American Flyer Locomotive 342AC Hudson
One of the most famous yard goats in the United States! Has 8 powerful drivers; wheel classification 0-8-0, Piston, side and connecting rods all have interesting eccentric arm triple action. Pilot coupler at locomotive front. Tender is Bunker type and has imitation coal pile. Includes hand rails, steps and rear back-up light. Loco and tender measure 14¾” long.
The American Flyer Engine 342AC was produced from 1946 to 1950 and was an 0-8-0 Switcher. A switcher 0-8-0 would have had 0 leading, 8 driving, and 0 trailing wheels. There were 6 models of the Switcher 0-8-0 produced by Gilbert. The 342DC and 342AC were identical other than the type of power required.
What is a Locomotive Switcher?
A switcher is a small train engine built for short distance hauling and moving rail cars around a freight yard. Essentially, they put the train together and then a large locomotive is brought in to haul the train to its destination. Switchers are also sometimes used to make short distance runs and pick up cars on branch lines. The typical switcher is optimized for its job, being relatively low-powered but with additional traction designed to get heavy cars rolling quickly. Switching is hard work, and heavily used switch engines wear out quickly from the abuse of constant hard contacts with cars and frequent starting and stopping.
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