|Lionel log dump car with the Switch Tower in background|
Lionel makes quite a few operational cars. I featured the milk reefer a few weeks. I doubt I will ever get that one to work. It is a long range plan.
So I found this Northern Pacific log dump car from 1984 on e-bay in practically new condition. Even came with the box for less than $30. I was planning on getting a version of this car at one of the local antique shops for less than $20. However, that one was broken.
The log dump car basically holds a few logs and at the desired point- notably the place where the collection tray sits and the automated track piece sits- dumps the logs.
Lionel has made these types of cars since the post-war period. Earlier versions were all metal. Its close relatives are the coal dump car and the helium tank dump car. These cars can be operated manually with the manual uncoupler thingie and automatically with an operating track section.
We don't see these type of cars out my way on prototype railways. Though I am sure they do exist, I suspect they may be in service further west where the lumber business is still in full swing.