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Tom I for one am glad you are getting out your sets and posting them. Aside from the fact that they are all fantastic to look at, learning what comprises each set is an education. Yes I have Doyle's book to refer to, but as they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Cramden thanks for the 370 compliment. I too have the those passenger cars and the box car but no engine and flat car with the cannon. You are correct about the original cannon shooting a projectile. A friend of mine has a boxed set and the original cannon. It clearly could be dangerous in the wrong hands like a kid might. "You'll put your eye out".
I have seen that cannon flat car at train shows and most do not have the original cannon but those that do are way too pricey. Besides, as your's clearly shows, a replica looks just fine. My problem with that set is I just don't like the engine, no offense. That being said, your set does look good and in like new condition.
I don't want to pull you into a swamp but you do know there are several variations of those passenger cars don't you? If you go to "The GilbertGallery.org/Passenger Gallery/Frontiersman.htm, there you will see what I mean.

I use a 302 to pull my cars on the rare occasion I put them on the layout.

Kenny
 

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As far as the Frontier stuff, I only have 3 #20 passenger cars. I am glad I got them.
I would like all the rest. Mine are in nice condition and I picked them up on a deal.
Like 20 for all three cars. cramden your set looks new. Very nice.
 

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Mopac you getting 3 of the Frontier cars for 20 bucks was indeed a deal! And being in nice condition to boot! Good score. I should be so lucky. I haven't been actively trying to find any of the variations but been thinking about them lately.

Kenny
 

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Thanks Kenny and Mopac. I use that site often Kenny, but also look in my books about variations. There are probably variations to almost every item Gilbert made, some are worth looking for and some not so much. As far as the Frontier items, there are painted and non painted coaches along with the placement of the decals on the boxcar. The earliest coaches also don't have American Flyer Lines stamped on them like the later ones do. I'm sure there are other differences without looking them up. I think I have enough of them now, although the Red combine from the Washington set might get my attention if the price was right.
 

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I am on another week-long trip. Before leaving I was able to photograph one more set. This one is an interesting example of a 1957 set, the first year of Gilbert’s adoption of the 5 digit numbering system. The set is the 20315, all sets started with “20”. It contains the very desirable 21004, the only item in the set box actually carrying a 5 digit number; 969, 805, 806, 12-26720, 4-26700, 704, 26690, 712, 22004. I do not understand Gilbert’s logic for putting two bottom of the line 800 series cars in a set with the 21004 and the 969, but that is what they did. The set even has 4 straight tracks, the mark of a higher value set.
Gilbert used two slightly different sized set boxes for the 20315, this is the second version, supplied by Interstate. Note the year 57 in the manufacturers stamp. This box has a legible set number stamp on the label plus the new code for the set packing date. Note the letters “IEG” stamped on the box. I is month 9, September, EG is 57, the year. Interestingly the letter “J” is the number zero. So had the set been made in October the stamp would be “AJEG”.
In 1957 Instruction books were no longer included so a lot of 4 page loose instruction sheets were placed in the set boxes. Note that the rocket launcher box is stamped 25044 even though a 969 car is inside. The car boxes are now stamped in solid black ink. The 805 and 806 are just wrapped in paper, the cheap 800 series cars did not get boxes in the set. Also note the 12 curve track are in one of the off-white cardboard boxes, this is not stamped with any markings. Some of the individual boxes had their identifying data stamped on the interior flaps. The straight track and the 1 1/2B transformer were loose in the set box.
This set is in like new condition so notice the internal cardboard protectors Gilbert used in the engine and tender boxes. This was costly to make and pack.


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Great set Tom. I've never seen the inserts for the engine and tender. Gilbert did some strange things when they converted to the 5 digit system. I don't think half of the employees really understood how the system was supposed to work. It sometimes looks that those who set up the system didn't know either! I have the 21004 I bought years ago and have the other cars that go with the set but no boxes. I have mine displayed with the 24553 flat with 2 rockets and a yellow and silver 24631 caboose. I think it looks better than the 805 and 806. Have a safe trip, hope you're going someplace warm!
 

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Thanks Kenny and Mopac. I use that site often Kenny, but also look in my books about variations. There are probably variations to almost every item Gilbert made, some are worth looking for and some not so much. As far as the Frontier items, there are painted and non painted coaches along with the placement of the decals on the boxcar. The earliest coaches also don't have American Flyer Lines stamped on them like the later ones do. I'm sure there are other differences without looking them up. I think I have enough of them now, although the Red combine from the Washington set might get my attention if the price was right.
I didn't know for sure if you knew there were several variations of the Frontier cars or not which is why I included the Gilbert Gallery address for reference. It looks as though you know as much about them as I do. Even though I have been to train shows where I found some of them, I didn't buy because I forgot what some of the variations were and was afraid I would buy what I already had although the painted ones are easy to spot but the hold back when buying at shows was the the decal placement. I guess I need to make a list for variation references and of what I have too. Sometimes those cars are priced right.
That red combine car would be nice to have. Never saw one at train shows including the DuPage monthly show which I always figured somebody would surly have at that big show.


Kenny
 

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I like your display choice as well. the 805 and 806 are not up to the rest of the set.
This trip is 4 days in San Diego (tough duty but someone has to do it), 3 days in DC then one more day in San Diego until I get back to the house. I am hoping for mild weather in DC.
 

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Nice set yet again Tom. Thanks for including the code break down too. I wasn't aware of just how it worked.

Tom since you are flying over my neck of the woods you missed the 8 and 10 degrees and snow we had here Thursday and Friday. I can tell you being out in it off and on it was no picnic even being dressed for it. Since there was a little wind, the wind chill was brutal. Saturday though, it was 36 degrees. Only here have we had these kinds of abrupt temp swings this winter. I'm sure other places here in the Midwest have had the same kind of weather changes too. Strange winter this year. I hope when you get to DC you get decent weather. You do remember the winters here don't you??


Kenny
 

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I remember the winters very well, that is why I now live near the beach in SoCal. Unfortunately my wife had to be in East Lansing Michigan last week during the snow storms.
 

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I remember the winters very well, that is why I now live near the beach in SoCal. Unfortunately my wife had to be in East Lansing Michigan last week during the snow storms.

Tom I can't say I blame you for your move to SoCal. Also sorry your wife had to be in East Lansing during that snow storm last week. Bummer.

Kenny
 

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My photo for the day isn't a set or anything fancy. Just a shot of a string of some of my tank cars being pulled out of the tank car yard by one of my UP 372's.

Kenny

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AF pics for Forum 128.jpg
 

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Thanks mopac, al, and Tom for your kind words regarding my tank car photos. I patterned that after an actual tank car loading facility. I posted a pic earlier of my Lionel 455 pumper and holding tanks. They are off to the right at the end of the last car near the top of this photo.

Tom I try and put as much detail as needed in each part of my layout including ground clutter and/or junk. There are some cut off AF track pieces stacked just past the 372 in the picture. I need to go back and separate the rails from the factory ties and insulators and "rust" the scrap rails for a better looking, more realistic scene.

Kenny
 

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Like I said above, I like tank cars. I have a nice loading facility for my HO. Just yesterday,
I bought a new tank car for my O scale. Menards had a no brainer promotion. Buy a
19.95 O train item and get a 29.95 lighted 1953 ford pickup for free. Headlights and
taillights are lit with LEDs. I have a few of Menards lighted vehicles. As I remember, I
have 2 ambulances with flashing lights, 2 mustang GTs, and now the ford pickup, and LOL there could be more. Most were free with promotions. I pick them up at my local Menards and there is no shipping charge. Must be ordered online.
 

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Nice group of tank cars Kenny and the layout looks like it's full of neat details. The 372 is one of the first diesels I bought long ago with the rest of the cars from the 5520T set. I will get some new pictures up hopefully tomorrow.
 
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