224 2-6-2 Prairie O Lionel Lines

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224 2-6-2 Prairie O Lionel Lines.jpg

The 224 2-6-2 Prairie O Lionel Lines was introduced in the first year of Lionel's postwar production era, 1945. This locomotive was also issued under the numbers 224 and 224E during the pre-war period and this pre-war version would head up the first post-war set No. 363W that was only available in 1945. This engine was equipped with Baldwin nickel-rimmed driving wheels, drive and connecting rods with an eccentric crank, die cast front and rear trucks, handrails, and a detailed cab.

The 224 steam engine is also known as a Prairie-type locomotive. This mid-size steam engine is a dependable locomotive and it shares its boiler casting with the 1666 steam engine. Its number and boiler casting were carryover items from the prewar era. Practically all of the updates or modifications centered on the internal components. An interesting piece of Lionel history surrounds the Prairie steamer. The first and only catalogued postwar set from 1945 -- O gauge set # 463W -- was headed up by the 224 Prairie steamer. Lionel's final catalogued postwar set from 1969 -- set # 11760 -- was pulled by the 2029 Prairie steamer.

The 224 steam locomotive has the following standard features: a black-painted, die-cast boiler with a 2-6-2 wheel arrangement, detailed driving wheel hardware, Baldwin disk drive wheels with nickel rims, die-cast trailing truck, three-position E-unit, headlight, wire handrails plus an ornamental bell and a simulated whistle. The number board can be found on a metal plate under the windows on the cab. The 224 was initially offered with a 2466W tender, but soon changed to the fancier 2466WX which contained additional deck railings. Both tenders contain a whistle. A quick way to identify a 1945 model versus its 1946 counterpart is to view the cab floor on the back of the steam engine. The 1945 model has a floor which is 'squared-off' along the back edge -- similar to the prewar version. The 1946 model has a more rounded and elaborate cab floor.


Variation A: Has blackened metal handrails and the engine has a squared off cab at the rear (pre-war). The No. 2466W tender is fastened to the locomotive by a long blackened or chrome drawbar that fits around a pin located under the cab. The tender has blackened hand rails on the deck and "LIONEL LINES" lettering is colored white instead of the more common silver that is found on early post-war tenders. The tender has staple-end trucks that have "swirled" or "dished" inside wheels, and brass center rail roller pickups. Late 1945 Production.

Variation B: This variation has a shortened drawbar that connects to the tender. It has the rounded cab floor, chrome hand rails and came with a No. 2466W tender that has chrome rails on the rear deck. The tender trucks were Type 1e or Type 2 trucks that have "swirled" or "dished" inside wheels, brass center rail roller pickups, and an open coil coupler. 1946 Production.

Variation C: Same as Variation B, except came with a Type 3 trucks on the tender, regular wheels, regular center rail pickups, and a closed coil coupler. 1946 Production.

Variation D: Same as Variation B, except came with a 2466T Tender that was only found in Sets: No. 1402, 1405, and 1409. Lionel would substitute this locomotive for the No. 1666 in some of the above listed sets in 1946.

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