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6456 Lehigh Valley


Product Description

Production:  1948 - 1955

The 6456 Lehigh Valley hopper, along with its earlier cousin the 2456 Lehigh Valley Hopper, were the first new short hoppers introduced by Lionel in the postwar era. During the late 1940's and throughout the early to mid-1950's, the 6456 was a staple in practically every mid-level catalogued set -- as well as being available for separate sale. The abundance of the 6456 hopper during that timeframe has made this freight car an extremely common item. However, being that most were introduced in sets and 'played with by the children', finding a 6456 in nice condition will require some searching and effort.

From 1948 until 1954 the 6456 was produced with a black or maroon exterior. However, during the final two years of production, Lionel introduced 3 new color combinations. These final three color options are the hardest and rarest 6456 variations to locate.

Standard features of the 6456 include metal trucks, painted body, white lettering, two operating couplers and a single brakewheel.

Additional Detail, Photos & Box Information
For most of the production cycle the 6456 remained virtually unchanged. There were minor mold variations and truck changes, however none of these have an impact on its value. Until 1954, the 6456 was either a black or maroon hopper with white lettering. Beginning in 1954, the 6456 experienced several color changes such as:

  • Gray hopper with dark red or maroon lettering.
  • Glossy red hopper with yellow lettering.
  • Glossy red hopper with white lettering.

Maroon or Black, # 6456 - Black version shown in first photo, maroon in second photo - The most common version of the 6456 hopper.

Gray, # 6456-25 (Third photo above) - Harder to find and assumed to be a two year production run, 1954 and 1955.

Glossy Red with White Lettering, # 6456-50 - This is one of the hardest variations to locate. Assumed to be from a single, limited production run in 1954.

Glossy Red with Yellow Lettering, # 6456-75 (Fourth photo above) - This is by far the most difficult version to locate. Assumed to be from a single, limited production run in 1954 and is rare.

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