0-8-0 Switch Engines
There are no large pictures on this page because the collection of The Upstairs Train has none of these engines yet.

If you have a picture that you would like to share with the world of any of engines not shown here, or a better picture of one that is shown, email them to me: theupstairstrain@yahoo.com

When I get the pages built, you will be able to click on an engine to see the train(s) it pulled.
Unlike other American Flyer steam engines, these switchers can be coupled in the front as well as the rear.  You can, therefore, "double-head" them, a railroading term for having two engines pulling a train.  If you do that with these engines, put the faster of the two engines in front.

Also unlike other American Flyer steam engines, all these switchers had a four-piece diecast body.  Gilbert never made one in plastic and never simplified the design to manufacture it in fewer pieces.


The first four #342 Switchers made are quite rare:
- A small number were made in 1946 with smoke unit in the tender and no AF on tender; extremely rare.
- A preproduction prototype with smoke unit in the boiler was made in 1947.
The third, made in 1947, had "American Flyer Lines" but no box around the Nickel Plate Road herald.
Its smoke unit is in the tender.  (Picture courtesy of an anonymous donor.)
Fourth is a DC version of the same, also made in 1947.
(Photo courtesy of Don Hasenzahl.)
#342 with no box around the Nickel Plate Road herald and smokeunitin the boiler made in 1948.
(Picture courtesy of an anonymous donor.)
#342 with a box around the Nickel Plate Road herald was made in 1952.
(Photo courtesy of Don Hasenzahl.)
Now for a quiz: can you identify this 342?  Watch out: that's a trick question!

Since there's no box around the Nickel Plate Road herald, you know it was made between 1946 and 1948.
"American Flyer Lines" on the tender says it's 1947 or 1948.
Smoke is tender says it's 1946 or 1947.
That means it was made in 1947, right?

Now look at the
coupler.
Thick shank with black weight says 1949 to 1952, late 1948 at the earliest.
Conclusion: we don't know for sure.
It is either a smoke in tender model made in late 1948 or early 1949 to use up parts inventory,
or it was made in 1947 but someone changed the coupler after 1948.
(Picture courtesy of an anonymous donor.)
#342AC made from 1949-1951.
(Two pictures above and below courtesy of
Stout Auctions.)
The bottom, front, and back of the 342AC Switcher.
(Three pictures above and below courtesy of
Robert Lear.)
I am told that the Maury Romer interviews said these cut aways were made so the directors could see how things worked and approve or disapprove production of an item. These cut away locos were then used in the corporate sales center on the second floor so buyers from big stores like Sears and Macy's could come in and see what the product was all about, how it was made, and how it worked (and check out the massive layout up there) before they made their orders. When the change was made to smoke and choo choo in the boiler, these were used to show how everything fit and worked in the boiler.
(Picture and story courtesy of an anonymous donor.)
#342DC with American Flyer Lines on the tender made in 1948.
In this picture, you can see the link bar in the front of the engine.
This enabled it to pull cars in switching operations.
All the link coupler switchers had this link bar; the later knuckle coupler engines had a coupler in front.
(Picture courtesy of an anonymous donor.)
#342DC  with American Flyer on the tender made from 1949-1950.
(Picture courtesy of Ed Church.)
#343 with e-unit in the tender made from 1953-1954.
#343 with 4-position e-unit in the cab made from 1955-1957.
A #343 with 2-position e-unit in the cab made in 1958.
(Picture courtesy of an anonymous donor.)
The rare #346 was made in 1955.
(Picture courtesy of an anonymous donor.)
The rare #21145 was made in 1958.
(Picture courtesy of an anonymous donor.)


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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 cars and as visitors send me pictures of the cars I don't yet have.  If you have a car 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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Dockside Steam Switchers      Casey Jones Steam Engines      Mikado Steam Engines
 
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F-9 Diesel Engines    GE EP-5 Electrics      Handcars

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