The 261E locomotive, with its 2-4-2-wheel arrangement and distant control, was advertised as a "high-speed, powerful locomotive, with a wealth of detail and hinged boiler front", as well as Lionel's "greatest triumph of them all": its remote-controlled locomotive whistle that added "uncanny realism" to any layout. "Press a button and your locomotive will whistle any signal. Whether it's moving forwards, backwards, or standing still."
"Distant control" was Lionel's term for the locomotive reverse unit - actually invented by Lionel competitor Ives Manufacturing Company - that allowed an operator to reverse the engine from a distant transformer. Before distant control, reversing was accomplished by moving a lever on the locomotive itself.
In addition to the 261E steam engine, Lionel's 269E set cataloged in 1935 included the "minutely detailed" 254 oil tank car in aluminum finish, the 259 dump car with tilting body, and the 257 caboose "richly trimmed in nickel."
Our Lionel Lines version of the 269E set recreates the glory days of tinplate with the advancements of modern electronics. Thanks to Proto-Sound 3.0, our 261E steamer delivers smoother operation than any original tinplate locomotive, as well as chuff sounds and huge plumes of puffing smoke - synchronized with the drivers' revolutions - and a clanging bell and wailing whistle guaranteed to delight children of all ages.