Gentle Forum Members,
I am pleased to announce the twenty-third Lionel Collectible Car designed by the Merry Elves at the Railroad Museum of Long Island! With this car, SKU 20-01260 - planned for arrival in time for the 2020 Holidays, the Museum once again highlights the rich agricultural history of Long Island and its relationship to railroading on the Island.
In the early 1870’s the first Chinese Peking Ducks in America were imported to New York City. From that initial stock, a drake and three ducks were bred in Connecticut and found to be a hearty breed for the New World.
The streams and creeks of Eastern Long Island were ideal for providing clean, fresh water for ducklings to grow and thrive. Thus, in the 1880’s a tremendous enterprise of duck “ranching” began on Long Island. The succulent Long Island Duckling became the height of fine dining on steamships, railroad dining cars and the restaurants of New York City. Our Duckling’s fame and tender meat spread across the country and World-wide - as far away as China!
Railroads built specialized stock cars for the transport of poultry. The cars were similar in design to pig and cow cars but held shelving along the inner perimeter for the placement of cages holding the feathered stock. A small room or shanty was built inside the car and a caretaker would ride with the fowl, caring for them, providing fresh drinking water and feed as they traveled to market.
In the early years of the industry, the Long Island Duckling traveled alive to market in New York City. Eventually, a growing demand and improved technology lead to the harvesting of the ducks right at the ranch, their feathers were saved for down and they were dressed and placed in barrels for shipment to market. Today’s Long Island Duckling is harvested, dressed and flash frozen, packaged and shipped to western markets in modern refrigerator trucks.
This Lionel "Scale O" railcar is reminiscent of the late 19th and early 20th Century type of car that could be used to transport Long Island Ducklings to market in New York City. The road number, #384, is one of two road numbers assigned to Long Island Rail Road stock cars of the era. Imagine yourself, an early “duck rancher,” providing succulent Long Island Ducklings to all the passengers on your layout’s “Broadway Limited” and “20th Century Limited” passenger trains! You need this car on your pike to get your ducklings to market!!
We are now taking orders for the Long Island Duckling Stock Car through Friday, February 24, 2020. We anticipate delivery to your mailbox in time for the 2020 Holiday Season. Please use this link to download an order form, https://rmli.org/toy-trains/collectible-cars/
Thank you for your interest,
Don Fisher, President
Railroad Museum of Long Island