6565-The Next Generation
By Bob Mintz
Updated Spring 2010.
So much has been written about 6464 cars.
Some had doors with a single or 4 blocks that were either solid or multi colored; the body castings went from thick to thin; the inside of the roof had either a smooth or rough surface; the riveting row detail changed several times and metal trucks were later replaced by plastic ones; and the horseshoe or push-clip type method was used to hold the trucks to the frame.
A quantity of were shown in the catalog with a certain paint scheme but were never made that way; there were pre-production versions, non-production versions, very limited runs; solid color schemes or two or three versions; multi-tones made from unpainted colored plastic and then painted in whole or part in either dull or high gloss.
A few with minor to little to no variations; others with several including lettering size, color spacing or font and different placement or brightness of the heralds; original issue or reintroduced in the mid to late 60s; some made in several or only one year, dropped altogether or later brought back, available in sets only and never available separately or in a set and for separate sale.
A number were many were made and others that not many were sold; some dull and subdued and less colorful and others extremely attractive.
Lionel is hoping to duplicate the success of those popular boxcars with a new series called the 6565 boxcars, all in a variety of road names and colors. The “heavyweights” category is due to the replacement of the stamped metal frame with die-cast frames this time.
Other features include sprung trucks and operating couplers, metal wheels, axles, door guides and brake wheels with detailed molded bodies.
The Heritage 1999 catalog very inconspicuously mentioned “A Great Freight Set!, whose realistic boxcars would make a great addition to the 1998 B&M GP-9 Lash-up.”This set #21761, featured sequential prototypical numbers with a 4-pack of the identical color scheme. There was no declaration of this being the first of a new series.
“The New Heavies” were first shown in the 1999 Volume 2 catalog. All four sets to date had a contiguous number scheme except this first one as the #29267 was given to the 6464 Series Boxcars 8th Edition.
The second assembly of three issued consisted of only Pennsylvania color and herald variations and was shown in the 1999 Volume 3 catalog.
The next group was shown in the 2000 Volume 2 and only in the Union Pacific roadname.
The next group consisted of three different roadnames to honor the act of taking stock in America, investing in bonds and investing in America, and was in the 2001 Volume 2 catalog.
The latest collection was Pennsylvania, New York Central and the merger of the two and was in the 2002 Volume 2 catalog.
After a 6 year hiatus, the new 2008 Volume 2 catalog had a surprise addition to this series. In fact, I did not even notice it originally and only became aware of it until a fellow collector asked me about it. The Lionel catalog claims: “This 6565 boxcar features the legendary look of the 6464 boxcars with the added heft of a die-cast metal frame.”
The Lionel catalog claims: “This 6565 boxcar features the legendary look of the 6464 boxcars with the added heft of a die-cast metal frame.”