See these vintage American Flyer railroads: Classic train toys kids loved

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Vintage American Flyer railroads

Note: This article may feature affiliate links to Amazon or other companies, and purchases made via these links may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Find out more here.

What did many of our grandparents and great-grandparents look most forward to getting for Christmas? In many cases, trains — like these vintage American Flyer railroads!

⁣⁣Children (and a lot of parents) spent hours driving the tracks, imagining the destinations and adventures that lay ahead.

Here, see some of the super-popular scaled-down locomotives that so many kids loved.

“American Flyer” Railroads (1924)

“What are you going to do this aft?” pipes up Pinkey as three boys burst out of school on a cold winter day.

“I’m for going into the house and doing something,” is little Bill’s immediate response.

“Say, you birds I’ve got it!” suggests Frank, “C’mon over to my house. I’ve got my ‘American Flyer’ train and a lot of new equipment; a new station, a new semaphore, you know the big one with the light and track terminal — and a bear of a crossing gate. It’s got a light too — Whadda you say?”

“You’re on,” said little Bill — “I want to be the engineer” yelled Pinkey, and the young American Flyer trio started to Frank’s house on the run.

“Gee! Just wait ’till you see all the track I got. I’ve been adding to it for three years. It almost fills the whole big play room in the attic.”

“If I’m not tardy at school, I’ll get an ‘American Flyer’ train, track and equipment for Xmas, and then I’ll give my American Flyer mechanical train to my kid brother” — is little Bill’s parting shot as they disappear into the house.

American Flyer railroad equipment shown include Train and Track — No.1307, Electric Lighted Station No. 99, No. 1221 Electric Engine with headlights, No.13 Mechanical Engine with brake and piston rods, and more.

Antique American Flyer railroads from 1924


NEW American Flyer trains! — Years ahead in remarkable new features (1930)

Now! A model line of new American Flyers, including new steam and electric type locomotives that will outpull all others — new hi-speed trains, newly designed and larger cars, new railroad equipment items, and many other features never put in miniature trains before.

These new American Flyer Trains and Equipment add tremendously to the fun possibilities of miniature railroading. Just Like The Big Trains American Flyers are actual reproductions of modern American Trains — European design has never been used.

American Flyers are real in every detail of design, appearance and thrilling performance. They are sturdily constructed and will furnish fun for years. With American Flyer Trains and Equipment it is now possible for you to duplicate actual operating conditions of real railroads.

DON’T MISS: Lionel Trains: Vintage toy locomotives from the ’50s

Choice of 72 Million Boys

Over 744 million proud and happy owners testify to American Flyer’s leadership. These alert and discriminating boys have chosen the American Flyer because of some of the following exclusive features:

  1. The most powerful locomotives in both steam and electric types.
  2. Triple Action — remote-control reversing locomotives.
  3. Automatic ringing bell on locos.
  4. Full enameled cars with real brass window frames and fittings.
  5. The longest, heaviest and the fastest traveling freight cars made.
  6. High speed car trucks.
  7. Remote-control track switches.
  8. More realistic bridges, stations, tunnels und automatic equipment.

Only American Flyer gives you all these features at no extra cost. You get more for your money in features, size, detail, and in total number of pieces included in a train set, when you buy an American Flyer.

Be sure you get one this Christmas. Your Dad, too, will enjoy railroading. 

Vintage 1930 American Flyer train set


Select your Christmas train wisely! (1930)

The new 1930 American Flyer Trains embody such unrivaled beauty, power, speed, infinite detail, reality and mechanical superiority, that you will surely want to see them in this unusual train book.

A railroading textbook

The book is really a textbook on miniature railroading. In it you find page after page of wonderful passenger and freight trains, wide and narrow gauge.

Such trains as the President’s Special, Old Ironsides, the Blue Bird, and dozens of others. Also electric locomotives, cars, track equipment, transformers, automatic signals, tunnels, bridges, stations, etc.

With the book, you can leisurely and wisely select each item. There are colorful illustrations, with detailed descriptions and prices. Most complete catalog of high grade toys ever issued.

MORE: Play time! Check out some of the most popular toys from the ’40s

Choice of 7 million boys

Many boys choose American Flyers because they are real trains — exact miniatures of the famous crack trains of the country. Other boys, because these advanced trains offer the very latest in fun-making, interest-compelling, and educational features. Still others, because skillful engineering, careful workmanship and reliable motors and transformers assure utmost operating dependability and long life.

Investigate these features

Owners of American Flyer trains are especially proud of such features as: automatic ringing bell on locomotive, high speed three-point suspension trucks, automatic signals, electrically remote-controlled track switches, automatic mail bag catcher, triple-action remote control and automatic track reverse locomotives, individual car lighting, automatic couplings, brass trimmings, vivid enamel colorings, tunnels, bridges, etc. By all means investigate these and other American Flyer features!

Vintage 1930 American Flyer Trains - Toy railroads


American Flyer railroad toys: See ’em puff smoke! Hear ’em “choo-choo” (1946)

First scale model trains with real smoke and realistic-sounding “choo-choo” — both synchronized with train speed.

Here — for the first time — are the trains every scale model railroader has wanted… trains that puff real smoke… trains that reproducing the throbbing “choo-choo” sounds of a giant locomotive.

But that’s not all. These thrilling new features are so realistic that both smoke and choo-choos vary in intensity with the speed of the train.

Lazy wisps of smoke and slow, impatient choo-choos when your engine idles… a steadily-mounting volume of smoke and sound as it gains speed… long streamers of smoke and fast, furious choo-choos when your train is rolling along at 75.

See — and hear — these sensational new American Flyer trains at your nearest department or toy stores.

American Flyer model trains with smoke (1946)


Vintage American Flyer trains with smoke (1948)

Only the American Flyer has real smoke and realistic “choo-choo” sounds synchronized with train speed. The faster your train goes, the heavier the puffs of smoke… the louder and the faster the “choo-choos”.

The new American Flyers bring you all the wonder and glory of railroading. They puff real smoke, They reproduce the “choo-choo” sounds of a real locomotive under full steam, Both smoke and “choo-choos” vary in intensity as you increase or decrease the speed of your train.

Locomotives, tenders, cars and track are all built to uniform 3/16″ scale, so that your train looks like real — hugs the track like real. And a two-loop track layout takes space only 6 feet square.

Cars have automatic couplers that couple anywhere. Uncouple by remote control. Die-cast locomotives have superpower worm drive for smooth, steady pull at all speeds from a crawl to 120 scale miles per hour. 

ALSO SEE: The Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab kit was actually a thing for kids in the ’50s

Vintage American Flyer trains with smoke from 1948


For the happiest Christmas of all… an American Flyer train. (1950)

What fun it will be to find that wonderful, wished-for American Flyer electric train underneath the festive Christmas tree! No present in all the world will bring so much sheer joy and happiness to a boy’s heart, for American Flyers are the finest trains that money can buy.

Just like the real trains of which they are perfectly sculptured 3/16″ scale models, they run on two rail track and puff clean, pure-white smoke that lasts for hours.

And as they speed along the rails, choo-choo sounds keep time with the puffing smoke, while the touch of a remote control button blows a two-toned built-in railroad whistle.

Here, indeed, is the gift of gifts for that boy of yours — the gift to last throughout the years.

MORE: Woolworth’s toys: A wonderland of fun for kids back in the ’50s

Products shown include:

  • American Flyer No. 4904T — “Pacific” freight set
  • A.F No. 490T — “Atlantic” freight set
  • A.F No. 5002T — Circus train
  • A.F No.5008 — Santa Fe Diesel Streamliner
  • A.F No.771 — Operating stock yard and car
  • A.F No.769 — Revolving aircraft beacon
  • A.F No. 755 — Talking station

Vintage electric American Flyer train set toy (1950)

Vintage American Flyer train toys from 1950


American Flyer engineered by Erector (1951)

Fun not only at Christmas time, but for the years ahead, with your American Flyer model railroad!

Picture yourself at your American Flyer control panel. Before you are the busy yards and main line tracks. As you manipulate the controls the amazing operating stockyard goes into action. Cattle mill about the corral, troop up a tamp and into an American Flyer stock car!

Then, from the Talking Station, come railroad yard sounds and a conductor’s voice announcing train schedules! And along the straightaway streaks your American Flyer limited, smoke streaming from the stack and whistle blowing. Here’s fun for you — and everybody!

And when you do get your electric train, you’ll want to make sure it’s American Flyer, for American Flyer and only American Flyer gives you all of these features:

Smoke and choo-choo. The last word in realism! Smoke puffs from the stack while you hear the steady choo-choos, all timed to the driving wheel action!

Two-rail track. Another American Flyer exclusive! Just like a real railroad right-of-way. Authentic “T” rail for wheel-hugging traction.

Built to scale. Each American Flyer locomotive and car a replica in miniature of the real thing! Made to perfect 3/16- of-an-inch scale. Looks right and is right!

Air chime whistle. Just like the real-life Nathan Air Chime Whistle, railroading’s newest feature! Clear, sharp tones right from the locomotive.

Worm drive motor. Smooth, dependable power — and lots of it — for mountain grades or flat hauls.

ALSO SEE: Vintage Erector Sets were toys that made toys: See old sets & find out their history

Vintage father and son playing with American Flyer railroad toys (1951)

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