Oh No! There’s Corrosion on My Locomotive!

Repairing Damage to a Modern-Era

Lionel Hudson 4-6-4 Steam Locomotive

Is it worth a professional restoration?

A few years ago, I picked up a used 1999-built Lionel 4-6-4 Hudson steam locomotive at a price too good to pass up. Without much of a layout to run it on, after testing all the functions, I put it in the same temperature- and humidity-controlled layout room closet with all my other rolling stock and structures.

Toy train, model railroad, repair, Lionel, Steam, Locomotive, tender, floor, corrosion, damage
Oh no! Corrosion on my Lionel locomotive!

Well, I decided to get it out this year for a new holiday layout I built, only to discover CORROSION!

Something had caused corrosion on the floor of the tender, so I tore it apart to see what was going on inside. What I discovered put me in the position of deciding what to do: take it in for professional restoration, or take on the job myself.

I discuss the discovery and the thought process put into deciding whether to tackle the repairs myself on our new Tips and Tricks page Repairing Corrosion on a Lionel Hudson Tender.

Pennsylvania Railroad Brings the Family Home for the Holidays

It’s beginning to look (and sound and smell) a lot like Christmas.

A Lionel Pennsylvania Railroad Three Rivers Berkshire pulls a string of K-Line streamliner passenger cars through the winter night to bring everyone home for the holidays.

Something about the smell of Lionel train smoke that just makes me think of Christmas.
And, seeing trains running in the living room, around the Christmas tree just screams “Santa is on his way!”

Toy Train Layout for the Grandkids

When I found out my grandchildren were going to visit, I decided to throw together a little toy train layout for them to play with.

I went on eBay and found two Toys ‘r Us promotional Lionel train sets, one from 1982 with an operating Geoffrey car and one from 1992 with a nice illuminated caboose. Both sets, with shipping cost less than $100.

I used Lionel Fastrack for the outside loop and O27 tubular track for the inside loop (mainly resorted to the tubular track for accessory activation). The older set had a cam that attached to the track to operate the “ducking Geoffrey” and I added a 153c contactor to operate an early 1990s semaphore and dwarf signal. There are two manual switches on the O27 loop with an accessory on each route.

The Fasttrack loop has two O36 remote switches, and doesn’t have any operating accessories, but I added a K-Line whistling train station between the two switch routes. but I added a late 1990s Linex operating oil derrick and some yard lights to the table for interest.

I’ve got a bunch of Plasticville buildings that the kids can place wherever they want on the table (although with two different loops, there are more buildings than will fit). They love rearranging the city and transporting people (from a Safari Ltd. “Toob”) and cargo on the train cars from one side of the layout to the other.


Smith-Sherlock Store Has Old-West Charm

Smith-Sherlock General Store

Turn-of-the-Century Structure Exudes Old-West Charm

Perfect for Turn-of-the-Century Model Railroad Layout

free model railroad plans, commercial buildings, general store, smith-sherlock, photo,
Smith_Sherlock general store, South Pass, Wyoming

If you are modeling a turn-of-the-century railroad, our free plans of the Smith-Sherlock store in South Pass, Wyoming are the starting point of a perfect structure for the commercial district. It exudes that old-west charm with its log construction on three sides and frame construction on the false-front facade. Even if the period of your model railroad layout is later, the store would be great as an abandoned building harkening back to an earlier era, or a museum (the use for which the real building is currently tasked).