Lionel pw-682-1954 turb
6-8-6 PENNSYLVANIA S2 TURBINE LOCO AND TENDER
|The 682 was the last of Lionels S2 6-8-6 Turbine models, built in 1954 and 1955. It was the motive power in two sets - the 2217WS in 1954 and the 2245WS in 1955. It was also available for separate sale. It always included a 2046W-50 Pennsylvania, 8-wheel, whistle tender. There was only one prototype S2 on the Pennsylvania Railroad. #6200 was designed in a collaborative effort between the PRR in-house engineers and those at Westinghouse and Baldwin. It was delivered, ready to run, in 1944, at a cost of $375,000. It was revolutionary because it used a steam-powered turbine (like the ones found in steam-driven ships and power plants) to propel gears connected to the drivers instead of the conventional piston method on all other steam locos. It had a second, smaller turbine for reversing up to 22 mph. It was surmised that this new system would distribute the power to the drivers more evenly and with more fuel efficiency. In reality, World War II was the design's undoing. Originally intended to be a 4-8-4, a shortage of premium metals due to war rationing meant that heavier materials had to be used. The 6-8-6 wheel arrangement had to be used instead to support the heavier engine. But all of the extra weight killed the fuel efficiency, especially at lower speeds. The clear advantages of diesels began to manifest themselves once World War II ended (especially considering the coal shortage caused by government price freezes intended to combat Postwar inflation), and #6200 was withdrawn from service in 1949. As for the 682, it was mechanically identical to the 681 offered in 1953. It featured one powerful, Pullmor motor, Magne-traction, a three-position electronic reverse unit, headlight, wire hand rails running the length of the boiler, a PRR Keystone on the front nose with the number 6200, an operating smoke unit, and whistle in the tender. Only minor cosmetic changes were made, including the white stripe along the running board, and the extra bits of steam linkage on both sides.
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