American Flyer Locomotive 299 Reading Atlantic
Atlantic type steam locomotive: Wheel arrangement 4-4-2
Prototype: Reading Railroad Atlantic
Road Name: Reading Lines
Materials and Features: Boiler Shell is one-piece plastic. The one-piece plastic tender contains the reverse unit and is equipped with a link coupler.
This is a locomotive with choo-choo.
This is a link-coupler locomotive sold even after the catalog contained only knuckle coupler sets. The guess is that this was part of a promotional set to use up link coupler rolling stock. The locomotive is equipped with a chugger but not a smoke unit.
It is not known what set this came in.
Other numbers on this same locomotive series include 300, 300 AC, 301, 302, 302 AC, 303, 305, 307, 308, 21100, 21105, 21106, 21107, 21160, and 21161.
This locomotive series was typically used in the least expensive sets offered by Gilbert American Flyer. Most had limited features. The 303 was equipped with smoke and choo-choo. The 305 was to have the electronic whistle, but it was never manufactured.
There is no service manual listed for the 299, but it would be similar to a 303 with the smoke parts missing.
The Gilbert American Flyer Locomotive 299 Atlantic Reading train 4-4-2 would have had 4 leading, 4 driving, and 2 trailing wheels. The locomotive was made in 1954 and was modeled after the Reading Railroad. This was one of the last link coupler locomotives. The predominant theory is that it was used in low cost promotional sets to use up link coupler inventory. In support of the theory is that it comes with a variety of tender and wiring configurations – indicating using up leftover small quantities of parts.
The American Flyer Locomotive 299 has a choo-choo sound unit but does not have the smoke unit that usually came with the “choo-choo” units 1948 and later. The train has a plastic locomotive shell with “299” printed under the cab. Tender can be sheet metal or plastic. Logo on tender is Reading Lines but lettering can be American Flyer Lines or American Flyer. Wiring can be with plug or direct wire. The reverse unit in tender. The coupler is link with black coupler weight.
Although uncataloged and probably produced in small numbers it is not very valuable among steam locomotives, but it is about three times the value of the common Atlantic 30x series. The unique “choo-choo” only make it a collector interest piece vs the operator that would want the heft of the die cast boiler or the smoke and “choo-choo”.