American Flyer Track Layouts
In 1946 American Flyer released the following suggest track diagrams for American Flyer Layouts as part of the Gilbert American Flyer 1946 Catalog. The catalog includes details about spacing, number of each type of tracks etc. In general the following types of track pieces would have been available:
1946 American Flyer Track Types
- 1/2 Curve
- 1/2 Straight
- Left and Right Switches
Many enthusiasts used the American Flyer Pike Planner tool to design their layouts.
American Flyer Switches
Gilbert cataloged and produced about 16 different types of switches. However, there were essentially three types. The early 720 type in Manual, and Remote Control versions; the 720A revision that simplified the manufacture – also in Manual and Remote Control versions; and the Pike Master type with Manual and Remote Control versions as well. Switches were designed to enable trains to switch from a track leading in one direction to a track leading in another. The switch types were critical to building many of the various American Flyer Layouts. They are ideal for creating rail yards or hooking up multiple railroad lines on your layout. Left and right switches indicate the direction that the switches operate.
Here is a quick list of the different types of American Flyer Track Switches (Three rail O gauge switches are included here because Gilbert cataloged them after the war along with track for those owners of the three rail O gauge American Flyer trains produced before World War II):
- 668 O Gauge Manual Left Switch
- 669 O Gauge Manual Right Switch
- 678 O Gauge Remote Control Switch Left
- 679 O Gauge Remote Control Switch Right
- 688 O Gauge Remote Control Switch Pair
- 720 Remote Control Switch Pair
- 720A Remote Control Switch Pair
- 722 Manual Switch Pair
- 722A Manual Switch Pair
- 26320 Pikemaster Remote Control Right Switch
- 26321 Pikemaster Remote Control Left Switch
- 26323 Pikemaster Manual Right Switch
- 26324 Pikemaster Manual Left Switch
- 26718 Remote Control Left Switch
- 26710 Remote Control Right Switch
- 26742 Remote Control Switch Pair
- 26760 Remote Control Switch Pair
- 26761 Left Remote Control Switch
- 26762 Right Remote Control Switch
- 26770 Manual Switch Pair
In addition to the action of switching train movement from one track to another, the switches included electrical power routing that would allow powering one track or the other depending upon the position of the switch. This is useful in controlling the movement of trains using the same main line.
In addition, Gilbert released the following American Flyer Layout instruction sheets known as the American Flyer Reverse Loop Layout. We have include a video link of the reverse loop in action.
The reverse loop can be made into automatic operation by using a No. 695 Reverse Loop Relay.