I recently purchased a Lionel Prewar/Postwar #45N gateman. I was not aware that it was designed to operate via a track clip and the weight of the train would activate it. The original instructions dictate it should not be operate at more than 12 volts. This is not going to happen in today's command control world. 


Has anyone wired up one of these to work with a push button and accessory transformer? If so, can you share a wiring diagram? Thanks. 

Original Post

I use an IR sensor to trigger 2 gatemen to pop out of their little shacks. Lionel's disguised IR sensor comes with a manual that explains how to hook the gateman up.

Slightly off-topic question, but why was the gateman made so large? I remember seeing an S-scale gateman that looked about the right size for an O-scale layout. Not sure if it was also a Lionel, but it looked cool.

~ Ameen

I'm more familiar with the 145, but I would think it had similar hookups.  I got tired of fiddling with the pressure plates, so I went to using an insulated rail which basically works as completing the "common" side of the circuit.  I also ran the power feed to a separate output to be able to adjust the voltage so the guy doesn't look like he's flying out the door when activated.  It actually makes wiring different accessories much easier when I started using the track as the "common".  As long as you sequence them (you have to figure out which way to plug them in) you can use multiple transformers all with the same common.

Here's a previous thread with some basic diagrams.


To answer the question about the guy being so big, I recall reading somewhere that it was developed prewar to be used with both standard gauge and O gauge, and it just carried over into Postwar with the 145.  Similar reasoning behing large crossing gates and signals, etc.

Edit: Looking online I see a pic of only two hookup posts on the 45N.  That makes it even easier as the extra wire on the 145 is just to keep the light on constantly.

On my PW-style layout I use insulated rail sections to activate all of my trackside accessories (some with relays; others just "straight" wiring). They all work and perform flawlessly.

After all these years, insulated track sections still do the job.

Those pressure plates all got the heave-ho many years ago. 


I have mine hooked up with a Lionel No 90 push button controller, just so the grandkids and activate to their hearts content. There are just two terminals so you can wire to any constant voltage terminal from your transformer thru the switch to the gateman and the other gateman terminal to the other transformer post.   Hope this helps.




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