American Flyer Locomotive 314AW Pennsylvania K-5

by Feb 11, 20141 comment

The American Flyer Locomotive 314AW is part of a series of models of the Pennsylvania Railroad K-5 type of Pacific Steam Locomotive. These locomotives were produce by Gilbert in the pre-war period and following WW II from 1946 to 1958. This catalog number was cataloged and produced in 1949. It is the only locomotive produced by Gilbert with a motor operated whistle unit.

There is an erroneous urban legend that Gilbert only manufactured this locomotive and no others because it infringed upon some Lionel patent in the use of DC superimposed on the AC track power to control the activation of the whistle – and that Lionel had somehow legally stopped further production. However, Gilbert used this method in several locomotives and baggage cars for both direction control and whistle activation. There is no record of a Lionel patent on the subject. In “The Man Who Lives in Paradise” (Gilbert’s Autobiography) there is mention that the reason for not manufacturing additional locomotives with this type of whistle was that the design was difficult to manufacture and more costly therefore than expected and that the market would pay for. Reliability was a problem as well and the impeller is well known to suffer from pot metal fatigue and disintegration or at least swelling to the point that the whistle no longer operates.

Other than the motor driven whistle this is the normal Gilbert American Flyer Pennsylvania K-5 Pacific type locomotive with Smoke and Choo-Choo. The basic mechanism is very reliable and many are still operating more than 60 years after manufacture. Other locomotives of this type cataloged by Gilbert in the post-war period include the 310, 312, 312AC, 313, 315 and 316. The same locomotive was produced in several variations in the pre-war period in the Gilbert O gauge 3/16″ scale line between 1938 and 1941. Many of the parts are interchangeable.

American Flyer Locomotive 314AW Pennsylvania K-5 Catalog Image

What sets was the American Flyer Locomotive 314AW Steam Locomotive included in?

1949 Catalog:

4907AW Pennsylvania K-5 Freight Train with Whistle, Smoke and “Choo-Choo.” 23 Pieces, 40½” long. Contents: 314AW Locomotive and tender, 632 Lehigh New England Hopper, 625 Tank Car, 630 Lighted Caboose, (12) 702 Curve Track, (2) 700 Straight Track, 706 Automatic Uncoupler with button, 690 Track Terminal, (14) 693 Track Locks, Whistle Controller.

This catalog description has a discrepancy. The locomotive depicted is a 312 version which has the smoke and choo-choo features but not the air whistle.

1950 Catalog:

5005WT Pennsylvania K-5 Freight Train with Smoke, Choo-Choo and built-in whistle. Contents: 314AW Locomotive and tender, 632 Lehigh New England Hopper, 624 Shell Tank Car, 630 lighted Reading Caboose, 706 Automatic Uncoupler with button, No. 2 75 Watt Transformer, (12) 702 Curve Track, (2) 700 Straight Track, (14) 693 Track Locks, 690 Track Terminal, Illustrated Train Booklet, Whistle Controller

This catalog description has discrepancies. The locomotive tender is described as pressed steel when it is die cast., the hopper car is described as having hopper doors on the underside when the 1950 plastic body has no doors.

1950 Catalog:

American Flyer Locomotive 314AW separate sale locomotive. Also lists the tender as pressed steel rather than the actual diecast construction.

Variations: Probably date stamp inside the locomotive shell showing production date.

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1 Comment

  1. Brian Leonard

    I am looking for the internal wiring for the 314aw control. The green wire is connected but I’m not sure where the other connections and wire color need to be made. Do you know what af manual will have this information?

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