Lionel Corporation No. 6 Steam Engine Ships In Originally Produced Livery January 3, 2013 - M.T.H. Electric Trains has released the Lionel Corporation Tinplate No. 6 steam locomotive in its originally produced livery. The locomotive and tender, along with complementing passenger cars, are now available at your local M.T.H. Authorized Retailer. You can see the locomotive in action by clicking on the video icon located to the left. As the photos below illustrate, the No. 6 differs from the photos appearing in our Lionel Corporation Tinplate catalogs released in 2011 and 2012. As those catalog pages indicate, our plan was to recreate the No. 6 as it was originally cataloged from 1910 to 1923. Unfortunately, when we created the catalog images we only had the very reflective No. 7 locomotive from which to produce our catalog image. When Lionel originally produced the No. 6, they utilized an annodizing decorative process on the boiler in an attempt to recreate the look of Russian Iron. Russian Iron, which can have a blue tint to it under certain lighting conditions, was a boiler construction material utilized by some real-life railroads. It has frequently been recreated in M.T.H.'s Premier, RailKing, RailKing One Gauge and HO product lines on locomotives that utilized Russian Iron in real life, most famously on the Erie's Triplex steam locomotive. As the David Doyle book Standard Catalog Of Lionel Trains 1900 - 1942 (2nd Edition) illustrates in photos, the No. 6 boiler on the original Lionel production models features a flat almost black appearance in each of the various liveries the No. 6 was produced in during the years the locomotive was offered. You can see some of those offerings in the book page seen in the photo below.
Whenever possible, items featured in the Lionel Corporation Tinplate catalogs include a reference under each item if the item is intended to be an accurate reproduction of an originally produced Lionel tinplate product. Typically, those references include wording similar to "Originally Cataloged from X years". In the case of the No. 6 locomotive, we included the wording "Originally Cataloged from 1910 - 1923" under the No. 6 photo in each catalog the locomotive was featured. We regret any confusion that the Lionel Corporation catalogs may have created for those customers expecting a more reflective blue tinted boiler but are confident that our production model of the No. 6 accurately recreates the appearance of the original Lionel production runs of this unique locomotive. In addition to the change in appearance from the cataloged images, the Contemporary sound-equipped No. 6 and its sister locomotive No. 7 suffer from tractive efforts due to the ommission of traction tire equipped drive wheels on the rear set of locomotive drivers. The Traditionally equipped models of both the No. 6 and No. 7 do not suffer from tractive problems because both are equipped with chassis weights not found in the Contemporary models due to space requirements. M.T.H. will be shipping traction tire equipped drive wheel sets to each retailer who ordered the Contemporary No. 6 or No. 7 locomotives. Consumers who purchased these locomotives will receive the replacement drive wheel set from their retailer for self-installation in late February or early March of 2013. The Lionel Corporation No. 6 and No. 7 and complementing passenger cars can be ordered through any M.T.H. Authorized Retailer.