American Flyer Locomotive 303 Reading Atlantic

by Mar 8, 20142 comments

American Flyer Locomotive 303 Reading Atlantic

American Flyer Locomotive 303 Reading Atlantic

The American Flyer Locomotive with catalog number 303 is part of the series of Atlantic wheel arrangement was introduced in the 1954 catalog. The engine was produced from 1954 to 1957. The American Flyer Locomotive 303 Reading Atlantic 4-4-2 would have had 4 leading, 4 driving, and 2 trailing wheels. There were 12 other models of the Atlantic 4-4-2 produced by Gilbert.

The American Flyer Locomotive 303 would had both a smoke unit and choo-choo. When the locomotive numbering system was developed the last digit indicated the features in the locomotive, 0= motor only, 1= choo-choo, 2= smoke and choo-choo, 3= knuckle coupler, 4= whistle, 5= whistle and pull-mor, 6= extended motor and whistle and pull-mor. The coupler at the rear of the tender is link type with the black weight.

The engine and tender are made from plastic molds and are black with white lettering.

American Flyer Locomotive 303 Catalog Image

Modeled after a Reading Railroad prototype, the Gilbert American Flyer locomotive was produced before World War II as an O Gauge engine at 1:64 scale. The same design was used after the war but with S Gauge. The prototype had an extra large firebox due to the type of coal burned by the Reading Railroad (hello Monopoly fans). This large firebox on the model enabled the ability to fit the standard Gilbert worm drive motor into the rear of the boiler/cab shell.

The Reading railroad was one of the first railroads in the us and ran from Philadelphia along the Schuylkill River to Reading Pennsylvania. The railroad primarily transported coal and ran from the 1800’s until the 1970’s until it went into bankruptcy from highway competition and short haul coal operations.

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2 Comments

  1. Chris Hunt

    Description of #303 locomotive as not having smoke or choo choo is wrong. I own one and your exploded view clearly shows the choo choo unit in the tender.

    • kirk

      Chris – Great catch! Thanks – I think i have fixed the copy!

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