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An old friend is cleaning out her parents home and came across a box of AF pre war trains.  She asked me what to do with them.  I told her to hold on while I do some research.  I know nothing about these.  Any advice regarding value or potential collectors is appreciated.  Thank you in advance....there is also more track too.....I added the 3 last pics today.  What are these please?

Ahitpy Santa Fe, MOPAC, C&A, T&P, Frisco & Wabash Home of the Midwest Mainline


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So I think I have a good idea of someof what you have here, but there are people who know prewar wise Gauge Flyer here much better than me. I think I can provide some accurate answers to your question and if I’m wrong then someone who knows more will definitely help out and correct me.

All of the trains seem to be in pretty good shape and appear they were stored well and taken care of as well. The only my eyes caught was the damage under the front light of the engine. Otherwise, they look good. Also, REALLY cool find, in my opinion. Those are some neat trains. 

The engine appears to be from tne #4694 family(produced from 1931-1934- I THINK). Turn the engine over and check by the pilot up front to see if a specific number was rubber stamped. The tender looks like a Vanderbilt type #4693 which accompanied this steam engine which is good. The photo you posted of the tender shows the plate with the “statistics” such as its “length” “capacity” and that it was made by Flyer in Illinois. On the other side of the tender there should be a similar plate that just shows the tender number which if I were to guess, would be a 4693.

The red passenger/observation car came with a set called the “Hamiltonian”that was headed by a boxcar or New Haven type electric. 

Unfortunately I have to get some shut eye so that’s all the answering I have for now. I didn’t find too much regarding the caboose- which surprised me. Regarding the green “Pleasant View” passenger car- I usually only came across it as an observation car when looking at different websites on google. Apparently it’s also an earlier passenger car.

in terms of value- now that you have those numbers, assuming they’re correct, you can check google and eBay for prices. Like I said, all seem in good condition but there’s that hole under the front light of the engine. BEst of luck finding more answers!

here is a complete Hamiltonian set that sold for $650 last year...

for a good sense of value, i go to the Live Auctioneers site and search.  there are typically multiple hits over the past few decades and in various conditions.  it'll at least get you in the ballpark.



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Fantastic that the number is still visible by the pilot! Helps a ton. Just type in “American Flyer prewar 4670” in google, check out a couple sites, and you’ll be able to Ball Park  monetary value or “worth”. Personally, came across something similar- a prewar Lionel steamer-  a couple weeks ago, for $25, and it’s monetary value was well in excess, but it’s worth, at least to me, has me teetering on whether or not to sell it. Even though I don’t usually run steam locos, my appreciation for it has just grown tremendously after the response from the members of this forum. 

Im gonna preface this paragraph with a TLDR: some old toys or items, despite their possible monetary value, are worth more. Further, what you might think is “old”- even if it is- and thus valuable, isn’t always true. Even then, that value won’t trump its worth. If your friend does sell, tell her to think about the memories that her or any close relatives may have regarding an item. I’m not discouraging nor casting judgment, just giving my opinion from a similar situation which is below.

So,  these aren’t yours, they belong to a friend. People deal differently with loss, pain, and what to afterwards. My grandfather had(past tense only b/c he passed away in June 2017) a significant antique collection in his basement and attic(some toy trains, B.B. guns, Auburn rubber vehicles, tin vehicles, wind-up of birds, Santa, cars, Americana, Railrodania,  J. Chein toys and banks, other banks,cap guns, Marx toys(from tin to plastic, real rifles, WW2 memorabilia)- you get the picture, I always knew about 5% of what was up there since we spent a lot of time together when I was growing up. 2018 comes around, no one in the family(my father, my uncle, my siblings) are taking anything. Pop always told me, then us, “that’ll all be yours” and then once my siblings “that’s all for you 3”, then my cousins “that’s for all of you kids to split”. I miss him so much, his diagnosis and passing was so sudden, I’d give it all away to have him back. That said, going up to the attic to go through his incredible collection from over 50+ years of yard sales, antique shops, flea markets, etc...puts me back to the times when we’d play together up in the attic- whether it was toy soldiers, westerns, this bowling game, and more. Anyway, in 2018 I would take items and keep and inventory of them and then decide what should go to who based on what he said, what I knew or what seemed appropriate. My Grammy found a person who was interested in local memorabilia and I was there the whole time(except ONCE/ I told her to contact me if he ever stopped by) to make sure she didn’t get ripped off. That time I wasn’t there, he bought the old ice cube crusher that my dad, uncle and brother all remember being a staple in the living room. That hurt. Generally, he was a good guy- said he’d call her back to schedule another time, but hasn’t contacted her since.

I’m the only one in the family who has gone down and carried things home- always with Grammys approval. They end up somewhere on display in the basement- on the layout, clock or beer sign hung on the wall, beer serving trays, etc... I don’t plan on selling a gosh-darn thing. But wouldn’t judge someone who did

Main message: refer to the TLDR

Oh, also- not sure if the tender and engine were sold together- not  saying that they’re not compatible but that the steamer might have a different tender that was sold with it. Then you have your prewar AF standard gauge switch- almost bought one of those the other day. The Texaco Tanker appears to be a exactly what it looks like- a prewar Standard GAuge American Flyer 4010 tanker. MTH reproduced this But their plate read “MTH Tinplate Traditions”(or something Like that) not “American Flyer Tank Lines”. Then, in the last photo, that’s a prewar Lionel no. 88 rheostat(produced 1915-1927) on the left and on the right an Ives transformer that’s pre-1928 which I’m assuming due to its location of manufacture. Not too familiar with prewar transformers and their step system, nor am I familiar with using separate rheostats in conjunction with prewar transformers. So if you want help in terms of functionality, I’m afraid I can’t be of much help there.

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