Crane Cars
Gilbert made nine crane cars and Lionel has added seven more since 1996.  Unless otherwise specified, the large pictures on this page are from the collection of the Upstairs Train.

#606 Crane Car made in 1953.
(Picture courtesy of an anonymous donor.)
#635 Crane Car made in 1948-1949.
(Picture courtesy of an anonymous donor.)
#635 Crane Car made in 1948.
(Picture courtesy of an anonymous donor.)
#635 Crane Car made in 1948-1949.
(Picture courtesy of an anonymous donor.)

#635 with gray plastic base and bearing the number 635 was made in 1946.
#635 with gray painted diecast base and bearing the number 635 was made in 1947 and 1948.
(Photo courtesy of Gary Good.)
#644 Industrial Brownhoist Crane Car with painted tuscan cab made in 1950-1951.
(Picture courtesy of an anonymous donor.)
#644 Industrial Brownhoist Crane Car made in 1950-1953.
Mine was made with link couplers, but my Dad and I converted all my cars to knuckle couplers in 1954.
In 1952 &1953 Gilbert made this car with knuckle couplers as they phased over to the 944 below.
The #644 was also made in 1953 and possibly also in 1954 with a blue-gray base.
None of my books give a year, but we have seen it in sets known to have been made in 1953.
It may have been made only with knuckle couplers; has anyone ever seen one with link couplers?
(Picture courtesy of Don Hasenzahl.)
The #644 was also made in 1950 with an unpainted red plastic cab and green boom.
Here it is with its companion #645 Work and Boom car.
Finally, the #644 was made in 1950 with an unpainted red plastic cab and black boom.
(Picture courtesy of Don Hasenzahl.)
#906 Crane Car made in 1954 with gray base.

A somewhat harder to find version had a metallic blue base.
#944 Industrial Brownhoist Crane Car made in 1952-1957 with gray base.

In the transition year of 1957, it was sold in a #24522 box.
Here's a rare variation: do you se the difference?
The lettering is on the right hand side of the frame rather than the left.
Like the 644, a somewhat harder-to-find version had a metallic blue base.
Like the #644 above, it was probably made in 1953 and/or 1954.  None of my books give a year.
(Picture courtesy of Don Hasenzahl.)
Larry Moore provided this picture of his two #944 booms.
Notice the size of the pulley wheels - the one on the left is about half the size of the other.
Gilbert never used that smaller pulley on the cranes, only the larger one.
This looks like a repair that used the pulley from a coal loader.
#24543 Industrial Brownhoist Crane Car made in 1958.
(Picture courtesy of an anonymous donor.)
#24561 Industrial Brownhoist Crane Car made in 1959 with knuckle couplers.
(Photo from an ebay auction by
Rick Dunn.)
#24561 Industrial Brownhoist Crane Car with Pike Master couplersmade in 1960-1961 and 1965-1966.
(Picture courtesy of an anonymous donor.)
#24569 Industrial Brownhoist Crane Car made in 1961-1966.
(Picture courtesy of an anonymous donor.)

In 1996, Lionel began making crane cars under the American Flyer name.
#48216 set made in 2000 with crane numbered 7070 and gondola 7111.
This is the annual car made for the Toy Train Operating Society (TTOS).
(Photo from an ebay auction by
Rick Dunn.)
#49009 Derrick car made in 1996.
(Photo from an ebay auction by
Rick Dunn.)
#49012 Santa Fe Crane Car made in 2003.
#49012 Santa Fe Crane Car with the matching #48723 boom car, both made in 2003.
#49014 New York Central crane car made in 2004 & 2005.
#49014 New York Central crane car with the matching #48726 boom car, both made in 2004 & 2005.
#49019 Southern crane car sold only in the #49613 Southern Work Train Set made in 2004.
(Photo courtesy of Gale Wilson.)
#49021 Union Pacific crane car made in 2005.
#49021 Union Pacific crane car with the matching #48732 boom car, both made in 2005.
#49037 Maintenance of Way (MOW) Crane Car made in 2007
#49037 Maintenance of Way (MOW) Crane Car with the matching #48740 boom car, both made in 2007.

Over the years, Gilbert made four different kinds of couplers, three of which are common and familiar to most American Flyer owners: link, knuckle, and Pike Master.  The fourth, the so-called "solid knuckle coupler," was short-lived and not used on very many cars.  Lionel later came up with its own version of knuckle coupler.  American Flyer has therefore gone through five
generations of couplers.  Because there seem to be a lot of people confused by this, I created a page to show the differences.  Click the picture below for more detail.


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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 like you 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.
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