2378 Milwaukee Road
The 2378 Milwaukee Road F3 AB diesel of 1956 is one of the more desirable and sought-after postwar F3's. It continued a theme at Lionel which was to introduce new and colorful roadnames to its diesel line during the mid-1950's. Unfortunately, sales of this mid-western roadname were poor and the 2378 was discontinued after one year. In addition to being available as a separate-sale item, the 2378 also headed up one freight set.
As with all dual-motored postwar F3s, the Milwaukee Road diesels are another set of high quality F3 diesels produced by Lionel. Although they lack some of the detailed exterior features of the earlier F3s, their durability was still top-of-the-line. As with most of the diesels from that era, when properly maintained, they will run as strong today as the day they were produced.
Standard features of the powered A unit include: unpainted gray body with a red and yellow strip on the lower quarter section, yellow lettering and numbers, wrap-around Milwaukee Road decal on the nose, dual vertical motors, Magnetraction, functional horn, 3-position E-unit, operating front coupler with a non-operating rear coupler, illuminated headlight and number boards, two metal ladder steps on the rear plus dual ornamental horns. The frame and trucks were always black and the shell always had closed portholes.
Standard features of the non-powered B unit include: unpainted gray body with a red and yellow painted strip on the lower quarter section, yellow lettering, non-operating couplers, plus metal ladder steps at each corner. The frame and trucks were always black and the shell had closed portholes.
Additional Detail, Photos & Box Information
When coupled together as an AB unit, the length of these F3s is approximately 26" long (coupler to coupler).
Although the 2378 was produced for only a single year, there are three different variations. The variations all pertain to the presence -- or lack thereof -- to a thin yellow strip by the roofline. In early 1956, the A and B units had a very thin yellow strip by the roofline. However, the yellow strip was soon discontinued, but apparently more B units were painted with the strip than A units.
A & B Units with Thin Yellow Strip By Roofline - Identifies very early 1956 production. This is a rare variation to locate and is assumed to have been produced from only a month or so.
Mixed A & B Units - In order to deplete the extra B units with a roof strip, some early 2378's sets have an A unit without a roof strip and a B unit with the roof strip. This too is a rare variation.
No Roof Strips - Shown in the photo above - Identifies regular production from early 1956 through the end of the year. This is the common variation.
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