Maintaining Your Lionel Trains
Over the last 50 years or so there have been many articles written about the topic of cleaning and maintaining Lionel toy trains. Some have been very good while others tend to lead the reader astray as to the
correct oils and lubricants to be used as well as the methods to be employed to clean your trains. We're not going to join the latter group, as a matter of fact we will take a cue from Lionel and let them guide us
through the methods they recommended for cleaning, lubricating and maintaining their products. Let's take some pages right out of Lionel's maintenance manual!
Lionel's marketing executives, including the owner himself Joshua Cowen, stressed realism by correlating Lionel trains with real railroads and their operation, which included maintenance. To make their point Lionel
even went so far as to ask whether you had ever noticed how carefully enginemen lubricated the important parts of their locomotives. You may have had this opportunity during the 1950's, but not present day. During the
1950's Lionel wrote an abundance of literature with respect to their products, and one important aspect was the care and maintenance of engines, rolling stock and accessories. They spent a great deal of time detailing
the correct way to do so.
||The intended message was that you should oil and lubricate carefully
and not over do it. Too much oil or grease is worse than too little.
As we move on we will cover what we believe to be some of the better oils
and lubricants to use on your Lionel trains, but first a word of
caution - Do not use 3 in 1 Oil on your trains! In the early
1940's Lionel cautioned its use due to its affect on Lionel
castings, and in the 1950's they stated that 3 in 1 Oil would attack
the plastic bodies as well as the paint.
the image to the left to enlarge it.