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.
Under 25 Black Diamond sets were made.
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 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 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 a 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 a magician and dealer of magician memorabilia, Baranger
Motion machines, vintage electric trains, toys, antique carousels and other collectibles. 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.