Saturday, February 16, 2013

The American Flyer 21130 Hudson came from the 20741 Meteor Freight set in the 1962 American Flyer catalog. Aside from the locomotive and the lighted bay window cupola caboose, the set included a transformer, a figure eight track set, and four freight cars. The freight cars included two electrically activated cars - a "T.N.T" exploding box car and a Southern Pacific lumber unloading flat car. The two remaining cars were a Bordens milk flat car with two containers and, appropriately for the A.C. Gilbert Company, a New Haven flat car holding a truck and trailer used for transporting plastic vehicles. The set retailed for $59.98 in 1962 which would equal about $460 in 2013. I imagine the sacrifice my working parents made for this set with two new kids and a new house with a mortgage. Railroad work, even for union members, paid well. This train set was the most impressive Christmas present I ever received and dad proceeded to set it up on an 8 x 4 table in the basement.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The American Flyer 21130 Hudson Locomotive

The A.C. Gilbert Company introduced S Gauge trains in 1946 and began production of its final series of Hudson locomotives in 1959.  Series 21130 Hudson locomotives were produced in S Gauge from 1959 to 1964 and were among the last electric trains produced by A. C. Gilbert under the American Flyer name.   Lionel, a manufacturer of O Scale trains, later acquired the legal rights and tooling to produce American Flyer trains and recently manufactured some cars and locomotives designed and sold by the A. C. Gilbert Company.  Requests were made to reproduce iconic American Flyer pieces like the Hudson and we will have to see what Lionel comes up with for a growing and renewed interest in S Gauge trains and the American Flyer brand.

In the early 1960s, life was just beginning for a number of young lads receiving their first electric trains (and a 21130 Hudson).  Unfortunately, A. C. Gilbert, a magician, passed away in 1961 and his company would soon cease to manufacture the inventive toys created under his leadership.
The American Flyer brand, the largest United States manufacturer of S Gauge trains, would remain dormant even following its 1967 purchase by Lionel.   There would be no new product joining the Hudson I received for Christmas in 1962 for, with the death of Alfred Carlton Gilbert, American Flyer trains and S Gauge were gone, too.
The A. C. Gilbert American Flyer 21130 Hudson S Gauge Locomotive

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Journey Begins!

Electric Trainstorm shares a passion for the determination, tenacity and steeled strength that governs the realm of railroads. We celebrate America's railroading's history and future while sharing our experience of the great trains of today, both model and real. Join us on a journey through an industrialized society and an unbounded wilderness that combines both sentiment and adventure.
My journey started with my parents who worked for the Union Pacific and met on one of the company's passenger trains.  My father was a signalman and my mother was a railway clerk.  One of the early Christmas presents I received from them was an S Gauge American Flyer electric train set by the A. C. Gilbert Company.  Dad proceeded to build an 8' x 4' train table in our basement and we were soon up and running in a figure 8 track set.  I still have the 21130 Hudson locomotive and caboose from that very first electric train.