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www.davestrains.com

Phone: 732-271-5124 *** Fax: 732-271-9285 *** E-mail Dave & Joan

Railroad Work Cars

This Web Page Last Updated: June 11, 2021

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This page contains our current inventory of Postwar Lionel railroad work cars. Included here are inspection cars, ballast tampers, burro cranes, fire cars, gang cars, maintenance cars, tie-jectors, track cleaner cars, snow plows, crane cars, searchlight cars, log dumps, coal dumps and barrel cars plus other specialized pieces of rolling stock that are used for railroad maintenance and upkeep. Boxcars, refrigerator cars, stock cars, most flatcars, gondolas, hoppers, tank cars and vat cars are located on our Freight Cars web page. Cars from the "Space & Military" Series are shown on our Space & Military Cars web page and all cabooses and work cabooses are located on our Cabooses web page.

* * * Click on "Yes" in the Photo column to see a picture. Hit your browser's back button to return.
* * * Click on "Grade" in the 3rd column heading for an explanation of grading.

Postwar Lionel Railroad Work Cars
Catalog #ItemGradePhotoPriceDescription & More Information
50 Gang Car VG+ Yes $ 45 The most popular motorized unit ever made by Lionel: the Section Gang Car:
Photo of the other side.
Has an olive-colored rotating man, two blue fixed crewmen, center horn, blue bumpers and "U-shaped" bumper brackets dating this item as a late 1954 unit.
Photo of the front.
Has one broken stud and a repro fixed crewman was glued on to the top to hold him in place. That's about it for flaws. The unit is clean with nice lettering plus the control handles are still there!
An "aerial view."

The 50 Gang Car is common but the center horn version is much harder to find than a gang car with an offset horn. This fairly low-mileage and rather quiet piece runs great!
53 Rio Grande
Snowplow
VG/OB Yes $475 A Rio Grande Snowplow from 1957-60:
Photo of the other side.
It is the EXTREMELY RARE version with the CORRECT "a" on the sides!
Photo of the front of the unit.
Has an un-painted yellow plow plus an un-painted black body with a yellow-painted cab and black heat-stamped lettering.
Photo of the back of the unit.
Flaws: common screw cracks (no loss of plastic), scratches, scuffs, some stains in the paint, railing rivets have rust.
An "aerial" view.
Overall the unit is clean with strong graphics and the window struts are intact! Tested and the unit runs great!
Another "aerial" view.

Photo of the box.
Grade 6 original box (missing a corner of the box and nearby inner flap; small tears; one crease).
Another view of the box.
Has a homemade insert (which is a tad longer than the box) and even with the imperfections, this box is solid as it is clean, square and sturdy!
Photo of the homemade insert.

Has the original instruction sheet #53-18 dated 7/57 (missing small pieces, tears; creases, discoloration).
Photo of the instruction sheet.

This is only the third 53 Snowplow with the correct "a" that we have ever had available for sale! It is a very, very difficult piece to find!
Click here to go to Our Archives Page to read more about 53 Snowplows.
54 Ballast Tamper E++/OB Yes $225
SOLD
A good-looking Ballast Tamper: this very clever motorized unit was produced from 1958 through the end of the '60s. Body is yellow with black heat-stamped lettering plus a silver ornamental horn.
Photo of the unit.
Has a sheet-metal frame attached to a die-cast underframe.
Photo of the other side.
Minimal flaws. It is sharp -- all intact and very clean with beautiful lettering! Original man and original antenna!
Photo of the front of the unit with the operator at the controls.
Serviced and this very, very low-mileage unit runs great and tamps well!
An "aerial" view.

Has the original instruction sheet #54-60 dated 10/58 (creases, tears, stains) and a pair of ORIGINAL track actuators.
Photo of the instruction sheet and track actuators.

Grade 7+ original box (tears; scrapes; ink; no insert).
Photo of the box.
This box is square and sturdy -- plus there is no un-original tape anywhere!
Another view of the box.

Great piece in a very presentable box!
68 Inspection
Car
E+/OB Yes $325 A good-looking Executive Inspection Car from 1958-61! Modeled after a 1958 DeSoto station wagon, this unit (which measures 7 1/2 inches long) has a simulated Hy-rail device allowing it to run on railways.
Photo of the other side.
This all original motorized unit has a red-painted body with cream-painted side trim panels plus chrome bumpers and a roof-top chrome E-unit switch knob (vaguely disguised as a warning beacon).
Photo of the front and rear of the car.
Common paint loss on the chrome bumpers and chrome roof switch knob plus some paint loss on the right front fender. That's it for flaws! Overall, this car is very, very clean with nice vibrant paint and all intact with no cracks!
An "aerial" view.
Has a 2-position E-unit plus working headlights and working tail lights! Tested and this unit lights and runs great!
Photo of the instruction sheet.
Has the original instruction sheet #68-81 dated 10/58.

Photo of the sealed end of the box.
Grade 7+ original box (tears; creases; no inserts).
Another view of the box.
This corrugated box was made by the Express Container Corp. -- 68-78 is the part number.
Close-up of the manufacturer's information.
The box is solid: clean, square and sturdy -- plus there is no un-original tape anywhere!
Photo of the open end of the box.

The Inspection Car is hard to find this nice and we have had very few in collector-quality condition over the years. It is a sharp piece in a strong box!
Our Archives Page has more about 68 Executive Inspection Cars.
3459 GREEN
Operating
Coal Dump Car
See Notes

OB
Yes $135 An all-metal ore dump car from 1948 only: has a green-painted tray with white heat-stamped lettering, a black die-cast frame and staple-end trucks with coil couplers.
Photo of the non-dumping side of the car.
Has some paint loss on the top of the tray on the "non-dumping" side plus a few muted (but certainly readable) letters and that's about it for flaws. The other side of the car is "display-cabinet worthy" (E++).
Photo of the nicer (dumping) side of the car.
The car is very, very clean with nice vibrant paint and strong lettering overall -- plus it works great!
An "aerial" view of the car.
Has the correct original (7-inch) #160 Bakelite dumping bin (E+++) and the correct (#207) bag of original coal (at least 95% full).
Photo of the bin and bag of coal.

Photo of the box.
Grade 6+ original box (tears; creases; tape inside; glue residue; scrapes; "aged" look).
Another view of the box.
Has the insert (liner) and despite the flaws, this box is solid: fairly clean, complete, square & sturdy -- and it is also the correct "Art Deco" style box with Toy Logo for a 1948 coal dump.
Photo of the box insert.

The green coal dump is much harder to find than the black coal dumps and although fewer of the silver ore dump cars were made, the green ore dump car is harder to find in collector-quality condition.
3469 Operating
Coal Dump Car
E+ Yes $ 45 An all-metal ore dump from 1953: painted black with white heat-stamped lettering plus metal, bar-end trucks with magnetic couplers.
Photo of the other side of the car.
Some paint chips around the top edge of the tray on one side plus the usual chipping on the lower edge of the tray on the "dumping side" where the door hits the frame. The car is very clean with nice vibrant paint and strong lettering.
An "aerial" view of the car.

An action-oriented car that looks great and works very well!
3520 Operating
Searchlight Car
E++ Yes $175 Here's a very unusual item: a revolving searchlight car from 1952-53 with black serif lettering -- NOT sans-serif lettering!
Photo of the other side.
Has a remote-control "ON/OFF" switch mechanism plus an orange generator, gray-painted, die-cast frame with steps and bar-end trucks with magnetic couplers.
An "aerial" view.
Sharp car -- very clean with very, very strong lettering plus it lights, rotates nicely and the "ON/OFF" switch works perfectly!
File photo showing the two different 3520 frame variations.

A sharp piece -- one that we have not had in years!
3562-1 ==========
Operating
A. T. & S. F.
Barrel Car
==========
E++ Yes $385 The scarce BLACK-painted A. T. S. F. barrel car from 1954 only: has white, heat-stamped lettering plus bar-end (metal) trucks with magnetic couplers and it is the earlier version with the more attractive yellow trough. Comes with the correct load of six (6) original barrels (no hardware or paperwork -- just the car and barrels).
Photo of the other side of the car.
The car is all intact and very, very clean with nice crisp lettering. It is rust free and has no significant flaws.
Close-up of some of the lettering on one side.
The car works very well and very quietly! Has the correct original man!
Photo of the barrels and an "aerial" view showing the trough.

An operating barrel car is the perfect companion to the #362 barrel loader but it is also a great stand-alone action car. This all-original 3562-1 looks good, works great and is ready for your display shelf or layout.
3562-25 Operating
A. T. & S. F.

Barrel Car
Ex. Yes $45 A gray-painted barrel car with royal-blue letters and gray-painted trough from 1954: (no hardware or paperwork -- just the car, bin and barrels).
Photo of the other side of the car.
The car is the version with no bracket tab (molded catch); it has bar-end trucks with magnetic couplers and a reproduction man.
A close-up of some of the lettering on one side.
One small ding in one corner, a tiny amount of glue on top plus some paint chips in the metal trough.
Two "aerial" views of the car.
The car is completely intact and very clean with crisp lettering -- and the car works perfectly!
Photo of the bin & barrels.
Comes with a modern Lionel (MPC-era) #160 black polystyrene unloading bin plus the correct load of six (6) reproduction barrels.

An operating barrel car is the perfect companion to the #362 barrel loader but it is also a great stand-alone action car as it has the unloading bin. This 3562-25 looks good, works great and is ready for your layout.
3562-50 Operating
A. T. & S. F.

Barrel Car
E++ Yes $ 60
SOLD
A good-looking, molded (unpainted) yellow barrel car with black, heat-stamped lettering and black-painted trough from 1955: has metal, bar-end trucks with one magnetic coupler and one tab coupler (which is correct for the transition year of 1955).
Photo of the other side of the car.
Comes with six (6) original barrels plus a reproduction man and the correct original #160 black polystyrene unloading bin (a few scratches); no paperwork or hardware -- just the car, bin and barrels).
Close-up of some of the lettering on one side.
Minimal flaws! The car is very, very clean with crisp lettering plus the car works perfectly!
Photo of the bin & barrels plus an "aerial" view of the car.

A fantastic item for an operator: it is an "action" car that looks great and will add interest to any layout!
3927 Track Cleaning Car E+/OB Yes $ 45 An operating Track Cleaning Car from 1957-60: this interesting non-self-propelled-motorized unit has an unpainted orange cab with black heat-stamped lettering plus a heavy die-cast frame. Has a reproduction washing sponge and three reproduction wiping cylinders.
Photo of the other side.
The front of the frame has some paint missing and that's about it for flaws! The car is all intact and very, very clean with crisp lettering!
Photo of the front.
Has both ORIGINAL plastic squeeze bottles (little or no fluid left). The bottles are sharp: clean with beautiful lettering!
An "aerial" view showing the car in its cleaning mode with the wiping carriage down.
Fully functional and the cleaning mechanism works as designed! Note that this unit must be pulled by a locomotive as the motor inside is strictly for the cleaning action.
Photo of the lettering on the front and back of the bottles.
Has the original instruction sheet #3927-44 dated 5/57.
Photo of the instruction sheet.

Photo of the box.
Grade 5 original box (missing the tuck of one end flap and missing a nearby section of the box; tears; creases; lots of tape; amateur repairs; writing; no inserts). The box will not win any beauty contests but it is clean, square and sturdy. It will protect the unit in shipping and in storage.
Another view of the box.

Great piece that will provide some "play" value to a layout!
6262 Wheel Car Load:
E++

Car:
E+++
OB
Yes $125
SOLD
Black flatcar with white, heat-stamped lettering and a gray superstructure (rack): this car from 1956-57 has bar-end trucks with tab couplers and the correct count of six unused wheel sets.
Photo of the other side.
Minimal flaws! The car is very, very clean with nice crisp lettering!
An "aerial" view.

Photo of the box.
Grade 7+ original box (missing one interior coupler flap; small amount of writing in pencil). This box is solid: clean, square & sturdy -- and there is no tape anywhere! The 6262 box is very hard to find this nice; usually the box is ripped apart from the inside because of the weight of the wheel sets, the steps catching and the trucks turning while trying to remove the car.
Another view of the box.

A sharp, prototypical car in a very presentable box!
6460 Operating
Crane Car
E+ Yes $ 45 A black Bucyrus Erie Crane Car from 1952-53: has a die-cast frame, white lettering, bar-end (metal) trucks with magnetic couplers plus open cranks and the correct original offset hook.
Photo of the other side with the crane ready for a work detail.
Version with thin lettering & no hyphens on the frame.
An "aerial" view.
Minimal flaws! The car is completely intact and very clean with nice vibrant paint and crisp lettering on both the cab and the frame!

A good-looking and prototypical railroad work car that offers extensive "play value"!

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Railroad Work Cars
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Every industry has to maintain their machinery and to be prepared for all emergencies. The railroads are no different and they have become quite imaginative in developing specialized work cars to perform essential maintenance and repairs. Worn-out equipment from age and the environment plus disruptions in service from accidents and train wrecks required specific and unique approaches to keep tracks clear, signals working, and trains running. The railroad industry proved to be ingenious through the years by inventing unique designs to address obstacles and disasters attributable to the terrain, the elements, mechanical failure, and human error. Self-propelled cranes, snow plows, handcars, inspection cars, maintenance cars, and ballast tampers were used to maintain their fleets, clear wrecks, keep the tracks clear, inspect & repair the tracks, and build new lines.

Lionel offered some very interesting railroad work cars in the postwar era including the useful crane cars, handy searchlight cars, prototypical rail truck cars & wheel cars, plus action-oriented dump cars for unloading ballast & logs and operating barrel cars to transport supplies. In addition, Lionel provided interesting motorized units which were modeled after those items used by the real railroads including snow plows, a burro crane, a handcar, an inspection car, a fire car, a gang car, a maintenance car, a tie laying car and a ballast tamper.

Railroad Work Cars are often forgotten but are vital to your operations.

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Go to these pages to see other Postwar Lionel Items:

Postwar Lionel
Diesels & Electrics Steamers Passenger Cars
Railroad Work Cars Freight Cars Space & Military Cars
Cabooses Accessories Sets
Original Boxes Other Paper ~ Unique Reference Charts ~

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