www.StandardGauge.com LibertyShip.com   |   Back
Lionel 2 7/8" Gauge

From 1900-1905, Lionel made a series of motorized and dummy cars that ran on crude track that was little more than strips of sheet steel that fit into slotted wooden ties. Rails came in two lengths so you could make curves by bending them and putting the shorter rail on the inside. Twenty years ago, I bought three cars and a pile of track that was wrapped in San Diego Union newspaper from 1932.

The three pieces I found: Notes Year?
     Red wooden Gondola with brass corners    Motorized     1902
Green Derrick with chain and ball hook   Dummy 1903
Converse Trolley Dummy 1902
Other 2 7/8" Items in the Sefton collection:
Green Gondola with ribbed sides   Motorized 1903
A matching set with flat-side Green Gondolas
Green B&O Tunnel Locomotive   Motorized 1903
2 Green Gondolas  Dummy 1903
Track Bumper   1
Elevated Pillars   2
Switch and Signal 1
2 7/8" Track a bunch

I sold the pile to Tom Sefton (at my cost with right of first refusal - a long story), but kept the ten best cross ties and four long rails in case I ever came across another 2 7/8" car that I wanted to display. The rails have crimps at their ends for locking pieces together and are 13 1/8" long. Here are the items I kept:  



The two sections together are over 26" long. I did not spend a lot of care assembling them for this photo. They would look better with the ties centered.


Here's a close-up of the ties -- they are about 1/2" square and four inches long.

The bottoms of the cross ties have a series of indentations, probably where the sawing or planning machine held them. This could be a way to tell originals from repros. These ties and track are guaranteed to be all original. They are probably circa 1903 given the earlier cars that they came with.

Why display a $15,000 car on fake track.

 Home   |   Back