New Track Installed at St. Michael’s on “Lionel Lines”
By Mike Stella
When I designed “Lionel Lines” (The Largest Lionel Railroad on my Block) I utilized a point-to-point track plan with two terminal yards, a mid-way division yard and several switching towns in each division where most of my Lionel operating accessories are located.
I used 0-72 switches where I could and many more Hirth Century 100 switches on the main line but did not have enough for many sidings etc. But as the years have passed, I have acquired additional Hirth switches and even a few more 0-72’s and finally decided to replace and rebuild several portions of “Lionel Lines”
Using these new switches will allow many larger locomotives in my roster to move about the yards and sidings. Better looking and much better operation.
St. Michael’s is a town in the foothills of the high plains where the steam rails of “Lionel Lines” now become ELECTRIFIED and catenary wire appears over the small yard. It is here where steam locomotives are removed from Westbound trains and replaced with a variety of “Juice Jacks” to continue their journey over the summit and onto the coast.
It is also where a pair of modified 0-22 switches were used to reach the several industries ( a Lionel #497; 342; 345; milk platform; and water tower) and now will be replaced with high speed Hirth Century 100 switches. This will allow much larger electric locomotives to be stored here as well as easing the local switcher’s job of shunting cars about.
The original track was so well laid that to remove even a single switch required taking up about 20 sections of track to get the required leverage to pull pins etc. Also, new pieces had to be cut-to-fit but overall alignments remained the same and the entire job took only a few hours.
Yet to be completed are the installation of new twin coil switch machines; push button controls on the local St. Michael’s panel, ballasting of track; and repair of some scenery. And while I am at it, I probably will finally hook up all those Lionel accessories too!
Replacing these two switches at St. Michael’s on “Lionel Lines” is just the first such “upgrading” that has been planned for some time. We have already completed “Project Two” which will be discussed in a second article for this issue.
There are several more in the planning stages and we will bring them to you as they occur. It is only fitting that the Greatest Lionel Collector of our time also continues to be the Greatest Lionel Operator in the world!
Happy Collecting but more importantly GET THOSE TRAINS OFF THE SHELVES AND ONTO THE TRACK!!!