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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Lionel Trucks and Couplers TRUCKS AND COULERS

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here were a number of different trucks and couplers that Lionel used on their post-war equipment. Generally speaking, as the postwar period progressed, Lionel would look for ways to reduce production cost and this usually involved a reduction in the quality of the trains that were offered for sale. This remains true for the trucks and couplers that they produced.

Lionel Bar-End Truck

Early couplers used an electronic coil that was triggered by a flying shoe. Later, this shoe would be mounted in a plate that was attached to the axles. These couplers are always found on staple-end trucks and were not produced after 1950.
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In 1951, Lionel changed production to the bar end truck that used a magnetic coupler plate that was attached to the axles of the wheel sets. This coupler went through a number of changes until 1958 when it was replaced by the AAR truck that used a disc instead of a plate to open the coupler.
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We’ve illustrated the details of these trucks and couplers in the order that they were manufactured by Lionel below.


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STAPLE-END TRUCK

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Lionel Staple-End Truck
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The staple-end truck was in production from 1945 until 1950. It was of all metal contruction. The bolster was stamped sheet-metal and the side frames were die-cast as were the wheels. Lionel would mount the bolster to the side frames by spreading two extended prongs of the bolster in a stamping machine. It looks like a staple pointing in reverse of the normal direction. Note the RED cicle in the illustration to the right. These trucks were used with electronic coil and magnetic couplers.

Note the two 'staples' circled in red

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BAR-END TRUCK

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Lionel Bar-End Truck
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The bar-end truck was in production from 1951 until 1957. It was of all metal contruction. The bolster was stamped sheet-metal and the side frames were die-cast as were the wheels. Lionel would mount the bolster to the side frames by crimping the exended bar of the bolster in a stamping machine. It looks like a single bar across the top of the side frames. Note the RED cicle in the illustration to the right. These trucks were almost always found with magnetic couplers.

Note the single 'bar' circled in red

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The Electronic Set cars had Staple End Trucks
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