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@Tony Y posted:

Hi,

I am looking t purchasing a Lionel 342 culvert loader and a 346 manual unloader. I know the 342 loader and 345 unloader work together with a bridge connecting them. Is that also the case with the 342 and 346? I don't want to get a set that are not compatible.

Yes, they are compatible. I have the 342 & 346 with the ramp bridging the loader and unloader (see attached pictures).

Bill

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Last edited by Training Wheels
@Ted S posted:

For someone that always wanted one of these, but never really looked into it... what's the difference between a 345 and a 346?

The 346 was produced for Sears in 1964-65 and is manually operated (note the hand crank in the pictures I posted). There was also a manually operated model 348. The 345 is fully electric.

https://www.tandem-associates....l_trains_345_acc.htm

http://www.tandem-associates.c...l_trains_346_acc.htm

https://www.tandem-associates....l_trains_348_acc.htm

Bill

Hi highly suspect there is/was a difference between the 2. It may be lost to history. Otherwise why would Lionel bother to re-number

The 346 accessory is uncataloged and was offered to the mail order and department store trade in their economically priced sets. It is known to have been included in one Sears set in 1964 and two Sears sets in 1965.

The 348 was available as a separate sale item from 1966 until the end of the Post War period in 1969.

Maybe the different merchandising paths necessitated the two separate model numbers even though they were identical units.

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