The 97 coal elevator is a wonderful. It's life beginning in 1938,
and ending in 1950, spanning 8 years (1938-1942---1946-1950) proved it to be a wonderfully popular accessory, like some of the other accessories of the time.
Located between two sections of track about 15" apart, the
operation of the accessory is simple, yet entertaining. It is also quite
messy. On the old version with the AC motor, the vibration of it is
sufficient to vibrate the coal to the base near the chain. But on the new re-issues, they use a DC motor, which does not provide the same
vibration.(I have both versions) They are very interesting pieces, and a must have for a prewar or postwar collector.
Operation starts when a coal dump dumps its load into the
receiving bin. You turn the knob (or slide the switch) to operate the
elevator, and the button is the chute gate release. After it all loads,
you back the car around the other side of the loader, and release the
gate. The coal flows out of the bunker and into the car.
This accessory, in my point of view, is a wonderful, reliable accessory, and is the ultimate prewar thing, other than the 700EW,
Magnetic Crane, and Bascule Bridge. (I rank them all the same.)
These are wonderful Items, of the very best quality, and just
wonderfully detailed an interesting thing to operate.