Lionel 445 Switch Tower

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  • Member since
    January, 2006
  • From: Florida
  • 2,119 posts
Lionel 445 Switch Tower
Posted by traindaddy1 on Sunday, February 11, 2018 3:03 PM

How would you compare the "operation" of the newer (90's made in China) version to the Postwar (U.S.A.) version of the Lionel #445 Switch Tower?

+++Not so much the "quality" (understood) but the operating function+++

As always, many thanks.


  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: North Texas
  • 4,941 posts
Posted by wrmcclellan on Sunday, February 11, 2018 11:32 PM


The newer units use a can motor which is quieter/smoother on the man coming down the stairs and the man coming out the upstairs door, but when they are done it is as dramatic as the older solenoid versions on returning them to the starting position.

Here is a YT of the burning tower that shows the action.

I assume you are familiar with the older versions - I personally like the bang/buzz of the solenoid.

Here is a YT of the original (missing the upstairs blue figure).

I have both but the older 445 is the one on my layout at this time.


Regards, Roy


  • Member since
    January, 2006
  • From: Florida
  • 2,119 posts
Posted by traindaddy1 on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 4:15 PM
Roy: Appreciate your reply. Thanks, so much.
  • Member since
    March, 2013
  • 416 posts
Posted by BigAl 956 on Thursday, February 15, 2018 11:17 AM

In my experience the first run of anything from China is glitchy and should be avoided. Subsequent runs are better made and more reliable, albeit harder to repair, than thier American made counterparts.

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