The GG-1 locomotive was designed by the Pennsylvania Railroad to satisfy the need for an
engine that could pull more than 12 to 14 passenger cars and do so at high speed. The Raymond Loewy styled GG-1 became
one of the most recognized electric locomotives in the world due to its streamlined shape, seamless welded construction,
distinctive pin-striping, and Futura lettering. Ever since its release in 1934 many toy and scale models have been
manufactured by many companies in almost every gauge. One of the most popular Standard gauge GG-1's manufactured was the one
built by John A. Daniel Railway Lines.
Built starting around 1976, John Daniel made Standard gauge GG-1's in 3 Pennsylvania Railroad color schemes. John made GG-1's
that came painted with high quality industrial lacquer in either Tuscan brown with 5 gold stripes, Brunswick green with 5
gold stripes, or Blackjack silver with 5 stripes. All the Daniel GG-1's came numbered as #4935. The locomotive was equipped
with twin spur drive heavy duty dual motors. The dual motors were McCoy underfloor trolley motors
with cast side frames. These AC motors only drove the 2 center wheels in the 6-wheel power trucks. The bodies were made of a
resin called Alumalite which had the texture of Bakelite and the resilience of aluminum. The frame was metal. The loco had
front and rear operating headlights plus red marker lights. The pantographs could be raised and lowered and utilzed with
overhead catenary systems. The locos were fitted with Lionel 3 position E-units to facilitate reversing. When they were first
issued, the locos were priced at $395 for the dual motored unit and $295 each for dummy units.
Daniel also introduced heavyweight passenger cars to go with his GG-1. They were the #1781 Strasburg coach, #1782 York coach,
#1783 Harrisburg Dining car, #1780 Combine (lettered as a Club Car) and the #1784 observation car. The John Daniel Standard
gauge GG-1 passenger set released in the 1980's featured the engine and the 5 passenger cars. Passenger car only sets were
available as three car sets with the coaches and observation car. The Club car and Diner were available as separate sale
add-on cars. These cars were constructed of heavy plastic and steel. The passenger cars featured full interiors and
illumination. The observation car had a lighted drum head on the observation platform. These car sets came in 4 different
color combinations. These were PRR Tuscan Red, PRR Brunswick Green, Black Diamond and Blue Comet. The Tuscan variation was
the most produced, the Blue Comet the least. Less than 25 of these Black Diamond sets were produced.
At 4" wide, 5½" tall and 20" long (not counting the couplers), the loco's stubby appearance was reminiscent of the
postwar Lionel 'O' gauge GG-1 model. John Daniel never intended his engine to be a scale model, he
intentionally wanted a toy train look. Plus he wanted it to be able to run on conventional 3-rail Standard gauge track with
42" curves and be compatible with other manufacturers' Standard gauge trains. Unfortunatley, the motor frames used had a
tendency to swell over time and this would render the motors useless. These can be re-motored, but it takes
some machining skills. Even with good motors, it was difficult for the loco to pull the 5-car set.
Since GG-1 production by John A. Daniel was only in limited runs for 5 years between 1979 and 1986, these
locomotives are very difficult to find today, yet they are very desireable by both collectors and operators. When they do
come available via auctions or at train meets, they typically sell for upwards of $1200 or more.
John A. Daniel developed his modelling and manufacturing skills working for his father's steel fabrication
business, Lee & Daniel. Besides learning business skills, John started in the welding department and obtained a wealth of
construction knowledge at an early age. Daniel provided a hand in many of the limited run Standard gauge trains that came out
of other small manufacturer shops in California as well as performed custom restorations on tinplate pre-war era toy trains
produced by the likes of Dorfan and American Flyer. He designed the streamlined
passenger cars that shipped with the Lee Lines GS-4 locos.
John A. Daniel (1931-2011) was an avid toy train collector, TCA Member, past National President of
the Toy Train Operators Society (TTOS) and a founding partner of JAD Railway Lines, makers of a
Standard gauge Hiawatha set, a set of Standard gauge Rail Chief cars and a limited run Standard gauge M-10000 City of
Portland streamliner set. He was also an author, magician and dealer of magician memorabilia, Baranger Motion machines,
vintage electric trains, toys, antique carousels and other collectibles. John also provided consultation and research for
several books about antique toys and trains, including the publication, "Made in the Ives Shops" written by Gerard 'Doc'
Robinson in 1989. In 2001, John A. Daniel authored a book on the
Baranger Motion machines titled, "Baranger: Window displays in motion : dramatizing the jewel." The Baranger Studios of
South Pasadena, CA was established in 1937 and was famous for creating finely detailed animated window displays that they
rented to jewelers, watchmakers and opticians. The business ceased operations in 1957, and in 1978, the remaining
stock was acquired by Burton A. Burton, owner of the Casablanca Fan Company. John A. Daniel was brought in by Burton to run
the studio and to repair the remaining 1600 displays. By 1987 the majority of the stock had been sold off, and John, along
with his wife Cathy, acquired whatever remained. The building that housed the Baranger studio and workshop has been declared
an historical landmark by South Pasadena's Cultural Heritage Commission. In December 2014 an auction held by Noel Barrett
featured toys and trains from John A. Daniel's private collection. Auction pieces from the Daniel collection included a JAD
Lines Hiawatha locomotive and tender with boxes, a John Daniel Pennsylvania GG-1 passenger set, other production trains by JAD
and John Daniel, and 3 restored Baranger motion displays. John A. Daniel creations sold well, and he could not
build them fast enough. The GG-1 and JAD Hiawatha sold about 350 to 400 sets. The 20th Century Limited and M10000 sold about
15 sets, making them quite rare.