Lionel 225E Smoke and Tender

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Allstate81140, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. Allstate81140

    Allstate81140 Member

    Hi all. I know from reading a lot on here, that the smaller guage trains are the most popular, so I hope someone might know about my questions on a Lionel.

    I have a whistling tender that is plastic like the one I had on mine as a kid. Mine, though, was somewhat newer than this prewar Lionel 225E. On Ebay, I saw a 225E for sale and the guy claimed that the prewar metal tender was part of that train. My plastic whistler looks more like it fits. The metal whistler (didn't know they made whistlers that far back) looks too small for the engine. Which is correct? I hope the plastic one I have.

    Other question is, can I convert this engine to a smoker? Front opens up like the smokers, but it has no element in there. I used to repair tvs many years back, so I know how to solder okay.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

    All have a nice day. Jack. :wave:
  2. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Hey, no problem about the Lionel questions. I'm glad someone else likes this stuff!

    I'm not 100% sure of this (only in the high 90s) but I don't believe Lionel made any plastic O gauge until after the war. The metal tender is much more likely. Remember, Lionel wasn't concerned about scale at all those days. Make it look really pretty so Mom will buy it, and put in enough operating elements to keep Dad and Junior interested in it so he'll ask for more pieces for Christmas.

    But if your plastic tender looks better to you, then by all means run them together.

    As far as adding a smoke unit, it should be possible. Check the wiring diagram before you do anything, but you should just have to run a wire to the pickup, and ground the other wire to the chassis. A smoke unit only costs $12, so it's a cheap upgrade. One word of advice though: a lot of collectors don't consider such upgrades desirable, so if you do it, be sure to do it in a way that someone can un-do it at a later date and bring it back to original. Since prewar stuff actually does increase in value with time (unlike postwar which tends to see-saw), that's a consideration.

    I definitely recommend you join the Yahoo! prewarOgauge trains group ( and run the questions by them. The people over there are a lot more knowledgeable than me. (Nothing against this board, of course--I like 'em both. This forum has the best scratchbuilding info I've ever seen anywhere.)
  3. Allstate81140

    Allstate81140 Member

    Hi Dave and all. Dave, thanks for the extensive information and for replying. I will look into that other address and also check more into what tender goes with this engine. Thanks again, and have a nice day. Jack.

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