Flatcars (1 of 6)

The TM Guide lists three and a half pages of Gilbert flatcars, 56 in all and many had variations.  Between 1981 and 2006, Lionel made 35 more flatcars under their American Flyer name.  Because there are so many, I have split them up over six web pages:

Gilbert flatcars #605 through #714 are on this page
                       #715 through #948 are on
page 2
                       #956 through #24564 are on
page 3
                       #24565 through #25515 are on
page 4
Lionel flatcars   #9000 through #48531 are on
page 5
                       #48532 and above are on
page 6

The large pictures on this page are of cars in the collection of The Upstairs Train.  Unless otherwise specified, the smaller ones are from ebay auctions I didn't win.

If you have a picture that you would like to share with the world of any of the cars 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.

#605 gray sheet-metal flatcar with log load made in 1953.

A #605 log car painted silver was also made in 1953.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)

#609 sheet-metal flatcar with girder load made in 1953.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)

#627 Flatcar with girder load made in 1946-1947 with gray plastic base.
(Photo courtesy of Mark Preman of
AmericanFlyerTrains.com.)

It was also made with a white plastic base in 1946-1947.
Norice that the girder is yellow rather than orange.
(Photo courtesy of Don Hasenzahl.)

#627 Flatcar with girder load made in 1947-1950 with painted die-cast base.

The die-cast #627 Flatcar was also made with American Flyer Lines rather than C&NWRY in 1950.

Yellow girders came on the diecast cars, too.
(Photo courtesy of Gary Good.)

Here's an oddball for you: this one has holes for a Work and Boom Car cabin and fences!
(Photo courtesy of Don Hasenzahl.)

What it looks like is the base for a #645 Work and Boom Car with a girder load mounted on it.  Some of the #627 Flatcars made in 1950 read "American Flyer Lines" but none read "American Flyer" like the #645.  And the straps that hold the girder aren't taught like they are on other #627s.

The question is whether it came from the factory that way.  Don is convinced it did because the holes for the caboose shed have the factory gray paint inside the holes with no evidence that a pin had ever been in any of the holes to mount a shed.  Further, the straps are the same shiny black metal and are the same exact width and thickness as the originals on some of his other girder cars.  The repro straps are dull black plated metal and are a little thicker than the originals.

#628 flatcar with log load on an unpainted white plastic base made in 1946.
(Photo courtesy of Don Hasenzahl.)

It was also made on an unpainted gray plastic base in 1946.
(Photo courtesy of
Michael J. Whisman.)

#628 gray diecast flatcar with log load made in 1947-1953.

I also have a #628 Flatcar without the log load made in 1947-1953.

#628 Flatcar with log load on a metallic blue base made in 1953.
(Photo courtesy of Don Hasenzahl.)

It was also made on a Plaskon (pressed wood) base in 1952-1953.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)

#636 Erie Wire Reel Flatcar made in 1948-1953.

It was also made with a blue-gray base.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)

An unusual variation on the blue-gray base:
the reel is a mustard yellow and the lower lettering is smaller than usual.
(Photo courtesy of Don Hasenzahl.)

Because an increasing number of authentic-looking reproductions are popping up, I asked Don whether he was sure the car came this way from the Gilbert factory.  He replied, "The print on the reel faces is without question machine stamped onto the paint. Gilbert's printing was done by machine, not rubber stamped. If this was done post factory at that time of “early reproductions” it would have been either done with dry transfers or rubber stamps which would make the small print irregular on the edges and not uniform."  Here's a close-up of the reel face so you can see what he's talking about.

A rare version with a Bakelite/Plaskon base made in 1953.
You can see the difference in the way the wires are tied down and the lack of steps.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)

Most say simply "American Flyer" on the reel; this is the very rare version with "American Flyer Lines".
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)

Four different circus cars made in 1950-1953 shared the same #643.
Each carries a tractor truck and two cage trailers with an animal inside.
These plastic trucks and cages broke easily; many reproductions have been made to replace them.
Be aware that any car you buy may carry reproductions.
They appeared in only one set, the
#5002T Circus Train.


The first, made only early in 1950, was a yellow diecast flatcar with boxcar door guides
to hold the wheels of the trailers.
(Photo courtesy of John Eichmann of the Rocky Mountain Hi-Railers.)


Early in 1950, Gilbert switched to a black-painted block of wood to hold the wheels of the trailers.
(Photo courtesy of
Jay Mackro.)

Early in 1950, Gilbert switched to a black-painted block of wood to hold the wheels of the trailers.
This version was made through 1952.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)

There are many different color schemes in the tractor, trailers, and animals.
The 1980 edition of Greenberg's Guide lists the known combinations.
(Both photos courtesy of
Wanted Antiques Inc.)

In 1952 & 1953, Gilbert made this flatcar on a yellow Plaskon (pressed wood) base.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)


They also made it on a yellow Bakelite base in 1952 & 1953.

The fourth variation was a red diecast flatcar with yellow lettering.
None of my books tells what year(s) this was made.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)

#648 Track Cleaning Car made from 1952 to 1954.

It was also made in tuscan.
(Photo courtesy of an anonymous donor.)

#714 Log Unloading Car made in 1951-1954.

Show me the rest of the flatcars.



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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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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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.

Now show me:                                                                                                                                    
     
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