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Train Related Christmas Memories

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1: L 98-46637 PhilSend e-mail

CHRISTmas 1953 in Benton Tennessee and My First Train:

My uncle, Leach L. Lea, Jr., bought a "Marx 5-unit Electric Freight" New York Central set for me for Christmas 1953 while he was attending the University of Tennessee. I was just over a year old, so (Mom still teases my dad about this) my dad and Uncle Jr. put me in the playpen so THEY could play with the train without interruption. (ha) (Dad was an Agent/Operator for the L&N for 44 years!)

Dad later put the track on a sheet of plywood and I would slide it under the bed. We later put it in the attic.

Girls, motorcycles, girls, cars and girls came along later and the train was forgotten for 40 years. A few years ago I was helping mom and dad clean out the attic and found my train in a box. I hooked it up, bought some new track and tried it out. The engine would barely run. I put some oil on it, but not much help. So, I pushed it around the track and it helped. So, I pushed it some more. After 15 minutes of that, the little 40-year-old engine was flying and jumping the track like before. But, the electric blue hopper was missing. (I remember my toys pretty well.) So, THE SEARCH was on. I didn't know about the TCA or LCCA then, so I was on my own. I found an old man in NC who said he had the car. He was a Lionel collector and talked me into buying all his Marx. I then started buying Lionel and the rest, as they say, is history. I joined TCA and LCCA, went to York to buy, bought collections with the intentions of keeping what I wanted and sell the rest. I now have a ton of trains. You can't walk through my train room, everything is in filing boxes, the train table is piled high. (I still can't play with my old train!)

I still have the train, somewhere, but the box was tossed back then I guess. It has a Marx 400 plastic engine, plastic tender and 6" tin 4-wheel cars with plastic, fixed knuckle couplers.
There is an NYC Tender, NYC Caboose, Tank car and Hopper Car.
(I would like to find an original set box for it.)

I think the set number was: Marx 9616 or 9616-A.

NOTE: You can see pics of my first train and other Christmas toys of the 50's on my website I recently created:


Thanks for letting my be the first on here to tell my story.

Merry CHRISTmas to all!

Phil Lea
Sweetwater TN
TCA 46637

Last Updated: 12/4/2005 9:01:35 AM


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