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All Gauge Model Railroading Page

Crossing Gate Shanty

Classic Tin Lithography

Accessories were part and parcel of O gauge railroading.  One of the most popular accessories of the time was the Lionel #45 gateman.  It was basically a tin shack, from which a gateman emerged as the train passed.  The Louis Marx Company countered with a gateman of their own.  Using their specialty, tin lithography, marx produced an attractive crossing gate house.  While it did not light like Lionel's, the crossing gate worked as the door opened to reveal the gateman.  Our tin example is typical of the trackside structures of the 1950s.

As an aside, it should be noted that the Lionel #45 gateman has gone through several minor adaptations, the major one being replacement of a tin building with a plastic one.  It remains the most popular accessory in the Lionel inventory, a distinction it has held for over 65 years.

Not just a square shack - note indented front!  Crossing gate is plastic and metal.

Front view - note sign on door and window details.

Rear view - you can see terminals to hook up to track.  Note plastic chimney on extended wall.

Side view - note sign and lantern.  Door is almost closed, and you can see the gateman.

Door opens and gate comes down as train passes.  Gateman is affixed to the inside of the door.  Door interior is lithographed, adding more realism.  The Marx version of the gateman is distinct from the Lionel #45 gateman.

Here is the Lionel #145 Automatic Gateman, 2001 version, for contrast.  This version is virtually unchnged since the mid-1950s.

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