Lionel Postwar 342 Culvert Loader

Help, I just got this loader on EBay without any wiring instructions for the controller/transformer.  I have an LW transformer to run my layout and also have a 1044 transformer I thought might be good to run the culvert loader.?  Appreciate any advice getting this accessory wired up an running.  I’m a novice, learning as I go, so you may need to paint me a picture.  Thanks.  Rod 

Original Post

If this is the original postwar 342 then this should be pretty easy. Run one wire from the "A" terminal of the LW to one terminal on the 342. Run another wire form either the "C" terminal (14 volt) or "B" terminal (18 volt) to one side of a SPDT switch like a Lionel 90 or 364C accessory controller. Lastly run another wire from the other side of the switch to the other pole on the 342. I'd start with the A-C connection and then if that does work well enough try A-B.

Hope this helps,


I use transformer posts that permit me to adjust the voltage.  On mine the unloader needs more voltage than the loader.  Using a variable voltage permits me to adjust the unloader's speed so that it is a tad more realistic instead of flying back and forth.  I also found the wiring diagrams for both loader and unloader on the Lionel site.  I do not remember the url but you will be able to find the pdf image via a bing search.

Thanks Kevin!  Last night, I followed your wiring instructions, but just got alot of noise, no movement.  Today, I stewed most of the day, bummed my new (old) accessory wouldn’t work.  Finally, and reluctantly, I opened it up and noticed the string was off the spool.  Restrung it and unbelievably, it worked!  Thanks again for your clear wiring instructions and wiring diagram photo.  This forum is awesome, you all really know your stuff.


One thing about the post-war accessories is that even we can fix them.  

Dan Padova


"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill


Yep, glad you got it up and running, it's a fun accessory.  You have now made the acquaintance of the bane of my childhood, the "Vibromotor".  I fought with that thing with a couple of my accessories in my younger years but now that I've learned how it works, I've become rather fond of it.  As people have pointed out, the great thing about Lionel Postwar is that it is pretty basic, though creative, mechanics and electronics so most folks can tinker with them.  There is a wealth of knowledge here, like a popular commercial says, "We know a thing or two, because we've seen a thing or two" :-). 

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