681 Pennsylvania Turbine
Production: 1950, 1951 & 1953
The 681 steam engine is Lionel's representation of a turbine locomotive. The 6-8-6 wheel arrangement supported Lionel's advertising claim of 'it's an impressive 20-wheel locomotive!' The prototype was produced for and used by the Pennsylvania Railroad. Due to inefficient fuel consumption, the S-2 was a commercial failure and a second locomotive was never manufactured.
For Lionel, the success story of the turbine locomotive was different. The turbines were a marketing victory. The first turbine was introduced in 1946 (numbered 671) and the final one rolled off the assembly line in 1955. Between those years, Lionel produced thousands of turbines. Other examples of postwar Lionel turbines include 671, 682 and 2020, all of which remain popular with collectors and operators.
The 681 was basically a continuation of the 671, but with Magnetraction added to the locomotive. It's a durable engine and has pulling power comparable to some of the best locomotives produced by Lionel.
The 681 turbine locomotive had a brief two-year production run. Standard features include: black painted die-cast shell with white numbers, '6200' on the keystone, a single drive rod on each side, Magnetraction, three-position E-unit plus a headlight and smoke. The pilot and trailing trucks are always die-cast.
The locomotive was sold with either a 2671W or 2046W-50 whistling tender. Both tenders have Pennsylvania lettering on the side -- however the 2671W is a much more desirable tender with its 12 wheels and realistic design when compared to the 2046W-50. The 2046W-50 tender is the standard streamlined tender with eight wheels.
Additional Detail, Photos & Box Information
Only Known Version - Shown in the photo above. - There is only one reported version of the 681 S-2 turbine locomotive.
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