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Item pw-2331 black vig



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The Fairbanks Morse FM Trainmaster is the most powerful locomotive that Lionel built during its Post-War era, and it pulls better than most newer locos made to date. The body of this locomotive is molded in gray plastic and is fully painted. The yellow paint was applied first, it was masked, and then the black paint was applied. The "VIRGINIAN" and "BLT BY LIONEL" lettering on both sides was applied in gold 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. The lettering of an authentic black Virginian contains trace quantities of real gold, being the same paint originally used to paint heating radiators. The finish must be quite dull and grainy, characteristic of the dulling effect when applied over black paint, and also characteristic of the rubber-stamping process used to apply the paint. High gloss and very bright lettering is a characteristic of silk screening, which was not used by the original Lionel Corporation. The lettering on originals must be dull and grainy. See volume one of our video "Lionel Classic Locomotives" by Don Shaw for a complete hour tutorial on the characteristics of original Lionel FM's and how to spot fakes. 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. This black item was the earliest version - #2331 - manufactured in 1955 only. There were three distinct 2331 versions made from 1955 until 1958. Most 2331's were blue and yellow on a blue body mold. The black and yellow on a gray body is quite rare, but a still rarer 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. 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, not included). 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. Rarity rating 6 on a scale of 1 to 8 (re: Doyle reference guides).


18414EX 2331 BLACK VIRGINIAN FAIRBANKS MORSE TRAINMASTER - 1955 ONLY! -> C-7 Excellent - Minute nicks or scratches; no dents or rust.

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