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5 Easy Pieces ....... Lionel "Super O" 12/12/2004

Super O Track

If you have an interest in "Super O" trackage, read further. There are 5 quintessential works about "Super O" that are required reading for those of us interested in "the track"! This reference compiles the 5 works in one place:

1. Classic Toy Trains, in 2000, published "Lionel Display Layouts You Can Build". The beauty of these small to medium sized dealer display layouts is that they are 4'x8', 5'x9' and 8'x8' and most of us can find enough space for one of these layouts. They are clever and classic postwar in design. There are 8 "Super-O" layouts and 12 layouts using 027 and O gauge. Some very nice color shots that are sure to tantalize us tinplaters. Also included are wiring diagrams and necessary layout components. Also included in this 95 page book are some excellent stories about those who build these layouts, construction tips and much more. Strongly suggest that you get this book from your favorite source. It lists for $16.95

2. Rudley's Track Layouts for Lionel "Super-0" is a 24 page booklet put together by Joe Rudley in 1962. Joe was a Lionel dealer of note and also owner of the Sarasota Seashell and Train Museum in Florida. It was sold years ago and its contents (trains only I presume) were in Richard Kughn's Carail buildings. The reason Joe put this booklet together is that there were no plans for "Super-O" Layouts available at that time. Originally the booklet sold for $.39 but it goes for considerably more when it can be found. It has about 18 pages (30 layouts) including suggested scenic treatment, necessary components as well as sections on Scenery, Accessories (Mr. Rudley designed the portals for Lionel) and wiring. Some exquisite large layouts as well as many medium sized layouts. Another don't miss. Be patient and I am sure you will find one. You can still find Joe Rudley at York.

3. Classic Toy Trains (CTT) has a superb article about Lionel "Super- O" Track in the November 1997 issue. About 6 pages as I recall. I don't have it handy as I pen this note but there are color pictures and if I recall a very nice spread on the Lionel Showroom layout of 1957. Suggest you dig this out of your archives or call Classic Toy Train and request a copy.

4. Next is the Historical Perspective of "Super-O". Historical background, specific information about the track system, years it was catalogued and many other interesting topics such as wide radius "Super-O", such as 54", 72" and 96" radius, track planning software and component track sections and numbers of all "Super-O". I am certain most of you have read its "unforgetable contents"!

5. One of the essentials in working with "Super-0" are the operating instruction sheets. The "Grand Daddy" of all the sheets is the: How To Assemble Lionel "Super-0" Track pamphlet.

This is an overall representation of many situations that you will find with "Super-O" Track. Specific areas it covers are: Assembly, Electrical Connections (#43 and #61 + #62), #37 Uncoupling Track Units, #36 Remote Control Blades, #48 straight & #49 curved Insulated Track Sections, #38 Accessory Track Adaptors, Transition Pieces for "O" and "027" Track.

Within each category is a detailed account of the subject. Most frequently with pictures, explanations and "how to" use data. I have never counted the variations of this popular instruction sheet but there must be 5 or 6 versions. The one I am looking at this moment is the first that came out in 1957 and the number is 39-2. One could really have a nice hobby just collecting the different "Super-0" instruction sheets as there certainly are variations. Of top importance is they ARE NOT expensive.

If anyone else has other can't miss information a copy would be most assuredly appreciated to be shared with the group.

Should you have further questions about "Super-O" track I would be pleased to answer your E-mailed questions. I have developed an interest in this 40 Year Old Track System.

Mike Spanier

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