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Postwar 0 Gauge

Lionel 163 Target Signal 1961-69

Lionel 163 Target Signal

The 163 signal replaced the 253 and 353 signals in the Lionel line up.

It has a single light showing. Compare this to the Lionel 253.

There are no variations of the 163 signal.

Note it would be easy to exchange the light hoods on a 353 and 163 signals to get base variations. The

253 and 353 always have black and tan bases, the 163 always has a plain tan base.

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Postwar 0 Gauge

Lionel 253 Block Signal 1956-59

Lionel 253 block signal

Lionel introduced the 253 block signal in 1956. The all plastic signal replaced the earlier metal 153 signal.

The 253 has a stop mechanism in it. The train approaches a red signal and stops. A timer in the base of the signal hold the train. When the time is up, the signal turns green and the train goes on it’s way.

The same signal WITHOUT the stop mechanism is a 353. A similar signal was made with ONE lamp showing called a 163. The 163 has two bulbs, but a different head. Here’s a page showing the Lionel 163 Signal.

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Postwar 0 Gauge

Lionel 2461 Flat with Transformer 1947-48

Lionel 2461 transformer flatcar

Lionel intorduced the 2461 transformer flatcar in 1947. The gray base is diecast metal, and the transformer is plastic. The first cars were made with red transformers. Later production runs had black transformers. Red is harder to find and more desirable.

The insulators on top of the transformer are usually broken. On the car above the two on the right are broken off.

Replacement insulators are available and are easy to install. Original insulators are translucent white plastic. Reproduction insulators are dense white plastic and are flat colored.

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Postwar 0 Gauge

Lionel 2460 Crane Car 1946-50

Lionel 2460 Crane Car

The 2460 crane is Lionel’s most realistic crane. It replaced the 2660 and 2560 tin bodied cranes in the O gauge line.

The 2460 has diecast frame, six wheel trucks, and operates. The knob on the back of the cab raises and lowers the boom. The knob on the side raises and lowers the hook.

Lionel made 2 variations of the 2460 crane- black cab as shown above and gray cabs. Gray is worth more.

The black cranes are still quite popular and are very common.

In 1951, Lionel replaced the six wheel trucks with regular four wheel trucks and renumbered the crane as the 6460.

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Postwar 0 Gauge

Lionel 2458 Boxcar 1945-48

Lionel 2458 boxcar

The 2458 boxcar is a carry over from the prewar 2758 boxcar. In fact in 1945, the 2458 number appeared only on the box. The car was still lettered as a 2758.

The earliest 2458 boxcars came with whirley wheels and flying shoe trucks. See Lionel 2452 Gondola for information on early postwar trucks.

There are no variations of this car. It’s all metal and a good looking car, so still has some desirability to operators.

Note: The ends of the 2758 and 2458 boxcar are diecast metal. This metal sometimes degrades. So when considering one for purchase make sure the ends are sound. These cars are common enough that there is no reason to buy one in poor condition.

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Postwar 0 Gauge

Lionel 2452 Gondola 1945-47

Lionel 2452 Gondola

The 2452 gondola was Lionel’s first plastic bodied train. The 2954 semi scale boxcar and the Madison cars introduced in 1940 were made of Bakalite. Bakalite is molded from granulated material. The material is compressed and heated to form the car.

The 2452 is made of a dense styrene plastic. Styrene is molded by forcing liquid material into a mold.

Anyway, the 2452 gondola comes in two basic versions. The O gauge 2452 has brakewheels and came with wooden barrels. The 0-27 gauge 2452X has no brakewheels, and didn’t come with barrels.

There are a lot of different versions of this car having to do with the mold – earliest bodies have three round holes in the floor, while later bodies have a large rectangular hole. The holes are for the electronic receiver used on the 4452 gondola.

There is also a lettering variation. The G27 is either small or large. Large is later. None of the variations mentioned above effect the value of the car.

There is another variation that does effect the value. The trucks. The 1945 cars come with flying shoe trucks. The pick up for the uncoupler is open. Later cars have a metal plate under the entire truck to provide support for the shoe.

2452 gondola with flying shoe trucks

Two versions of flying shoe trucks were made. The earliest versions have wheels with spirals on the backs – “Whirley wheels,” while later flying shoe trucks have plain backs. Plain backs are shown above.

Flying shoe trucks double the value of this car. A 2452 with whirley wheels can bring 4 times the value of a standard gondola.

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Postwar 0 Gauge

Lionel 2411 Flatcar 1946-48

Lionel 2411 flatcar

Lionel introduced the 2411 flat car in 1946 as the “Big Inch Pipe Car.” It came with 3 blackened steel pipes. These pipes are hard to find today and are worth more than the flatcar.

In 1947 and 1948 the 2411 came with wood logs. These are the same logs used on the 164 log loader.

The 2411 flatcar is very common. It’s all metal and looks great with any train. In 1949 the trucks were changed to the new magnetic type and the 2411 was renumbered to the 6411.

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Postwar 0 Gauge

Lionel Boston And Maine GP-9 Loco 2359 1961-62 and 2346 1965-66

Lionel 2359 B&M gp-9 switcher

Lionel made the 2359 Boston and Maine GP-9 in 1961 and 62. There are no variations of this loco.

As a side note, the difference between a GP-7 and a GP-9 is the addition of a dynamic brake to the top of the cab.

In 1965 the B&M diesel loco reappeared in the catalog as the 2346 loco. The 2346 Boston and Maine GP-9 was cataloged in 1965 and 66.

Both versions are equally available today and neither commands a premium.

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Postwar 0 Gauge

Lionel 2338 Milwaukee GP-7 Loco 1955-56

Lionel 2338 Milwaukee loco

Lionel introduced the 2339 Milwaukee geep in 1955. The first versions came with an orange cab. Later versions came with a black cab as shown above.

I think the orange cab versions come in boxes marked 2338X. The orange cab is worth considerably more than the black cab.

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Postwar 0 Gauge

Lionel 2337, 2339 Wabash GP-7 Loco 1957-58

Lionel 2337 Wabash loco

Lionel made two versions of the Wabash geep.

The Lionel 2339 Wabash GP-7 was cataloged in 1957 only. It was an O gauge engine and was available in sets or by itself.

The 2337 GP-7 was made in 1958, and cataloged as an 0-27 loco. Most 0-27 locos only came in sets, and 0-27 sets came with track and transformer.

The two engines are identical except for the number on the hood. Neither version is harder to find, but the 2339 is slightly more desirable than the 2337.