Fixing my Dad’s 1952 American Flyer Train Set


4904T American Flyer Three Car Freight

  • American Flyer Locomotive 282 and Tender, 639 Box Car, 640 Hopper Car, 638 Caboose
  • 75 Watt Transformer, 12 Curve Track, 2 Straight Track, 706 Remote Control Uncoupler, 690 Track Terminal, Smoke Capsule and Funnel, Illustrated Train Book

During quarantine decided to surprise my Dad and get his childhood train set running again. I remember playing with the train as a kid, but at some point it broke and sat in my parents basement for 20 or so years. I was able to sneak it out and being diagnosing the issues.

Luckily there is a YouTube video ( that walked through the exact engine my Dad had, and all the common issues, so following those I was able to determine any parts that needed to be cleaned/replaced, and was able to get it back running again. Biggest issues were in the tender, which has mechanical component for putting the train in forward/neutral/reverse, that uses tiny conductive fingers and gravity to operate. There is also ton of American Flyer parts on eBay for cheap, so fixing the train was relatively inexpensive.

The transformer also needed to be fixed, replaced the power cord (great resource on transformer:, and a copper control arm that controlled the throttle also needed to be replaced. Cleaned up the track with white vinegar and steal wool.

My girls playing with it at my Dads! With it’s analog nature it’s very easy to operate and very approachable vs. modern dcc trains.
Test run on the floor of my apartment after fixing locomotive and cleaning track.