15 Most Valuable American Flyer Trains: Value and Price Guide

American Flyer trains have been around for over a century. These model trains, which are miniature versions of real trains, are available in different scales. Ranging from little to huge, these toy trains have brought joy and happiness to many households.

Today, vintage American Flyer trains are very valuable. So, these toy trains can also put serious money in your hand.

But how do you know what American Flyer trains are valuable, and what are their worth? We’ll answer these questions and more in this article. Let’s check out the most valuable vintage American Flyer trains out there today.

What are American Flyer trains?

American Flyer trains are toy model trains made under the brand name “American Flyer”.

American Flyer used to be an independent company, the American Flyer Manufacturing Company. Their origins can be traced to 1906, but the brand name was adopted in 1908. In 1937, the company was sold to A.C. Gilbert Company, and American Flyer trains were manufactured as a subdivision of A.C. Gilbert Co.

In May 1967, A.C Gilbert Co., including the American Flyer brand name, was sold to Lionel Corporation. From then on, American Flyer trains have been manufactured under the guidance of Lionel.

10 Most Valuable American Flyer trains

No
Name
Year
Price
1
American Flyer #480 Silver Flash B Unit and #479 Diesel
1955
$2,999
2
American Flyer Prewar Standard Gauge Presidents Special
1928
$1,700
3
American Flyer Pocahontas train set – 5 pieces
1928
$1,225
4
The S-Gauge American Flyer AB 360/ 361
1950
$1,050
5
American Flyer President Special No. 1453 feat AF 4039 loco
1926
$1,000
6
American Flyer Standard Gauge Brass Piper Locomotive and Tender
1930
$950
7
American Flyer Prewar Standard Gauge Locomotive #4692
1930
$736.24
8
American Flyer Standard Scale Locomotive #4672 and Tender #4693
1932
$765
 9
American Flyer Shell Oil Tank 625
1946
$750
 10
American Flyer 484, 485, and 486 Santa Fe Diesel Set
1956
$675
 11
American Flyer Prewar Standard Gauge Shasta Electric Locomotive
1929
$451.24
 12
Vintage American Flyer S Gauge 342 Locomotive and Tender
1946
$400
 13
American Flyer Standard Gauge Locomotive 4635
1930–1933
$265.99
 14
American Flyer Prewar O Gauge #567 Union Pacific Tender
1939
$275
 15
1956 American Flyer Northern Pacific PB Unit #491
1956
$265

Some of the most valuable American Flyer trains are:

1. American Flyer #480 Silver Flash B Unit and #479 Diesel $2,999

Year: 1955

Price: 2,999

American Flyer #480 Silver Flash B Unit & #479 Diesel Engine VERY RARE 1955
American Flyer #480 Silver Flash B Unit & #479 Diesel Engine VERY RARE 1955

This American Flyer Silver Flash set is one of the rarest vintage set of the company, especially its B unit.

The set consist of a single motor Alco diesel A unit (#479) and the very rare passenger car (the #480 B unit). The set comes with the horn and diesel roar feature.  The set was made only briefly in 1955, so only very few were available at the time.

However, that’s good news for anyone that has this American Flyer Silver Flash set today as it is VERY valuable. Even one that is in a not-so-good condition will fetch you thousands of dollars. This set is priced at about $3,000.

2. American Flyer Prewar Standard Gauge Presidents Special $1,700

Year: 1928

Price: $1,700

American Flyer Prewar Standard Gauge Presidents Special
American Flyer Prewar Standard Gauge Presidents Special

This American Flyer train consists of 4687 locomotive and three passenger cabs. The standard gauge 4687 locomotive has 4-4-4 wheel configuration. The nice-looking loco comes in dark blue, orange window inserts, and brass trims. It features a drumhead sign that announces the loco’s name as “President’s Special”.

The locomotive, which is one of American Flyer’s rarest, has four American Flyer plates, and a remote reverse. On its top are two headlights and two brass pantographs.

The passenger cars have a relatively lighter shade, and are lithographed. These include a 4090 four-door baggage car with “American Flyer Limited” written on its side, a 4091 Pullman car with “West Point” on its side, and a 4092 observation car with “Annapolis” written on its side.

All metal couplers as well as metal wheels and axles work fine. The set shows serious sign of use. But given that the set contains four pieces, and that its loco is very hard to find, it can only be gotten for a massive amount.

3. American Flyer Pocahontas train set – 5 pieces $1,225

Year: 1928

Price: $1,225

American Flyer Pocahontas train set 5 pieces
American Flyer Pocahontas train set 5 pieces

This American Flyer train set includes the “S” gauge 4637 steam locomotive, and four passenger cars – 4340 (club car), 4341 (pullman car), 4342 (observation car), and 4343 (diner car).

The 4637 locomotive is the 0-4-0 Shasta. It has green body and tan chassis, and sports 2 headlights, 2 pantographs on its top. It heads the four Pocahontas passenger cars which feature tan bodies and green roofs.

This American Flyer train set works well. It runs forward and reverses properly, and the ringing bell also works well. The set is also in very good condition. Every piece of this set is valuable talk more of having the whole set, and in good condition. So, it commands the very good price of $1,225.

4. The S-Gauge American Flyer AB 360/ 361 $1,050

Year: 1950

Price: $1,050

S-Gauge - American Flyer AB 360361
S-Gauge – American Flyer AB 360361

This American Flyer train is another of its S gauge diesel engines that is very valuable today. The #360 diesel locomotive and the #361 car have a link coupler with black weight. The two units together form the American Flyer 362 diesel train.

The chrome-yellow train is lettered for the Santa Fe railroad. It was most likely manufactured in 1950, as it is one of the older versions with handrail. Only few of these sets were made as production was only between 1950 and 1952. So, it is one very rare American Flyer train.

Thus, despite showing major paint loss, this set is still very valuable. It is one American Flyer train that is priced over $1,000.

5. American Flyer President Special No. 1453 feat AF 4039 loco $1,000

Year: 1926

Price: $1,000

American Flyer President Special No 1453. Feat AF 4039 Loco. RARE
American Flyer President Special No 1453. Feat AF 4039 Loco. RARE

American Flyer set number 1453 is the first of the three series of the company’s President’s Special model trains. It consists of an S gauge 4039 locomotive and three passenger cars.

The 15” long locomotive has the 0-4-0 wheel configuration. It features brass plates and nickel trim, and sports two headlights and a ringing bell on its top. The cars are 19” long, and features spring-loaded doors and interior illumination.

The trains work very well, both in forward and reverse. It is also in fine condition. The buff colour is off in only a few places. This set was produced only in 1929, so only a few hit the market then, making it very hard to find today.

All of this work to make the set very valuable. It’s priced at $1,000.

6. American Flyer Standard Gauge Brass Piper Locomotive and Tender $950

Year: 1930

Price: $950

AMERICAN FLYER STANDARD GAUGE BRASS PIPER LOCOMOTIVE & TENDER
AMERICAN FLYER STANDARD GAUGE BRASS PIPER LOCOMOTIVE & TENDER

This American Flyer vintage includes a brass piper locomotive and the very desirable 4693 Vanderbilt die-cast tender.

The brass piper is a 4-4-2 steam engine made in about 1930. It is a very early version of the brass piper, so it does not have the ringing bells and fire box that you’ll find in later versions.

Also, this American Flyer locomotive and tender is in good condition. It has been slightly restored and as a high-gloss finish. Also, the engine works well, as well as the headlights. The single lever, in the rear, moves the train in the forward and reverse directions. However, while this train moves forward smoothly, the reverse operation is not as smooth. The train stalls and hums loudly when the lever is in reverse mode.

However, being a very early version and very rare, it is a very valuable American Flyer that will cost you $950.

7. American Flyer Prewar Standard Gauge Locomotive #4692 $736.24

Year: 1930

Price: $736.24

AMERICAN FLYER PREWAR STANDARD GAUGE 4692 DIECAST STEAM LOCOMOTIVE
AMERICAN FLYER PREWAR STANDARD GAUGE 4692 DIECAST STEAM LOCOMOTIVE

The American Flyer #4692 is a steam standard gauge locomotive. It usually heads the #4693 tender, where together, they are called the #4694 unit.

The 4692 locomotive can be traced back to 1930. It features a die-cast metal construction, and comes with 4-4-2 wheel configuration. It runs a triangle valve gear, motor, and reverse lever. It also features a headlamp and a firebox lamp. A distinguishing feature is its side rods and metal wheels.

This American Flyer locomotive which has an imposing black colour is in good condition. Interestingly, it also has an imposing price tag.

 

8. American Flyer Standard Scale Locomotive #4672 and Tender #4693 $765

Year: 1932

Price: $765

American Flyer 1931-32 Standard Scale Loco#4672, Tender#4693
American Flyer 1931-32 Standard Scale Loco#4672, Tender#4693

This American Flyer train is standard scale brass piper locomotive number 4670 and Tender number 4693. This set was manufactured in 1932. The locomotive is made of cast iron, and has a 2-4-2 wheel configuration. The tender is made of cast zinc.

The paint on the locomotive and tender is original, and they are in god condition. However, two of the drive wheels are replacement, and a second coupler has been added. This vintage American Flyer is priced at $765.

9. American Flyer Shell Oil Tank 625 $750

Year: 1946

Price: $750

American Flyer 625 Orange SHELL 1946 Oil Tank Car Rare Painted Version
American Flyer 625 Orange SHELL 1946 Oil Tank Car Rare Painted Version

This piece is the plastic version of the first Gilbert tank car. It is a very rare piece with bright orange colour. It was made briefly in 1946 before the company quickly switched to the black variation and the Gulf oil tanks.

This rare orange American Flyer Shell oil tank has “Shell” written on ether sides as well as the piece number (625). It also has other markings typical of an oil tank (such as “capacity: 8000 LBS and “LT. WT. 40400 7-27”).

It has all the railings and ladder feature in place. However, typical of the early plastic oil tanks, this piece shows some body warping. However, being that it is so rare, it commands a good fee of $750.

10. American Flyer 484, 485, and 486 Santa Fe Diesel Set $675

Year: 1956

Price: $675

American Flyer Famous 484,5&6 Santa Fe Blue&Yellow Diesel Set Close To New OWs
American Flyer Famous 484,5&6 Santa Fe Blue&Yellow Diesel Set Close To New OWs

This American Flyer train consists of three units. These are the #484, #485, and #486. They are PA-PB-PA units of the famous yellow and blue Santa Fe model.

The Santa Fe Alco diesel 484 with two motors powers the #484 unit to give the train good locomotive power. The #485 car features onboard electronic horn and “diesel roar”. This train works perfectly, including the reversing system.

This American Flyer train was manufactured between 1956 and 1957, so it is very hard to find, talk more of in a very neat condition. The units of this set are all in excellent condition. They are even available in their original wrappers, and come with the original operating instruction manual.

The Santa Fe American Flyer train was one of the most beautiful model trains of the company. If you have this set today, it’ll also beautiful your pocket. This is because it is very valuable and priced at $675.

11. American Flyer Prewar Standard Gauge Shasta Electric Locomotive $451.24

Year: 1929

Price: $451.24

American Flyer Prewar WideStandard Gauge 4637 Shasta Electric Locomotive!
American Flyer Prewar WideStandard Gauge 4637 Shasta Electric Locomotive!

This American Flyer piece is the 4637 locomotive. The locomotive is named Shasta. It is 15” long and has a green body and “rookie tan” chassis. It is made of die-cast pressed steel, and it features the 0-4-0 wheel configuration.

This is the first St Paul-style electric cab that American Flyer catalogued. When the locomotive #4637 appeared in 1929, it was advertised as having “32 points of superiority”. Shasta comes equipped with a remote control reversing motor, 2 headlights, and a firebox light. The brass-trimmed locomotive also has brass plates, brass doors, brass steps, and two brass pantographs.

This Shasta piece is in its original colour. However, it shows signs of use like minor paint loss, and scratches. It’s also missing its ringing bell. Nevertheless, it commands a hefty a hefty price – $$451.24

12. Vintage American Flyer S Gauge 342 Locomotive and Tender $400

Year: 1946

Price: $400

Vintage American Flyer S Gauge 342 Locomotive Nickel Plate Tender
Vintage American Flyer S Gauge 342 Locomotive Nickel Plate Tender

This America Flyer train consists of a number 342 standard gauge locomotive with a 0-8-0 wheel configuration, and a Nickel Plate Tender.

The rugged loco appeared in 1946, and is American Flyer’s postwar version of its “O” gauge #574. The train features a reverse unit as well as a smoke unit, as well as a thick shank link coupler. The tender is lettered “American Flyer Lines” and “Nickel Plate Road”.

This American Flyer train is in fine condition. Its thick black colour is original and is not eaten with wear of use. Apart from a little dusting, the only concern will be the loose headlight holder. However, this American Flyer #342 loco and Nickel Plate tender is over $400.

13. American Flyer Standard Gauge Locomotive 4635 $280

Year: 1930 – 1933

Price: $265.99

American Flyer 4635 Vintage Standard Gauge 0-4-0 Electric Locomotive
American Flyer 4635 Vintage Standard Gauge 0-4-0 Electric Locomotive

This American Flyer piece is the locomotive #4636. It is also a standard gauge St-Paul style electric locomotive with 0-4-0 wheel configuration. However, it’s a little shorter than the 15” locomotive #4637.

The American Flyer 4635 locomotive can be traced back to 1930 – 1933. It comes with a red body and gray chassis.

It has the #4635 brass tag and the American Flyer Lines brass tag at either side. It also features two brass doors at both ends, as well as two headlights and one brass pantograph. The metal couplers, journal boxes, die-cast pilots, and metal wheels and axles are all good. While the locomotive is good overall, it shows signs of use like scratches and paint loss. However, it is a blast for lovers of Standard gauge, and so comes with a steep price.

14. American Flyer Prewar O Gauge #567 Union Pacific Tender $275

Year: 1939

Price: $275

Scarce American Flyer Prewar O Gauge #567 Union Pacific Tender
Scarce American Flyer Prewar O Gauge #567 Union Pacific Tender

This is a very rare American Flyer train piece. This tender is pulled by the O gauge steam locomotive #568. The black tender is built tough using die-cast steel.

It is marked “Union Pacific” on either side. It features a door at the front end, and two ladder details at the rear end.

This rare piece can be traced back to 1939. The metal couplers are all fine. It’s in good condition. Overall, it shows only light use. It is quite valuable for a tender, as it cost $274.95.

15. 1956 American Flyer Northern Pacific PB Unit #491 $265

Year: 1956

Price: $265

1956 American Flyer Northern Pacific PB Unit #491 Dark Green Over Light Green
1956 American Flyer Northern Pacific PB Unit #491 Dark Green Over Light Green

This American Flyer train piece is a passenger car from the standard gauge Northern Pacific set. It is number 491 in a set that includes the 490 and 493. This #491 piece is the only PB unit, while the others are PA units.

The #491 American Flyer passenger car is set in shades of green, with the top half being dark green, and the lower part being lime. “Northern Pacific” is written on either side of the car, and this is flanked by a red and white Ying Yang symbol.

This passenger car usually goes between the 490 and 493 PA units, so either end of it has excellent couplers. It’s in excellent condition been, with a prior excellent paint job. It stands at the wholesome price of $265.

What scale is American Flyer trains?

American Flyer made their trains in several gauges. However, the company is better known for “S” gauges which run on two rail tracks. In fact, American Flyer under A. C. Gilbert popularized the “S” gauge, scaled 1:64.

American Flyer also has the bigger “O” scale (1:48), and the relatively smaller “HO” scale (1:87).

How to identify American Flyer trains

American Flyer trains come with many authenticating markings. These include:

  • The brand name (American Flyer)
  • The manufacturer (American Flyer Manufacturing Co., A.C. Gilbert Co., and in recent times Lionel Corporation)
  • The model

The brand name and model number feature visibly on the body of the trains, usually on the sides or top of the pieces. The manufacturer details are usually printed or engraved on the train pieces, usually at the ends or bottom of the pieces.

How to find model of American Flyer trains

Every American Flyer train has its model number on its body. Simply check the piece properly. If the model number is not quickly visible on the body of a piece in your train set, it probably is printed or engraved at the bottom of the piece.

Vintage American Flyer trains

Not all American Flyer trains are vintage. The American Flyer branded model trains that are still made today by Lionel Corporation are not vintage.

The American Flyer trains that are considered vintage are those made before the brand came under the control of Lionel Corporation. That is, vintage American Flyer trains are those bearing the brand that were made before May 1 1967. These are the American Flyer trains made by either American Flyer Company or A.C. Gilbert Company.

American Flyer trains value

The value of American Flyer trains varies depending on the model, and the pieces in the set.

For the recent American Flyer trains, a set usually range from $250 – $600. The locomotives cost about $100 – $200, the cost of the individual cars that form the rolling stock range from $50 – $80.

However, the vintage American Flyer trains are very valuable. Depending on the rarity and condition of the pieces, a train set can cost between $500 – $3,000.

Even individual pieces of vintage American Flyer can also be very valuable. The rare American Flyer “S” gauge #4692 locomotive is about $775, while the rare orange-coloured #625 Shell oil tank is $750.

Conclusion

American Flyer trains made before the brand name came under the control of Lionel Corporation are vintage. These vintage American Flyer trains are very valuable, especially those that are hard to get and in good condition.

While a recent American Flyer train set is worth between $250 – $600, a vintage train set is worth between $500 – $3,000. In fact, a single vintage piece (locomotive, tender, or car) can cost more than a complete set of a recent American Flyer train that comes complete with tracks and modern control capabilities.

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