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I enjoy supporting the various specialty cars offered by NETCA, LOTS, LCCA, TCA and yes METCA, However...

METCA - you guys are crushing my train budget. Just when I thought I was safe after ordering the Pennsy Steamer and very cool Air Force One SD70, you go ahead and offer a reverse color Alaska RR 6464 Boxcar.

This is one of those cars that I know I will be glad I ordered - so another METCA order in the books. I believe this is a one time offering in limited numbers.

I don't think you have to belong to METCA to order, I went to www.metca.org and checked out their "store".

In case you needed another reason to buy a cool train today.

Paul

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Nice, but it doesn't really have the overall look of a 6464 car in my opinion.  It looks more like the MPC-derived version of that type of boxcar, because it's missing the upper and lower metal door guides, and lacking any rivet detail running down the sides of the car.  Both of those are virtually hallmarks of a 6464 boxcar.  Unless that's just a concept picture and the actual car will be different.

As opposed to the first three contributors to this discussion, I truly am (aka C Weber) "an old 6464 nut"-who because of my age, should be at the end of train collecting. However my interest has not waned and so I continue to collect, trying to be more focused. I agree with J Korling regarding the differences between the true 6464 types ( including the door guides) and the most recent offerings. I forget which club I had an off-line discussion with-but it is clear that Lionel will very unlikely re-do the true 6464 type boxcars-so the offerings from NETCA, METCA, LOTS, TCA, etc. will have to do. On the other hand-some of these new cars labeled as 6464 are really nice-including the reverse color Alaskan. So I will likely continue to collect even the non-true 6464 box cars.

@Bill King posted:

Shhh...  I haven't ordered mine yet!

With the TCA offering a 6464-100 decorated as originally shown in the 1954 catalog (with a white feather), this year is a 6464 bonanza!

Lets hope these are actual 6464 cars. I ordered a pair as well. The last run of TCA TOFC were supposed to have Weaver flats and trailers but instead Lionel shipped Lionel items. I admit Lionel PS4 flats are the best but still disappointing for a Weaver TOFC collector.
I agree with John, 6464s require both metal door guides, rivets and the number starts with 6464.

Pete

@turtle7 posted:

Perhaps someone from Lionel can tell us whether the true 6464 cars ( rivet pattern, metal door guides top/bottom, etc.) will ever be "available" again. As I said above, I've heard that Lionel will not do this mold again.

I'm not from Lionel, but I know the answers to your questions.  Lionel box cars with full rivet detail, double metal door guides, etc. are available any time.  They never went anywhere.  The mold/tooling is readily available for use/production whenever anyone wants to make a car with that tooling.  Feel free to share where you heard that incorrect information regarding the availability of that mold.

Stu

The cars will be produced exactly as they were shown in the advertisements.  Smooth sides, plastic door guides and numbered as shown.

Stu

Stu, was that your call or your predecessor's? I am surprised the TCA of all organizations would offer a car lettered as 6464 that bears little resemblance to what most all its members regard as a 6464. I understand modern replicas don't always match the originals in every detail but this is like painting a N&W J in Daylight colors and calling it a SP GS engine.

Pete

@Norton posted:

Stu, was that your call or your predecessor's? I am surprised the TCA of all organizations would offer a car lettered as 6464 that bears little resemblance to what most all its members regard as a 6464. I understand modern replicas don't always match the originals in every detail but this is like painting a N&W J in Daylight colors and calling it a SP GS engine.

Pete

My call.  If there was a way to offer the car with the deluxe features, and not loose money on the project, we would.   Using the Made in USA style car with fewer details is what makes these projects viable.

Stu

My call.  If there was a way to offer the car with the deluxe features, and not loose money on the project, we would.   Using the Made in USA style car with fewer details is what makes these projects viable.

Stu

If that being the case, I myself would have numbered it as anything other than a 6464 box car.  Also I'd disagree with the description of the metal guide doors and side rivet detail as "deluxe features."  In the traditional and historical perspective of 6464 boxcars, those details were standard features, not deluxe or optional features.

Just my own opinion of course.

Last edited by John Korling

Stu      I honestly do not remember the person or the club from which I heard that " Lionel will unlikely make further traditional size box cars in the true 6464 style". It was a few years ago and I had contacted on of the major clubs ( LCCA, NLOE, RRMLI, LOTS, METCA, NETCA, TTOS, etc.-I dont think it was the national TCA ) about one of their club cars-it was one of the clubs that had done quite a few club cars in the true 6464 mold. The very nice person , as best I can remember, told me that he thought that subsequent box cars from that club would be more from the 9200/9700 molds because Lionel would no longer produce the 6464 type traditional box car. It made sense to me as neither Lionel nor any of the clubs ( even if they advertise a 6464 box car in their club offerings) have produced a 6464 type box car since that discussion. Clearly that club representative ( nor I ) did not intend to be negative-rather just stating what they thought the future would bring. Again, being an old 6464 box car nut, I would be happy if these reappeared on the scene.  Thanks, turtle7



In reality, it's a "9700".  I expected that when I ordered one.  It sold out pretty fast so the whole thing for now doesn't really matter.

Thats the key here. If METCA and TCA had simply numbered them and referred to them as 9700 cars there would be no complaints. Hard to imagine it costs that much more to produce a true 6464 than its does to make a 9700. It will be interesting to see what trucks come with these cars as well. Likely not the sprung diecast trucks we have seen on previous 6464 remakes.

Pete

BwanaBob  The 6464s were popular among PW collectors-there were about 30-some different #s made, many with significant variations-but except for a handful of truly rare pieces, one could collect many/most -and so there was a group of PW collectors who focused on these cars-lead initially at least by one of the original 6464 "experts"-Dr C Weber (" I am  a 6464 boxcar nut") who wrote about them in a TCA quarterly.  Since then there have been a number of experts including folks like Roger Carp and Joe Algozzini ( hope that spelling is correct) who, with the help of others, wrote a great series on the 6464s in CTT. There have been a number of nice OGR discussions-including some thoughtful input by RockyMountaineer who comments on how the market had been flooded by a rerun of the entire series by Lionel two ( or three) times and other sets like the Overstamped and Archives series. In addition, as mentioned above, multiple clubs have done numbered and un-numberes 6464s. TCA etrain keeps an updated list on PW and modern 6464s. The older Greenbergs also do these cars justice.  So they certainly were popular-but with the passing of time and aging of folks who grew up ( and old-like me) with these train cars , the number of true 6464 nuts is quickly decreasing. Therefore I would think that most of the interest in this reverse color Alaskan car is mainly because is is just a great color and would liven up your Alaska RR consist(s). Enjoy !!  turtle7

@BwanaBob posted:

Are 6464's that popular to drive this so quickly to sell-out status?

Looks like METCA has sold out something like 28 different traditional boxcars they've offered (not to mention a bunch of other traditional-sized cars), so it looks like this size car still has plenty of fans, at least for different liveries than those offered before.

Last edited by breezinup

If that being the case, I myself would have numbered it as anything other than a 6464 box car.  Also I'd disagree with the description of the metal guide doors and side rivet detail as "deluxe features."  In the traditional and historical perspective of 6464 boxcars, those details were standard features, not deluxe or optional features.

Just my own opinion of course.

... and that get's to the root of the question; what makes a 6464, a 6464?  There is no one answer, just lots, and I mean LOTS, of opinions, as John shared his.  I've talked to innumerable people about this, and the top 3 answers are:

To be a 6464, it needs full rivet detail and double metal door guides.

or

To be a 6464, it has to have the digits 6464 on it.

or

Only cars issued prior to 1970 are 6464's; not matter what you call a car made after 1970, it's not a 6464.

Everyone should follow their own personal definition when making their own purchasing decisions.  No one should buy something they don't want, regardless of what it's called.

Stu

@Norton posted:

Thats the key here. If METCA and TCA had simply numbered them and referred to them as 9700 cars there would be no complaints. Hard to imagine it costs that much more to produce a true 6464 than its does to make a 9700. It will be interesting to see what trucks come with these cars as well. Likely not the sprung diecast trucks we have seen on previous 6464 remakes.

Pete

I haven't heard any complaints.  I've heard a lot of people sharing their opinions and engaging in educational dialogue.  Also, I'm confused by the comment "Hard to imagine it costs that much more to produce a true 6464 than its does to make a 9700."  I'm not sure of the basis of that comment.  While I'm unaware of what it costs to make either car, I do know what it costs a club to buy either car.  The car with full rivet detail and double metal door guides costs LESS than the Made in USA car with smooth sides and single plastic door guide.

But, there's WAY more to it than what it costs to buy the car; focusing on that one aspect alone is a recipe for failure.  The car with full rivet detail and double metal door guides has a minimum production quantity of 500 units from the factory in China.  The Made in USA car with smooth sides and single plastic door guide has a minimum production quantity of 100 units from the factory.  With anticipated sales of 200 units, there's only one choice to make.

Stu

@BwanaBob posted:

Are 6464's that popular to drive this so quickly to sell-out status?   I snoozed and I lost;  I'm an Alaska RR collector, not a 6464 collector, so I thought I'd have more time.  In the words of the great Homer Simpson,  "D'oh!".

While 6464's are popular, this particular offering had lots of things going for it; in other words, it checked a lot of boxes, such as relating to 6464, appealing to Alaska collectors, desirable to those that collect Made in USA cars, etc.

Stu

@breezinup posted:

Looks like METCA has sold out something like 28 different traditional boxcars they've offered (not to mention a bunch of other traditional-sized cars), so it looks like this size car still has plenty of fans, at least for different liveries than those offered before.

Yes, you are 100% correct, still plenty of fans.  You were probably looking at METCA's past cars page:

click here for past cars

With all those sell outs, I'd say the METCA custom run crew might know what they're doing.

Stu

@Norton posted:

That still doesn't explain why on the TCA site the cars or at least one WP car is offered as a 6464 and the other as a prototype made in 1954, long before 9700 cars came along.

Pete

What doesn't explain it; not sure what you're referring to?  Those cars are inspired by the graphics from cars from the 1950's, not inspired by 9700 cars.  One of those cars replicates the 1954 numbered prototype and the other car is a reverse color 6464-100. 

Stu

... and that get's to the root of the question; what makes a 6464, a 6464?  There is no one answer, just lots, and I mean LOTS, of opinions, as John shared his.  I've talked to innumerable people about this, and the top 3 answers are:

To be a 6464, it needs full rivet detail and double metal door guides.

or

To be a 6464, it has to have the digits 6464 on it.

or

Only cars issued prior to 1970 are 6464's; not matter what you call a car made after 1970, it's not a 6464.

Everyone should follow their own personal definition when making their own purchasing decisions.  No one should buy something they don't want, regardless of what it's called.

Stu

I think the first two definitely nails precisely what is collectively considered a visual (key word:  visual) hallmark of a 6464 boxcar.

If going with the 3rd opinion, you can also consider those may also say Lionel after 1969 is not Lionel, but I would have some doubt that you'd give that mindset even a minute of consideration compared to the other two.  Omitting the key mold details is tantamount to playing much faster and looser with the 6464 number designation, I think.  That's why I would have just assigned them a different number if faced with going with the 9700 series level of detail.

Glad you guys sold out, Stu, but labeling those as 6464 boxcars with those key visual cues in the molds omitted makes it anything but.

Again, just MHO.

@Norton posted:

Seriously Stu? You are now president of TCA, correct? 6464 and 9700 describe a style of rolling stock. The graphics have nothing to do with it. MTH, Williams, Atlas Industrial Rail, and K-Line have all produced traditional size Western Pacific Feather cars and none of them call them 6464.

Pete

No, I'm not president of TCA; I'm President-elect.  Jim Potts is now president of TCA.

Since the graphics have nothing to do with it, and it's just the style of rolling stock (box car with full rivet detail and double metal door guides), then we'll have to add the below Strasburg boxcar to the list of 6464's, and lots of others.

Stu



Last edited by NOT LionelLLC

I think the first two definitely nails precisely what is collectively considered a visual (key word:  visual) hallmark of a 6464 boxcar.

If going with the 3rd opinion, you can also consider those may also say Lionel after 1969 is not Lionel, but I would have some doubt that you'd give that mindset even a minute of consideration compared to the other two.  Omitting the key mold details is tantamount to playing much faster and looser with the 6464 number designation, I think.  That's why I would have just assigned them a different number if faced with going with the 9700 series level of detail.

Glad you guys sold out, Stu, but labeling those as 6464 boxcars with those key visual cues in the molds omitted makes it anything but.

Again, just MHO.

Thanks John.  I enjoy the fair, open, and honest dialogue that you've presented.

Stu

Stu  A great discussion-that's why this forum is so much fun/educational. We are still left with no definite answer as to whether Lionel can / would ( example-do they still have functional dies) produce true 6464 cars again. Clearly neither Lionel nor any clubs have had such cars for the last 2 ( ? more) years-so I had been thinking that the info I received was likely correct. Thoughts?  Thanks, turtle7  PS As far as what constitutes a true 6464-I dont think there is unanimous opinion. Remember that the different Types of PW 6464 body types had different rivet distribution, some 9200 ( and even a few rare 9700s) had metal door guides-and post 1970 modern Lionel clearly did lots of additional /different numbered 6464s like the 6464 197, 291, etc. So I guess we could just talk about the PW 6464s and the modern 6464s..

@turtle7 posted:

Stu  A great discussion-that's why this forum is so much fun/educational. We are still left with no definite answer as to whether Lionel can / would ( example-do they still have functional dies) produce true 6464 cars again. Clearly neither Lionel nor any clubs have had such cars for the last 2 ( ? more) years-so I had been thinking that the info I received was likely correct. Thoughts?  Thanks, turtle7

PS As far as what constitutes a true 6464-I dont think there is unanimous opinion. Remember that the different Types of PW 6464 body types had different rivet distribution, some 9200 ( and even a few rare 9700s) had metal door guides-and post 1970 modern Lionel clearly did lots of additional /different numbered 6464s like the 6464 197, 291, etc. So I guess we could just talk about the PW 6464s and the modern 6464s..

Hey Turtle, some excellent thoughts and questions there.

Buried somewhere in one of my many responses above (one of the earlier ones I think), it says yes, the tooling is available and the body style (with double metal door guides and full rivet detail) can be made at any time; all a club would have to do is ask. 

Regarding the "why haven't we seen this body style used recently", one of my other post mentions this:  "The car with full rivet detail and double metal door guides has a minimum production quantity of 500 units from the factory in China.  The Made in USA car with smooth sides and single plastic door guide has a minimum production quantity of 100 units from the factory.  With anticipated sales of 200 units, there's only one choice to make."  So if the demand was there to meet the supply of 500 units of any given car, I'd use that body style in a heartbeat.  But when the demand is only half of the required minimum run, it doesn't make financial sense to use the detailed car.  The smart business decision is to use the less detailed car where you won't get stuck with hundreds of unsold units.

Regarding your PS, I'm 100% on board with that thinking. 

Stu

@turtle7 posted:

As far as what constitutes a true 6464-I dont think there is unanimous opinion. Remember that the different Types of PW 6464 body types had different rivet distribution, some 9200 ( and even a few rare 9700s) had metal door guides-and post 1970 modern Lionel clearly did lots of additional /different numbered 6464s like the 6464 197, 291, etc. So I guess we could just talk about the PW 6464s and the modern 6464s..

I think that's making the conversation on what visually constitutes a 6464 style of boxcar body more nebulous than it has to be.

I think it's universally agreed at a basic level, what visually defines a 6464 "style" boxcar is the side rivet detail, upper and lower metal door guides, and 6464 numbering.  While there were many different variations on the side rivets where gaps existed, it's well known this was done to accommodate all the various graphics that utilized the stamping technologies of the time where a smooth, continuous surface made the process easier to accomplish.  If the technologies of today were available then, it's pretty obvious that Lionel would have used full rivets down the boxcar sides.

While the early 9200 and a scant handful of 9700 boxcars did have metal door guides, they still had smooth-sided instead of riveted side bodies (with the exception of the 9203 UP boxcar that had a single line of rivets going partway up the boxcar on each side) so again, this doesn't fit the visual styling cues of a traditional 6464 boxcar mold.   MPC eliminated the metal door guides as a cost-cutting measure and the rivets were removed entirely to make applying the graphics easier rather than making all the adjustments to the rivet patterns as PW Lionel did.

So I think what can be defined as a 6464 style boxcar from a normative, body detail perspective is more straightforward than being made out to be and to introduce outliers and non-normative scenarios is unnecessarily muddying the issue.  But to the last point on categorizing 6464 boxcars made in the PW and modern era, no argument there. 

Last edited by John Korling

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