Lionel's Blue Comet Sets

Perhaps the most famous prewar set that Lionel ever made was of the Blue Comet sets from the 1930s. Lionel made two standard gauge sets, one with the 390e locomotive and another with the 400e and in many variations. They also made an O gauge version which was pulled by a two-tone blue 263e.

The 390e set was produced in 1929. The 400e set with copper and brass trim was produced in 1930-1934


The 400e set with nickel trim was produced in 1935-1938

 

The set included a locomotive and tender finished in two-tone blue and three cars:

the 420 Pullman "FAYE"

the 421 Pullman, "WESTPHAL"

the 422 Observation, "TEMPEL"

While these sets were popular and are highly collectable today, they bore little resemblance to the original train.

The original Blue Comet was a passenger train operated by the Central Railroad of New Jersey from 1929 to 1941 between metropolitan New York City and Atlantic City. The train was capable of speeds of 100 miles per hour and could make the trip in around three hours.

The colors chosen for the Blue Comet were ultramarine and Packard Blue for the sea, cream, for the sandy coastal beaches, and nickel. The tickets for the train were blue, the dining car chairs were upholstered in blue linen, and the porters were dressed in blue as well.