Lionel 4-4-2 Atlantic

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Lionel used to make a nice model of a Pennsylvania E6 Atlantic, 4-4-2. It's a reasonable looking model, and looks good with other 1:29 locos, even though most of the Lionel line at the time was 1:32.

The Lionel model # is 5110, or by road number:

  • 8-5102 - New York Central
  • 8-5103 - Santa Fe
  • 8-5106 - Chessie
  • 8-5107 - Great Northern

It has a good sized motor, and a rugged drivetrain (but read further)

By the way, George Schreyer has a nice page on tips for this loco. Click here to see his page. Recommended reading!

Buying tips:

You see them on ebay, they often go for $250 "new" in the box. Many people advertise them as new or mint, when they are really used, and have several things broken or missing. I watched ebay for about a year, this one cost $99, and is in "perfect shape", according to the seller.

As with any large scale loco, you would like to see it running in person, and inspect for broken or missing parts.
Failing that, you need pictures of the valve gear, pay particular attention to the siderods of chrome plated plastic. The next sections will show some typical issues.

Don't break it!:

Pick the loco up from the walkways above the drivers, NOT the air tanks, and keep your fingers AWAY from the fragile plastic valve gear. You will thank me!. It is really easy to break the valve gear and side rods, and VERY hard to find replacements.

Another danger to the siderods is the axles slipping teeth or coming disengaged, and then you can break the side rods because you are out of quarter. Read more below on slipping teeth.

Valve gear problems/loss of sync:

I bought one of these used. Before opening it up, I checked the valve gear. The eccentrics on the second drivers were a bit loose. Removing the long chrome screw in the center revealed the problem, the crankpins were split. I tried gluing them back together at first, but reinstalling the screw just split it apart again.

There is a bit too much "bearing play" up and down with the drivers typically, even after the modification George shows to hold the motor in place. If you pull downwards on a driver, you can disengage it from the gear, and thus get the drivers out of sync with each other, and the side rods will break of you do this. Save yourself some frustration and take George's and my advice, add some shims to limit this. More on this later.



Smoke unit:

The stock smoke unit is pretty small, I did not even try to use it. I don't know what voltage it runs at, George speculated it was a 24v Seuth unit, but who knows. Since i run DCC, and I have QSI, I'll probably fit a fan-driven unit later and make it "chuff" with the pistons.


Repair notes:

Often the springs behind the brushes are collapsed from overheating. You can most likely use Kadee coupler springs, the original springs are 0.142 diameter, slightly over 1/2" uncompressed length.

All finished and ready to go:

More information on the Atlantic:

Part numbers and how to order parts:

Harold / Hap from MLS gave me the pointers on a few things, like where to find the parts, and some other common problems like the connecting rod and the crankpins can break if the loco goes out of quarter.

Note: the exploded diagrams do not show the leading "8" in the part number

Again, the locos themselves have part numbers:

  • 8-5102 - New York Central
  • 8-5103 - Santa Fe
  • 8-5106 - Chessie
  • 8-5107 - Great Northern

The tenders have numbers too:

  • 18-5102-T01 - New York Central
  • 18-5103-T01 - Santa Fe
  • 18-5106-T01 - Chessie
  • 18-5107-T01 - Great Northern

Some part numbers:

818-5101-052 - connecting rod screw - #4-40
818-5101-090 (818-5003-120) - 00.70 - Brush spring (power pickup, there are 4 in the loco)
818-5101-138 - 00.40 - Headlight bulb and socket (note: 12 volts)

818-5102-115 - Headlight body (the outside shell) **** not available
818-5102-135 - 00.30 - Headlight lens
818-5102-580 - connecting rod (front to rear driver)
818-5102-586 - front wheel and axle assembly
818-5102-930 - 00.50 - Bell bracket
818-5102-940 - 00.80 - Bell, Silver
818-5102-596 - 14.35 - Rear wheel and axle assembly

818-5102-626 - 03.00 - drive rod and crosshead assembly - right hand
818-5102-631 - ecc crank mounting screw - #2 x 3/8
818-5102-636 - 03.00 - drive rod and crosshead assembly - left hand

818-5104-120 - Brush (power pickup, there are 4 in the loco) **** not available....

818-7401-022 - crank mounting screw  - #4 x 3/8"

Click here for an exploded parts diagram of the loco

Click here for an exploded parts diagram of the tender

Here's the link to order parts:


Click the links below to go "deeper" into details on the Lionel 4-4-2 Atlantic

  4-4-2 Disassembly    4-4-2 typical mods/fixes   Atlantic driver fix    4-4-2 DCC install 





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