Encyclopedia of Toy Trains
Lionel Prewar Trains
Freight Cars

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Lionel's Classic Period Freight Cars.

800 Series Large Eight Wheel Cars
Refrigerator and Cattle Cars

For an introduction to this series of cars follow this link. Underlined car numbers mean the photograph above links to a larger image. Underlined and different colored words are links to descriptive pages that explain the words. You can either open the links in new windows or use your back button to come back to this page. Because of the number of minor detail variations this page only shows the major color variations. In the future I will add a link to a table listing all the minor trim variations.

Car pictures are listed in order of manufacture with the earliest car on the upper left and the last car on the lower right.

The 813 and 2813 Cattle Cars

813 Orange sides, pea green roof, Brass trim. This is a 1926 Short Wheel Base car.

813 Orange, pea green, brass. Compare door handle on this car to larger handle on car at left.

813 Cream, maroon, brass. This is a 1935 notch car.

813 Tuscan, rubber stamped lettering.

The 813 Cattle car was introduced in 1926 in orange with a pea green roof. In 1935, the color changed to cream and maroon. The cream and maroon car can be found with brass trim (harder to find) or with nickel trim. In 1938, Lionel added remote control couplers, and introduced the 2813. The 2813 was made from 1938 through 1940, and came in cream and maroon only. The 2813 is not shown above but it looks the same as the second car from the right but with nickel trim. In 1940, the nickel plates were removed from the car and the color changed to tuscan with white rubber stamped lettering. The 2813 was not made in the later tuscan color scheme, only the 813 with manual couplers was made in tuscan.

The rubberstamped 813 is the hardest stock car to find; it is also one of the hardest regular production cars to find. Perhaps only 20 cars exist. Here's a guess as to why these cars are so hard to find: all of the cars I have examined-five- have holes in the ends. These holes are from the stamping dies, and correspond with where the embossed rivets should be. The rubber stamped cars are made of thinner galvanized metal, rather than the thicker tinplated metal used on the earlier cars. I am guessing here, but perhaps the dies used to stamp the cars deformed the thinner metal of the car sides so that only a few of the stampings were useable? It would require a lot more pressure to stamp the slats in the car than to stamp rivet detail in the car ends. Or, maybe Lionel had lots of cream and maroon cars in stock and didn't start making tuscan cars until the war had started? I don't know, but whatever the reason this is one rare car. The rest of the stock cars are easy to find with the orange and green car being really common.

The 814R and 2814R Refrigerator Cars

814R Ivory sides, peacock roof, black frame. Brass trim.

814R White, light blue, aluminum. Brass trim. 1935 notch car.

2814R White, light blue, aluminum.

814R Flat white, tuscan, black. Rubberstamped lettering.

2814R Flat white, tuscan, black. Rubberstamped lettering.




The 814R refrigerator car was introduced in 1929 in the ivory and peacock color scheme. Because this car was not made in 1926 no short wheel base cars exist. In 1934 the color was changed to white with a light blue roof. The white and blue cars were made until 1940, when the flat white and tuscan cars replaced them. The first run of flat white cars had nickel plates- not shown above, but I'll add a picture as soon as I can buy or borrow one. The rest of the flat white/tuscan cars had rubberstamped lettering.

The 2814R with automatic couplers was introduced in 1938 and continued until the war ceased production in 1942. The 2814R was made in the white/light blue and the flat white/tuscan color schemes. Both variations of the 2814R are shown above.

The flat white/tuscan 814R with nickel plates or with rubberstamped lettering is the hardest reefer to find. I think the one with nickel plates is harder because my father and I have a rubber stamped one. The 2814 flat white/tuscan was not made with nickel plates. It always has heat stamped lettering. It is the third hardest to find but is not as hard to find as either version of the 814R in flat white. The other refrigerator cars are common with the exception of the cars from 1934 and 1935 with mixed trim.

For more pages of these cars select car type below:

Crane, Gondola and Cabooses

Box and Merchandise cars

Tank and Hopper cars

Flat, Searchlight and Dump cars.


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ã 2000 by Terry Gibbs. All rights reserved.