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 General Electric EP-5ELECTRIC ENGINES


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During the post-war period Lionel produced four types of electric locomotives. We are not including the No. 60 Lionelville Trolley here as it is listed among the Small Motorized Units. The most controversial of these electric engines was introduced in 1947: The Pennsylvania Railroad’s GG-1. The GG-1 was the first to carry Lionel’s rich history of producing electric locomotives into the post-war era.
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All of these engines, with the exception of the No. 520 80-Ton Box Cab, are highly prized by collectors. We’ve listed these electrics below in the order that they were released by Lionel.


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THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD GG-1

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Lionel Trains Pennsylvania GG-1 Electric No. 2360 Variation E
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The Pennsylvania GG-1The Lionel No. 2332Lionel’s GG-1 was based on the Raymond Loewy’s innovative design for the Pennsylvania Railroad’s long-lived prototype. It was first introduced with the single motored No. 2332 in 1947. Lionel scaled down the length of this engine and removed the flanges on the center driving axles so that it would be able to negotiate their 31 inch diameter O Gauge track. Refer to the Track Identification Page for details on locomotive and rolling stock compatibility.
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Lionel used this engine to test out many innovative features that would be used on other production locomotives. This is one of the main reasons why this engine is so controversial today. Another reason is that it had a relatively long production life, spanning the years 1947 to 1963. One major controversy is that Lionel produced some of the early engines in a flat BLACK color instead of the normal BRUNSWICK GREEN. Some had poorly applied rubber-stamp SILVER keystones and stripes rather than paint or decals. Adding to the confusion is the fact that some of the BRUNSWICK GREEN GG-1 examples also had rubber-stamped keystones instead of decals.
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Same ventilator heightAnother problem was the color of the striping. Although Lionel produced these originally with GOLD striping, oxidization and a chemical reaction to the overcoat that they used caused this striping to turn BLACK and sometimes SILVER. Engines that have been found new in the box show the original color to be GOLD, but they also show faded central striping.
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It is beyond the scope of this identification guide to list all of the variations of this engine that Lionel produced. Collectors are respectfully urged to seek outside sources before purchasing a GG-1 engine in which they may have doubts about its authenticity. See the Numerical Index for additional details about the individual engines in this class.
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The bottom of the GG-1 Close-up of a power truck of the GG-1

GG-1 Variations Table

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GENERAL ELECTRIC EP-5 RECTIFIER

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Lionel Trains New Haven EP-5 Electric No. 2350 Variation B

The General Electric EP-5The EP-5 was introduced in 1956, and was a credible copy of the General Electric EP-5 rectifier, which ran on the New Haven Railroad. Lionel erroneously called this engine "Little Joe." This Lionel engine came with a single motor and four instead of six-wheel trucks that the prototype had, but otherwise it was enhanced with Lionel’s best features.
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The New Haven No. 2350 was in production for three years (1956-58) and during this period Lionel had problems in painting the complex colored pattern on the front of these engines. This resulted in a major variation where they painted the side "N" orange and the "H" black. Also, stresses placed upon the body through handling caused cracks at the ends where the body was attached to the chassis. These problems were partially illeviated when Lionel made a front adhesive decal that at least would cover up the damage. This decal has been applied to many of these units over the years and engines with pristine painted ends are hard to find. Beware of reproduction or repaints of the rare variation that will have the letters silk screened on. All of the original shells will show evidence of heat-stamped letters which is what Lionel used on all of these engines.
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There are no numbers in the number boards, however, Lionel painted their production number on the side of each of these units. All of the engines that Lionel made of these are highly sought after by collectors today. See the Numerical Index for additional details about the individual engines in this class.
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Inside the EP-5: Showing the horn relay to the left and the vertical worm drive motor to the right Battery Box of the EP-5

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80-TON BOX CAB ELECTRIC

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The General Electric 80 Ton Box CabThe Lionel Lines 80-Ton Box Cab was made without any of Lionel’s premium features for the more economical O27 Scale train sets beginning in 1956. The moulded plastic pantograph is particularly vulnerable to damage, and because it is easily removed this piece is often found missing today. Being in production only two years, this electric locomotive is undervalued today due to the lack of demand by collectors. See the Numerical Index for additional details about this electric engine.

The Lionel 80-Ton Box Cab Electric No. 520
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The bottom of the Lionel No. 520 Lionel identification plate on the bottom of the No. 520 The top of the Lionel No. 520 showing the often missing pantograph

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GENERAL ELECTRIC E-33 RECTIFIER

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Lionel Trains Virginian E-33 Electric No. 2329
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The General Electric E-33The Virginian E-33 Rectifier is highly prized by collectors today. Lionel made only one of these with the striking BLUE and YELLOW colors of the Virginian Railroad. Lionel produced this engine only two years during the post-war period: 1958-59. Not particularly attractive engine, the prototype was designed to haul lengthy coal loads over the Appalachian mountains, which was not a glamourous job to begin with.


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Numerical List Title
BB 520 Lionel Lines 80-Ton Box Cab
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BB 2329 Virginian E-33
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BB 2332 Pennsylvania GG-1
BB 2340 Pennsylvania GG-1
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BB 2350 New Haven EP-5
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BB 2351 Milwaukee Road EP-5

BB 2352 Pennsylvania EP-5
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BB 2358 Great Northern EP-5
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BB 2360 Pennsylvania GG-1

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Great Northern EP-5 pulling a selection of cars from 1959
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