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Lionel's tinplate caboose is designed after the real life N5 steel sided caboose -- which was manufactured for railroads from 1914 through 1942. Initially, it was produced for the Pennsylvania railroad, although other railroads soon purchased this style caboose.

For Lionel, they started to manufacture the N5 caboose in the mid-1930's for their prewar O gauge line. Immediately after World War II, line needed to ramp up postwar train production and their choice of using the prewar tinplate caboose immediately after the war was an easy decision. Tooling was already available, knowledge of the build process was known and production readiness was straightforward. All of this permitted Lionel to have their 2457 caboose available within months for the 1945 Christmas season.


During the postwar years, Lionel built only two model of the N5 tinplate caboose; the entry level 2457 and the premium 2472 caboose. It is a very good model of a real life N5 caboose and to this day remains popular with both collectors and operators.

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