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On the real railroads, the flatcar is arguably the most versatile freight car available. It is used to carry practically everything imaginable -- and even some unimaginable items.

Lionel carried this philosophy into its own line of trains. In the late 1940s, Lionel began producing prototypical flatcars with realistic loads. At first, the loads consisted of items such as: metal pipes, logs and automobiles. However, as the 1950s ended, the loads bordered the surreal. Things such as atomic waste containers, submarines and missiles were frequently seen on a Lionel Lines flatcar.

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