American Flyer Factory Blue Prints

 I posted this the other day in the O Gauge section of the forum and someone recommended I post it in S Scale Trains. I was not aware the forum had a S Gauge section...So happy to see it...... I recently purchased a large American Flyer and Lionel paper collection. When going through everything included with sale I came across American Flyer factory blue prints for two diesel engines. The 1st one being a F3 or Alco dated 6-24-1950 with the number being XA-11378 and approved by initials W.R.H. The 2nd one being a #230 Diesel Switcher dated 7-18-1950 and drawn by R.E.D. Jr. I also have a factory blue print for a IMP engine. The drawing says it's O gauge 17/64 scale. Its a class "ED16" 1BB1 Electric Loco No.5925. Does anyone know if these drawings are rare or are they fairly common? Someone said these were made available to service stations to help them service the engines then someone else said this was not the case. Both blue prints have several initials and different dates from 1950 when workers signed off on them. Thanks for any help.

Original Post

Thanks for your reply.......I am not an American Flyer collector or operator. My parents bought me Lionel when I was a kid and that's what I have today. I am impressed with American Flyer trains and it's history. I took some photos of the blue prints when I posted it on the O Gauge forum yesterday. I would be willing to share these with the Flyer community but not sure how to go about it. It would be nice if they could be posted to an American Flyer website.

Those are really neat.  It seems like I have seen Gilbert Flyer blueprints on the internet somewhere before, maybe eBay.  These are copies of the original drawings (that's why they are blue line, instead of pencil or ink original drawings), but they look old enough to be copies that were made at Gilbert.  And the fact that they are blue line copies doesn't mean they aren't rare.  Most postwar AF collectors would love to have something like those in their collections.

If you look at the revision block for the 360 Alco diesel, you will notice a revision where it said 'whistle unit removed'.  I assume that means that at one point they planned to incorporate the built-in airchime whistle into the twin-motored A unit--a configuration that was never produced and would have been an extremely tight fit inside a shell already stuffed with two powered trucks, a light, and a reverse unit.  Wouldn't it be interesting to have a print for a design configuration that they never put into production?


I have a 36" color scanner and plotter.  If you would feel safe mailing them, I can scan them and send them back.  No biggie if mailing them makes you too nervous.  I would be protective of them too.  I have no interest in selling any copies, I figured I'd post some better scans of them here.

Russell M.

TCA# 13-68704

Take them to Staples and have copies made and ask to put them on a flash drive.

May be offering them on the forum for sale forum, do not know if you can legally sell them but you can offer them for the cost of printing shipping and handling plus a shipping tube if needed or just offer a thumb drive with the picture on it. As mentioned above, it would be great framed in a train room.


Don't Junk it, Make it Work!


You might want to check with your local printer - the fellows down the road from me - are a smallish shop - but have some large format scanners.

I'm at least slightly suspicious these are already reproductions...look at them carefully.

As I recall, some have "pictures" of tape repairs or tears that copied into the existing versions.

Maybe that's normal for whatever process was used to reproduce/distribute these.

They are all oddly yellowed - and looked to have been folded for a long time.

Some of the prints referenced here might have been sourced by me from my uncle's collection.

I don't know where he got them - He was a repair/parts guy and was known for his collection of Lionel Service Pages - and had a huge collection of that kind of stuff.

If you acquired these in the past 2 years - you may have been one of my customers. I let a few go.

Maybe I'll take my EP-5 sheet up to the shop and see what they can do - its a nice big one, in great shape.

I wanted to mount it - but if those guys can scan it - I can probably clean/re-touch the scan a bit for a better print.

As I've said before I purchased a large paper collection (hundreds of Lionel and American Flyer catalogs) from a former Lionel employee who worked for them in the early 1950s. He had some very rare things and I believe he was one of the largest collectors/operators in country. He was my neighbor for many years and I never knew. If you listen to the Notch 6 podcast called the Neighbor Next Door you can hear my story. This neighbor of mine had over 500 engines and 2000 rolling stock. A train broker purchased all the trains before I realized who was living down the street from me. He also owned an American Flyer prototype hand car he inherited from his dad who was friends with an American Flyer factory sales rep. I have no question these are the real deal and I believe they came from the same sales rep. Sadly my neighbor has suffered several stocks and can no longer communicate. 

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