Lionel log loader and log dump cars

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Lionel log loader and log dump cars

  • Hey folks,

    I have a birthday coming up and before I put together my wish list, I have a few questions for anyone who has the Lionel conveyor lumber/log loader.

    I don't have one yet but plan on making it one of the centerpieces of my layout. My question is in regards to the log dump cars that will receive the logs once they roll off the conveyor. In the recent Lionel catalogue they have two styles of log dump cars: one with metal frame/dump unit and one with plastic. The metal car comes with tall side pillars, the plastic one only has little rockers. I know we would all like the expensive one (metal) but sometimes must settle for the cheaper (1/2 price, plastic). However, I cannot see how the logs coming off the canveyor loader would land on the plastic car (without long side pillars) and not bounce off and roll out of the car. I assume both styles of log loaders would only work with the high pillared cars. Am I mistaken?

    Thanks in advance. . .
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  • Hi, Its my birthday today...I am 32.
    I brought the Conveyor Lumber loader for my son last Christmas.
    It goes with his Santa Fe Fast Freight set with log dump car. Its the
    cheaper plastic car but it works fine. You get the odd log that comes
    off but not very often.
    I thing I only payed around $55 for it as it was on sale.
    Great bit off kit.


  • I think your concerns are well founded with regard to the loading of the plastic style log car. The stakes on the metal style cars do help to contain the logs when dumped from the ramp. If you have ever seen one of the metal cars up close, one side has fixed stakes, while the other side has stakes which drop down to allow the logs to roll off.

    The plastic style car may not even unload into the bin of the ramp properly. Instead the logs may fall down into the gap between the car and the ramp bin.

    Used postwar metal log dump cars are not uncommon, and usually aren't that expensive. $30 - $50 maybe. I haven't priced them recently. Check ebay.

    Here's a pretty good looking one for a decent price.

    Here's one with the original box.
  • Big_Boy - i didn't even think of ebay. i live there for so many purchases (even trains) but I get overwhelmed looking at their rolling stock because there is sooooo much of it!! those are two good items you picked out. I think I'll watch them and see what they sell for. Now that I think of it, I think the reason I skipped ebay is because i was going to leave recommendations for family and I don't want to leave my in-laws or other folks with a vague "check out ebay for a metal log dump car." I think they would just get me another turtleneck!! [:(!] But for my parusing, it's a great idea. (something else to look at while I'm avoiding real work!)

    Nick12DMC - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! [:)] I'll be 36 in a few weeks. So you've had good luck with the plastic ones? Another reason I'm asking is that I've been eyeing the new Cascade Range set, which comes with three of them. I don't want to count them as a "good deal" if they don't really work right!! By the way, what number loader did you buy and (can I ask?) where you bought it from?

  • Stick with the metal 3451 - 3461 style. Unless you are using these or the 3361 style plastic car w/ the cam/step actuation, you will otherwise need to reset the dumping mechanism by the "five finger crane" method every time. The good cars, with this accessory, lend to an all hands-off operation for the most part.



  • Well it's always difficult trying to get friends and family to buy train gifts. In the end it's never really a surprise. Something like a Visa gift card would work for ebay, then you could show them what you bought. It is a lot easier for them to buy off the rack at a hobby store, but even that takes "training". (pun intended)[swg]

    [bday] guys! Good luck.
  • I too have the metal car with the stakes works great.
    I also have the American Flyer 787 log loader got it for $70 and it loads the cars one log at a time. It was written up in CTT and got great reviews.
    There's a race of men that don't fit in, A race that can't stay still; Robert Service. TCA 03-55991
  • Its the Lionel #364 Conveyor Lumber Loader. I got it from
    Great service from these guys.

    The Plastic car works fine for off loading if you make sure the loader is
    tight up to the track (Fastrack). Its also OK for loading as long as you
    make sure you have everything lined up. As I said you get the odd log
    fall off but its not very often.
    In a large layout, if you are a long way from the unit. The metal car would
    be a safer bet. But for carpet operations it works fine[:)]

    Hope you have a good Birthday.
    All the best
  • I bought one of the plastic log dump cars for my kids. It doesn't dump the logs so much as it hurls them. To prevent the long-distange tosses, I substituted the dowels with real logs. Ok, thick tree branches, but they look like real logs on the car.

    I have been thinking about purchasing one of the log loader accessories, but can't decide which one. Is the conveyor version reliable?


    P.S. I got great service from Grzyboski's recently as well.

    See the Scenic Jumijo Railroad in CTT and OGR magazines! 

  • Jim,

    I have the reissue of the 364 conveyor lumber loader, and it is extremely reliable. As long as you make sure that the spot where you place the loader is level, you will not have any problems. I prefer the reissue over the postwar original because the reissue uses a can motor that never needs any maintainence, unlike the pullmor that was used in the original. I would use the logs that are supplied with the loader, because the logs you made might not roll correctly on the loader. I would suggest using either a 3451 or 3461 log car with this loader. Lionel has reissued the 3461 type log car, although you might be able to get a postwar car cheaper on ebay. I would highly recommend the reissue of the 364 conveyor lumber loader. I think that you will be very happy with it.

  • Thanks, Jim. I have a short list of operating accessories I'd like to add to the layout. The AMC/ARC log loader and the oil pump in the newest catalog, and the Gantry Crane from 2005. The conveyor log loader is also one I am considering. The log loaders and the crane would add a lot of play value for the kids, and uh, me.

    I've held off buying any after hearing more than a few horror stories of people buying modern Lionel operating accessories and having them break or not operate correctly soon after purchase.


    See the Scenic Jumijo Railroad in CTT and OGR magazines! 

  • Hi Guys,
    I am thinking of getting a # 24115 Lionel AMC / ARC Log loader. Does anyone use this one? And does it work alright. Also I would like to give my vote for the metal staked dump cars, they work much better than the plastic.
    Ironhoarse "Time is nature's way of preventing everything from happening all at once."
  • Just a word of caution for those of you with smaller layouts. The 364 loader is a BIG accessory, requiring over 28" of straight track in front of it. I have the PW version. I found if you space the loader one log diameter away (as I read somewhere) everything lines up quite nicely, even with the plastic log dump cars.

    I found the trick to avoid hurling of the logs by plastic dump cars is to keep the voltage at the magnet at around 11 volts. I rewire my O27 operating tracks to constant voltage rather than track voltage.

    Still, one of my favorite accessories, along with the #97 coal loader and #362 barrel loader.

    yours in accessorizing
    Fred W
  • Too long for my layout. Thanks for posting that, Fred. I'll also try operating my log dumper with 11 volts.


    See the Scenic Jumijo Railroad in CTT and OGR magazines! 

  • Hey, Wow, great feedback! Thanks.

    I'm going with the 364 because I don't have the depth for other loaders. I have a long straight away at the base of a cliff and thought the 364 would go real well on that siding. I love the other log loaders, too, but they are like 12 inches deep or so, and I just don't have that space on my layout.

    Again, thanks for all the great feedback. I think I'll go for the 3451 or 3461 log car since the loader isn't real accessible and I need reliability most of all. Thanks![:)]