Production: 1948 & 1949
The 1656 steam engine was classified by Lionel as a Switcher steam locomotive. It is a small steam engine and was available as a separate sale item or in work train sets. It shares its boiler casting with the 1615, 1625 and 1665 steam switchers.
The 1656 bell-ringing steam switcher was introduced in 1948 after a one-year absence of a steam switchers in the Lionel family. Both the 1665 and the 1656 locomotives are the pinnacle of postwar steam switchers. The combination of high quality, durability and a unique bell-ringing feature continues to make this a highly desirable locomotive. Since the locomotive is designed to haul only a few cars, it will look great working in any freight yard.
Because of the high center of gravity of these steam switchers, it is quite common to find a switcher with one -- or both -- front marker lights damaged or missing. Additionally, the roof of the cab is often bent or damaged from high-speed derailments near a curve track!
The 1656 switcher has the following standard features: an 0-4-0 wheel arrangement with detailed driving wheel hardware, black die-cast boiler, three-position E-unit, headlight, wire handrailings plus a front step and an operating front coupler.
A slope-back tender was usually the 6403B, but occassionally a 2403B tender is found with this locomotive. Standard features on either tender include metal staple-end trucks with an operating coupler and a functional bell located inside the tender shell. There is an on/off switch located underneath the tender which is used to operate the bell. Also included on the tender are two wires protruding from the front. These wires have a banana plug on the end and connect to two terminals inside the switchers cab.
Additional Detail, Photos & Box Information
The length of a 1656 is approximately 9" (front to back) while the length of the 1656 and 2403B or 6403B tender is approximately 15" long (coupler to coupler).
The steam locomotive did not include a smoke and the tender was always a non-whistling type, but with a functional bell.
Only Known Variation - Shown in the photo above. - All 1656s are black with a slope-back tender.
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