1946 - 1949 and 1952

Page Last Updated 3/1/07

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The Berkshire -- modeled after a real-life Boston & Albany locomotive -- was a premium locomotive in the Lionel family. Introduced in 1946 as the 726 with a number change to 736 in 1950, the Berkshire remained in their product line for over 20 years! Along with the legendary 773 Hudson and the colorful 746 Norfolk & Western J, many consider the 726 Berkshire and its scale-like 2426W tender among the nicest steam locomotive and tender combinations offered in the postwar era.

The 736 Berkshire was essentially a 726 but with Magnetraction. The Korean War caused various material shortages in many industries. For Lionel, they were unable to obtain an adequate supply of aluminum and nickel required for Magnetraction. As a result, they were forced to re-introduce the Berkshire without Magnetraction and catalogued it as 726RR. Note that some 726RR Berkshires simply had 726 on the cab. However, those units had more in common with the 736 than the earlier 726.

The 726 Berkshire has the following standard features: black painted die-cast shell with silver numbers, full complement of driving hardware, three-position E-unit, hinged boiler front, plus a headlight, smoke, an ornamental bell and a decorative whistle. The initial production run (1946 - 1949) included detailed Baldwin-disc drive wheels. When re-issued in 1952, the 726 had the spoked drive wheels.

The 726 underwent several changes during its production run. The following summarizes the more notable changes with the estimated year of change:

From 1946 through 1949, all 726 Berkshires were sold with the premium semi-scale, die-cast 2426W Lionel Lines whistling tender. When re-introduced in 1952, all 726s were sold with the 2046W Lionel Lines whistling tender. The 2426W tender is far more desirable than the smaller and less detailed 2046W. Features on the 2426W include: 12 wheels, scale-like size and plenty of impressive detail.

Additional Detail, Photos & Box Information

Numerous Variations - Shown in the photo above. - The Berkshire in the photo above has a four-window cab, plain pilot and a heat-resistant smoke unit -- circa 1947.

726 Berkshire & Tender
Click on the Variation or Box Type for a Photo
Locomotive VariationYears .Box TypeYears
726 1946 - 1949:~ ~ ~ ~~
726RR 1952:726RR brown corrugated with insert1952
Close-up of 726RR cab1952:~ ~ ~ ~~
Tender Variation Years .Box TypeYears
2426W Lionel Lines whistling tender 1946 - 1949 :Middle Classic with insert1949
2046W Lionel Lines whistling tender 1952:~ ~ ~ ~~

Inventory For Sale
The following inventory is available for sale from our website sponsors.

726 Berkshire Engine
Click on the sponsor's name for contact information.
Available inventory as of Sat Nov 22 03:00:01 2014 .
All Aboard Train Shoppe7+$995.00Up for sale is a beautiful, first year (1946) Berkshire with the correct variation tender. Both units have been fully cleaned, serviced, tested and are ready for your layout or display case. The e-unit cycles properly, the smoke unit works and the whistle is loud. Overall condition is close to an 8
Table generated at Sat Nov 22 10:12:16 2014 .

Historical Sales
The following is a list of actual completed sales for this item.

Sales History
Click on the sponsors name for contact information.
All Aboard Train Shoppe7$425.00Sat Aug 2 09:06:42 2014 Here is a 1952 Berkshire with 2046w Tender in nice condition. The engine is nice and clean. It has been fully tested and serviced and runs fantastically!
All Aboard Train Shoppe7+/OB$695.00Tue Oct 29 06:57:07 2013 Now available for sale is a beautiful, one-year-only, all original Berkshire from 1952. This steamer and tender combo have been fully cleaned, serviced, tested and everything operates perfectly. Both units have crisp exterior colors.
Table generated at Sat Nov 22 10:12:16 2014 .

Related Paper Products For Sale
The following inventory is available for sale from our website sponsors.

Click on the Description for purchase details.
DescriptionSheet #DateConditionPriceComments
Instructions for Operating Lionel Smoke Locomotives671-2101 / 19487$ 35.00This is the somewhat rare 1/48 variation with the '2026' steam locomotive number stamped onto the instruction sheet after the initial printing.
Instructions for Operating Lionel Smoke Locomotives671-21012 / 19487+$ 18.00This instruction sheet is clean and free of stains, writing and tape. There is a very tiny piece torn from the top left corner.
Instructions for Operatiing Lionel Steam-Type Locomotives671-2102 / 19528$ 17.00Here's a very clean instruction sheet, nothing is missing nor torn and there is no writing nor stains on the pages.
Instructions for Operating Lionel Smoke Locomotives671-2106 / 19478$ 19.00This is the slightly harder-to-find version printed on white paper. It's an extremely clean instruction sheet with only two tiny puncture holes (nothing is missing).
Table generated at Sat Nov 22 10:12:16 2014 .

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