Still in progress ...


This manual will be a collaborative effort between Bob Hannon and Richard "Smitty" Smith, of "Toy Train Parts" in Mt. Washington, Kentucky. "Smitty" brings to this effort his in-depth knowledge of parts, part numbers and their material composition. As a parts supplier, he also brings first hand experience of the inadequacy of available documentation on these (and other) postwar products.

As we have both found out the hard way, the information is simply "not out there" to allow easy identification and ordering of needed repair parts. From my personal point of view, I have seen an increasing number of these units diagnosed as having a "weak motor" or "bad armature", where the problem was actually badly worn or missing mechanical parts.

One day, while commiserating on our mutual (but not exclusive) problem, we realized that not only was there a book in this, but a very much-needed book. And that realization has led to a work-in-progress that hopefully will be completed before December 2003.


This manual will provide a detailed, in-depth presentation of a subset of the powered units which Lionel called "Motorized Units". The manual will contain sufficient detail to allow it to serve as a training manual for those who are not familiar with the repair of these units. It will also be useable as a quick reference by those individuals who have had experience working on these units.

The following units will be the primary subjects of the manual:

Unit Number
Army Switcher ('55)
Army Switcher ('56+)
Section Gang Car
Navy Yard Switcher
Fire Car
Rio Grande Snowplow
Ballast Tamper Car
Tie-Jector Car
Minneapolis & St. Louis Switcher
A.E.C. Switcher
Rotary Snowplow
Minuteman Switcher
Executive Inspection Car
Motorized Maintenance Car


This will be a true repairperson's working manual. It will not be a simple rehash of previously published Lionel parts lists and exploded views. For the first time, complete electrical and mechanical troubleshooting procedures will be combined in the same manual with complete parts specifications on a per unit basis. The goal is to provide a complete troubleshooting and repair picture of each unit addressed in the manual.

If you are familiar with these units, you know that there was a lot of parts reuse going on here. Sometimes, the only difference between units was the coloring or stenciling of the cab. In other cases, some major changes were made. These differences will be gracefully and clearly handled in the manual.

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