American Flyer Locomotive 343 Nickel Plate Road Switcher
The American Flyer Engine 343 was produced from 1953 to 1958 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 American Flyer 343 S Gauge NKP Nickel Plate Road 0-8-0 Steam Locomotive & Tender features all-metal construction, operating headlight, backup light, operating smoke unit and reversing unit in tender.
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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