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Sunday, September 13, 2009

A pair of Lionel 0044 box cars and modified trucks

Exhibit A is this pair of Lionel 0044 box cars. This model is the detailed, two rail version of this car, marketed 1939-42, also offered in kit form as 0044K.

The car in the back I have had for years, the one in the front a recent purchase. I don’t have many Lionel cars so I was interested to compare them.

One of the more obvious differences is the rear car has black ladders. So far as I can tell this is correct for a factory painted version. The car illustrated in Lionel Trains: Standard of the World, 1900-1943 is painted the same way. This one has had some rough handling and under the paint chips you can see a layer of yellow paint, so presumably this was first painted in the 1938 colors and repainted before shipment from Lionel in Tuscan red.

The front car does not have black ladders. Also the paint does not match the color of the rear car. It was painted nicely but I am inclined to think it was built up from a 0044 kit back in the day.

The rear car looks to be all original except for picking up a few washers to get it to the correct height and also to eliminate the droopy couplers. The front car however when purchased was on these odd trucks. They are a bit of a tribute to the ingenuity of some builder who converted a pair of three rail Lionel trucks to two rail operation using parts at hand. They built up a new bolster from something like sheet Bakelite and metal pins, and they modified the axles by cutting them in half and putting them back together with Bakelite tube sub-axles, in the same manner as Scale-Craft/Nason/Graceline.

I put a pair of standard Lionel trucks on the car in the top photo but with replacement wheel sets and added washers as needed to get the height and the couplers up to specs. The car runs great on the layout now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

John, I have two Lionel Tuscan painted OO Scale (superdetailed) box cars one with black ladders and the other with Tuscan painted ladders. Both are numbered (white decal on sides) 0014 and state Pennsylvania and on the opposite end have a white decal of the PRR keystone. Bob