The Lionel Western Pacific F-3 No. 2345 – Diesel Engine would be the third road name to join Lionel’s fleet of F-3’s in 1952. This diesel was only available for this year and would be replaced by the No. 2355 the next year. Lionel never did produce a B Unit to go with this road. The lettering was heat-stamped on this diesel, unlike the reproduction shells that have been silk screened.
These engines have the screens on the roof vents, portholes with snap-in lenses, front grab rails, side ladders, BLACK GM decals, electronic couplers on the front ends, and solid rear couplers.
The powered unit was equipped with Magnetraction, a horn that was operated by a D Cell battery, and a three position directional unit whose control lever was adjustable from underneath the chassis. Dual horizontal worm drive motors powered each axle…and they make a neat “growling” sound when operating! There are no variations.
Lionel had their usual problems with the Silver paint on these diesels, and today, a substantial premium is paid for units that have bright shinny paint.
All of the Lionel F-3’s 2345 – Diesel Engines are designed to work on the larger radius of O Gauge track. When used with O27 Gauge track this diesel will scrape the switch machine housing on the early version of the No. 1122 O27 Switches when passing through the curved turnout. Evidence of scrapes on the fuel tank of these diesels is a sure indication of operation on O27 track.