The 610 Erie diesel switcher was produced for only one year -- 1955 and was used to introduce Lionel's new style NW2 diesel switcher to the public. When the newer style NW2 switcher is compared to those produced in the early 1950's it's easy to see the reduction in both quality and construction techniques.
The 610 was included in only one set for the year. The set was Lionel's introductory train set for 1955 and represented the least expensive set for the year.
Due to the realistic -- yet lack-luster -- exterior color and graphics on the 610 as well as the inferior quality, the 610 was a poor selling item. Locating any 610 is somewhat easy, however locating a nice and clean example will require some time.
Even with the inferior quality of the later style NW2 switchers, Lionel's version is still a good representation of a real-life diesel switcher.
Standard features of the 610 include: black painted shell, yellow lettering and yellow Erie logo, usually a single axle with Magnetraction (although some dual axle Magnetraction versions have been observed), three-position E-unit (with the lever accessible from underneath the frame), dual operating couplers plus a gold ornamental bell and silver ornamental horn. The 610 did not include a functional headlight nor side skirts
The frame was always black and included end railings and sheet metal steps at each end of the frame.
Additional Detail, Photos & Box Information
The blue shell can be located in various shades of blue -- none of which can be considered rare. Additionally, the center window support is fragile and is frequently found either cracked or completely missing.
Only Known Variation - All 610's have a black shell with yellow painted lettering.
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