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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: October 19, 2020

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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
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 $175 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.
3461 Operating
Log Dump Car
E++/OB Yes $ 90 All-metal log dump car from 1950: has white heat-stamped lettering on a black die-cast frame plus staple-end trucks with magnetic couplers.
Photo of the other side.
Some rust on two of the stakes and that's about it for flaws! The car is sharp: nice lettering plus the tilting tray is very clean with no rust. The dumping mechanism works great!
An "aerial" view showing the car's tray.
Has the correct load of five (5) original unstained logs and the correct original #160 black Bakelite unloading bin plus the correct original instruction sheet #3461-11 dated 9/50 (discolored).
Photo of the instruction sheet, bin and logs.

Grade 5 original ("Middle Classic") box (one end flap is discolored from water damage and its tuck is not original to this box; missing the top layer of a couple of small areas; tears; creases; some dirt; writing; tape; glue residue; no insert).
Photo of the box.
Lots of flaws but the box has all of its flaps plus it is square and sturdy. It will protect the car in shipment and in storage.
Another view of the box.
This box is the larger (separate sale) box which accommodates the unloading bin. The box style, instruction sheet and the car's trucks all help to date this piece as a 1950 item.

The box is rough but the car itself is one of the nicest early version 3461 Log Dump Cars we have ever had! It is a great-looking "action" RR work car -- this version of the 3461 is harder to find than the later versions.
3461
(-25)
Operating
Log Dump Car

with
GREEN frame
E++/OB Yes $ 95
SOLD
All-metal log dump car from 1954-55: has white heat-stamped lettering on a green frame plus bar-end trucks with magnetic couplers. Catalogued as "3461-25" by Lionel but only "3461" appears on the car. Comes with five (5) ORIGINAL stained logs.
Photo of the other side.
Minimal flaws! The car is very, very clean with crisp lettering and nice vibrant paint on the frame.
An "aerial" view showing the car's tray and the logs.
Has the correct original instruction sheet #3461-11 dated 1/54 (holes punched).
Photo of the instruction sheet.

Photo of the box.
Correct, original "-25" box -- grade 6+ (missing both interior coupler flaps; tears; creases; stains; mildly distorted). A few flaws but the box is fairly clean and sturdy. The smaller-style box with no liner (insert) and the "3461X" on the end flaps indicate that this car was originally part of a set -- not a separate sale item.
Another view of the box.

A sharp-looking car and it works perfectly!
3520 Operating
Searchlight Car
E+ Yes $ 45 A revolving searchlight car from 1952-53 with remote-control "ON/OFF" switch mechanism has an orange generator, gray-painted, die-cast frame with black (sans-serif) lettering, steps on the frame and bar-end trucks with magnetic couplers.
Photo of the other side.
The searchlight housing is tarnished and the frame edges have some paint loss and that's about it for flaws! The car is sharp: very clean with strong lettering plus it lights, rotates nicely and the "ON/OFF" switch works perfectly!
An "aerial" view.

A good-looking car that will add plenty of action and light to your layout!
3530 GM
Generator Car
Set
Pole:
E++

Car:
E++
OB
Yes $165 The "ELECTRO MOBILE POWER" GM generator car -- a special boxcar from 1956 with interior light, operating fan & orange generator. Includes the original Transformer Pole (with black base) and original remote Searchlight.
Photo of the car.
Blue with white heat-stamped lettering and white graphics plus a black fuel tank. Harder-to-find version with the white stripe extending through the ladder detail on right. Has metal, bar-end trucks.
Photo: same side showing the car set up for a nighttime work detail with the doors open exposing the generator inside.
Minimal flaws. The car is completely intact and very, very clean with strong lettering and a nice rust-free chassis!
Photo of the other side of the car.
The left door on the hook-up side of the car has an "ON/OFF" switch that enables the car and remote searchlight to work. When power is supplied to the track and the door is opened fully, the light inside the car illuminates, the fan rotates and -- if connected, the remote searchlight comes on.
An "aerial" view of the car.
The pole & searchlight are both all original and very clean and completely intact!
Photo showing two views of the searchlight, pole & wiring.
Has the original instruction sheet #3530-45, dated 11/56 (tears, discolored, holes from insect nibbles but still readable).
Photo of the (rather ugly) instruction sheet.

Photo of the box.
Grade 7 original box (tears; creases; some dirt; mildly distorted; no insert).
Another view of the box.
Some flaws but the box is has both end flaps & all of the inner flaps plus it is fairly clean, square & sturdy -- and there is no tape anywhere!

The components are clean and of course, the fan and light in the car work as does the remote searchlight. It's a great layout piece as it offers more "play value" than found with other items. Cleverly engineered and it's a realistic replica of an actual generator car produced by the Electro Motor Division of GM!
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 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 $ 75 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!
6520 Searchlight Car E++/OB Yes $125 Stationary searchlight car from 1949 with maroon generator and crinkle flat gray searchlight housing; has a die-cast frame, staple-end trucks with magnetic couplers & a remote-control "ON/OFF" switch.
Photo of the other side.
Some rust on the lamp bracket and on the switch underneath and that's about it for flaws! The car is very, very clean with very strong lettering and nice vibrant paint -- plus all four frame steps are intact. The switch mechanism works perfectly and the car does light.
An "aerial" view.
Includes the correct original instruction sheet #6520-23, dated 5/49.
Photo of the instruction sheet.

Photo of the box.
Grade 6 original box (tears; creases; scrapes & tape residue on one end flap; tape inside; no insert). Even with the flaws, this box is decent as it is fairly clean, square and sturdy.
Photo of the nicer end of the box.
The 6520 Searchlight Car was sold from 1949 to 1951 but the Early Classic "three cities" box (with San Francisco) on the sides and the date of the instruction sheet help to date this item as a 1949 car.

This sturdy and realistic-looking work car has a diesel motor assembly that modeled a General Motors generator. It is a perfect car for nighttime operations on a layout. It is a sharp-looking prototypical car plus the maroon generator version is somewhat harder to find than the one with an orange generator.

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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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