Operating Accessories (Page 2 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.  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.  Because there are so many, I have split them up over four web pages:

Gilbert accessories #561 through #588 are on
page 1
                           #591 through #752A are on this page
                           #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.

#591 Crossing Gate with 707 track clip made in 1946 thru 1948.
It has a painted die-cast base.  A light underneath illuminates the lantern on the gate arm.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)

#592 Crossing Gate made in 1949 & 1950.  It came with a  with #697 track trip.
It has a painted die-cast base.  A light underneath illuminates the lantern on the gate arm.
Notice the screw posts on the right for connecting wires.
(Photo courtesy of
Rick Dunn.)

#592A Crossing Gate made in 1951 thru 1953 was similar but the roadway was narrower and cream colored,
and the two wires were permanently connected.  It also came with a #697 track trip.
Some bases were diecast, some Bakelite, and some Plaskon (pressed wood).
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)

#592A Crossing Gate made in 1951 thru 1953 on a Plaskon base
with its distinctive silver painted roadway and sidewalk.
(All three photos courtesy of
Douglas Weronick.)

The underside is also quite distinctive.

#594 Animated Track Gang made in 1941.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)

#596 Operating Water Tank.
There were many variations: brown or burnt orange tank, gray or black legs,
black  or gray roof, made from 1946 thru 1956.

This one has black legs and roof and no weight on the spout.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)

#598 Talking Station Record made in 1948 thru 1956.
One side of the record has steam engine sounds and the other has diesel sounds.
There is a great deal of variety in the labels on the records.
On some the colors are the same on both sides, but on others they are not.
(Photos courtesy of
Richard Purnell.)

Some of the records weren't even black!
Further, some bear the number 598 and some do not.
For those that have no number, there is no way to tell whether it is a 598 or 23598;
the number appears only on the envelope it came in.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)

Recors were shipped to dealers in 6-pack boxes like this..
(Photo courtesy of
Richard Purnell.)

#599 Talking Station Record made in 1956.  The labels on both sides are identical.
In addition to the engine sounds contained on #598, the #599 record has voices.
Greenberg says that on one side a dispatcher makes up a freight train, and
on the second side the tower and conductor discuss a hotbox problem.
(Photos courtesy of
Richard Purnell.)

Records were shipped to dealers in 6-pack boxes like this..
(Photo courtesy of
Richard Purnell.)

In 1969, General Mills acquired Lionel and American Flyer.
This is one of their reissued #599 records.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)

#600 Crossing Gate with 697 trip made in 1954 thru 1956.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)

#718 Mail Car.
It tosses one mail bag out and grabs another
off the #713 pickup arm as the mail car passes by.

It's a wonderul thing to watch!

#751 Log Loader with yellow-painted Bakelite base made in 1946 & 1947.
Notice the solenoid wrapped in red electrical tape on the right, under the upper deck.
It pulled the log cradle up to the cart on the ramp.
(Photos courtesy of
Kisers Vintage Toys And Trains.)

Both Greenberg and the TM Guide say it was also made with a unpainted black Bakelite base in 1947 thru 1950,
but I have been told they were actually painted in 1947 thru 1949, and the switch wasn't made until 1950.
This one is from 1950 and it's unpainted.
One website visitor has one with an unpainted black base that is stamped “June 1949.”
Does anyone have an unpainted black base from 1947 or 1948?
And does anyone have a painted black base? Can you positively identify the year?
(Photo courtesy of Mike Leahy.)

To improve its operation, Gilbert made a mechanical design change in 1951.
The improved unit was sold as #751A in 1951 thru 1953.
It's hard to tell the difference unless you know exactly what to look for.
Instead of pulling the cradle up, the #751A solenoid
pushes the cradle up.
It is mounted under the lower deck by rivets, one of which is the little dimple you can see in the picture;
the #751 deck surface above is clear (no rivets).

Contrary to what Greenberg says, it had a black Bakelite base as stated in the TM Guide.
Both books say it was painted, but I have been told it was really unpainted.
Watch this space while I confirm what's right.

The #717 log unloading car was sold separately.
(Photo courtesy of
New England Toy & Train Exchange.)

Here's a shot from below that shows the solenoid and mechanical linkage.
No question about it: that base is Bakelite, not metal.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)

#752 Seaboard Coaler with two-button control and a bag of coal; it was made in 1946 thru 1950.
(Photo courtesy of
New England Toy & Train Exchange.)

From the other side, you can see how it operated.  It was intended to be installed between two tracks.
The scoop picks up coal from a car on one track, or from the tray into which a dump car unloads.
The scoop then lifts the coal up to the chute that delivers the coal into a car waiting on the other track.
(Photo courtesy of
New England Toy & Train Exchange.)


#752A Seaboard Coaler
with three-button control
made in 1951 and 1952.
Because the original #752 tended to
spray coal all over the place,
the #752A had a bin at the top of the chute.
The third button opened the trap door at the bottom of the bin.  It helped, but not much.
So Gilbert developed a wholly redesigned Coal Loader, the #785, in 1955.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)


Show me the rest of the Operating Accessories.


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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
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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.

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