The Automatic Gateman No. 145 was one of the most popular accessories that Lionel produced. It was available for 17 of the 24 years that constitute the Post War Period.
Although the painted sheet metal base remained basically the same as the No. 45N, Lionel added the galvanized bottom. There are other noticeable changes to its predecessor. Most notably is the change of the cross buck from all metal construction to the plastic scaled down version that was used in the No. 309 Sign Set and the house which was formed from injected moulded plastic.
Other changes included an additional connection to power the interior light of the gateman’s house by a No. L363 or a No. L432 bayonet lamp rated at 14 volts, however, the base mounted light to illuminate the gateman’s lantern was eliminated.
The gateman remained the same throughout production, but during the last 10 years the face and the hands of the gateman were no longer painted a FLESH color. And yes I know, the gateman is out of scale. But we should remember that these were toys designed for kids and they really didn’t pay that much attention to the accuracy of the scale. To see an explanation of why this occurred see No. 45N.
Upon activation by a No. 145C Contact placed beneath the track, the gateman would come out of the house and wave his lantern.