3494 Operating Box Car
Production: 1955 - 1958
Lionel introduced the 3494 operating box car series in 1955. This longer and more realistic series of operating box cars replaced the shorter, more toy-like 3464 operating box cars. The 3494s share their body with the popular 6464 series box cars.
Although the 3494 series ended in 1958 after a brief four years run, it includes some of the hardest-to-find and rarest box cars of the postwar era. All were produced for only a portion of the four years and high quality examples remain in high demand by collectors.
Standard features of the 3494 operating box cars include: bar-end trucks with operating couplers, single brakewheel, plunger mechanism mounted to the frame plus an opening door with a rubber man on the inside of the car. These features did not change and are common to all 3494s.
Each 3494 is painted to match their roadname colors and designs of the era.
Additional Detail, Photos & Box Information
3494-1 New York Central - Shown in the photo above - Only produced for a single year -- 1955. This is the most common 3494, although clean examples are difficult to locate.
3494-150 Missouri Pacific - Only produced for a single year -- 1956. This is second hardest 3494 to locate. As with all 3494s, clean examples are difficult to locate.
3494-275 State of Maine - Produced for three years -- 1956 thru 1958 and is similar to the 3494-1 in terms of availability. There are two variation to this car. The common car has the '3494275' stamped to the left of the door. A scarce version does not have the number stamped to the left of the door and is assumed to be from the earliest production run in 1956.
3494-550 Monon - Produced in 1957 and 1958. This version -- along with the 3494-625 -- are the most difficult cars to locate in this series. Clean examples are extremely difficult to locate.
3494-625 SOO Line - Produced in 1957 and 1958. This version -- along with the 3494-550 -- are the most difficult cars to locate in this series. Clean examples are extremely difficult to locate.
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