6454 Box Car
Production: 1948 - 1952
The 6454 series box cars were introduced in 1948. Although they are less popular then their bigger cousin the 6464 series box car, they are beautiful and realistic cars which, to this day, remain highly collectable. In some cases, specific versions of a 6454 car are harder and rarer to locate than many of the 6464 series box cars.
Lionel introduced the 6454 cars in 1948 in three different roadname; A.T. & S.F., PRR / Baby Ruth and NYC. Each of these three roadname lasted for only one production year. In 1949, Lionel introduced three new roadname; Erie, Pennsylvania and Southern Pacific. Unlike the 1948 versions which only lasted a year, each of these remained in production until 1952.
The 6454 box car ran basically unchanged from 1948 to 1952. Standard feature include: staple-end trucks with operating couplers, die-cast sliding doors, metal door guides plus a single brakewheel.
Except for the roadnames and associated paint schemes on each box cars, the only differences the cars experienced during the production cycle involved the standard progress of each items. This included:
- 1948 - Introduced as listed above.
- 1950 - Footsteps at the corners were eliminated.
- 1952 - Bar-end trucks replaced the staple-end trucks.
Additional Detail, Photos & Box Information
Collectors and operators continue to pursue any 6454 box car in collectable condition. Their plain graphics are typical a 1950's style box car. Since they lack the flashier appearance of the 6464 cars, there is a growing interest in this series.
The following list identifies the most common to the most desirable 6454 box car. Although the first few entries are listed as 'common', collectable versions are still in demand. The most common is listed first with the most desirable listed last.
A.T. & S.F. - Shown in the photo above - Produced for one year, 1948. It is an orange-painted car with black lettering and a brown painted door. This is one of the most common 6454 box car.
NYC - The two common versions are painted brown with white lettering or painted tan with white lettering. In either case, the side slding doors were always brown metal doors. A rare version of the NYC is painted orange and difficult to locate. The brown and tan versions are slightly harder to locate than the A.T. & S.F.
Pennsylvania - Produced with a tuscan painted shell and white lettering. The 1949 - 1951 version has metal doors painted to match the box car. In 1952, unpainted black plastic doors replaced the metal doors.
Erie - Produced with a brown painted shell and white lettering. The 1949 - 1951 version has metal doors painted to match the box car. In 1952, unpainted black plastic doors replaced the metal doors.
Southern Pacific - Produced with a brown painted shell and white lettering. During the production run, this car has been observed to have come in different shades of brown -- with no difference in value or rarity. The 1949 - 1951 version has metal doors painted to match the box car. In 1952, unpainted black plastic doors replaced the metal doors. There is an early SP version from 1949 containing a incomplete ring on the herald stamping (between the letters R and N). This incomplete herald variation is difficult to locate. Most collectors believe it was a flaw in the stamping process which Lionel soon corrected -- thus making the 'Incomplete Herald' a low production item.
PRR / Baby Ruth - This is the most difficult 6454 box car to locate. It is an orange painted car with black lettering and a brown painted metal door.
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