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Lionel 3859 Automatic Dump Car

Lionel 3859 Operating Dump Car

The 3859 dump was introduced by Lionel in 1939 and ran through 1942. The car was always red with a black frame. This car dumps its load of simulated coal at the push of a button, and is a perfect complement for Lionel’s 97 coal loader.

The only variation is the type of frame and couplers. This car came with either the type 3 frame and automatic box couplers or the type 4 dished frame with solenoid actuated simulated knuckle couplers. Neither variation is difficult to find, but the later car runs better.

Lionel 3859 automatic dump car
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Prewar 0 Gauge

Lionel 2820 Floodlight Car

Lionel 2820 Floodlight Car

Lionel 2820 Floodlight car

The 2820 Floodlight car was cataloged by Lionel from 1938-42. The first version had nickel plated lights, and the second version had gray painted die cast lights. The cast light version is much harder to find. The searchlight car with cast lights has a dished frame.

The 2820 is the same as the Lionel 820 Floodlight car but has automatic couplers. The switch on the top allows the user to turn the lights on or off.

Lionel 2820 Searchlight car
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Prewar 0 Gauge

Lionel 3811 Automatic Log Car

Lionel 3811 Operating Log Car

The 3811 is an operating version of the 2811 Flatcar. The car came with logs and a 160 bin. The log car was designed to be used with the 164 operating log loader.

The 3811 comes with either a flat frame or a dished frame and was cataloged by Lionel from 1939 to 1942. Both versions are quite common, but the dish framed log car runs better.

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Prewar 0 Gauge

Lionel 2811 Flat Car

Lionel 2811 Flat Car

The 2811 Flat car was introduced by Lionel in 1938 and cataloged until 1942. It’s the same as the 811 flatcar, but has automatic couplers. It was only made in aluminum with black lettering, and was never included in sets.

The 2811 and 811 while shown in the catalogs in 1940 – 42 probably weren’t made because dished frame versions haven’t been found. The 3811 automatic log car was made in both frame types.

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Prewar 0 Gauge

Lionel 820 Searchlight Car

Lionel 820 Searchlight car

The 820 searchlight car was introduced by Lionel in 1931 and was cataloged through 1942. The earliest cars came with terra cotta platforms and brass lights. In 1934 the color changed to 45N green with nickel lights. The 1934 45N green is darker than the later 45N or accessory green. The darker 1934 color is shown below. All searchlight cars after 1934 have 45N green platforms. In 1940 the floodlights changed to gray painted die cast and the frame was changed to a dish frame to accommodate the newer style of trucks.

The Lionel 820 with die cast floodlights is almost impossible to find. The version with the darker accessory green platform and latch couplers is the next hardest to find. All other versions are quite common.

Lionel 820 Searchlight Car

See also Lionel 2820 Searchlight Car

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Prewar 0 Gauge

Lionel 811 Flat Car

Lionel 811 Flat Car

The 811 flat car was introduced in 1926 and cataloged through 1940. The 811 was made in maroon with gold lettering and in aluminum with black lettering.

Lionel 811 flat maroon

The maroon cars have brass or nickel (harder to find) stakes. The aluminum cars have nickel trim and can have either latch or box couplers. Until 1934 the flatcar came with a solid load of lumber; after 1934 the flat car came with 8 pieces of cut lumber.

The Lionel 2811 flatcar is the same car with remote control couplers.