Additional Information

Site Information


The General is a type 4-4-0 wood-burning steam locomotive originally built in 1855 in Paterson, New Jersey. Its claim to fame is having been the subject of the Great American Chase during the American Civil War. The General initially provided freight and passenger service on the Western & Atlantic Railroad between Atlanta, Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee. After the war ended, the General continued service on the Western and Atlantic.

In 1957, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad had owned the General and began planning to restore it for operation during the American Civil War Centennial celebration. It has periodically operated on the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway -- mostly as a display piece -- and today the locomotive is preserved at the Southern Museum of Civil War in Kennesaw, Georgia.

One final interesting fact pertaining to the General is its name and number. Before the Civil War, most railways in the south did not give their engines numbers, but rather were simply named, such as the General. When the railroad began numbering engines after the war, the General was assigned the number '39' as it was the 39th engine acquired by the railroad and was numbered accordingly. However, by 1880s a renumbering was necessary and at this time, the General was given the number "3," since at the time it was the third oldest engine the railroad had at the time. This engine continues to carry this number today.

Lionel's version of the General is an excellent model of the original locomotive and continues to be a favorite today. The General is the only Lionel locomotive to to carry the Western & Atlantic railroad name as well as the only tender having simulated wood as the source of fuel. Additionally, this is the most delicate (as well as most colorful) locomotive of the postwar years but was limited to only three variations during its short production run between 1959 and 1962.

*   Scroll down & click on any item number for more details regarding that locomotive   *