It is great to see all of the layouts where operating accessories rule.  A reference to my other thread, Do You Have An Operating Accessory Based Layout.  Now that we have stirred interest in operating accessories, once again, I'd like to get opinions on the operating accessories themselves.

Lionel's post-war releases vs anything that was re-released in the modern eras.  If an item was re-released and re-released again with different mechanical innards, I would like to hear the pros and cons of each.

Last edited by Dan Padova
Original Post

Good topic!

I'll lead of with a few simple words on the culvert loader/unloader.

New Pros: Looks nicer (condition) than a used PW piece.  Nice they they added the infra red eye to line up the cars. 

New Cons: Being DC motors, they are heavily reliant on the electronics for the "brains" that tell the motors when to reverse, engage (for unloader string), etc.  Also, the motors are entirely contained up on the beam, so the actual part moving back and forth is MUCH larger than the PW versions, particularly for the unloader.

There is probably more to say than that on those 2, but I figured I'd start the thread off with a reply.

Also a thought on 445 switch towers:  the original PW (and MPC remake, along with burning switch tower from 1992-ish) used a string on a pivoting arm to link the motion of the man on the balcony and the man on the stairs.  Action was : solenoid activated, man upstairs goes inside (starts outside until activated), man on stairs descends (illusion that it's the same man).  More recent ones that replaced the string with a geared mechanism (the 6-12917 from 1996 and all the burning variants since then), I am pretty sure all start with the balcony man inside, and the stair man at the top.  So when activated, both men come out.  (there is also an opening door, which on the string linked ones, I believe is just an opening, no hinged door).

445 new (1996 +) Pros: No string to get hung up or saw through the hole in the wall that it would travel through.

445 new (1996+) Cons: kills off the illusion that it is the same man on the balcony going inside and then descending the stairs.

(I could probably go on a tangent with differences in the original burning switch tower and the more recent remakes, but I'll hold off on that. .  Since the burning one didn't exist in PW., it might be a bit outside the intent of your topic.)

Also, just my opinion, but I'd recommend changing the thread title to something like "Accessories - Comparisons of PW vs. Modern Remakes".  The current title could mean a lot of different things.

-Dave

Last edited by Dave45681

Dan, good topic. I think this one could go many pages.

In my layout rebuild 80% done, I have set up the PW merchandise car, milk car, generator car, cattle car, and coaling station. Just found out my crane cannot be completely repaired without getting parts that are no longer available from Lionel, so I've got to scrounge. The crane and coaling stations were my favorite of my grandfather's when I was a kid, so I bought a TMCC 1.0 gantry crane from the LHS that gave me the bad news on my PW crane. Summary - gotta have a crane.

I also have a PW gateman and 3 semaphores triggered by insulated tracks. At the advice of another here on the forum, I'm going to change the gateman to be triggered manually by a push-button switch.

I also have the PW operating freight station.

Running out of space, but looking forward to reading what others have to say.  I'm not planning any scenery, just track, trains, and accessories, and if I can add one or two, I'll do it.

 

Dave45681 posted:

Good topic!

I'll lead of with a few simple words on the culvert loader/unloader.

New Pros: Looks nicer (condition) than a used PW piece.  Nice they they added the infra red eye to line up the cars. 

New Cons: Being DC motors, they are heavily reliant on the electronics for the "brains" that tell the motors when to reverse, engage (for unloader string), etc.  Also, the motors are entirely contained up on the beam, so the actual part moving back and forth is MUCH larger than the PW versions, particularly for the unloader.

There is probably more to say than that on those 2, but I figured I'd start the thread off with a reply.

Also a thought on 445 switch towers:  the original PW (and MPC remake, along with burning switch tower from 1992-ish) used a string on a pivoting arm to link the motion of the man on the balcony and the man on the stairs.  Action was : solenoid activated, man upstairs goes inside (starts outside until activated), man on stairs descends (illusion that it's the same man).  More recent ones that replaced the string with a geared mechanism (the 6-12917 from 1996 and all the burning variants since then), I am pretty sure all start with the balcony man inside, and the stair man at the top.  So when activated, both men come out.  (there is also an opening door, which on the string linked ones, I believe is just an opening, no hinged door).

445 new (1996 +) Pros: No string to get hung up or saw through the hole in the wall that it would travel through.

445 new (1996+) Cons: kills off the illusion that it is the same man on the balcony going inside and then descending the stairs.

(I could probably go on a tangent with differences in the original burning switch tower and the more recent remakes, but I'll hold off on that. .  Since the burning one didn't exist in PW., it might be a bit outside the intent of your topic.)

Also, just my opinion, but I'd recommend changing the thread title to something like "Accessories - Comparisons of PW vs. Modern Remakes".  The current title could mean a lot of different things.

-Dave

Done.  Good advise, Dave.  I'm going to remove the culvert pair, from the layout and tweak them, Again !   Way back in 1999, when I made a failed attempt to return to "O" gauge, I purchased the modern versions of the culvert loader and unloader.  

No matter what I did, I could not get them to work properly.  Most of the issues had to do with the culvert pipes not releasing from the magnet in the correct position when they passed through the swinging doors.  Speaking of which, why did Lionel decide to change that aspect.  The culvert didn't travel far enough for the swinging doors to catch the back end of it.

Another issue was the overhead rail on the culvert loader.  The culvert would not drop into the gondola properly.  And the hooked arm wouldn't grab the culvert.  The instruction manual said to bend the overhead rail supports, that carry the hook.  Again, no matter what I did, I could not get the loader to work as it was supposed to.

I ended up selling both.  The buyer had no complaints.  

 

I have one of the modern versions of the Burning Switch Tower.  It operates flawlessly.  My grandchildren love it. 

 

Last edited by Dan Padova
raising4daughters posted:

Dan, good topic. I think this one could go many pages.

In my layout rebuild 80% done, I have set up the PW merchandise car, milk car, generator car, cattle car, and coaling station. Just found out my crane cannot be completely repaired without getting parts that are no longer available from Lionel, so I've got to scrounge. The crane and coaling stations were my favorite of my grandfather's when I was a kid, so I bought a TMCC 1.0 gantry crane from the LHS that gave me the bad news on my PW crane. Summary - gotta have a crane.

I also have a PW gateman and 3 semaphores triggered by insulated tracks. At the advice of another here on the forum, I'm going to change the gateman to be triggered manually by a push-button switch.

I also have the PW operating freight station.

Running out of space, but looking forward to reading what others have to say.  I'm not planning any scenery, just track, trains, and accessories, and if I can add one or two, I'll do it.

 

I have a 282 post-war Gantry Crane that someone reworked the controller on.  While the reworked controller is easy to work, the crane is one noisy sob.  

On the subject of the Gateman, I was lucky enough to find the K-Line version.  It's to scale and operates great.  

What about the Icing Stations ?  There is the post-war version that uses a solenoid.  Then one of the modern versions uses a can motor.  My post-war Icing Station work well enough, most of the time.  Does the can motored version have any advantage over the older model ?

Advantage: Can motor. It will operate at a somewhat slower speed than the fast acting solenoid postwar version. There was a problem with the first runs had the gearbox not quite aligned correctly and the man would not extend far enough. That was easily solved with a small rat tail round file.

Dan Padova posted:

What about the Icing Stations ?  There is the post-war version that uses a solenoid.  Then one of the modern versions uses a can motor.  My post-war Icing Station work well enough, most of the time.  Does the can motored version have any advantage over the older model ?

Dan,

I had on original 352, bought the 80s when I fulfilled a wish from childhood....worked fine.....that little guy could shoot a block of ice half way across the county.....however, in am effort to reduce the noise, I traded up to a quieter can-motor version.

My original 415 Diesel Fueling Station......loud as can be....but since it was bought when I was 10 (1963)  with money I had earned, I'll keep it!

Peter

Last edited by Putnam Division
Putnam Division posted:
Dan Padova posted:

What about the Icing Stations ?  There is the post-war version that uses a solenoid.  Then one of the modern versions uses a can motor.  My post-war Icing Station work well enough, most of the time.  Does the can motored version have any advantage over the older model ?

Dan,

I had on original 352, bought the 80s when I fulfilled a wish from childhood....worked fine.....that little guy could shoot a block of ice half way across the county.....however, in am effort to reduce the noise, I traded up to a quieter can-motor version.

My original 415 Diesel Fueling Station......loud as can be....but since it was bought when I was 10 (1963)  with money I had earned, I'll keep it!

Peter

Which, of the modern versions is can motor driven.  There's a #12847 on the bay at the moment.

As has been stated this is a great topic.  I have some accessories from both the pre-war and post-war era as well as several of the modern era accessories.  I will differentiate as I progress:

Lionel Operating gateman:  All versions, pre-war, post-war and modern era work flawlessly.  Of course they all have the same operating solenoid mechanism.

Lionel Magnetic Gantry Cranes:  I have a post-war 182 Magnetic Operating Crane which works perfectly despite the fact its 73 years old.  It is noisy but I think it adds to its charm, I love it.  I have a modern era 165 Magnetic Crane and a modern era 282 Operating portal Gantry crane powered  by can motors.   The up/down hoist on both of the cranes are inoperable.  The motors on the 165 both work but regardless of how hard I try I can't get this doggone thing  to raise and lower its hoist.  The up/down motor on the 282 went dead last year and Lionel does not stock a replacement.  Both are less than 10 years old.

I only possess the modern era Culvert Unloader/Loader non TMCC version with the can motors.   Each are at least 10 years old or older and both work satisfactorily.  I've got my fingers crossed here. 

I only possess the modern era Ice delivery accessory with a can motor and although its about 20 years old it still works well.

I only possess the modern era oil drum loader with the can motor and it is my smoothest running accessory.

I possess an MPC era operating sawmill which is powered by the old Lionel Vibrating motor.  Noisy as the dickens but aren't sawmills supposed to be.  45 years old and still runs great.

MPC era operating freight station also noisy with the vibrating motor  but after 45 years the freight men are still functioning. 

I guess a person could pick and choose here but  my biggest disappointments here are the modern era magnetic cranes.  They have great play value but in their present state they are worthless.  I have heard similar sentiments from several other owners of these accessories.  The old reliable post-war 182 still keeps on hoisting and revolving away. 

 

 

 

Last edited by OKHIKER

My present layout is mostly "hi-rail" so I don't have traditional operating accessories anymore. When I did have them, the re-released American Flyer oil drum loader was my quietest and most reliable accessory. 

The one development that was really worrisome to me was the omni-present usage of engineering plastic gears that invariably crack over time and render the accessory unusable unless you can find a suitable replacement gear from Northwest Shortline  or equivalent supplier. Lionel needs to go back to all metal gearing and make the new ones last like Postwar ones.....

I think the main difference is smoothness, no noise, and slower speeds which make them more realistic.

The Culvert Loader/Unloader work perfectly. Smooth, not too fast in movement, quiet.

Icing station works so smooth and slower, so it looks more realistic when the guy is pushing in the blocks.

Sawmill not only runs smoother but has actual sawmill sounds now.

Oil Drum loader smooth as butter.

The only PW accessories, not redone with a can motor, that I have, is the barrel loader and barrel car which are so noisy.

I DO NOT like the noise of the vibrator mechanism or solenoids.  Plus there is basically no maintenance, no constant adjusting, etc.  with the modern updates.  If someone comes over to see the trains, they just always work.

 

Sean

Last edited by SandJam

I've got mostly original PW and have been lucky in that most of them still work well.

Yeah, the barrel loader, to name one, can be noisy but I spent a lot of time with mine fine tuning it and it works perfectly. 

Glad the sawmill was mentioned. Mine functions OK but I think I'd like a remake with the mill sounds.

Btw, how about the 397 coal loader? Now there's a noise maker!  The funny thing is I've read a couple of reviews of the remakes with can motor and they seem to have the usual problems.

IMG_20190106_195312190

TCA, LCCA

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Last edited by johnstrains

410 billboard blinker vs, 2307 MPC remake. Advantage: postwar 410. The original version uses the bi-metallic strip to cause the blinking effect.  All the reissues use a blinker bulb. To blink the voltage needs to be high enough for the internal flasher in the bulb to work, making it too bright, and it doesn't blink steadily, sometimes flickering and the effect is irritating and harsh. The 410 flashing is more steady and softer.  

Last edited by Chuck Sartor

Speaking of tuning post-war accessories.  Most of the time, it is difficult to tune them while they are on the layout.  To really do the job comfortably, I remove them to my workbench.  However, I have noticed that while they may work perfectly on the bench, once they are back on the layout operation is less than perfect.

Case in point.  I just removed my 345 Culvert Unloader and placed it on the bench.  After removing the superstructure I moved the gear by hand.  On the layout under power, the magnetic hoist did not move all the way up into it's cradle, so the culvert would hit the ramp and drop off too soon.  Moving the gear by hand the magnetic hoist raises all the way.....?

Chuck Sartor posted:

410 billboard blinker vs, 2307 MPC remake. Advantage: postwar 410. The original version uses the bi-metallic strip to cause the blinking effect.  All the reissues use a blinker bulb. To blink the voltage needs to be high enough for the internal flasher in the bulb to work, making it too bright, and it doesn't blink steadily, sometimes flickering and the effect is irritating and harsh. The 410 flashing is more steady and softer.  

I noticed this not all that long ago when I bought the LTI reissue version of the 410 that advertised the Lionel Visitors Center. Most of my accessories I have are LTI reissues, so I do have some experience in them as well as some postwar originals.

I have operated an original 282 gantry crane (on a friend's layout) and the first modern era reissue by LTI (the 12700 Erie Lackawanna painted version, which I own). The DC motors that replaced the AC one in the original work far more reliably and quietly, but aren't quite as strong. The same could be said about the magnet, but it still works great picking up things like scrap rails and culverts. A note to keep in mind about the earlier reissues of the magnetic crane like the 12700 is that the lever to turn the magnet on was designed in a way that you had to hold it in the on position until you were ready to turn it off. Likely this was done to avoid magnets burning out on postwar versions.

The same could be said about the 352 ice depot. The solenoid in the original acted like a jackrabbit, whereas the 1988 onward reissues use a DC can motor that moves them in slowly and gently, and works much better IMO. Though the paddle might need to be shaved a bit depending if it doesn't move back enough to push in the next cube.

The 352 barrel loaders, both original and LLC reissue, mostly work the same. Both are mostly trouble free as long as the voltages are right.

Thomas

Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters

TCA Member11-66911

LCCA 30247

ERR Upgrades and Custom Artwork

Last edited by Mikado 4501
Dan Padova posted:

Speaking of tuning post-war accessories.  Most of the time, it is difficult to tune them while they are on the layout.  To really do the job comfortably, I remove them to my workbench.  However, I have noticed that while they may work perfectly on the bench, once they are back on the layout operation is less than perfect.

Case in point.  I just removed my 345 Culvert Unloader and placed it on the bench.  After removing the superstructure I moved the gear by hand.  On the layout under power, the magnetic hoist did not move all the way up into it's cradle, so the culvert would hit the ramp and drop off too soon.  Moving the gear by hand the magnetic hoist raises all the way.....?

39DF9235-506F-48F2-A41A-999652F69E36See that notch carved out on the edge of the platform...

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GregR posted:
Dan Padova posted:

Speaking of tuning post-war accessories.  Most of the time, it is difficult to tune them while they are on the layout.  To really do the job comfortably, I remove them to my workbench.  However, I have noticed that while they may work perfectly on the bench, once they are back on the layout operation is less than perfect.

Case in point.  I just removed my 345 Culvert Unloader and placed it on the bench.  After removing the superstructure I moved the gear by hand.  On the layout under power, the magnetic hoist did not move all the way up into it's cradle, so the culvert would hit the ramp and drop off too soon.  Moving the gear by hand the magnetic hoist raises all the way.....?

39DF9235-506F-48F2-A41A-999652F69E36See that notch carved out on the edge of the platform...

I was thinking of doing that as a last resort.  So after I tweaked the unloader on the work bench, I placed it back on the layout and put a torpedo level on the top beam, that the carriage runs on.  I noticed that the unloader was not level.  My layout has a slight slope in that area.  So I shimmed the front up and now it works perfectly again.   Same goes for the loader.

Last edited by Dan Padova

On the issue of the 362 barrel ramp loader.  There are suggestions in the K-Line book, Repair Manual For Lionel Trains, about adjusting the gap between the electro-magnet and the metal piece that is attached to the ramp.  I've been trying to adjust the gap with limited results.  The barrels either just about move or bounce off the ramp, depending on the voltage supplied.  

 

Dan Padova posted:

On the issue of the 362 barrel ramp loader.  There are suggestions in the K-Line book, Repair Manual For Lionel Trains, about adjusting the gap between the electro-magnet and the metal piece that is attached to the ramp.  I've been trying to adjust the gap with limited results.  The barrels either just about move or bounce off the ramp, depending on the voltage supplied.  

 

I had the same issue.  I just kept trying to adjust the gap.  It turned out that is only half of the solution.  I noticed the plate that hangs down from the ramp, that is in front of the magnet, was not centered on the magnet.  The ramp can twist a little.  Once I centered it on the magnet, barrels went right up the ramp!  So it is not just the gap.

 

Sean

Dan,

Here's a suggestion or two on on the 362 loader. These will drive you nuts but I have mine working perfectly without any tinkering with that pesky air gap.

1) All about the voltage. This is probably obvious but best to have this on a variable output where you can fine tune. The line between good operation and flinging barrels around isn't much.

2) This is the main thing I did that really helps. I took 4 screws and put them in the holes in the base. Screw them into your layout surface until they "grab" and then start the fine tuning, What I found was that by backing off the screws (or tightening down) you could find the sweet spot where the loader works well. It takes a little trial and error but eventually you'll hit the mark.

These two things have given me a 362 barrel loader that performs pretty much flawlessly.

TCA, LCCA

Last edited by johnstrains

My L-shaped home layout is filled with Lionel, MTH, and K-line operating accessories.  Since my track plan is rather simple, the action accessories - not the trains - become "the stars of the show" to visitors, especially to youngsters who are eager to press every control button and watch what happens.

After twice replacing the PCB inside a used, modern Lionel Culvert Unloader (the conventional one with the sensor beam), I still couldn't get it to work.  Perhaps that was why its former owner loader sold this "problem child." A repair at an Authorized Service Center would probably cost more than I invested in it, but I didn't have the heart to throw it away. So I offered it for sale through eBay with a grimly accurate description of its condition and a very low asking price. I hoped that another hobbyist with "better-than-mine" repair skills would be able to resurrect it from the dead.

Then I bought a new replacement unit which worked perfectly out of the box! Curiously, the companion accessory (Culvert Loader) always worked perfectly. IMHO, this duo accessory is one of the best products ever made by Lionel. Although my layout is wired with TMCC and I run TMCC-equipped and LionChief locos, I haven't ventured into Command Control accessories because my two young great-grandsons like to push all the #90 control buttons.

I'm now struggling and tweaking the operation of a used Lionel/AF Oil Drum Loader accessory.  Its moving forklift won't consistently "catch" an oil barrel dropped onto it. I believe the problem is related to the arc pathway of the forklift, which doesn't move far enough forward to press the metal dump tray toward a near-vertical position and let an oil barrel fall onto the forklift. I'm toying with making modifications to the angle of the leading edge of metal dump tray; so far, without success.  Maybe the solution is buy a brand new one.

Mike Mottler
mottlerm@gmail.com

 

 

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Mike H Mottler posted:

My L-shaped home layout is filled with Lionel, MTH, and K-line operating accessories.  Since my track plan is rather simple, the action accessories - not the trains - become "the stars of the show" to visitors, especially to youngsters who are eager to press every control button and watch what happens.

After twice replacing the PCB inside a used, modern Lionel Culvert Unloader (the conventional one with the sensor beam), I still couldn't get it to work.  Perhaps that was why its former owner loader sold this "problem child." A repair at an Authorized Service Center would probably cost more than I invested in it, but I didn't have the heart to throw it away. So I offered it for sale through eBay with a grimly accurate description of its condition and a very low asking price. I hoped that another hobbyist with "better-than-mine" repair skills would be able to resurrect it from the dead.

Then I bought a new replacement unit which worked perfectly out of the box! Curiously, the companion accessory (Culvert Loader) always worked perfectly. IMHO, this duo accessory is one of the best products ever made by Lionel. Although my layout is wired with TMCC and I run TMCC-equipped and LionChief locos, I haven't ventured into Command Control accessories because my two young great-grandsons like to push all the #90 control buttons.

I'm now struggling and tweaking the operation of a used Lionel/AF Oil Drum Loader accessory.  Its moving forklift won't consistently "catch" an oil barrel dropped onto it. I believe the problem is related to the arc pathway of the forklift, which doesn't move far enough forward to press the metal dump tray toward a near-vertical position and let an oil barrel fall onto the forklift. I'm toying with making modifications to the angle of the leading edge of metal dump tray; so far, without success.  Maybe the solution is buy a brand new one.

Mike Mottler
mottlerm@gmail.com

 

 

Mike, I believe someone on these forums had some suggestions for the Oil Drum Loader.  If I recall, bending the two outstrectched arms on the forklift was part of the solution.  Then he talked about removing the foam pad on the forklift cradle.  Also, the cradle itself needed some bending to keep the drums from falling forward as the forklift picked them up.  

My Oil Drum Loader has been giving me a bit of trouble also.  In the early '80s, I had a re-release of the original AF accessory and it worked flawlessly.   

I am looking to add my last accessory which would be a American Flyer 785 Coal Loader. How does the Original AF Postwar version compare with the MTH reissue?

thanks,

Kevin

The reissue is OK, but it runs too slow. Portline Hobbies has a regear kit available for it. The solenoid for the clam shell bucket tends to operate hot.

I have lots of Lionel PW operating accessories, and yes, they need constant attention. Still fun to operate, especially for grandkids, even if noisy. 

As to reissues, there is one that I purchased, the Bascule Bridge 6-12948, to replace my original 313.  Did my best to keep the original running, but when the brush plate cracked, I decided it was time to go.  The motor mechanism on the newer unit is far superior. More reliable and not as noisy.  Looks nearly identical.  Only wish there were some coverings on the windows of the attached shed. I'll add some of my own. 

Michael

We have modern repro's of the most popular operating accessories. Haven't had any real issue with any of them from a reliability standpoint.

The icing platform's use of a can motor makes it far superior to the postwar version.

The can motors on the gantry crane, forklift platform, switch tower and coaling station also provide a much smoother, quieter experience.

The culvert duo are now also quiet but they seem to loose some of their charm without the noise and the new overhead sled assemblies differ enough from the originals to bother me a bit.

Most of the other repros still utilize the original's approach for movement - Barrel ramp, log ramp, saw mill, gateman, freight station).

 

graz posted:

We have modern repro's of the most popular operating accessories. Haven't had any real issue with any of them from a reliability standpoint.

The icing platform's use of a can motor makes it far superior to the postwar version.

The can motors on the gantry crane, forklift platform, switch tower and coaling station also provide a much smoother, quieter experience.

The culvert duo are now also quiet but they seem to loose some of their charm without the noise and the new overhead sled assemblies differ enough from the originals to bother me a bit.

Most of the other repros still utilize the original's approach for movement - Barrel ramp, log ramp, saw mill, gateman, freight station).

 

I'm not sure why Lionel couldn't have placed the motor inside the shed of the loader and in the base of the unloader.  I think it would have enhanced the look and operation of the dynamic duo.  

What should I look for when considering one of the newer versions of the 313 Bascule Bridge ?   Particularly if it being sold as used.  

Another factor to consider is that solenoids (and maybe vibrotors) can generate spikes that may make modern electronics unhappy.

I had DZ-2500 switch machines near some accessories regularly die until I added some TVS and RC filter protection.

Dan,

Pleased to address your question, but a bit difficult as I am thousands of miles from home at a hurricane relief center in NC. Will not return until Sunday. 

I actually purchased the unit on an online auction and got a fantastic winning bid. The item was brand new and in the box, so I can not comment on a used item, so these are just suggestions:

  • Be sure the item includes original box and packaging. It is rather large and subject to damage in shipping. 
  • Be sure it operates without flaws, motion and light.  It appears far more durable than the original issue from decades ago, so hopefully this should not be an issue.
  • Be sure it comes with all parts, including switch and mounting bracket. BTW, I did not use the bracket as I think this defeats the purpose of an open span when the bridge is in the open position. 

That's all I can think of without having the unit in front of me.

Hope this helps,

Michael

Michael Pags posted:

Dan,

Pleased to address your question, but a bit difficult as I am thousands of miles from home at a hurricane relief center in NC. Will not return until Sunday. 

I actually purchased the unit on an online auction and got a fantastic winning bid. The item was brand new and in the box, so I can not comment on a used item, so these are just suggestions:

  • Be sure the item includes original box and packaging. It is rather large and subject to damage in shipping. 
  • Be sure it operates without flaws, motion and light.  It appears far more durable than the original issue from decades ago, so hopefully this should not be an issue.
  • Be sure it comes with all parts, including switch and mounting bracket. BTW, I did not use the bracket as I think this defeats the purpose of an open span when the bridge is in the open position. 

That's all I can think of without having the unit in front of me.

Hope this helps,

Michael

Thanks Mike.  Great points.  

I came across this thread tonight while searching on here for something else.  A perfect example is what I did for a couple of hours today... practically rebuilding a brand new Lionel 6-81063 gateman.  I figured I'd buy one to give my Postwar 145 a rest up on the shelf.   This is the first time I've bought a modern era accessory in a loooong time.  What a mistake. 

First of all, the light bulb would not light in the shanty.  It was a tiny screw in bulb... I couldn't get my fingers in to tighten it.  I figured it had to go because the vibration from the solenoid is going to loosen it over time; so I got out the Dremel and cut the whole darn socket out and installed an old school bayonet socket and bulb.  I used a small screw to hold it on so I can take it out for when I need to replace the bulb. Problem solved.  Supposedly Lionel has changed this to an LED lamp in the latest runs (but beware if you are ordering one off the internets sight unseen in the middle of the night like I did).... both have the same model number.  So it might be a crapshoot on which one will show up on your doorstep.

Old socket & bulb:

Original bulb

New socket:

Socket

New bulb & socket:

Bayonet

 

Next, the darn thing's door wouldn't close... too much play in the large metal gear segment, letting it get hung up.  Added a small washer & 3-in-1 oil on the pivot point, adjusted the spring so there's more tension.  Problem solved.

Washer:

Washer

Spring adjustment:

Spring

 After that, all was working awesome!  Buuuuuut...  I noticed the figure's arm wasn't swinging when he'd pop out of the door..  What in the heck?  Lazy gateman!  It looks like it was missing the pin in his shoulder and his arm was glued on... Are they gluing them on at the factory now?  I ended up doing emergency surgery. Dismembered his arm and drilled a tiny hole in his shoulder (his arm already had a hole) then shoved a tiny brad into the hole to hold it on loosely.  Got some touch up paint out to cover up the brad.  Bingo!  Waving away now.

Arm

 

Hmmmm.... today I was going to do some grease & lube maintenance on some engines of mine, I guess that plan got shot out the window. I should've just bought another Postwar 145.

  

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Last edited by Matt Kramer
johnstrains posted:

I've got mostly original PW and have been lucky in that most of them still work well.

 

IMG_20190106_195312190

Great looking post war accessory layout. Looks factory built. 

Gerry

Last edited by G-Man24

While not the basis, a 282 PW Portal Gantry Crane is an integral part of Operation on the hi-rail Plywood Empire Route. Manufactured before I had permanent teeth it still functions beautifully and yes, it is noisy but so am I. 

         IMG_0258

Under that familiar looking "winch shed" (right foreground) is something that has added a whole dimension to crane operation:

                      IMG_0175

The [modified] guts of a second 282! The Gantry Crane now has traverse movement:

Lew

 

All photos are mine unless specifically noted otherwise.

 

Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.

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IMG_0379

I have a few of the items already mentioned above and one that I don't think was talked about which is the Lionel 128 Newsstand. I had the Postwar version  in 1966 and was generally happy with it except for its noisy operation because of the vibromotor. I currently have the most recent version with the can motor. The modern version looks identical to the original from my perspective and I love the smooth, quiet operation compared to the original. The two things I did not like were the modern mini circuit board inside which failed after a few years and the constant speed operation. I preferred the variable speed of the original. Anyway I got rid of the burned out circuit board and replaced it with a bridge rectifier. The newsstand works great now and now I can vary the speed according to the voltage supplied. This is one case where a failure made things better for me.

Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord, whose hope is in Him. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters and never fails to bear fruit.                                                                                      Jeremiah 17 : 7-8

                                                                                         

                                                                           

                                     

The new ones operate smoother and quieter, however their plastic gears and gearbox's seem to fail much more often than the postwar. 

 

Both postwar & modern... Postwar 282 with modern UP cab.  The original black cab was just too beat up & the UP cab adds some nice color to it.  I might look for a gray boom to replace the black one.

Crane

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