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Nothing new this week but a couple of shots around the layout and one memory of the LCCA convention that came to Boston 2 years ago. Kind of wish there was a tinplate convention offering but a great time never the less. Lets see your tinplate! 



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AF Train Set No. 3 (1938) Pennsylvania Passenger

My latest rehab project  is a 1938 American Flayer set that I acquired quite accidentally.  Last winter I bought a big lot of Lionel trains that he had as a kid from a man living in a large houses in Wellesley.  People like that tend to have a lot of the high end items. 

Among this collection of items from 1938 to 1949 was a locomotive and three cars that look like “Train Set No. 3 Pennsylvania Passenger”  in the 1938 American Flyer catalog.  It is the 2-4-4 “torpedo” locomotive with two Pullman cars and an obs.  The exception is that the catalog mentions blue but the cars I have are green.

The first photos show the whole set and the catalog page.   

I decide to try restoring the locomotive to operating condition.  I’ve got it running but forward only as part of the reverse unit is missing.  Various mounting parts were missing and one part was held together with a bent nail.  Some innovation was required but I got it together.  See photos 2-3-4.

The cars are interesting.  Only one roof for the three, but enough parts to make the observation whole.  Need to do some sheet metal unbending and fix the wiring.  See photos 5-6-7.

I could restore one of the two Pullmans if I can I get another roof.  How can I get one.  The other would require also some wheels and axles.

Now I’m wondering to what extent might collectors be interested in those cars.  I do intend to sell the whole set and move on to my next acquisition/rehab, etc.  I keep only what is needed to be able to run any train in the 1948 Lionel catalog.1 _set1 catalog2 lt43 lt54a4b4c6 c27 c3


Images (10)
  • 1 _set: American Flyer Train Set no. 3 Pennsylvania Passenger - 1938
  • 1 catalog: Catalog page
  • 2 lt4: PRR Torpedo left side
  • 3 lt5: PRR Torpedo right side
  • 4a: PRR Torpedo shell
  • 4b: Motor - left side
  • 4c: Motor - right side
  • 5 c1: Cars - 2 Pullman + Observation
  • 6 c2: Observation Car 1
  • 7 c3: Observation Car 2

 Here's an interesting brass piece I just acquired --the Williams Baldwin Shark NYC RF16 from the mid 1980's.  It won't win prizes as a runner, and the factory applied stripes seemed to be a bit off, but it runs and has a certain charm of its own.  One of my friends dismissed it as a "piece of junk" and it's obviously not remotely competitive with today's offerings.  But there aren't that many brass Sharks out there, certainly not at the low price I paid.6Q Shark Approaching6S Shark Waiting


Images (2)
  • 6Q Shark Approaching
  • 6S Shark Waiting

Hello Tinplate world 


Nice photos everyone ..thank you for posting .

Here we have Knapp steeple cabs .... circa 1904-7 ...2" gauge ..2 rail .

1904-6 with black cast frame , cast iron wheels ...sparks real nice as it rolls down the track ..fake head light , ladder and handrails , twist type reverse unit 

1906-7  with nickle frame , stamped steel wheels , no headlight , no steps or handrails , reverse pushes left and right .

Knapp was a tiny little company that made assorted novelties .. small motors, games and a very early manufacturer of trains in 2"   late 1902 ----till roughly 1914 ...for a small company they offered 5 different steeple cabs during it's run . 


here is a youtube link to see the last version ( 1909-1914)  of the Knapp steeple cab running ( not my layout )


Cheers Carey 



Images (3)
  • IMG_4982: Knapp Steeple cabs left 1904-6 right 1906-7
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  • IMG_4986: Knapp catalog 1904-5


Moved the motors to the barn.  One more spit shine on the old varnish and tin and these will follow.  The maroon set is a resto and are nice cars.  My boss got these from the New York Central Lines and the head and tail cars came with 500 trucks.  Coaches have have 200s.  Oops...  Kinda gives the train a humpback look.  Can't live with that long.  Job opportunity for...  me, I guess.  They do have the faux wood doors.  And I do like a nice faux wood door.  Brown baby states, blue babys, and a decent set of 337 reds for the econo line.  Missing is my dad's set of grays that was on a revenue trip, which is interesting. The St. Bonaventure choir has some train geeks in it and chartered a pull behind the 384.  Very nice.  Somebody's working at least.  That church wine is a bad dog though.  Ouch babe...  No thanks, I gave at the altar.  Oh boy, did I give at the altar...  All the cars have sound window trim, great lighting and mostly original paint.  A little more work and in the storage area they go till I can get some track laid.  Hoping this provides some motivation.  Cheers.


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Last edited by William 1

Did you know that the maroon ("Wine", Lionel called it) set came with 1 of 3 (yes three) types of trucks?  The 100 series equipped cars were pulled by a Grey 318.  The 200 series equipped cars by a Wine 380, and the 500 series equipped by a 390.  My guess is that you have some searching in front of you!

Very nice looking sets BTW!


Last edited by Rob English

Pretty sure my guys came with 200s.  They came with the 380.  Something got lost in the shuffle/resto.  This is the inside scoop.  My 392W tender has 200 wheels on it, on 500 trucks.  Needs 500 wheels put into the existing trucks.  Hard to get a good roll, much less the whistle to blow when the wheels are scraping the frame.   That's proven difficult.  Going to use the wheel sets from the maroon set in the 392W, then get new 200 trucks for the maroon coaches.  In between that I'll solve Rubik's cube and beat Boris Spassky in chess,  like any good American would do.

Last edited by William 1

This is a Lazy boy eye view of the last revenue run on the old LV&LLRR.  The passengers were treated to an exciting tour of both the freight and passenger yards.  What fun.  Searching for inspiration to lay some track.  Going to take the crossover out this time.  No sense rattling around ninety year old parts too much, especially the whistle tenders.  I like the catalog to real posts.  Pretty neat.  Cheers,       WK


Videos (1)
Steve "Papa" Eastman posted:

How about a prototype passenger platform by USTTC. It's about the only thing USTTC made that is not metal. It will handle two O gauge trains easily,  or one Std Gauge. In a static  display you could squeeze in three O or two small Std Gauge.



Ooooh. Looks like lithograph on plastic sheet. Something a sign printer could do. Hmmmm

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