The Culvert Loading Station No. 342 would load culverts from the ramp into the car. This accessory was operated by remote control, and was catalogued from 1956 until 1958. When used in conjunction with the No. 345 Culvert Unloading Station this became the last of the accessories produced by Lionel during the Post War Period that were self contained. The two accessories were connected by a ramp No. 345-10 that came with the No. 345 that was issued a year later.
It came with a No. 6342 Gondola Car that had a BLACK ramp that was designed to carry these culverts. This car did not have its own box and was contained within the packaging of the loader, but it was available for separate sale, making this box somewhat hard to find today.
This accessory is somewhat finicky to adjust, but once this is accomplished its operation is impressive. This accessory came with seven culvert sections and and there are two instruction sheets that were produced: No. 342-46 dated 9-56 and the other that is dated 4-57. The latter shows a picture of both the loader and unloader working together.
The base was metal and was 11-1/2 inches long, 10 inches wide, and the loader stood 6 inches high.