American Flyer Crossing Gate 591 Instructions
This is the service bulletin furnished by the A. C. Gilbert Co. to authorized service stations to aid them in the service and repair of American Flyer equipment. Specifically, this bulletin is for the American Flyer Accessory 591 Crossing Gate Manual.
In 1946, American Flyer produced a black and white striped plastic roadway crossing gate, metal walkway gate, smooth green painted roof with no stack on the hut. The 591 crossing gate has both a pedestrian gate and a roadway gate. A solenoid in the hut activates a linkage that lowers the gates. A clever addition is the red plastic lantern that hangs from the roadway gate. Beneath the large base of the crossing gate is a light bulb aligned with a small hole. When the roadway gate lowers, the lantern is located over the hole and is lit from below. Activation of the crossing gate is by push button, requiring the young engineer to be alert and diligent to prevent vehicles and pedestrians from colliding. The wiring uses two knurled nuts (M2443) for connection and the activation energizes the solenoid and lights the bulb under the roadway. For some reason Gilbert American Flyer designed the American Flyer 591 Crossing Gate for left side of the road driving as the roadway gate lowers from the left – the opposite of prototype installations. The 591 came packaged in a corrugated cardboard box with a red and white “shield” label applied at one end of a side. There would have been an insert to hold the gate in position in the box along with the instructions, push button, screws, wires and an inspection slip.
In 1947-48 the plastic roadway gate changes to metal (aluminum) for both gates, the roof for the hut becomes black crinkle finish with a stack. The wiring is changed to utilize an insulated track section to activate the gate. The base has four binding posts for the wiring. Some of the wiring changes are to support the introduction of DC operated locomotives and the instructions have two sections – one for AC operation and one for DC. It appears from the wiring diagrams (M2569) that current passing through the locomotive is used to energize the solenoid while the light bulb is powered continuously. Although the operation is changed significantly, the catalog number remains the same. The arrangement is still for left hand driving. Again this would have been packaged in a corrugated carton with an insert to hold the gate in position within the box. Instructions, wires and a 707 track clip would have been included.
Three binding post 591 Crossing Gates seem to be the pre war version.