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6448 Exploding Box Car


Production: 1961 - 1964

The 6448 Target Range car was the last of three exploding box cars produced by Lionel during the postwar era. It uses a modified 6464-series box car with an ingenious mousetrap type mechanism mounted to the interior frame. When the car is hit on the outside, the mechanism is engaged and the boxcar explodes with the two long sides and roof flying off of the car!

The 6448 is another of many items produced by Lionel during the 1960's which is now included in the Space and Military series. This term -- Space and Military series -- was not used by Lionel, but rather by experienced operators and collectors. It generally includes all of the odd and unusual items produced by Lionel which were rarely, if ever, seen on real railroads. Other examples include the 3619 Helicopter Reconnaissance car, 6470 Exploding boxcar and 6650 Missile Launcher flatcar.

The 6448 used a modified version of the 6464 style boxcar shell. It was produced in two different color variations:

  • White unpainted sides with red lettering and red molded roof and car ends.
  • Red unpainted sides with white lettering and white molded roof and car ends.

The box car with red sides and white top appears to be slightly more common compared to the one with white sides and a red top. However, neither is rare and both are fairly easy to locate.

Other features of the 6448 include: AAR trucks with operating couplers, removable roof and side and a mousetrap mechanism (be careful with the little children!) mounted to the interior. The exploding mechanism is secured in the 'off' position by placing a thin silver rod through the roof and into an opening in the base of the frame.

The 6448 can be used with any of several Lionel items. Examples include the 44 or 45 Mobile Missile Launchers or the 6650 Missile Launcher.

Additional Detail, Photos & Box Information
The 6448 is almost identical to the uncatalogued 6470 and 6480 Exploding boxcars.

Red Roof and Ends, White Sides - Shown in the photo above - Slightly harder to locate compared to the version with red sides.
White Roof and Ends, Red Sides - The more common variation.


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