, NLOE produced a Lionel single dome chemical tank car with Meenan Oil Company logos and Levittown markings as well. Equipped with die-cast sprung trucks, this car was available to club members and the public as #6-52122. The car is white with green ends and lettering. 884 cars were produced at the Lionel factory in Michigan with a marking of #8397.
1998: This is the third car in their passenger car series decorated the same as their first two cars. Car #9883 contains the name “Hicksville” and is Lionel # 6-52123. This car is a dining car with production at PVP and 100 were produced.
1998 was also the 15th anniversary of NLOE and to commemorate this, once again, they chose to produce a Lionel TOFC with Grumman Corp. markings different from the #8394 TOFC issued in 1994. This time the flatcar is Grumman blue with white lettering and the trailer is white with a Grumman logo used in the 1950’s and the familiar “Tomcat” logo. This car also comes with a tractor painted Grumman blue with white Grumman logos on the cab. The car is marked #8398 and is Lionel # 6-52144. This car was produced at the Lionel factory and was available to the public as 1115 were produced.
1999: This was to be the 4th and final car in their passenger car series, but NLOE members wanted a 5 car set, so it was decided to produce 2 cars, each with a different number and name. Both these cars are to be a Lionel coach decorated the same as their first three cars. The first coach is #99831 “Jamaica”.
With the issue of 2 Grumman Corp. TOFCs in the past, Northrop Corp., which acquired Grumman Corp. a few years ago, NLOE felt it only fair to produce a TOFC with the new Northrop Corp. name and logos. They felt honored to be asked once again and responded by offering a Northrop Corp. TOFC. This car was available to members and the public but was not advertised. Instead, order forms for this car were established from the order forms of their 1998 15th anniversary TOFC. In other words, anyone ordering their 1998 TOFC received ordering information for the 1999 Northrop Corp. TOFC. The car number is #8399 and Lionel #6-52166. 984 cars were made by Lionel in Michigan.
2000: Three club commemoratives were issued. A Grucci Fireworks boxcar was designed and manufactured by Lionel in Michigan. What a better way to celebrate the Millennium than with fireworks by Grucci, a world famous fireworks company. This is a 6464 style boxcar with metal frame, door guides, brake wheel and die-cast sprung trucks. The #6-52186 boxcar had the marking #2000 and 959 cars were made with no variations.
Next, something was needed to head up their club passenger car set, so 200 F-3 diesel shells were ordered from Lionel to be decorated by PVP. These are decorated in the color scheme of the LIRR used on their “C” liner diesels, a light gray body with an egg shell color on the roof and part of the nose. Lettering is in white with the LIRR map logo under the cab windows. These were issued as an “AA” set, and a total of 100 sets were produced. Lionel’s catalog is #6-52173 but the units will be marked #2000 and #2001.
The third car issued for 2000 was an “O” gauge aluminum baggage car to add to their passenger set. A feature of this car is that it is illuminated and has window inserts in the doors. This is the first time Lionel ever illuminated a baggage car since they were first introduced in the early 1950’s. The cars were lettered “United States Mail Railway Post Office.” It was cataloged #6-52174 with a marking #0083. 102 cars were decorated by PVP.
2001: The Central Railroad of Long Island boxcar is a transition boxcar because it carries the “Central Railroad of Long Island” name which became the “The Long Island Railroad Company” which eventually became the Long Island Railroad. The 6464 style boxcar was manufactured by Lionel just after they moved their operations overseas. This may very well be one of the first 6464 style cars to come from China. The Lionel #6-52232 car is marked #8301 and 705 were made.
2002: The 8th car for their passenger series is an “O” gauge aluminum Vista Dome in the “Worlds Fair” deco. The Lionel #6-52235 will come with markings of #0283 and the name “Forest Hills.” 93 pieces will be decorated by PVP.
The New York and Atlantic Railway boxcar is once again a 6464 style boxcar and has all the metal and rivet detail of their previous cars and is designed after one of the newest railroads to spring up. The NYA&R took over the freight service of the LIRR, which is mostly a passenger railroad. The Lionel #6-52256 boxcar is in current production and will be marked #8302. If you ordered the Central Railroad of Long Island car and the later New York & Atlantic Railway boxcar, you may have one of the oldest and newest trains the LIRR had.
“Click here for the NLOE Club Car Matrix.”