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Yes, a PostWar Illinois Central F3 2363 "dummy" A unit

Updated: Sep 16, 2023



As one can tell from some of my prior Blog posts, I sometimes crave for something PostWar Lionel never made. For example, check out One of a Kind Cabooses (Cabeese?) (warrenvillerailroad.com) .


I love Lionel's PostWar F3's, the 2363 Illinois Central A-B pair from 1955-1956, with it's dual motors and horn, is one of my favorites. That said, I always wished that it came as an A-B-A combination, but it never did.


Just by chance, my fellow LITCA member, Jimmy J, was selling a beautiful PostWar "A" shell at a local swap meet this past winter. I happily grabbed it!


Now the search was on for a PostWar "dummy" frame to mount it to. The April YORK meet did not produce any viable candidates, to my Suprise.

I turned to EBAY and recently found the perfect candidate.


Here is how I made what Lionel never did!


I started with this 2343 "dummy" "A" unit and the aforementioned 2363 shell:


The donor chassis before stripping it down:


Trucks and side frames removed, getting ready for cleaning and paint:


After first washing with diluted dishwashing detergent and then an alcohol wash, I thoroughly dried all parts with a hair dryer. I then sprayed them flat black, but that did not match the original A-B unit frame finish, so I over-sprayed them with a coat of a semi gloss clear finish - MUCH BETTER!

Note that I polished the paint off of the areas on the frame where the trucks will mount/swivel and where the light will again me mounted - all for better contact.

Also note the side steps to the left in the above picture - these were not used in this project as Lionel did not install then on the 2363.

Lastly, the truck contact areas were lubed with white lithium grease, and the wheels oiled with a synthetic product; Liquid Bearings - my favorite


Body installed and ready to go:



On the layout ready for its consist of cars.


Here is the matching caboose. I made the decals and painted it a year or so ago:



On to the next project!

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