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Lionel Model Railroads & Trains

One of the most recognized brands in the model railroad hobby is Lionel. This company manufactures model railroad products in O gauge and is famous for its specialty model railroad sets sold at Christmas time. Lionel has built a following of model railroad enthusiasts who build their collections strictly out of Lionel stock.

Joshua Lionel Cowen founded the Lionel company in 1900. He designed his first electric model train, The Electric Express, in 1901 as a window display for toy stores. By 1906, Lionel offered a selection of engines and cars as well as preassembled track. Lionel used three-rail standard-gauge track designed to eliminate circuits. They began manufacturing model trains in O gauge in 1915, and this size eventually replaced the standard-gauge trains. Lionel discontinued the manufacture of standard gauge in 1939.

Lionel's popularity grew after World War II, and they reached their peak of production in the '50s. This era included the release of Lionel's greatest steam locomotive, the No. 746 Norfolk and Western. Lionel's popularity declined in the '60s, and the company was sold to General Mills in 1969. General Mills revived Lionel model trains in the '70s, and the company has survived several changes in ownership since. Lionel model trains for sale at auction continue to draw great interest from collectors and enthusiasts all over the world.

Quick Facts

  • Lionel's first model trains were powered by wet cell batteries. These batteries were filled with acid and dangerous. The company soon replaced the batteries with 110-volt transformers
  • The 2004 Polar Express train set, designed to commemorate the movie "The Polar Express," is one of Lionel's best-selling model train sets of all time
  • In 2016, a standard-gauge Lionel train set from 1934 sold at auction for $250,000. The set included a 400E engine and state passenger cars, all in mint condition in the original box
  • In recent years, Lionel has moved production of some limited edition lines back to the United States. Lionel trains corporate headquarters are now located in Concord, North Carolina.

Learn more about the history and value of Lionel trains on the Invaluable blog.

Recommended Items at Auction

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Lionel Command Base & Accessories. 14295, 12868, 37146
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Lionel Command Base & Accessories. 14295, 12868, 37146
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $300
$55014 Bids
Lionel Vision Line 11209 New York Central 700E Hudson Steam Locomotive & Tender W/Legacy OB
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Lionel Vision Line 11209 New York Central 700E Hudson Steam Locomotive & Tender W/Legacy OB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $1,500
$45011 Bids
Collection of Lionel Trains and Other Accessories
May 21, 10:00 AM EDT
Collection of Lionel Trains and Other Accessories
by Weschler's
Est: $100- $200
$12510 Bids
Lionel 34594 Union Pacific Alco PA A-A Set W/Legacy OB
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Lionel 34594 Union Pacific Alco PA A-A Set W/Legacy OB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $500
$1409 Bids
Twenty Two Lionel Layout Accessories. BPC2, Bumpers, Dwarf Signals. SC-1 Switch, 153IR, & ZW Amp/Volt Meter OB
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Twenty Two Lionel Layout Accessories. BPC2, Bumpers, Dwarf Signals. SC-1 Switch, 153IR, & ZW Amp/Volt Meter OB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $250
$1708 Bids
Lionel 38020 LIONMASTER Pennsylvania T-1 Duplex 4-4-4-4 Steam Locomotive & Tender W/TMCC OB
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Lionel 38020 LIONMASTER Pennsylvania T-1 Duplex 4-4-4-4 Steam Locomotive & Tender W/TMCC OB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $400
$1208 Bids
Lionel 11149 Union Pacific LIONMASTER Big Boy 4-8-8-4 W/Legacy OB
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Lionel 11149 Union Pacific LIONMASTER Big Boy 4-8-8-4 W/Legacy OB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $600
$5258 Bids
Lionel 28011 Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-6 Allegheny Steam Locomotive & Tender W/TMCC OB
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Lionel 28011 Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-6 Allegheny Steam Locomotive & Tender W/TMCC OB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $600
$3508 Bids
Lionel 82811 Meadow River Lumber Heisler Steam Locomotive & Tender W/Legacy OB
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Lionel 82811 Meadow River Lumber Heisler Steam Locomotive & Tender W/Legacy OB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $800
$1608 Bids
Lionel 38738 BNSF Heritage Frisco SD-70ACe Diesel Locomotive W/Legacy OB
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Lionel 38738 BNSF Heritage Frisco SD-70ACe Diesel Locomotive W/Legacy OB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $300
$4008 Bids
Six Lionel Autorack & Auto Carriers. UP, Chessie, BNSF, CSX, & Burlington. OB
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Six Lionel Autorack & Auto Carriers. UP, Chessie, BNSF, CSX, & Burlington. OB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $150
$2757 Bids
Lionel 28069 CCII New York Central Niagara Locomotive & Tender W/TMCC OB
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Lionel 28069 CCII New York Central Niagara Locomotive & Tender W/TMCC OB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $500
$2257 Bids
Lionel Santa Fe F3 ABBA Diesel Engine Set 11711 & 18115 OB
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Lionel Santa Fe F3 ABBA Diesel Engine Set 11711 & 18115 OB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $250
$1107 Bids
Four Lionel Thomas & Friends Engine & Freight Cars. OB
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Four Lionel Thomas & Friends Engine & Freight Cars. OB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $180
$906 Bids
Lionel 28066 Baltimore And Ohio 4-6-2 Pacific Steam Engine & Tender W/ TMCC OB
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Lionel 28066 Baltimore And Ohio 4-6-2 Pacific Steam Engine & Tender W/ TMCC OB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $500
$3256 Bids
Nine Lionel TrainMaster & LionChief Accessories. 12911, 128687, 12868, & 83071 OB
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Nine Lionel TrainMaster & LionChief Accessories. 12911, 128687, 12868, & 83071 OB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $200
$606 Bids
Six Lionel Santa Fe Aluminum Passenger Car Set OB
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Six Lionel Santa Fe Aluminum Passenger Car Set OB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $250
$1006 Bids
Eight Lionel Remote Controlled Switches. Left Hand, Right Hand, 022, 31", & 0-72 OB
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Eight Lionel Remote Controlled Switches. Left Hand, Right Hand, 022, 31", & 0-72 OB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $200
$906 Bids
Lionel Lion Master 28077 UP 4-6-6-4 Challenger Steam Engine & Tender W/TMCC OB
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Lionel Lion Master 28077 UP 4-6-6-4 Challenger Steam Engine & Tender W/TMCC OB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $450
$1006 Bids
Twelve Lionel 5165 & 5166 072 Remote Switches. OB
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Twelve Lionel 5165 & 5166 072 Remote Switches. OB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $400
$1206 Bids
Lionel 27410 Vision Line Ethanol Tank Car Set Freight Sounds Three Car Pack OB
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Lionel 27410 Vision Line Ethanol Tank Car Set Freight Sounds Three Car Pack OB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $300
$1306 Bids
Lionel Postwar 746 N & W Class J Northern Loco w/746W Long Stripe Tender
Jun 07, 10:00 AM EDT
Lionel Postwar 746 N & W Class J Northern Loco w/746W Long Stripe Tender
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $10- $500
$2256 Bids
Fifteen Lionel Freight Cars. Erie Bay, Monogahela, LOTS, Pennsylvania, NTTM, L&N, Katy, US Army, NTTMCC, & More. OB
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Fifteen Lionel Freight Cars. Erie Bay, Monogahela, LOTS, Pennsylvania, NTTM, L&N, Katy, US Army, NTTMCC, & More. OB
by Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists
Est: $20- $200
$1605 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Lionel Model Railroads & Trains


Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists

Stout Auctions Toy and Train Specialists

Weiss Auctions

Weiss Auctions

Embassy Auctions International

Embassy Auctions International

Railroad Super Galaxy

Railroad Super Galaxy