model train set on track

Will it Run? Part 1

e*Train Issue: May 2002   |   Posted in:

by Bradley Kaplan

Everyone has told the old story from time to time that you never know what will turn up at York. Displayed on one member’s table at the April 2002 York was this Lionel Standard gauge thin rim #5. The seller had what seemed a very fair price posted on it. Somehow I got him to further reduce his asking to the point that I could not say no.

The #5 was the first steam engine Lionel cataloged in Standard gauge. It was cataloged from 1906-1926. Obviously there was a variety of changes in the model in its 20 year life cycle.

To say this piece was in good shape is exaggerating, but enough of the engine was there to make it worthwhile to get running again.

This particular engine was probably manufactured in 1909. This can be determined by the type of frame, the type of reversing unit and the headlight mounting bracket.

The obvious parts that where missing from this engine are the side rod linkage, the slide on headlight, the nose knob and a handrail. The coal tender box is also missing.

Luckily all these parts where obtainable at York. George Tebolt sold the side rods and JLM Trains sold the nose knob, handrail and slide on headlight. The coal tender box will be formed out of a piece of sheet metal. My plan is to make this part and attach it with a magnet so I do not alter the body.

The engine seems to have an extra coat of black paint. Perhaps it was partially repainted in the 1930s.

When I put the engine on the track nothing happened.

I believe I will be able to get this engine will run again. This will be a multi-issue installment. Each month the progress of this engine will be reported.

Click here to read part 2 and see how the restoration is progressing!