Hope people here can help me, and I apologize if this post breaks any conventions. After several years of civil contention, I finally received the Christmas trainset that's been passed down from father to son for the last several generations in my family. The condition is that I get it up and running again.
It's always been contained in a American Flyer Box that says Train No. 342. What's included in the box is ( O Gauge ) several freight cars, an oval of three rail track, transformer, and a locomotive and tender. The Locomotice and Tender are somewhat remniscent of the Hiawatha, except it's an 0-4-0 locomotive with AF on the winged logo on the nose.
I'd like to find some information for nostalgia and repair purposes, so anything would be helpful.
Some links to photos of the engine. Warning photosize is roughly, 180k apiece
American Flyer made an inexpensive line of trains called "Champion" for sale at stores such as W.T. Grant, S.S. Kresge and other 5 & dime stores. They were primarily sold in the mid-west, and were not listed in the annual consumer train catalogs with the other trains in the Flyer line. The Hiawatha sets were first offered in 1936, and came as both freight and passenger sets, with both electric and wind-up locomotives. The streamlined passenger sets usually came with an articulated train of a streamlined tender, one or two coaches, and a slope-back "beavertail" observation, each having only one axle at the back with the front supported by the car ahead. The freight sets usually came with a squared 2-axle tender and train of 2 or
3 freight cars and a caboose, all also 2-axle. There were many variations to this, however.
These sets are described briefly in the "Greenberg's Guide to American Flyer Prewar O Gauge" which is now out-of-print, but I see 2 copies are available at Amazon.com for around $100. A better description (and source of the info above) is an article on the Hiawatha train sets of the various toy train manufacturers, including the AF Champion sets, in the July 1995 issue of Classic Toy Trains magazine. That article has colored photos of both a passenger set with box and a freight set. The beautiful condition of your locomotive puts the ones pictured in the article to shame - take care of it, especially with the original box.
Repair information and parts are more difficult to find for pre-war Flyer. The Olsen's Toy Train Parts site at:
has some info on pre-war O gauge Flyer, but it looks like most is for the mode expensive items in the product line. They do have sheets for a couple
0-4-0 electric prototype locos which probably use the same or very similar motor chassis as the one in your loco. Olsen's also stocks some pre-war Flyer parts. Geezer