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Regular price $100.00
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 The Operating Freight Station No. 356 was another accessory that Lionel produced that used a vibrator in the base, in this case to move baggage carts in and out of the station. Available from 1952 until 1957, this freight station’s interior was lighted by one L431 lamp. It came with three billboards attached to the center fence. For details showing all of the advertizing signs that Lionel produced see No. 156. Six adhesive posters were placed on the structure. Close ups of these posters can be seen on the No. 256 page.
The baggage trucks that came with this freight station were produced in four different colors: DARK GREENLIGHT GREENORANGE and RED. Early issues came with a lithographed baggage load, as is shown to the right, that would fit on one truck. As these trucks moved in and out of the station they gave the impression of being loaded and unloaded. The only problem with this was that the unloaded truck moved faster than the one that had the baggage load on it. Which is why it was eliminated from later productions.

There are three variations:
Variation A: Came with a lithographed baggage load, however, extra loads could be purchased as a separate part. Early 1952 production. Reproductions baggage loads are available.
Variation B: Was issued without the lithographed baggage load. Usually came with DARK GREEN and ORANGE, carts, but is sometimes found with the less common RED and LIGHT GREEN carts that are shown to the right. 1952 to 1957 production.
Variation C: LIGHT GREEN roof. This was most likely late 1957 production.
Note: The roofs are interchangeable between this station and the No. 256, and 257.

The baggage carts were available for separate sale under the No. 356-35. There were two different molds that were used to make the baggage carts. On one of these molds there is a "T shaped hole" on the inside of the front baggage bulkhead that may have been used to secure the early prototype loads. Most of the time this hole is filled in, but it is still visible. Reproductions carts do not show this filled in hole.

spacerDetermining reproductions from original issues is more difficult to ascertain on the other mold that was used for these carts by Lionel.

Lionel issued five different instruction sheets for this accessory. The first issue of 10-52 has BLUE ink on WHITE paper and is numbered 356-40. It shows a picture of the one of the carts with the lithographed load and explained the illusion of one cart being loaded and the other unloaded inside the station.

This sheet was revised one month later in 11-52 and the number was changed to 356-42. Printed in BLACK on WHITE paper this sheet omitted the load on the baggage cart and all references to this load were eliminated from the text. The front and back pages of this sheet are shown below.

The instruction sheets that followed reverted back to BLUE ink. Sheets that were issued on 6-53 and 8-53 amazingly used the original artwork that showed the baggage cart load and also copied the original text of sheet No. 356-40. This error was corrected on the last releases of this instruction sheet dated 3-54 and 4-56.

Dimensions: 15" long, 5" wide, 5-1/2" high.


No. 356-42 Instructions Front Page

No. 356-42 Instructions Front Page

No. 356-42 Instructions Back Page

This could make a great addition to your collection railroad layout or gift for a friend

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