Lionel Box Car Question

I hope I am in the correct group. Recently I won a Lionel box car as
a meet door prize. Since I model in HO, I know diddley about the
differences between Lionel O, OO, Standard or tin plate. The car is
Milwaukee Road 6-19204, single sliding door, maroon with a yellow
stripe. The box is orange and white with LIONEL ELECTRIC TRAINS in
big blue letters. The back has 1986. Would someone explain what I
have here and what is the approximately value. Thanks.
Reply to
Byron Lane
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This is a tinplate car offered by Lionel in 1987 as part of the "Fallen Flags" series of cars (Milwaukee Road was the 2nd in the series). It was not sold in a set, but rather was part of a group of 6 cars and a GP-7 locomotive all lettered for the Milwaukee Road.
There are 5 eras to Lionel trains: Prewar (1900-1942), Postwar (1945-1969), MPC (1970-1985), LTI (1986-1995), and LLC (1995 to present). The first two eras were the original Company founded and run by Joshua Lionel Cowen until his retirement in 1958. Things started downhill for the company about that same time, and it ceased train production 1970. The name and tooling were sold to a division of General Mills, which resumed production in 1970. The company was sold again in 1986 to a wealthy Detroit train collector who ran the company until 1995. Beginning in the 3rd era, and continued into the 4th, Lionel offered its products in two distinct categories - the "Traditional" line of less expensive and usually undersized trains aimed at the children's toy market, and the "Collectors" line of more expensive and increasingly full 1:48 scale trains aimed at the adult train collecting market. The Fallen Flag series cars were part of the Collectors line.
Your car is based on the dies developed by the original company in the early 1950's for the "6464" series of boxcars. The cars represent a typical steam era 40' steel boxcar, but are undersized in length, width and height to correct 1:48 scale size. The original 2nd era 6464 cars are still quite collectible, and many trade at 3-figure prices. The Collector series trains from the 3rd and 4th eras were widely marketed at near wholesale prices, lack the cachet of the original company, and have been overshadowed by more recent full 1:48 proportioned models from Lionel and its current competitors. So while there are still folks who collect Fallen Flag type boxcars, that portion of the tinplate collecting market has sagged. (To put it in HO terms, the situation is similar to a blue box Athearn car in today's market.) Thus, if your car is brand new in the box (no evidence on the wheel treads of having been run), I'd estimate its value around $30. Gary Q
Reply to
Gary, Thank you very much for the education. I filed it away for future reference. Now all I have to do is see if I can use this car to offset the cost of my next Athearn SSW SD45T-2. Thanks again.
Reply to
Byron Lane

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