The Culvert Unloading Station No. 345 was released a year after the No. 342 Culvert Loader and can work in conjunction with this loader by use of a No. 345-10 Connecting Ramp to make a self-contained reciprocating accessory. These two culvert handling accessories would be the last of the self-contained units that Lionel would produce during the Post War Period.
Catalogued from 1957 until 1959, this accessory was difficult to adjust properly. Lionel suggested in their Service Manual using tape placed on the magnet to allow the proper release of the culverts. We recommend using a variable voltage accessory circuit for optimum operation.
This accessory came with a No. 90 Controller that when activated would move one of the seven No. 342-40 Culvert Pipe Sections from the No. 6342 Gondola Car that was included with this set to the ramp. Mounted on this gondola was a BLACK ramp that was designed to carry these culverts. No box was included for this gondola as it was packaged inside the box liner.
The alignment of the drop point over the gondola was set with a counter weight that is inside the upright support. This weight was locked in place by a screw during shipping.
Lionel issued instruction sheet No. 345-78 dated 10-57 printed with BLUE ink on WHITE paper that instructs the customer to loosen this screw and move the counter weight to set the drop point over the gondola car. However, this is sometimes problematic due to the fact that this weight is prone to rust and freeing it up can be difficult.
Also included was a parts envelope No. 345-77 that is illustrated to the right. This envelope contained the above listed instruction sheet in addition to the No. 90 Controller and the connecting wires.