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Lionel's Classic Period Passenger Cars.
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The 629 passenger and matching 630 observation were introduced in 1924 to replace the early bodied 601 Pullman and 602 baggage. In 1926 the 529 and 530 cars were introduced. The 529 was the same as a 629 except it had mottled celluloid in the upper windows and cost 15 cents more. By 1927, Lionel started putting celluloid in the windows of both the 529 and the 629 cars. The catalogs said the 529 was the same as the 629 except painted green (we call it olive green today) the 629 was orange. While the roofs are removable, these cars were never sold with interior lights. I treat all these cars as the same car type because they have the same bodies. Car lettering is gold unless noted. I will explain the frame types when I write the 800 series four wheel freight car pages. Both the 529, 530 and the 629,630 were dropped from the Lionel catalogs in 1932. The type 4 frame was introduced in 1934, so cars with type 4 frames must be uncataloged specials.
Two car sets have a Pullman and an Observation; three car sets have two Pullmans and an Observation. When these cars came with electric outline engines the engine is usually the same color as the cars. As always, cars are shown in order of production, with the earlier colored cars first.
The 629 and 630:
629, 630 Dark green, maroon. Type 3 frame with latch couplers but no journals. Earlier dark green cars have type 2 or type 1 frames and hook couplers. Came in two car sets with the 248 (uncataloged), and the153, and in three car sets with the 250.
629, 630 Orange, peacock. Type 1 frame with latch couplers. I lost the picture of the matching 630- I'll put it in when I find it. Came in two car sets with an orange 248.
629, 630 Red, cream. These cars come with type 3 or type 4 frames. The type 3 cars have gold lettering while the type 4 cars have black lettering. The 629 Pullman shown above has black letters; the 630 Observation has gold letters. The black lettered cars are uncataloged cars from 1934 or 1935. The cataloged cars came in two car sets with the 248. I do not know what engine(s) the uncataloged black lettered cars came with. The Observation can be found with a Macy Special plate on the railing.
629, 630 Light red, cream. These are uncataloged cars with eight wheels. They are on a 650 series freight car frame instead of a four wheel frame. Both these cars have black lettering- the Observation's lettering is faded and only looks gold in the photo. These cars came in three car sets with the early 258 and the 259. Oddly, when with the 259 the tender- a 1588T- has only 4 wheels. The observation platform is nickel. All the other colors have brass railings. Uncataloged 1934 and 1935.
The 529, and 530:
529, 530 Olive green, maroon. These cars come with type 2 or type 3 frames. The car on the left has a type 2 frame while the car on the right has a type 3 frame. The inserts can be maroon, red or orange with the maroon being easier to find. I will add pictures of cars with the orange and red inserts in the future. These came in sets with the 248 and the 252. Two cars with the 248, three with the 252.
529, 530 Terra cotta, cream with maroon frame. These cars come with type 3 frames with gold lettering and with type 4 frames and black lettering. They came in two car cataloged sets with the 252, and in uncataloged three car sets with the 259.
Rarity: The hardest cars to find are the light red 629, 630 with eight wheels. The black lettered 629, 630 is probably harder to find but the red cars with gold lettering are the easiest to find so little attention is paid to the black lettered cars. The olive cars with orange inserts and the terra cotta cars with type 4 frames and black lettering are also hard to find but nowhere near as hard as the eight wheel cars. The red and the dark green cars are the easiest to find.
Here is a quick explanation of the frame types:
Using the frame type, the journal color and the type of coupler, you can easily date these cars. The nickel journal was used from the introduction of journals in 1924 to 1932. These cars didn't get journals until 1929, but Lionel started using them in 1924 on the 710, 712 passenger cars. The journals changed to copper in 1932, and were copper until 1935. In 1935 the journals went back to nickel. The hook coupler was used until 1927. The combination latch or combo latch for short, was used from 1924 to 1928, and allowed hook and latch couplers to connect. The latch coupler was used from 1924 to 1942.
To see larger pictures of some of these cars click here.
ALL Pages, Images, and Layouts Copyrighted 2000 by Terry Gibbs. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction, reprinting or re-posting allowed.