HI all,

I have a question. Is this Gilbert train (which is the name I found on the bottom of this loco)

American Flyer Circus Set considered to be just an "S" gauge? And if not, was it ever made in any other gauge at all? IF it was, how do I determine the gauge of these trains?  was it only produced in 1950? 

I am trying to get all the info I can on this because I want to post it for sale here on the Forum. It also was a part of my deceased F-in-laws RR Estate Collection and I am trying to learn all about the trains he had. One by one.  

I want to be precise and clear on all my descriptions on this one and I myself do not have an Am Flyer catalog or info on it. I looked it up on Google and all that pops up is peoples websites that have pic's of it on it. That is where I found out that they were made in 1950. That info was on the "Upstairs Train" info from google.

  were they made any other years?

 Also, I know this sounds like a stupid question but did Lionel Make one of these too?

Thank you Gentlemen for your help. I need all info I can get on it.

 

God Bless, 

Fran Ford

Original Post
Originally Posted by Martin Derouin:

marty, thats him! It doesn't have a hole for smoke. when I put this whole thing together and hooked up the transformer it ran around the track which was in the box and all the pieces hooked up together. It ran good but I didn't hear any choo choo sound. what would that be like? There is a guy from here who is looking this over with the pic's I have and he is helping me to decide what to sell it for.

I have met such great RR guys here. He is explaining what I really have and telling me about the little animals and cars and the coach. This is really neat and exciting.

Thanks Guys! Not sure about choo choo though..

God Bless, 

Fran Ford

Originally Posted by FlyerRich:
Originally Posted by Martin Derouin:

It is S gauge, does the smoke and choo choo work???

 

Marty

Never had smoke or choo-choo. Complete set with boxes and other paper accessories is worth quite a bit. From myflyertrains.org:

http://www.myflyertrains.org/A...AF_catalog_page7.htm

Thank you Rich.

I didn't see any boxes. No other stuff in the box that I found these in. 

I am getting really tickled about this. The link is so helpful.

God Bless, 

Fran Ford

This set has a number of variations in the engine, flat cars, flat car loads and the passenger car. Certain of the variations can have a significant effect on value. Most of these are described in the AF pricing guides. You should verify what you have before setting a price. 

Tom

Fran,

AmFlyer is right about checking price guides. Price & Rarity Guide S Gauge 1946-2011, 2012 Edition by Robert Brubeck lists the set at $4,500. The condition and how complete your set is (boxes, paperwork, etc.) will determine a fair starting price.

 

Circus sets seem to be popular given all the reproductions that are available. A factory set should bring a pretty good price.

 

Your local Flyer guys should be very helpful.

Good luck,

Rich

Fran,

  To hear the choo-choo, go to www.youtube.com. Type in "American Flyer Choo Choo." Several videos will come on screen. Click on one or two and you will hear the Choo Choo sound.

 

  American Flyer used a small leather bellows (like a tiny accordion) to make the Choo Choo sound. But as the bellows wore, they cracked and leaked. Then each bellows wa replaced with a metal piston. The airflow also pushed smoke out the stack synchronized with the Choo Choo. The closest I can come to describing it in print is to say that it works like a small air pump, and it has a fssh-fssh sound emitted by manual tire pumps. Enclosed by a boiler casting (or a tender body for Smoke-in-Tender locomotives in the late 1940's), the Choo Choo sounds pretty good, in my opinion. Some American Flyer steamers had Choo Choo but not Smoke; others had neither.

 

  American Flyer introduced electronic horns and whistles and "diesel roar" in the 1950's, as well as DC operation. But technology couldn't reproduce realistic sounds. It took a good 45 years for printed circuit boards and hi-tech to accomplish AF's goals.

The only post war Flyer with just choo choo was the 301 Atlantic. They also cataloged a 311 and 321 but the 311 was never made and the 321 Hudson had smoke and choo choo. Originally until the 290 came out the third digit digit was the features of the locomitive. 0=none 1=just choo choo and 2 smoke and choo choo. The die cast bullet (circus and royal blue) never had smoke or choo choo but the plastic silver bullet did but for some reason maybe the size of the boiler you couldn't hear the choo choo sound. at least the 3 I have you cant. But Flyer did have the best smoke units and choo sound for the era but Lionel did dominate on the Whistle but the Flyer Air Chime did sound better for a Diesel horn. I think that if Gilbert would have used the knuckle couplers and die cast trucks from the start of S in 1946 instead of the Links and tinplate trucks they may have given Lionel more competition.

Sueme Valley System

Thanks for the links, instruction and comments. After much research and showing pictures to the American Flyer Guys here,  we have, (I say WE cause it was a team effort,) established what my Father-in-Laws Circus Set is and what it is valued at including condition. Thanks again to "ReadingFan, Dave, Marty, Gene, AM Flyer, Jim, Rich. The set is now up for sale on the Forum! 

Couldnt do it without you wonderful RR guys! 

God Bless, 

Fran Ford

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