Production: 1947 & 1948
The 2357 -- along with the 2257 -- shared in the introduction of the SP-type caboose into the Lionel family. The SP-type caboose was a dramatic change for Lionel as compared to the tinplate offerings carried over from the prewar era. It was a realistic caboose when compared to the prototype.
Lionel continued to offer more versions and variations of the SP style caboose in the ensuing years. The SP-type caboose -- in various colors and roadnames -- remained in the Lionel family until all production ended in 1969.
The 2357 caboose only remained in production for two years and is not easy to find.
Standard features of the 2357 caboose include: painted Tuscan body, white lettering, end railings, brakewheels mounted on the inside or outside of each end railing, dual ladders, smokestack painted to match the color of the body, illumination, tool boxes plus staple-end trucks with two operating coil couplers.
Additional Details & Photos
Aside from the 2357 described above, two other variations exist which are rare. Both have red bodies, one with a smokestack and the second without a smokestack.
The length of this caboose is approximately 7 1/2" long (coupler to coupler).
Painted Tuscan - First photo above - The most common version.
Painted Red, Without a Smokestack - (Second photo) A rare variation.
Painted Red, With a Matching Smokestack - (Third photo) A very rare variation.