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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Super-O Manual Control Switches No. 142

Lionel TrackSuper-O Manual Control Switches No. 142 were produced in pairs from 1957 until 1966. In the 1957 catalog Lionel showed these switches with lighted directional indicators, but they were only produced with rotating sign posts that were not lighted. This is also how the individual switches, detailed below, were manufactured.
Unlike the No. 042 Manual Switches, these Super-O versions cut off power to the center rail to the "closed" direction. This safety feature would stop a train approaching the switch from this direction unless the points were in the proper position. However, since the distance of this section of the switch is so short this would only work if the train was traveling at a very slow speed. This "dead section" of the switch can be extended on to adjoining sections of track. This would make this safety feature more effective, but doing this may result complications if more than one switch is involved as in a yard tree. Solutions to this problem are covered in the instruction sheet that came with these switches.
Included with these switches was a No. 142-160 parts envelope that is shown to the right that enclosed the non-illuminated No. 1022-29 Direction Indicators, two No. 31-7 Power Bus Connectors, and four No. 32-20 Power Bus Insulators.

No. 390 Box Side
No. 142-160 Parts Envelope

Lionel would issue these switches for individual sale. From 1957 until 1960 the right hand switch used the No. 142-150, and the left hand switch No. 142-125. In 1961 Lionel changed these numbers, probably so that Lionel dealers could more easily recognize the difference. From 1961 until 1966 the right had switch used the No. 142-RH, and the left had switch was No. 142-LH. There are no variations.

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