The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Lionel OO Freight Cars. Part IV: Cabooses

And what train is complete without a caboose? Lionel chose to make theirs to the same design as the 1937 Scale-Craft caboose, but with tweaked details and it is clearly marked as Lionel.

The original 1938 model was the 0017 caboose decorated for the Pennsylvania. I don’t have one of those (it was 1938 only) but I do have the 0027 NYC caboose, which is the successor model (1939-42), a semi-detailed model and also three-rail. The semi-detailed models lack the turned piece that is attached next to the box on the underframe and the smokestack seen on the detailed version.

Next up is an example of the 0047 caboose, which is the detailed caboose on two rail trucks. Note the smoke stack and the underframe detail. Worth noting as well, all of these cars have only one brake wheel.

The final model for this series is this example of the 0077 caboose, which is two-rail but semi-detailed. This model was produced from 1939-42. For even more on Lionel OO cabooses see this article in the Train99 website.

Value on all of the models seen in this series is a good question. I purchased the 0027 model above on eBay a few years ago at a fairly low cost. It still had on it a tag, the seller had been trying to sell it at shows, and had listed $100 on the tag! Which would be at least double what I would think would be book value in a price guide. Even that though would depend on exactly how you interpret the condition, and one of the trucks it turned out was clearly a reproduction truck so really it was not a highly desirable example. It is harder to evaluate condition from photos. I have a trained eye by now, but I don’t think any buyer could have seen the reproduction truck based on the photos in the listing. And in fairness, who knows, the seller may not have noticed or have known either.

In any case, these classic OO gauge models in good condition will hold some value as long as people are collecting Lionel trains! To my mind the most iconic model of this line is the 1938 yellow (cream) colored boxcar. The bidding can really get going on these, as it also can on the separate sale versions of the 0044/5/6/7 versions of these cars (or the kit versions of the same) in their original display boxes. For example, as I write this just yesterday a set of all four of the separate sale versions of the built up cars sold on eBay, low of $292 for the hopper and high of $515.50 for the caboose.

For even more on the Lionel OO line in general see this article. And if you are new to American OO gauge, poke around this site and learn even more about these collectible vintage models.

Return to beginning of Lionel Freight Car series. 

1 comment:

scd1950 said...

And they all sold to the sme guy