American Flyer Locomotive 346 Switcher
No. 346 “The Yard King” 0-8-0 Switcher with smoke, choo-choo sound, whistle and pull-mor.
Look at this magnificent die-cast o-8-0 “yard goat” and you’ll understand why model experts and railroadmen alike consider it one of the finest steam switchers ever made. Has Red glowing smoke, choo-choo sound, steam whistle and power packed “pullmor”.
The American Flyer Locomotive 346 Switcher 0-8-0 would have had 0 leading, 8 driving, and 0 trailing wheels. The 346 was referred to as the “yard goat”. Originally produced in 1955, there were 6 other models of the Switcher 0-8-0 produced by Gilbert.
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.
One major difference between the 346 Switcher and other American Flyer Steam Engines is the addition of a coupler on the front of the engine. This enables linking multiple engines together for extra pulling power. It is recommend that the faster engine be placed first. The American Flyer Locomotive 346 had red glowing smoke, choo-choo sound, steam Whistle and the pull-mor motor.
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