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Item pw-2331 grey plastic



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  • This version of the FM is substantially more difficult to find than even the Jersey Central, and has a rarity rating of 4+ or 5 in the Greenberg guides to toy train values (based on a scale of 1 to 5)
  • The Fairbanks-Morse FM "Trainmaster" is widely considered the best locomotive for tractive power that Lionel built during the Post-War era
  • Between 1953 and 1956, Fairbanks-Morse built 127 of the prototype H-24-66s - dubbed "the most useful locomotive ever built". As extremely versatile road switchers, they were used in both passenger and freight service. They served on ten different railroads in the United States and Canada. The Virginian railway featured the largest fleet, with 25. In 1959, the Virginian merged with the Norfolk and Western, and all of the Trainmasters became N&W locomotives
  • Lionel made two offerings of Virginian Trainmasters. This item was the earlier version - #2331 - manufactured from 1955 until 1958. There were three distinct versions made. Most 2331's were blue and yellow on a blue body mold. Then, a second rare version is black and yellow on a gray body. This super-rare version is blue and yellow on a gray body. The 2331 FM was the lead engine in three freight sets - the 2251W in 1955, the 2267W in 1956, and the 2519W set in 1958. It was also available for seperate sale. The blue and yellow version was produced in 1955 only, with leftover grey body shells from the yellow and black version
  • This engine features two powerful Pullmor motors, diecast fuel tanks and trucks with a metal frame, Magnetraction, headlights at both ends of the loco, operating couplers, and an operating horn (requires a D cell battery for operation, which is not included)
  • The body of this locomotive is molded in gray plastic and is fully painted. The blue paint was applied first, it was masked, and then the yellow paint was applied. The "VIRGINIAN" and "BLT BY LIONEL" lettering on both sides was applied in yellow with a rubber stamp. There is a Fairbanks-Morse logo on each side of the unit in the form of a decal. The stock number (2331) and Virginian Railway logo applied at each end are both part of a one-piece decal
  • Important note: while engineering the model "Trainmaster", Lionel made a mistake that allows the collector to easily spot a counterfeit locomotive. They accidentally made the body slightly too long for the frame. When the body was attached to the frame, the pressure from the screw being fully tightened caused a stress fracture from the screw hole down to the bottom edge. This sometimes occurred on both ends, and sometimes only on one end. It is not always easy to spot this flaw. A Lionel FM without at least one crack is most assuredly a counterfeit item. Check out our video about Lionel FM's for a full explanation of a real versus a fake engine!


  • |Serial_List|
    17591EX 2331 VIRGINIAN FAIRBANKS-MORSE TRAINMASTER - GREY SHELL/BLUE PAINT - VERY RARE! -> C-7 Excellent - Minute nicks or scratches; no dents or rust.

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