The Large Lionel Gondola Cars measure 9-9/16 inches long and they joined the Lionel line in 1949. These cars almost always appeared with the markings for the "NEW YORK CENTRAL" railroad. First issues of these cars have brake wheels and side steps at the four corners that were part of the sheet metal under frame. These steps were eliminated by 1950. Lionel was not consistent in their use of brake wheels, which are sometimes found throughout the various issues until 1954, when they were eliminated. From 1949 until 1951 there was three lines of car weight data, and from 1950 until 1954 there would be only two lines of data. (//) That's the official story of this *******.
I have a little history of my own to add. My small hometown was built along the North Branch of the Susquehanna and the Lehigh Valley mainline was between the river and the town. No part of town was more than two blocks from the rail line. Trains were a daily part of my life. I hung out in the Stationmasters office and he told me tales of life on the railroad. My grandfathers on both sides of my family were employed by railroad companies. My paternal Grandfather by the Lehigh Valley and my maternal Grandfather by the DL&W
I was 7 years old when my father brought a Lionel train set home. I played with the train set for several years so it shows w ... read more