Lionel Electric Trains Identification Guide Sub-Title
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This Identification Guide for Lionel Electric Trains covers the "Post-war Era" only from 1945 until 1969.

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The Lionel No. 52 Fire CarLIONEL FIRE FIGHTING MOTORIZED UNIT No. 52

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The Lionel Fire Car No. 52
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No. 52 Box End

The Lionel No. 52 Fire CarThe Fire Fighting Motorized Unit No. 52 works on the same principle as the No. 50 gang car and reverses electrical polarity to the field armature when it strikes a bumper causing the car to go in the opposite direction. The soft plastic fireman with the nozzle also changes direction when the unit reverses. This motorized unit’s body is BLACK plastic that has been painted RED with WHITE heat-stamped lettering.

According to Lionel, the design is based on an amalgamation of several types of equipment used by the railroads. The fire hose is retractable and the WHITE fire outriggers also can be positioned perpendicular to the direction of the unit. Also featured is an ornamental bell and a GRAY compressor situated opposite the fireman.
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Lionel had originally planned to use a flashing lamp No. L-257 when this unit premiered in 1958, but they were not available until the next year when they were included in the Lionel Service Manual. Further problems were caused by the fact that the foam lamp pad usually deteriorates over time and causes the lamp to tilt to one side and melt the red dome housing. Collectors should be aware of this problem and check these units for heat damage.
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Lionel issued one Instruction Sheet No. 52-43X dated 9-58 that used DARK BLUE ink on WHITE paper. A picture of the front page of this sheet is shown below and the second page can be viewed here.
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No. 52 Top View No. 52 Black Plastic Body Underside
Courtesy of D. Strosnider Collection
No. 52 Instruction Sheet Page 1
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