As basic as diesel power gets, the Diesel Switcher is typical of the industrial-style
Plymouth unit. TYCO generally offered this little diesel with a couple freght cars and caboose in the entry level circle track
The model number remains 241 from its introduction to it demise, sometimes no note is made of different
roadnames. Notice the Penn Central model carries the same generic '241' that the Santa Fe does in early years. The last catalog
that shows the Diesel Switcher is the 1986 listing.
This unit empolyed a unqiue single truck drive that was only found in
TYCO's line on the Diesel Switcher. TYCO's model has two axles, while some Switchers with similar shells have three
axles. Though not confirmed, it is believe that the same tool and die work that this model's shell uses matches that
of the Bachmann and at least also AHM offerings of the same period. The TYCO Diesel Switcher had two separately applied
horns on the cab roof and a handrail section on the front pilot; these items are not painted and are basic black plastic in
One of the first sightings of the TYCO Switcher is an announcement
in the 'Dispatchers Report' column of the December 1971 Railroad Model Craftsman magazine. A picture of the Santa Fe blue-and-yellow
switcher is presented along with the introduction announcement for the model on page 16 of that 12/71 RMC edition.
TYCO's little Diesel Switcher gets a second life in the product
line beginning in 1983. Starting with TYCO's G.I. Joe Electric Train and Battle Set (No.7418), the Diesel Switcher begins
serving in various trains sets through 1986. In addition to powering G.I. Joe's TYCO set, this model is also the loco
for The Transformers Electric Train & Battle Set (No.7430); M.A.S.K. Electric Train Action Play Set (No.7410); and Rambo
Electric Train and Battle Set (No.7415). For the G.I. Joe and Rambo sets, the Diesel Switcher is essentially the same
stock model wearing green. It should be noted that these sets provided stickers for the finishing decoration to the
models and thus a mint example would likely be unlettered from G.I. Joe and Rambo sets. For its M.A.S.K. set, TYCO added
chrome-plated guns to the poor little Diesel Switcher, which is painted blue and carries an orange-and-yellow stripe for this
assignment. Further alterations are applied to this model for Transformers service. TYCO adds an antenna piece
that attaches to the model's hood and sides that allows it to go into "Search Mode" according to the catalog.
Follow its excitement between 1983 and 1986, the Diesel Switcher is gone from TYCO's catalog
beginning with the 1987 edition and thus apparently also gone from TYCO's line through the end of HO-scale trains in 1993.
On occasion a somewhat larger, different tooling Diesel Switcher tends to pop up in certain mid-'80s
TYCO train sets. It is similar in basic design to the familiar and pictured here TYCO examples.
Notice the loco used by TYCO for its blueprint diagram on the back
side of the later brown box offering. At the time of this items availability no such 0-4-0 steam engine was in TYCO's