Operating Accessories (1 of 8)
In addition to adding visual interest and realism to a train layout, Operating Accessories allow you operate it like a real world-railroad rather than simply running trains around in a circle.  Passengers move around Guilford Station and get on and off the operating coach car.  The station master makes announcements from the Talking Station.  Cattle walk around the stock yard and get on and off the operating stock car. Mailbags, boxes, milk cans, scrap metal, logs, lumber, and railroad ties are loaded and unloaded.  Crossing signals and gates warn pedestrians and automobiles of approaching trains, and semaphores prevent trains from colliding.

Gilbert made 62 distinct accessories as listed on a little over seven pages of the TM Guide, not counting the variations on some of the 62.  Lionel made more under the American Flyer name, and Mike's Train House (MTH) has reproduced a couple more.  Because there are so many, I have split them up over seven web pages:

Gilbert accessories #561 through #588 are on this page
                           #591 through #752A are on
page 2
                           #755 through #762 are on
page 3
                           #766 through 785 are on
page 4
                           #787 through #23601 are on
page 5
                           #23602 through #23786 are on
page 6
                           #23787 through #23830 are on
page 7
Lionel accessories #2300 through #49807 are on
page 7
                            #49808 through 49819 are on
page 8
                           # 49820 and above are on
page 9

Unless otherwise specified, the pictures on this page are from the collection of The Upstairs Train.
If you have a picture that you would like to share with the world of any of the accessories not shown here (or a better picture of one that is shown!), email them to me: theupstairstrain@yahoo.com.   Click here for a list of the  pictures I need to complete the Gallery.

#561 Billboard with Diesel Horn advertising American Flyer trains on a sheet metal base made in 1955.
There were several variations. None are illuminated.
#561 Billboard with Diesel Horn
on a plastic base made in 1956.
There were several variations.
None are illuminated.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)
#566 Whistling Billboard with light or dark green base made in 1951 thru 1955.
It is not illuminated.
(Picture of one with a dark green base is coming.)
#568 Whistling Billboard with green painted plastic base made in 1956.
It is not illuminated.
#577 Royal Typewriter Whistling Billboard with green painted metal base made in the pre-war years.
If you look closely, you will notice a part of the sheet metal base turned up in front of the billboard.
Behind it is a slot through which two light bulbs underneath illuminate the billboard.
Other billboards, like my 561 and 566 above, had the slot but no illiminating bulbs.
(Photo courtesy of
Rick Dunn.)
#577 Ringling Brothers Circus Whistling Billboard with green painted metal base made in 1946 to 1949.
It, too, is illuminated by two bulbs below the slot in front of the billboard face.
(Photo courtesy of
Rick Dunn.)
There was also an extremely rare #577 Fox Mart Whistling Billboard made in 1947.
It, too, is illuminated by two bulbs below the slot in front of the billboard face.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)
#577 American Flyer Trains Whistling Billboard made in 1950.
It, too, is illuminated by two bulbs below the slot in front of the billboard face.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)


#577NL American Flyer Trains Whistling Billboard without lights made in 1950.
#582 Blinker Signal made in 1946 thru 1948.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)
#583 Electromatic Crane with one button control.  There were several color variations: green or gray base, silver or dark metallic gray legs, green or gray boom made in 1946 thru 1949.
(Photos courtesy of
George A. Mostoller.)
Here it is with a gray base.  (Photo courtesy of John Heck.)
#583A Electromatic Crane with two button control made in 1950 thru 1953.
There were several color variations: silver or gray base, silver or dark metallic gray legs.
(Photo courtesy of
Rick Dunn.)
#583A Electromatic Crane from the back.
(Photo courtesy of
Rick Dunn.)
#584 Bell Danger Signal made in 1941.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)
#587 Block Signal
with two button control
and two track trips
made in 1941 & 1946.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)
#588 Semaphore Block Signal with two button control and two track trips made in 1948.
(Photo courtesy of
Stout Auctions.)

Show me the rest of the Operating Accessories.

It takes time and money to maintain a website like this.  If this site is interesting and helpful to you, please contribute financially to its ongoing success.  You may
send a contribution via PayPal using theupstairstrain@yahoo.com as the payee. Both credit card and direct transfers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.

If you or your friends have some American Flyer trains and would like them to go to a nice home where they'll be loved and cared for, this is the place!  Email me: theupstairstrain@yahoo.com.  See my
Wish List for the items I need most.  Thank you very much.

On the other side of the coin, I post pictures from time to time on my
For Sale page of surplus items I have for sale.
This gallery will continue to grow and become more comprehensive as I collect more equipment, and as visitors send me pictures of the items I don't yet have.  If you have a car, engine, accessory, or set that you would like to share with the world, email me a picture:   theupstairstrain@yahoo.com.  Click here for a list of the pictures I need to complete the Gallery.

The books I am using for reference are listed in the
Bibliography page.  All the writing and all the pictures on this website are, however, my own, except where cited.  No copyrighted materials have been included and all pictures provided by others are used by permission.

Now show me:                                                                                                                                    
  
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