Post war Lionel trains

Mark has been in touch with his post war Lionel trains:

“This layout is a downsized after moving its 10 x 18 the old layout was 20 x 18.

You will see a brewery that I made its from Utica, NY started in 1888 and still going strong.

I been in this hobby since my father had 027 lionel and HO Lionel as a child since I can remember.

I have over 60 Post War lionel trains, and MTH , Williams, K-Line and MPC Lionel.

Have over 300 pieces of rolling stock and 8 Passenger Sets.

I use Tubular 027 Track and have Lionel, K-line and Gargrave switchs.

I use a few blocks to park engine and to bring on line. The best part of being a operator is Having a cold beer and watching Trains..



post war Lionel train

post war Lionel train 027

post war Lionel train 027 lionel

post war Lionel train

post war Lionel train

027 lionel

027 lionel

027 lionel

027 lionel

post war Lionel train

A big thanks to Mark for sharing his post war Lionel trains.

Now on to Marv – although he had a lucky escape, I’ve lost count of the people who have lost locos over their table edge:


Currently dismantling my layout in preparation for a move to smaller quarters, no more 2500 sq ft basement.

When I decided to add a freight yard about 4 years ago, I enlisted the help of my grandsons in building a 3 x 7 foot yard connecting to the mainline.

Whenever I lay new track, I first test it by running a 4 wheel trolley, but in this case forgot to isolate the yard track from the main. So when the trolley reached the yard switch, an engine parked in the engine house left the yard at exactly the same time the trolley approached the yard junction.

Photo below shows the result, but luckily nothing left the table for a several hundred scale foot dive to the concrete below.

Marv Johnson, Kildeer, IL”

Lastly on to Dave, who has just sent in this:

“Hi Al,

just uploaded a new video showing a change to the layout I intend making, also trying to explain how I have overcome the problem I was having with the ECOS controller …and of course a good session with a few of my Trains …showing off the great sounds from my Ballymoss Deltic Loco …..with a mention of sadly, a fellow modeller who tried to help , but sadly past away after making a few videos demonstrating the Ecos ….



the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

32 Responses to Post war Lionel trains

  1. Robert Brady says:

    Mark , didn’t see much down sizing but I would’ve down sized to HO and rid those those 3 rail tracks
    The Critic

  2. Bob Amling says:

    Nice layout! It looks like a lot of fun. Great job on the brewery.
    LOL , every time I see an empty roll I think about what it could become! But you have done it. It looks great!
    Bob in Colts Neck Crossing NJ

  3. Scott J says:

    Mark, great layout! I visit Utica on a regular basis as we have family there. We’re in the Finger Lakes, I have an N scale layout of my own. A bit of a reality check, the word “Ale” is not present on the existing Utica Club building. Maybe it was once, but no longer.

  4. George Zaky says:

    Awesome man cave. Thanks for sharing.

    Of course thanks to Big Al for his hard work
    To all- be safe
    George from LI, NY

  5. Erick says:

    Kool.!!!! Keep up the good.

  6. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Mark…quite a train room……jealous……love the Utica Club.

    Marv…….we have all done that………

    John from California……nice weathering……great model

    Cassio……nice job….great looking layout….nice detail on your structures

  7. Dave Moore, Whitby, ON says:

    Mark, besides the great train layout you have a wonderful train/beer room, well appointed. Jealous!

  8. Dannofive0 says:

    One great setup.

  9. Mark,
    I model in both HO and On30 (O scale, HO track)
    My uncle was the one who really introduced me to model trains. He was a Lionel collector and had is railroad on the floor of a spare room in his home. There was always a Lionel loop under his Christmas tree as well.
    While I very much enjoy my choices and they are the best for the space that I have had available; there is something about Lionel and its tubular track that draws out the child within, — To the Critic I say this…” We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”
    My mother would say this to the seniors she mentored — “Life is too short to take yourself too seriously.”

    John —
    Nee. California

  10. Andrew Aves says:

    Marv – Been there and done that more than once. Please to read that this wreck ended well.
    Andrew in Oz

  11. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Thank all for the positive remarks, for scott j That must be the new Utica Club sign that you have seen, at night changes colors to Red / Green / Blue. The old sign is gone, mine is based on the old sign and it also had Pilsner on the other side, which was a second sign. As for our critic did you fall in a beer vat? LOL God Speed All!

  12. David Schaffner says:

    Love Lionel and like seeing the old three rail track, which brings back memories of my old layout…
    See a little plasticville, the old large transformers and crossings….
    Cool layout and I love the collection of shelf trains…

  13. Bob Binz says:

    Great job on the downsizing. Can you furnish a track plan for the downsizing. Your new size fits an area I have and I am always interested in what people are doing in the size I need.
    Thank you.

  14. All I can say is wow!!! That is a great job on the lay out especially considering its O scale and takes up alot of room but at least you have a nice big basement to step it up. Thanks for sharing Chris

  15. Frederic Lucas says:

    Holy Crap that’s impressive. Good job.

  16. Rich B. says:

    Photo #8 has the little “His n’ Her’s” outhouse in foreground. Haven’t seen one of those in 70 years lol. And the old Plasticville, a bit small for “O” but it worked. 3 rail… it’s all good. The Plasticville pond with bridge…time stood still here.

    Regards Rich.

    Never put photo of my Boss Mustang on here, just showed up?

  17. Brian Olson says:

    Now that’s…. A TRAIN ROOM!

  18. Greg Marples says:

    Mark, after viewing your pictures I feel like I have been at my brother Brad Marples’s house in Topeka, Kansas! He may have a bigger Lionel “problem” than yours! Great layout!

  19. Roger Keyes says:

    I love seeing post-war hi rail trains! Although I have American Flyer instead of Lionel, I can appreciate both. Keeping these 70 year old toys going is a rewarding part of the model train hobby, just as much as detailed scenery.

  20. James says:

    Looks good, if you have a video post a link?

  21. George Janavel says:

    Mark, I am so jealous, but even more impressed with your whole set-up. Bravo, my friend.

  22. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Thanks all for the positive remarks enjoy the o scale a lot, had N and HO to small for me hats go off for the men and women who have them and getting them on the track, My down sizing was only because of moving LOL Bob Binz how can I get your email I would send you a diagram Thanks Again all

  23. 100dollarBill says:

    I tend to agree with the critic on this one. It’s a great layout but, the tubular track is standing in the way of it being a phenomenal one.

  24. Brian Cowan says:

    This is to both Alistair & Mark & everyone else with layouts:
    I’ve loved model trains since I got my first set in 1978. Unfortunately my parents got rid of everything while I was in the service (US Navy) when they moved. I drool over the layouts and think I could do that! But I know that I never will. Yeah I know that I could just bite the bullet (figuratively) and jump into the shallow end, but I know my limitations.

    Keep the wonderful layouts coming guys!

  25. Mike Matejka says:

    I can’t control myself as I have a Lionel layout with an HO top deck and N scale on a hollow core door. Each has its own appeal. The classic Lionel & American Flyer have their childhood memories and charm and draw visitors in. They have their own acoustics and are just plain fun, plus conjure memories. The HO & N appeal with their scale detail and quiet, smooth running. “Hypnotic” is how one visitor put it watching the N trains. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy, whatever your scale or preference. It is your own world and make it what you want it to be!

  26. Lionel and O guage in general tends to bring the kid out of you(and me). Mine are 120 square feet and loads of fun.

  27. A great looking Lionel layout. How are Post War Lionel passenger trains determined? I have a Santa Fe observation dome car and rear observation car. They are both in excellent condition. I want to complete an actual Lionel train. I’m into HO, however my proposed Lionel train would make a great shelf and conversation piece; particularly how I came across these two cars.
    I appreciate any info. that would assist me on my search quest.

  28. you see he has a passion for model trains. So much love and work went into his layout!

  29. Mr. Ron from So Mississippi says:

    Never been a hi-railer, but my hats off to all who build layouts with whatever you choose. It’s all about what you like, not what the other guy says you should like. Whether it’s Lionel, American Flyer or even Marx, watching that train go around and around never gets old. When I was a kid, my parents couldn’t afford Lionel, so I had a Marx train around the tree. At 87, I still can’t afford Lionel. Must be hereditary.

  30. Joseph says:

    As a fellow O scale person, Great Job. Enjoy.

  31. Dan Wood III says:

    Thanks for sharing!!! You have one of the nicest layouts I have seen! Thanks again.

  32. Phil Knauf says:

    How do I secure the tube type track, Lionel 027 to the pink insulation board

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