Gilbert American Flyer Number 296 Locomotive
Pacific type steam locomotive: Wheel arrangement 4-6-2
Prototype: New Haven Railroad Pacific
Road Name: New York, New Haven and Hartford.
Materials and Features: Boiler Shell is one-piece die cast metal. The sheet metal tender contains the reverse unit, the speaker and whistle electronics, and is equipped with a knuckle coupler.
This is a locomotive with smoke, choo-choo, and the Electronic Air Chime whistle.
The New Haven number 296 continues the series using this boiler shell. It is well-proportioned in appearance and operates reliably.
This version was uncataloged and was probably made for Sears or other retailers to enable them to offer American Flyer that were differentiated from the cataloged items offered by hobby shops, hardware stores, and other retail establishments. The order volume had to be high enough for Gilbert to produce a special item.
It is not known what set this came in, but one reference lists the set as number 9692, which is in one of the number series for Sears sets.
Other numbers on this same locomotive body include 290, 293 and 295. The 295 and 296 are equipped with the Air Chime whistle, whereas the 290 and 293 are full-featured locomotives with smoke and choo-choo although without whistle.
There is no service manual listed for the 296, but it would be similar to a combination of the 293 and 295, with Forms 1812 and 1813.