Enjoy some more photos of Lionel’s 6464 postwar boxcars!
6464-25 Great Northern, Cataloged 1953-54
6464-150 Missouri Pacific, Cataloged 1954-55
6464-275 Bangor & Aroostook State of Maine, Cataloged 1955 and 1957-59
6464-375 Central of Georgia, Cataloged 1956-57 and 1966
6464-450 Great Northern, Cataloged 1956-57 and 1966
6464-500 Timken,Cataloged 1957-58 and 1969
6464-525 Minneapolis & St. Louis, Cataloged 1957-58 and 1964-66
6464-725 New Haven , Cataloged 1962-66, 1968, and 1969
6464-900 New York Central, Cataloged 1960-66
Lionel 6464 boxcars help Lionel Corp. mark 1953 as a turning point.
Yes, a year after blazing a new trail with classic streamlined passenger cars, the engineering and sales teams at Lionel fielded near-scale models of a modern flatcar, a triple-dome tank car, and a porthole caboose. Perhaps most important of all, the company released an O gauge boxcar with scale proportions that approximated those of the 40-foot cars in use on railroads across the U.S. and Canada.
Brilliantly, Lionel managers elected to offer the new boxcar in four road names. The quartet of newcomers came painted in eye-catching colors with the names and slogans or heralds of different lines associated with regions of the country west of the Mississippi River.
The four members of the Lionel 6464 boxcars series, available in 1953 as components of cataloged O-27 or O gauge outfits as well as separate-sale items, represented a mere beginning to what collectors and operators today know was an exciting chapter in the postwar saga. New entries appeared over the next several years.
Even in the 1960s, when Lionel’s fortunes were declining, new 6464 boxcars arrived. Occasionally, older models were reissued.
Eventually, the series of 30 eye-catching boxcars came to be emblematic of the postwar lineup. Their color schemes, railroad names, and variations captivated hobbyists, and demand for the models increased. Today, the 6464 boxcars are among the most desirable items Lionel made in the second and final thirds of the era.
While you can see the 6464 series here, Classic Toy Trains celebrates these storied cars in a group of three posters that will look terrific in your train room.
Want to learn more about postwar collectibles? Watch Professor Carp’s ongoing series!