model train set on track

Switch and Sway; All the Way; with the Santa Fe.

e*Train Issue: Oct 2008   |   Posted in: ,

By Mike Stella

Flashback to a time when Dwight Eisenhower had just been elected President, and I was king of my basement Lionel empire, with a steam freight and a diesel passenger set.  Kids used to play trains together, and even carry their trains over to another’s house to share a different main line.

Jerry was the kid who lived on the next street over and he had a #623 Lionel switcher that I still remember to this day.  It was big and heavy and the Magne-traction would lift any track that was not fastened down!

Times flies by and then Vice President Nixon got elected in 1968, just a few years before I became a born again Lionel collector and operator.  One of my early quests was to obtain a Santa Fe switcher embedded in my childhood memories.  I did and I did and I did again and again.

I am still adding a few to the roster every year.  Can’t have too many can you?  The one picture I didn’t take (my digital camera ran out of film) would have shown my #623 with 10 stanchions sitting in front of the same switcher, but with only 3 stanchions.  That brings my total to 15 different Santa Fe switchers but I have always wondered if there are any more?

Can you help?  Take the follow-up quiz and please let your e*Train editor know the results.

Thanks and happy collecting.

First Lionel MPC Switcher was the #8010 Santa Fe here shown in dark, medium, and light blue
The earliest MPC Switcher used leftover Postwar #634 bodies with additional decorations
The MPC #634, alongside the Postwar #634, both with and without stripes, and the #633 with stripes
The Postwar #616 and #617 Santa Fe switchers in black with white stripes
The Postwar #622 and #6220 comes with large GM decals on the cab, and also with smaller GM decals on the hood.  The #623 is the final Santa Fe switcher
Overall shot showing 14 different Santa Fe switchers.  Are there more?  Take the quiz


#1)I have NEVER seen a #622 that didn’t have the number on the front of the hood.  Have you?

#2)Is the #623 the only version that comes with 3 stanchions?

#3)Does the #633 switcher exist without the cab stripes?