Saturday, August 30, 2008
A little background as this relates to toy trains: Lionel, as we all know, based much of their prewar toy train electric locomotive production on the S Class electric locomotives that the New York Central used to pull trains in and out of Grand Central Station starting ca. 1906. In Standard gauge they made the 42, 402, and 408E, among others. Needing to be competative in the 20s, American Flyer used a different, more modern prototype from the same railroad, the T series boxcab, known as "T-Motors," which did the same duty during the mid-1920s that had previously been done by the S class electrics. This is the locomotive that served most famously as the inspiration for the 1928-on 4689 Rolls Royce Blue President's Special loco, the 1927 light blue enamelled 4687 President's Special loco, the ultra rare chrome "Mayflower" loco, and the beautiful dark blue 1929 Flying Colonel ("The Ace") locomotive, among others. So the T series New York Central T-Motor boxcabs played an importand role as prototypes in prewar electric train production, along with the S series electric boxcabs.
From what I've been able to learn via online research, there are SEVERAL surviving S series boxcabs in various locations throughout the country. However, there appears to be only ONE surviving T-Motor, the T3-A (former NYC #278), the one that sits decaying near Albany. I don't know the ownership status, but here's a website that has a lot of photos and updated information as of about a year ago: S. Berliner. III's site
Like Marc, I am worried about the fate of these historic locomotives, especially the T3-A. Maybe the tinplate community could become involved and have a role to play in helping to insure their survival.
Something to ponder: there is not ONE surviving New York Central Hudson. Imagine that.
And from aprocheck:
And a Toonerville for good measure:
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
All because his Aunt Kate gave him a little black wind-up steam engine 79 years ago, which he held onto ever since. It will go into his casket with him, at Mr. Hare's request.
I didn't know Frank Hare, but I did speak to him a couple of times, once to order some of the lovely American Flyer reproduction prewar catalogs that he published, and on another occasion to ask permission to use a photo from one of his books, which he gladly gave me. He struck me as being a fine gentleman and a real credit to our hobby. I regret that I didn't interview him for Tinplate Times.
Frank, have fun playing with that AF President's Special out there in the cosmos.