Lionel Electric Trains Identification Guide Sub-Title
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This Identification Guide for Lionel Electric Trains covers the "Post-war Era" only from 1945 until 1969.

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Lionel Trains Switch Tower No. 445 LIONEL TRAINS SWITCH TOWER No. 445

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Lionel Trains Switch Tower No. 445
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No. 445 Box End
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Inside Top View showing the electronic coil
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Lionel Trains Switch Tower No. 445The Switch Tower No. 445 is similar in operation to the No. 45N and the No. 145. Although it was not as big a seller as these Gateman accessories, it was none the less just as exciting to watch in action. Its lower sales figures can probably be attributed to the fact that the men that moved were always visible unlike the gateman who "popped" out of concealment.
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There are a couple of problems that are associated with this switch tower. First has to do with the connecting cable to the man that runs down the stairs. After considerable usage the cable wears a grove in the plastic wall which causes the man to become sluggish in movement. This can be solved by installing a No. 259E-18 Eyelet in the wall. Not many parts dealers carry this part, but a No. SE-54 Brass Eyelet 5/32" x 1/8" can be substituted.

Parts Envelope No. 445-56

The second problem concerns the length of the plunger that fits into the coil. Early versions of the switch tower have a plunger that is about 13/16" long and would not go into the coil far enough. If used continuously this would cause the coil to overheat causing damage to the roof as is illustrated below to the right. These early plungers were nickel plated and should be replaced by later issues that are close to 3/32" longer and are brass in color.
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The switch tower was available from 1952 until 1957, although production didn't start until 1953. The 1952 catalog shows a prototype example that differed from the actual production.
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There was only one instruction sheet, No. 445-55 that was issued and it is dated 1-53. It was printed with BLACK ink on WHITE paper. This sheet shows the normal way of activation was with a No. 145C Track Contactor, but it also shows how to connect the tower to O22 Switches. The pages of this instruction sheet are shown below: Front and Back. Parts envelope No. 445-56 included the No. 145C Contactor, connecting wires, and the instruction sheet. A picture of this envelope is shown above.
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An identical Switch Tower was produced in 1984-87 by MPC (No. 2324), so collectors should check the bottom of this tower to see if it has the following inscription: "PART No. 445-8 / NO. 445 SWITCH TOWER / MADE IN U.S.A. OF AMERICA / THE LIONEL CORPORATION / NEW YORK, N.Y."
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There are no variations.
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Dimensions: 6-1/4 inches long, 5-1/2 inches wide, by 7 inches high
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Bottom View showing the three electrical binding clips
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Note the melted condition of the roof at the center
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No. 445-55 Instructions Front Page
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No. 445-55 Instructions Back Page
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