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John A. Daniel Railway Lines


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.

John A. Daniel Railway Lines #4931 GG-1 Locomotive and #1781 Strasburg, #1782 York and #1784 Obeservation passenger cars in Standard gauge

John A. Daniel Railway Lines Standard gauge #4931 GG-1 Electric Locomotive Resin Molded 4-6-6-4 in Brunswick Green 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.

John A. Daniel Railway Lines Standard gauge #1783 Harrisburg Dining Car in Brunswick Green 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.

John A. Daniel Railway Lines Standard gauge #1784 Observation Car, #1781 Strasburg Pullman and #1782 York Pullman in Brunswick Green

John A. Daniel Railway Lines Standard gauge Blackjack Silver PRR GG1 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 Railway Lines Standard gauge Black Diamond Lighted Passenger Coaches With Interiors - #1789 Observation Car, #1787 Pullman, #1788 Diner, #1787 Pullman and #1785 Club Car

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.

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