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2026 Lionel Lines Prairie


Product Description

Production:  1948, 1949, 1951 - 1953

The 2026 was classified by Lionel as a Prairie-type steam engine. It's a mid-size steam engine and was sold as an 027 gauge item. The early 2026 is a fancier locomotive compared to the later version. In addition, the 2026 shares its boiler casting with other Lionel locomotives such as the 637, 2016, 2018, 2029 and 2037 steamers: however the internal workings are different.

The 2026 was Lionel's preferred powerhouse locomotive for their mid-level sets between 1948 and 1953. It was the lead locomotive for eight sets in the five years of production. Interestingly, the first 2026 set in 1948 was a passenger set -- while the remaining seven sets were all freight sets.

The 2026 steam locomotive had two independent production runs. The first was in 1948 and 1949 while the second was from 1951 to 1953. Although Lionel used the same catalogue number (2026), in most cases parts are not interchangable between the early and late version.

  • The first version consisted of a 2-6-2 wheel arrangement with detailed driving wheel hardware, three-position E-unit, smoke, Baldwin disk drive wheels, die-cast trailing truck, sliding shoe contacts plus an ornamental bell and whistle and illuminated headlight. The whistling tender was numbered 6466WX.
  • Externally, the later model looks very similar to the earlier model. Internally, there are numerous differences. The later model has a 2-6-4 wheel arrangement with scaled-down driving wheel hardware, three-position E-unit, smoke, relatively plain spoked drive wheels, sheet metal trailing truck plus ornamental bell and illuminated headlight. The number of the tender was either 6466W, 6466T or 6066T. The 6466W tender included a whistle while the other tenders did not include a whistle.

Additional Detail, Photos & Box Information

1948 & 1949 Model - Shown in the photo above. - This model is the more desirable of the 2026 steam engines.

1951 - 1953 Model - This is the common version, which has generated little interest in the collector market.

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