Tank Cars (2 of 5)
Gilbert made 24 distinct tank cars as listed on a little over a page of the TM Guide, not counting the variations on some of the 24.  Lionel made 38 more up through 2006 under the American Flyer name.  Because there are so many, I have split them up over five web pages:

Gilbert tank cars #625 through #925 are
page 1
                             #926 through #24321 are on this page
                             #24322 through #24330 are on
page 3
Lionel tank cars  #9100 through #48406 are on
page 4
                             #48407 and above, plus my American Models and K-Line tank cars are on
page 5

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.

#926 Gulf 3-Dome Tank Car with diecast frame made in 1955-1957.
Like other tank cars, the 926 was made in 1957 with a plastic frame.
The steps, brake wheel, and diamond marker show the difference.

In 1958, during the transition to 5-digit numbers, it was sold as #24312.
(Picture courtesy of Don Hasenzahl.)
#958 Mobilgas tank car with diecast frame made only in 1957.
Like other tank cars, the 958 was made in late 1957 with a plastic frame.
(Picture courtesy of an anonymous donor.)

In 1958, Gilbert switched to a 5-digit numbering system and made 15 more tank cars, most being versions of the earlier 6xx and 9xx cars above.  New line names that appeared were Deep Rock, Hooker, the rare Penn Salt, and Bakers Chocolate.

#24309 Gulf Tank Car made in 1958-1960.

It was also made with solid knuckle couplers.
#24310 made in 1958-1960 with solid knuckle couplers.
#24313 3-Dome Tank Car made in 1958-1960.
(Picture courtesy of
D. Bafaro.)

There is also an extremely rare prototype made with a split tank (see the #24316 Mobilgas Tank Car below).
#24316 Mobilgas Tank Car made in 1958-1961 with knuckle couplers (the 5-digit version of the 958).
(From the collection of my firend Joe Philippson)
Look very closely at this car and compare it with all of the cars above.  Do you see the difference?
In all the cars above, the tank and the feet that support it were cast as a single piece.
In this one, the feet and the bottom of the tank were cast as part of the frame, separate from the tank.
Greenberg's Guide calls this the "open bottom" design and the TM Guide calls it the "split tank."
Both call the earlier design the "complete tank."
With a complete tank design, the feet and bottom of the tank are the same color as the tank;
with a split tank, they are black, matching the frame.  Got it?
(Photo courtesy of Don Hasenzahl.)
The split-tank car was also made in 1965-1966 with Pike Master couplers.
The rare #24319 Penn Salt tank car made only in 1958.
Unlike most 1958 tank cars, it was made only with a complete tank.
#24320 made in 1960 with solid knuckle couplers.
Many were made without ladders and railings in an effort to reduce manufacturing costs.
(Picture courtesy of an anonymous donor.)
It also came with operating knuckle couplers.  Here it is taken apart, illustrating the split tank design.
Interestingly, Greenberg says it was made with a complete tank; it doesn't acknowledge the split tank design.
(Photo courtesy of my friend Walt Alexandrowicz, from his ebay auction.)
#24320 with complete tank and solid knuckle couplers, with or without ladders and railings.
Unlike Greenberg, Heimberger and the TM Guide say it had a split tank;
they don't acknowledge the complete tank design!
#24321 Deep Rock Tank Car with knuckle couplers made in 1959.
It was made with and without ladders and railings.
(Picture courtesy of Don Hasenzahl.)

It was also made in 1960 with solid knuckle couplers, with or without ladders and railings.

Show me the rest of the tank cars.

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.

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 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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