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The 318 electric engine was a classic of the tinplate era; a medium-priced engine produced in a variety of colors that remained in the Lionel catalog for twelve years, 1924-35 - a longer production run than perhaps any other tinplate loco. The 1925 catalog described the 318 as "Introduced in response to a great demand for a single-super-motor locomotive built on the lines of our 402, but smaller and contains many of the constructional features of the larger engine." Like most Lionel Standard Gauge equipment, the 318 was sized according to price: it was about two-thirds the size of the more expensive twin-motored 402, although both engines ran on the same gauge track. Also in common with the 402 and a number of other Lionel engines, the 318 was based loosely on the prototype New York Central S-type boxcab - although the Lionel versions were less sharp-edged and arguably handsomer than the real thing.

New for 2011 the 340E set includes (2) 500 series Hopper Cars and one 500-series caboose. The set contains a 50-watt power supply with wireless digital remote control, 8 Piece RealTrax Std. Gauge Track Circle, Lighted Track Lock-On, and RailWare DVD. Pair this engine with its matching set of freight cars to experience what made boys happy eight decades ago.