model train set on track

A Tale of Two “Cities”

e*Train Issue: Aug 2007   |   Posted in: ,

By Mike Stella

There are thousands of members that buy Lionel trains to run on their layouts, to display on shelves, to store away in original boxes but I think the number of “collectors” continues to decline and in another decade the true Lionel collector may be rarer then the train he is looking for!  “Collector’s Snippet” is not intended to be a detailed article on that rare Lionel piece that if found in a junk box will reward the finder with huge profits.   There are hundreds of neat items to look for and “TO COLLECT.”  Second, it is my hope that if a few get mentioned now and then that some members may actually start to collect once again.

Every Lionel collector has at least a few tank cars.  They may be single dome, two dome, or three dome but almost every one of them is silver with Sunoco markings.  There are a few others in black, orange, yellow, and gray but  it is the bright green two dome tank cars that are the subject of this snippet.  The #6465 and #6045 Cities Service tank cars are almost identical.

Dummy couplers sued on the #6045 are the only distinguishing feature from the #6465.  Lionel tended to assign a different number to cars without automatic couplers.  These two cars are easy to obtain but it can be harder to find either with perfect handrails and in original box is a collector’s find in itself.  Prices will vary but these two tank cars are certainly no budget busters.

A new release in the “Celebration Series” from Lionel finds 2 remakes of the #6465 Cities Service tank car.  Now it is easy for anyone to obtain a brand new, mint in the box, example of this green tank car.  Still, searching for original pieces in excellent condition can be a challenge.

The #6045 and #6465 postwar Cities Service with the new #6465 in front.
Unbroken molded handrails can be tough to find.  Good looking cars, I think.