Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Lionel Trains

My father passed away in 2007 and one of his favorite past times was his Lionel train collection.  This was no run of the mill collection, his love of trains occupied the entire attic of our big old house.  Warning, post contains a lot of pictures.  I hope you enjoy!

Aunts and Uncles told us that my dad had started collecting after his days in the Marine Corp.  At that time, he had his trains in the attic at his parents house in downtown Indianapolis.  Mom and Dad's first house was a tiny ranch, and with 3 young kids, there definitely was no room for them there.  When I was 6 years old, my parents purchased an older home about 4 miles east of downtown Indianapolis, just off of Washington Street.  Finally, my dad could have his trains in his own home.
My childhood home.  The attic is behind that small window at the top left.
In 1983, my mother decided to leave the marriage.  Dad had a bit of a hard time adjusting to single life and went through a period of depressions.  Even his beloved trains couldn't help.  Finally in 1985 he met a lady.  In 1986, he prepared to sell his house and packed up his trains.  I know this from the newspapers he gently wrapped his collection in.
Notice the date on the newspaper that he wrapped the trains in.

Just a few boxes that contain trains.
My stepmother relinquished dad's collection about 4 years ago.  To me.  When they first came, I went through the 11 totes and boxes.  There were empty boxes and I searched out the corresponding trains and put them back.  At the time, I was still a bit grief stricken, so back to the garage they went.  I didn't tell my brother and sister as I had intended to make it a surprise for them for Christmas.

Fast track to today.  I was cleaning out my garage last week and decided it's time to get them out of those totes and let someone enjoy them.  There are literally hundreds of trains.  Diesel and steam engines, box cars, coal hoppers, caboose. etc.  Buildings, some metal and some hand made by my dad.
This pile of track represents hundreds of feet of his display.

A couple of the many buildings that my dad made by hand.  I remember him spending hours at the dining room table constructing display items for his trains.
One of many steam engines.  My girls each took one like this to have for their trains for their Christmas tree.

Another one of my favorites, a pullman car.
The General.  I kept this one for myself.  It's a little fragile, so I will most likely use it for display only.

The transformer.  Dad spent hours with his hands on this, running his trains.
This hat was one of his favorites.  I snagged it up.

My mother's birthday was in August, so I knew my brother Bobby, would come for a visit.  Even more so if I told him I had Dad's trains.  We had a great day of cooking out and reminiscing about the trains.  Bobby knew way more than my sister and I did about the trains.  I took a few to have on display.  My sister set up a little display for herself.  I gave each of my girls enough to have a train under their Christmas tree.  The rest went to my brother who plans on setting up a train display in his attic.  So after a lifetime of collecting, my dad's trains are finally going to be enjoyed again.

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