New Product Spotlight – American Flyer Baldwin Switchers

4 08 2014

The popular American Flyer Baldwin Switcher is back in three new paint schemes for 2014. Simple, reliable power for any S Gauge railroad, these switchers capture a common prototype.

Prototype Background


6-42597 Canadian Pacific

The American Flyer switcher most closely represents the Baldwin DS4-4-660. Built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, the DS4-4-660 worked for railroads large and small and was also a popular choice for industrial railroads. Baldwin built 139 of the 660 horsepower locomotives between 1946 and 1949. Baldwin offered several other switcher models in similar carbodies which found work on other roads as well.

The Pennsylvania Railroad had the largest roster of these locomotives. Its 99 units represented over 70% of the total production. That roster is perhaps even more impressive when considering the next largest owners were the New Orleans Public Belt Ry. with a total of just six and the Erie with five. The rest of the production was spread over a variety of railroads and industrial lines one to three at a time. While these numbers apply to the DS4-4-660 specifically, the trends were similar for Baldwin’s other diesel switchers.


6-42598 Union Pacific

Unfortunately for Baldwin, its diesels never produced sales like its steam locomotives. Its switchers were however their most successful designs and many outlived their original owners. Today the distinctive “burble” sound of a Baldwin diesel can still be heard on a few active on shortlines and preserved at museums.

American Flyer Models

These locomotives include the familiar and time-proven features and performance of traditional American Flyer models. Each is equipped with:


6-42599 Youngstown Steel

  • Transformer-controlled forward / neutral / reverse operation
  • Powerful maintenance-free motor with flywheel
  • Directional lighting including headlight and back up light
  • Die-cast metal trucks
  • Metal frame
  • Operating couplers
  • Traction Tires
  • S-36 Minimum operating curve.

Three new paint schemes join the roster this year including Canadian Pacific (6-42597), Union Pacific (6-42598) and a colorful Youngstown Steel Bicentennial unit (6-42599). Also still available is the previously cataloged M&StL locomotive (6-48165). Each retails for $289.99. See your favorite American Flyer dealer to order yours today.


New Product Spotlight – American Flyer ES44AC

7 04 2014

6-42581 BNSF 6423 (#6438 also available)

We introduced the new American Flyer ES44AC last year as part of the Norfolk Southern Heritage Series. This year we’re bringing more paint schemes from many of this modern standard’s other operators.

Since its introduction in 2003, General Electric’s ES44AC has become a common sight on railroads all across North America. While AC traction motor-equipped locomotives are generally preferred for slower, heavy freights like coal trains, you will see these locomotives on almost any type of train. And with railroads frequently interchanging the locomotives along with the rest of the train today, it is not at all uncommon to find “foreign power” on your local line.


6-42582 Canadian Pacific 8744 (#8730 also available)

This year’s lineup of American Flyer ES44ACs will include some great names from coast to coast: BNSF, Canadian Pacific, CSX, Kansas City Southern, and Union Pacific. Powered locomotives for each roadname will be offered with two different numbers. For the KCS locomotives, one number will wear the Southern Belle scheme, the other a “what if” version of their gray paint scheme.

The American Flyer ES44AC is packed with features.


6-42584 CSX 924 (#937 also available)

  • LEGACY Control System – able to run on LEGACY, TMCC or Conventional power. The models are also DCC enabled.
  • AF Speed Control with on/off switch for maintaining an even speed through curves and grades
  • LEGACYRailSounds featuring
    • CrewTalk and TowerCom announcements with varying scenarios based on the train’s motion
    • Eight diesel RPM levels
    • LEGACY Quilling Horn
    • Single hit or continuous mechanical bell
    • Independent volume control
  • Two maintenance-free motors
  • Front and RearElectroCouplers


    6-42586 KCS 4692 (#4696 also available in gray paint)

  • Mounting holes and support plate for scale couplers (sold separately)
  • Pivoting Pilot allows for operation on tight curves with better appearance
  • Operating headlight, ditch lights, illuminated number boards and detailed cab interior
  • Traction Tires
  • Metal Frame
  • Fan-driven smoke unit
  • Die-cast metal trucks, pilots and fuel tank
  • Separately applied metal details
  • Cab window glass
  • Engineer and conductor figures

6-42589 Union Pacific 7494 (#7523 also available)

All locomotives will negotiate S-36 curves. All come with American Flyer wheels but can be switched to scale wheels which will be available separately through Lionel Customer Service.

ES44AC locomotives retail for $529.99. If you are looking for colorful modern power for your American Flyer layout, it doesn’t get any better than this.

New Product Spotlight – American Flyer Defender Set

24 06 2013

American Flyer fans have been waiting for this set to arrive for awhile and now it is finally on its way. The Defender Set is filled with many of the classic American Flyer action cars that bring the train to life.

Defender Set

The LONG awaited American Flyer Defender Set is finally just about ready to ship. For more photos of this set, see our American Flyer Facebook Page.

American Flyer first produced the Defender Set in 1959. With its rocket, searchlight, operating boxcar and more, the action-packed set targeted young minds at the dawn of the space age. The set also marked the 50th Anniversary of American Flyer trains.

The new set captures the spirit and details of the original 1959 set quite well. Whether you grew up with the original and want to recapture your youth or you’re ready to start the adventure for the first time, this set is sure to please.

Pulled by a C&O GP-7, the locomotive includes:


The GP-7 is decorated for the C&O and features an electronic ringing bell.

  • Transformer controlled forward, neutral, and reverse operation
  • Powerful maintenance-free motor
  • Ringing bell
  • Directional lighting including headlight and back-up light
  • Interior cab light
  • Front and rear operating couplers
  • Metal frame
  • Die-cast metal trucks

Of all the action cars in the set, the rocket launcher is the most imaginative and dramatic.

Rolling stock includes an operating rocket launcher car, Navy flatcar with two removable Jeeps, lighted searchlight car, merchandise boxcar with opening doors, and a lighted caboose. All cars feature die-cast metal trucks and operating couplers.

The set is scheduled to ship this August. Please see your Lionel dealers for availability.

New Product Spotlight – American Flyer Dockside Switchers and Set

20 05 2013

The rugged little 0-6-0 Dockside Switcher has been a staple of the American Flyer roster for years. Now you’ll have more ways to start or grow your collection with these reliable switchers.

Beth Steel

6-42563 Bethlehem Steel

The Dockside is perfect for layouts of any size. The prototypes were designed for switching in tight places (like bustling seaports.) Use them for switching in your yards and industries or even for hauling the local freight run.

Coming soon in four new roadnames for individual sale, the Docksides feature:

  • Transformer controlled Forward / Neutral / Reverse operation

    6-42564 Reading

    6-42564 Reading

  • Powerful maintenance-free motor
  • Directional lighting including headlight and back-up light
  • Puffing Smoke
  • Operating couplers front and rear
  • Traction Tires
  • MSRP: $94.99
6-42565 Chesapeake and Ohio

6-42565 Chesapeake and Ohio

The Dockside Switcher will also be available as part of a great starter set. In addition to a Southern Pacific locomotive, this set will include a boxcar with working door, tank car and lighted caboose. All of the rolling stock features die-cast metal trucks and operating couplers.

To complete the set, you’ll get an oval of American Flyer FasTrack (12 curve, 1 straight and 1 terminal section) and a CW-80 Transformer.


6-49364 Southern Pacific Dockside Set


6-42566 American Flyer Lines

This is the perfect size to get started in S Gauge – or just expand your existing empire at a great price. The set retails for $269.99. All of these exciting items should arrive at your dealers this fall. Place your orders now!

New Product Preview – American Flyer Polar Express Train Set

29 04 2013

The story of the Polar Express never gets old – and now the magic comes to our American Flyer line as one of our first new complete S Gauge train sets to help marks the tenth anniversary of the popular movie in 2014.

Polar Express Set

The magic of the Polar Express is coming to American Flyer. (O Scale artwork shown.)

Whether you are just starting with American Flyer, expanding your collection or looking for a train around the Christmas tree, this set will be a perfect fit. You’ll also find the size of S Gauge American Flyer to be a very nice complement to collectible Christmas villages.

This set will feature completely new tooling. Like our O and G gauge versions, the Polar Express will be modeled after the train as it appeared in both the book and movie. The locomotive, based on Pere Marquette No. 1225, pulls two coaches and an observation.

The set will also include an oval of American Flyer FasTrack.

This set is sure to delight for years to come. And stay tuned for more information about this set and more American Flyer Polar Express announcements in the near future!

New Product Spotlight – American Flyer Christmas

9 07 2012

It’s Christmas in July! For the next four weeks, we’ll highlight some of our new Christmas items for 2012. All of these and more can be seen in our new Christmas Catalog, available now at your dealers and online. Christmas may be months away, but perhaps thinking about the coming winter will help cool you down. So get your orders in to your local dealer and look for some special Christmas in July savings on our Facebook and Twitter feeds in the coming days as well.

North Pole Power


6-48195 LEGACY U33-C

We begin our Christmas cheer with new products in our American Flyer line. Leading the way north this year is the new North Pole Central U33-C locomotive, styled in New York Central-like lightning stripes in red and green, this locomotive has the power to pull your heavy Christmas loads with style. The locomotive features LEGACY control and RailSounds including Crew talk and dialogue, 8 diesel engine notches, quillable horn, bell, and independent volume controls. The locomotive will run on any LEGACY, TMCC or conventional layout. AF Speed control will help keep your speed constant on hills and curves and can be turned off and on with the flip of a switch. The locomotive also includes:

  • Lighted, directional headlights and front and rear marker lights, along with lighted numberboards and cab interior
  • Dual flywheel-equipped motors
  • Metal frame and trucks
  • Traction tires
  • Detailed cab interior including engineer and conductor
  • Separate metal handrails and numerous other detail parts
  • Fan-driven smoke unit
  • Front and rear Electro-Couplers

The locomotive requires a 36″ diameter minimum curve and retails for $479.99.

Passenger Cars

Add streamlined passenger service to your North Pole Express with the three-car passenger train set featuring a combine, dome and observation. The cars all feature stamped metal frames and metal trucks, operating couplers, interior illumination and silhouetted figures in the windows. This set will look good behind the North Pole Express Geep (there were plenty of GP-9s in passenger service.) The cars do require a 36″ diameter minimum curve. The set retails for $249.99.


6-49960 Streamlined Passenger Cars


Looking to extend your Christmas consist? We’ve got five new cars for your festive freight trains this year.

2012 Boxcar

6-48825 Annual Boxcar

First of course is the annual Christmas boxcar. The 2012 car features a toy train design and proclaims, “A Merry Christmas to you! May all your wishes come true!” The car features a metal floor, trucks, working couplers and operating doors. The car retails for $69.99


6-49061 Musical Reefer

Add some cool carols to your train with the musical reefer! The car plays twelve popular Christmas tunes and has an on/off switch. The car uses a 9-volt battery (not included) and features metal trucks and working couplers. Retail price is $79.99.

Covered Hopper

6-48638 Covered Hopper

Keep those reindeer well fed with a new covered hopper. This car features metal trucks, working couplers and a removable roof. Think of how cute it would be for this car to appear on your train with a little “reindeer feed” (dried oatmeal works great) on Christmas Eve so your kids could spread it on the lawn! The car will retail for $69.99.


6-48571 Flat Car

Santa’s Runway. After a flight around the world, Santa’s reindeer deserve a train ride back to the North Pole. This landing strip flatcar carries a removable sleigh and reindeer. Model features include a metal frame and trucks and working couplers. Retail is $69.99.


9-49062 Animated Caboose

Bring up your train in style with an animated caboose. The illuminated Northeastern-style caboose features Santa moving back and forth on the rear platform to wave to the kids as he passes. The car operates off of track power. Retail $84.99.

Add some Christmas cheer to your American Flyer layout this year! See your dealer to place your order today.

New Product Spotlight – American Flyer Cylindrical Hoppers

7 05 2012

Lionel has offered stunning models of the cylindrical covered hopper in its line for several years. Now we are pleased to announce the same quality is coming to S Gauge for American Flyer.

CN covered hopper

This one-of-a-kind prototype featured a rainbow of color on one side. Appropriate since it was used to haul Hexamethylene Diisocyanate – used to harden paint.

Most commonly associated with and found on Canadian railroads, the cylindrical hoppers have a long and colorful history and have been used by railroads and private companies all across North America. Originated by American Car and Foundry (ACF) in the 1960s, cylindrical hoppers have been made in many sizes for commodities as diverse as salt, grain, fertilizer and chemicals. For more on the history of the prototypes, see our previous “Freight Car Friday” blog.

In addition to their unique design, cylindrical hoppers have worn some of the most colorful paint schemes in railroading. From yellow and blue Chessie cats to rolling billboards for Canadian provinces these cars have worn it all.


The bright Saskatchewan cars are hard to miss in any train! These modern cars aren’t the first time Canada has used these cylindricals as billboards.

Our initial offering of cars in the American Flyer line includes eight colorful schemes. Four, the Canadian National (6-48639), Southern Pacific (6-48640), Burlington Northern (6-48643)and Saskatchewan (6-48642) cars, are all prototypical. Four more schemes, inspired by Union Pacific’s heritage program, are a fictitious but perfect fit for these cars and the UP Heritage SD70ACEs. These include the UP “Building America” car (6-48646), Rio Grande (6-48644), C&NW (6-48645) and Missouri Pacific (6-48641).


Our UP Heritage schemes are an adaptive tribute to the commemorative locomotives and will make a great compliment to a modern UP freight.

In addition to bold paint schemes, these highly detailed models are designed with the different demands of American Flyer modelers in mind. The cars are available with scale wheels and trucks. Operating knuckle couplers come standard, but mounting holes are provided for those who would like to replace them with scale couplers. But all modelers will enjoy the separately applied metal details, opening roof hatches and 36 inch minimum curve diameter. MSRP $79.99.