Reproduction of Lionel Standard Gauge #7
by Bradley Kaplan
Probably the rarest
Lionel production piece is the Standard Gauge Brass #7 with thin
rims. It is also one of the nicest looking pieces Lionel ever
made. If you want to find an original there are two words. Good
Luck. Lionel Classics made a reproduction back in the late 1980s.
Their reproduction looked nice but was not authentic to the original.
The original piece was not designed for mass production. With
the Lionel Classics version Lionel replaced a lot of the solder
joints of the original with folded tab construction which is easier
for mass production and that is just one of the many differences.
Good luck even finding the Lionel Classics version.
The most authentic
reproduction available of this engine is the Joe Mania version.
You can only purchase the piece directly from Joe. You may wonder
how authentic Joes reproduction is. The engine is literally
built from sheet metal. Everything is made from scratch. Joe
makes the motor from scratch. Hand winds the armature. Builds
his reverse units. Builds the wheels for the tender, casts the
driver wheels and the list goes on. Joe custom built his own
tools and acquired other tools from James Cohen to make the parts.
Bottom line this engine is 100% authentic to Lionels original.
The next question is
how does it run. The answer is it runs just like any early Lionel
standard gauge piece runs. It does not run as smooth as a Lionel
400E does or any Standard Gauge Super Motor or Build-a-motor engine.
Joe builds them just like Lionel did in the early 1900s. Joe
jokes and says he can make the engine run a lot smoother by gearing
the 2nd axle, make the motor bigger or for that matter
use a can motor. Just like the original, only one axle is geared
and the other axle gets power from the side rod connecting the
wheels. Joe drum winds the armatures instead of wave winding
them to be authentic. (You probably dont know what this
means. You will have to ask Joe to explain.) Joes uses $50 in
cloth-covered wire to wrap the armature instead of $2 in enamel-covered
wire just to be authentic. The wire makes no difference in
the performance of the engine. It is just an authenticity thing.
On this piece Joe put
Lionels second type of 10 series trucks. It has 3 rivets
on each side. He can make the first series but the 2nd
series is better looking. The 2nd series trucks makes
this piece a replica from around 1909 or 1910. There are a couple
different options you can choose to customize the engine. Thick
rim or thin rim drivers, headlight type, etc. Joe also sells
the engine as a #6 with a Russian blackened boiler. He also offers
a #5 with an optional tender. All of these locomotives have the
same construction techniques and motor. Also Joe offers the complete
line of early Standard Gauge 10 series freight cars. In 1910
Lionel dramatically changed the 10 series cars to make them easier
for mass production. The versions before 1910, which Joe makes,
are almost impossible to find.
If you want reproductions
of Lionels 2 7/8 inch line, you are in luck. In the same
style that Joe makes the reproduction Standard Gauge pieces he
also makes the 2 7/8 inch line. Everything is 100% authentic.
The engine is well
worth the money. You will get a 100% authentic reproduction of
Lionels rarest locomotive for a fraction of the price.
For ordering details or more information, visit Joes web
site at www.jlmtrains.com.
E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call Joe at (732) 303-8299.