Production: 1946 & 1947
The 221 Dreyfuss steam locomotive was modeled after the famous New York Central streamlined Hudson conceived by the distinguished industrial designer, Henry Dreyfuss. The bullet nose and distinctive protruding fin reflected the trend of railroad companies in the 1930s to upgrade and modernize their motive power into futuristic, sleek-looking engines.
Although somewhat under-sized in terms of scale, many collectors and operators covet the 221. The charm of this unique-looking locomotive is unmatched by any other Lionel postwar offering. Clean examples of this steamer -- especially ones with original and completely intact tender decals are somewhat rare.
The 221 Dreyfuss steam locomotive has the following standard features: a painted die-cast boiler, 2-6-4 wheel arrangement, detailed driving wheel hardware, sheet-metal trailing truck, three-position E-unit, headlight plus wire handrails. Drive wheels on most 221's are black, but aluminum wheels were included on very early 1946 versions. Additionally, the steam locomotive number is stamped below the cab window on each side.
For 1946, the locomotive and tender was painted light gray while the 1947 version was painted black.
The 221 was available with either a 221T non-whistling tender or a 221W whistling tender. All tenders were painted to match the color of the steamer and had the New York Central lettering decaled onto each side. A very common problem with the tender is the decal. Due to frequent handling or simply age, the decal is often missing part or most of the lettering and striping.
Additional Detail, Photos & Box Information
The 221 was sold as an 027 gauge locomotive. When operated on O gauge track, it can lose power when traversing switches (turnouts) or cross-over tracks.
Gray Locomotive & Tender - Shown in the photo above. - Most collectors prefer the gray Dreyfuss locomotive as it is the only non-black steam locomotive produced by Lionel during the postwar years.
Black Locomotive & Tender - While most notable reference books indicate the black version has a lower value, the authors of this website believe the black version is harder to locate as compared to the gray version.
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