The Three-Digit Orange-Stripe Streamliner Set
The four orange-stripe streamliners with metal name plates were made only in 1956.
#960 Columbus Combination
#961 Jefferson Coach
#962 Hamilton dome car
#963 Washington Observation Car
These cars were sold in the #5670TRH New Haven Clipper set in 1956.  Leftover inventory was sold in 1957 as set #20070.  It is one of my favorite sets. 
Here's the whole train on my layout.
The set was pulled by #4945 twin Alco engine set, also made only in 1956.
It comprised the #494 powered engine and #495 dummy with railsounds and horn.

The set also came with 12 #702 Curved Track, 8 #700 Straight Track,
#706 Remote Control Uncoupler,  #690 Track Terminal, 20 #693 Track Locks,
#4B 100-watt Transformer with plastic case, and #708 Air Chime Whistle Control Unit.
In the transition year of 1957, some of the leftover inventory of these cars were sold in the #20340 New Clipper set, and in the #20940 New Clipper for Export set.  Both were pulled by the #497 New Haven Alco.
The interesting thing about this set is that it was sold in 1957, the year of transition to 5-digit numbers.  The engine and cars are the 3-digit version (as the books say they should be), but they're in 5-digit boxes.  In the early years of 5-digit catalog numbers, cars and engines often came in boxes from unsold inventory with 5-digit numbers stamped on boxes already stamped with the 3-digit number, even though the car inside bore the 3-digit number.  When there was no box in inventory, the 3-digit car or engine was put in a new box stamped with only the 5-digit number.  Notice also that the box numbers are not as you might expect: when a car was packaged for sale in a set, Gilbert gave it a different number than when it was sold separately.
                                              (All three photos courtesy of Neil Bishop.)
But the billboard horn is in a 3-digit box, whereas the books say it should be a 5-digit.  To give the company maximum flexibility, the catalog didn't give a number for anything in the set except the engine, which it listed as #21561, even though the picture in the catalog showed a #497 and some of the engines shipped in the #21560 boxes were #497s.

The #20340 set also included 12 #26720 Curved Track, 4 #26700 Straight Track,  #26752 Remote Control Uncoupler,  #26690 Track Terminal,  and #22020 50-watt Transformer.  The #20940 set included the same, except for a 220V transformer in place of the #22020.
#48943 Madison dining car made by Lionel in 1996.
It was made as an add-on to Lionel's 1995 set of
orange-stripe streamliners,
but it looks great with the original Gilbert set.

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This gallery will continue to grow and become more comprehensive as I collect more cars and as visitors send me pictures of the cars I don't yet have.  If you have a car that you would like to share with the world, email me a picture:  Click here for a list of the pictures I need to complete the Gallery.

The books I am using for reference are listed in the
Bibliography page.  All the writing and all the pictures on this website are, however, my own, except where cited.  No copyrighted materials have been included and all pictures provided by others are used by permission.
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