03 April 2013

The Old Caboose- Lionel SP Caboose 6257 but illuminated

Since I've moved into a house I have been able to enjoy an old hobby-model railroad. Quite a few of my pics of trains and scenery have shown up on Instagram or Facebook.
The hobby seems like it is dying out to an extent- or has the potential to flicker out of popularity. I see fewer and fewer trains at the stores these days and much less a the hobby shops out this way. RC seems to be the hobby of choice. To find some supplies I need to head down to the Twin Cities and make a stop through Scale Model Supply to get what I need. Used to be a few stores that sold trains in the 'Go. In fact one of them used to be located where my church meets. Google pages say there is one- but on the map it is a house. There is an annual train show in October.
I digress.
Well, I had HO trains growing up. But just got into O scale this year, mostly because the size would be good for kids and my dad had a collection of Lionel trains. But before I set up to borrow my Dad's trains, I needed my own. Thanks to E-Bay I acquired some working Lionel trains and track. And that whole thing will be an entry for another time.
In the moment I have I will write about a caboose a friend of mine gave me the other day. He found it at an antique store. I tend to find vintage Lionel at antique stores. Often it is overpriced. Some Lionel stuff just is not that rare. This an example of a less rare car from the early post-war days.
Lionel 6257
It is a Southern Pacific caboose numbered 6257 which Lionel first introduced in 1947. Not sure this one is from 47 but it does have evidence (2 brake wheels) it was not made that long after. But the carriage of this caboose seemed a bit out of place for the 6257.


It seems to be a carriage made for a illumination. Plus there are the 2 boxes which do not appear on any variety of the 6257. So we have a mystery to unravel. Lionel made 2 illuminated cabooses of the same style numbered 6357 and 6457. The 6457 was the only one with the battery boxes and 2 brake wheels. So what it looks like we have a 6257 body on at 6457 carriage. When it was done, I am not sure. I doubt it was something the factory did- although Lionel did re-use its parts in unusual ways. It was probably something a previous owner did with spare parts.
I need to get this caboose a new bulb and fix a wire connection to the truck to get it illuminating again. It is a pretty sturdy caboose and certainly is better made than a few of the cabeese I have.
 

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