Production: 1959 - 1968
The 6162 New York Central gondola was introduced by Lionel in 1959. It was the second long gondola produced by Lionel in the postwar era which did not include a metal undercarriage -- the first being the 6062 NYC gondola.
For the first year of production, the 6162 was available with either the New York Central or Alaska roadname. After 1959, the Alaska gondola was dropped from the line and only the New York Central was produced. Since the Alaska version was only available for a single year, it has become a difficult gondola to locate.
The 6162 was available in many sets as well as being sold as a separate sale item. When included as part of a set, most 6162s were packed without an original box. Locating a 6162 with its original box is -- especially with a box in collector condition -- is difficult.
Standard features on both 6162 NYC gondolas include: unpainted body, AAR trucks plus three cannisters as its load.
The NYC version featured: unpainted blue body with white lettering, three white cannisters, the 'N' in 'NYC' was always in the third panel, the number 6162 was underlined and it usually has three lines of technical data. For the first few years of production, the NYC included two operating couplers. As production continued throughout the 1960's, the gondola gradually changed to include combinations of operating and non-operating couplers.
The Alaska version featured: yellow body with blue lettering, three red cannisters, the number 6162-60 was underlined and it has three lines of technical data. The Alaska gondola always included two operating couplers.
Additional Detail, Photos & Box Information
Most 6162 NYC gondolas have unpainted blue bodies -- with various shades of blue being available throughout the ten-year production cycle. For a brief period in the mid-1960s, the gondola was produced with an unpainted red body.
NYC Blue Gondola - Shown in the photo above - The common unpainted blue version.
Alaska Gondola - A hard-to-find version as it was only manufactured for a single year -- 1959.
NYC Red Gondola - An extremely rare variation, production is assumed to be only for a portion of 1966.
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