The Frank Sinatra Lionel collection and his O gauge layout have fascinated Trains.com and Classic Toy Trains readers for years.
Let’s use the photograph snapped long ago by Rebecca Saliture to explore what the “Chairman of the Board” owned and ran.
The Frank Sinatra Lionel collection
After World War II, Sinatra visited the Lionel showroom as well as Madison Hardware Co. in midtown Manhattan to build his collection. Fans also regularly presented him with new and vintage equipment.
The November 2015 issue of Classic Toy Trains chronicled Sinatra’s estate in Rancho Mirage, Calif., where he built a building to house and display his collection, in which he displayed some of the highlights of his toy train collection.
Let’s look at the trains, accessories, structures, and other items on display. See how many you might have on your layout or in your collection. Some items that have multiple instances are marked but not all; have fun locating them all!
- On the outermost main line is a freight train led by a No. 773 New York Central 4-6-4 Hudson Steam Engine and Tender with Nos. 3434 aquarium car, 3620 operating searchlight car, and no. 9436 Burlington boxcar visible.
- Heavyweight passenger train with No. 8702 Southern Crescent 4-6-4 Steam Engine and Tender and five passenger cars: Nos. 9530 baggage car, 9531 combine, 9532 Pullman, 9553 Pullman, and 9534 observation.
- On the main level toward the rear on the left is an old-time passenger train (set no. 1351) with No. 8315 Baltimore & Ohio 4-4-0 General locomotive and tender and Nos. 7215 Baltimore & Ohio coach, 7216 Baltimore & Ohio coach, and 7217 Baltimore & Ohio/U.S. Mail baggage car.
- On the elevated section in the middle is a freight train headed by a No. 8458 Erie Lackawanna SD40 road diesel and includes Nos. 9209 Burlington Northern boxcar, 9732 Southern Pacific boxcar, 6234 Burlington Northern boxcar, 6235 Burlington Northern boxcar, 6236 Burlington Northern boxcar, and 6906 Erie Lackawanna extended-vision caboose.
- No. 156 station platform
- No. 115 Lionel city station
- No. 252 automatic crossing gate
- No. 125 whistling station
- No. 56 lamp post (green)
- No. 58 lamp post (gooseneck—tan)
- No. 58 lamp post (gooseneck—green)
- No. 193 industrial water tower
- No. 452 gantry signal bridge
- No. 45N automatic gateman
- No. 12802 Chat & Chew roadside diner
- No. 154 highway flasher
- No. 57 lamp post (prewar)
- No. 71 lamp post
- No. 89 flagpole
- No. 3656 operating cattle corral
- No. 153 block signal
- No. 364 conveyor log loader
- No. 445 automatic switch tower
- No. 256 freight station
- No. 2305 Getty oil derrick (2)
- No. 2314 searchlight tower
- Pride Lines reproduction of Ives glass train shed
- Pride Lines reproduction of Ives passenger station
- No. 12831 rotary beacon
- No. 140 banjo signal