Christmas Train On the Tracks Again, After 50 Years in Storage

    ALSIP, IL, December 19, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/ — The last time Jim McCoy of Tulsa, OK, remembered seeing his Lionel railroad set was about 1962, before his train-enthusiast father wrapped up each car for safe-keeping. Jim pulled them out of storage as a Christmas surprise for a 3-year-old grandson. He expected to rework the vintage pieces, but unwrapped them to find each in perfect condition, just as his father packed them. Other than changing a few bulbs and a little clean-up, the cars were rust-free and ready to run.

‘My dad wrapped up the toys in Nox-Rust Vapor paper,” explained McCoy, a semi-retired chemical engineer originally from Chicago. “It’s 50-or 60-year old paper that my dad must have used at work, when he was at Sun Steel in Chicago.” The paper was printed as Nox-Rust Wrapper, a corrosion inhibitor packaging by fellow Chicago-based manufacturer Daubert Chemical, now doing business as Daubert Cromwell.

Train collectors and train enthusiasts referred to McCoy’s set as “post-war” Lionel, O27 or O gauge. “My recollection is that my parents purchased these as Christmas gifts probably between 1951 and 1958,” he recalled. “These are only a few of the many pieces that were part of a large set,” as many as 30 cars.

In his childhood, the small steam engine pulled the train on a platform about 25′ long and 10-12′ wide built in the basement of their home. It became a Christmas tradition and a hobby of his father, who worked at Sun Steel on Chicago’s South Side.

When it came time to pack the set away, Jim presumes his father used some of the same corrosion inhibitor packaging that protected steel surfaces at Sun Steel. It was about 1962, based on dates of Chicago Tribune newspaper pages he found stuffed around the boxes.

“They certainly weren’t kept in climate-controlled conditions or perfectly dry,” McCoy said. “They traveled to basements and attics. That’s why it was amazing to see them all in such good condition.”

McCoy initially took the train cars to a local repair shop, and the shopkeeper was impressed at their condition. “He told me that my dad must have known how to wrap steel parts. I guess he must have learned that at work.”

It was McCoy’s wife who prompted him to pull the train set out of storage for Christmas. Finding it in pristine condition, ready to show the grandson who seems to have inherited his own father’s infatuation with the toy, was a pleasant surprise.

“Fortunately the one grandson who lives in Tulsa loves trains,” he said. “My wife told me I’ve got to get this up and running for him. He loves to be on the floor and watch it.”

Today Sun Steel operates from Chicago Heights. Daubert Cromwell’s suburban Chicago complex serves as headquarters for the global manufacturer of corrosion inhibitor products that protect real-life locomotives and engines, among many other applications. Nox-Rust Vapor Wrapper still sets the industry standard for quality in anti-corrosion packaging.

When it’s time to put the train cars away again, McCoy said he’ll wrap them in Nox-Rust Vapor Wrapper paper, just as his father did. For the next generation, and beyond.

About Daubert Cromwell

Since the 1940s, the Daubert company family has set industry standards in corrosion prevention packaging. Today Daubert Cromwell VCI products are used in automotive, heavy equipment, electronics, military, and fabricated metal markets worldwide. Corporate offices are in USA, Germany, Mexico and China, with distribution and manufacturing networks in 32 countries.