I’m trying to help out a buddy who owns this engine,and I’m not an expert on a train like this since it’s the first one I’ve ever seen.

Don’t know where my friend found this but he’s asked my help in identifying it.

Best I could come up with us it’s a A.C. Gilbert Erector Set #8 J-3 Hudson 4-8-4 steam engine.

Best I could find online that it was made between 1931-1937.

Would this be correct ?

He’s interested in selling it,and knowing I collect trains has asked my opinion,but like mentioned I’ve never seen one of these before.

So can somebody help me further.

It is missing a few parts,but not really bad shape at all. Looks to be original paint,and does not have a motor in it but looks like it may have had one.0ED83014-9826-4F94-9390-5FEC00DD35D7BB4C12B3-4877-46D3-AF31-1E511BC6B26F81295331-28B4-4ACC-97A6-B6CFD00B84ED81A841CB-53D5-4822-9697-A66091458810CFF6544A-CF73-4253-B054-4FF8E8C5F3E2BDAAD625-F6D1-4576-81F8-EFC5114451516896FD4C-A8F6-446F-8121-2C17390BEC10793ED633-F513-42E3-A5BC-47CA9842A1F9839BC022-9859-4801-8888-C440712E6BFFEBF65D32-35B8-4765-AE30-88A1E4B083C5236C1C20-F0FE-4AE0-907A-B8E928A4FCD5

Collin "The Eastern Kentucky & Ohio R.R."


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They are very expensive models. The motor looks to be missing on this one and the lettering on the tender is gone. The paint looks very dull compared to the original. I suspect it was repainted a flat black to be more realistic. Not sure what it would bring in this condition. Try a Google search to find ones in better condition. Only way to find out is to auction it. I would start the auction at $600 and see where it goes. One sold at Stout last year and did pretty well if I recall.


The eccentric crank is on the wrong way. If someone tries to rotate the drivers, they could easily damage the eccentric crank and associated parts.

The crank always points towards the wheel center, so many degrees off, not dead on. Pointing away from the wheel center, they will not have enough travel and will break/bend if forced.


the years you have are correct.  the number of the sets containing the tender varied over the years, but the engine/ tender pair is more desirable.  as far as condition, the best thing you can say about it is that major parts do not seem to be dented or damaged, but it is far from being in good condition cosmetically.  and if you tried to replace the missing parts, they would be too prominent next to the finish as it is now.  this would only be desirable as a candidate for restoration.

assuming you do not have any box, a few hundred might be a bit overoptimistic.  i would sell the tender separately.  you'd probably get just as much for the tender by itself as you would for the engine and the tender together.  then sell the engine for parts or disassemble and actually sell the parts.

this is a long shot, but check the drive wheels with a magnet.  very few were made with cast iron wheels.

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