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Cover of the 1907-1908 catalog.
The 1908 catalog contained an insert with new items.

The American Miniature Railway Company

By David McEntarfer     Article Conclusion    Back to First Page    Winter 2018 

To say that in the 6 years of their existence the AMRR line of trains closely paralleled the Ives line would be an understatement. In 1907 the smaller clockwork sets were powered by a small tin 2-2-0 locomotive that was virtually identical in appearance to the corresponding Ives locomotives and they carried the same catalog numbers 0, 1, 2 & 3 depending on the size of the motor and the number of cars they could pull. In all my years of collecting I've only seen two of these AMRR tin locomotives. AMRR made two different tenders the No. 20 and 25, both closely resembled the Ives No. 11 tender. AMRR also cataloged two iron locomotives in 1907, a No. 11 and 17 which was an 11, with a brake. The iron locomotives had the number 200 embossed under the cab. The tin locomotives were sold with 4 ½ inch passenger cars that were cataloged as No. 97 baggage car, No. 98 Empress and No. 99 Princess. All three cars were marked for the "West Shore Express". The 5" cars were sold with the larger Iron locomotives and included the No. 100 Baggage Car, No 101 Parlor Car and the No. 102 Dining Car, all three cars were marked for the "New York & Boston Express". Besides the passenger cars AMRR cataloged a single 5" caboose No. 90.

 


Large 8" 152 Empire Express Passenger car 1910-11

In 1908 AMRR replaced the tin series with a 2-2-0 cast iron locomotive, still numbered 0, 1, 2 & 3 in the catalog but this locomotive had the number 125 embossed under the cab. The smaller tin No. 0 was still available for separate sale or in sets with one or two small gravel cars.

 


Large 1 gauge Black Diamond Express passenger car circa 1909

Lest we forget, 1908 was also the year that Ives replaced their smaller tin locomotives with cast iron 2-2-0 models. 1908 also saw the introduction of freight cars into the AMRR line. These freight cars came in complete sets and included the No. 53 box car, No. 51 stock car, No. 52 Refrigerator car and a No. 54 gravel car. Strangely 1908 was the year that Ives introduced a couple small freight cars with the No. 53 box car and No. 55 stock car, they already had the No. 54 gondola. It must have been an afterthought as these cars never appeared in the 1908 or 1909 Ives catalogs and are extremely rare today. In 1908 AMRR added a new large passenger station to replace the one they sold the previous year which was apparently imported, other accessories that had been pictured in their previous catalog included two bridges in 0 gauge plus numerous track accessories that included a signal post, telegraph pole, telegraph pole with reel, and a three way turntable. They also listed three different semaphores which were not pictured and we can't be sure what they looked like.


Patented 45 degree crossing with lithographed logo in middle

In 1909 AMRR really expanded adding 8" passenger and freight cars to their 0 gauge line, plus 10 one gauge sets that included two cast iron clockwork engines, 4 different passenger cars and 5 freight cars. They also added several new locomotive numbers to the 0 gauge line (see chart for details).They expanded their small 90 series passenger cars to include several new road names. The numbers 90-99 and 89 were all catalog numbers for the smaller passenger cars, but there were really only three different cars, a baggage, and two distinct passenger cars, one with 4 long windows and one with 6 small windows. The passenger cars marked 94, 95 and 96 in the catalogs were the same cars with different road names. The 8" cars only used four numbers: 150 baggage, 151 Parlor, 152 passenger and 153 Parlor car. These same numbers were used over the years but with different road names. The passenger cars get quite confusing as some have catalog numbers in the litho and some don't, some have numbers that were never cataloged. 1909 was also the last year that we know of that they printed a catalog with pictures of their trains.


Catalog numbers 0,1,2,3 cast iron locomotives
had the number 125 cast under the cab.

In 1910 and 1911 it would appear that AMRR carried the same numbers as they did in 1909, but changed the lithography on most of the line. They also added a line of floor trains in 1910, the same year that Ives started showing floor trains in their catalogs. Except for a couple cast iron locomotives, I've never observed any of the floor train line that was made in 1910, but if we can draw any conclusions from the similarity to what Ives was doing, they probably took their previous year's car bodies and put them on a floor toy type base. Also prior to 1910, only the larger cast iron locomotives had the AMRR insignia cast into them below the cab windows. Starting in 1910 it would appear that all cast locomotives carried the AMRR insignia below the cab.


4 ½ inch 90 series New York passenger car in an odd deep blue, circa 1908-09.

One other nuance in the 1910 line was a change in the trucks on the 8 wheel 0 gauge cars to a "Tee" truck that looked very similar to the trucks Ives used from 1910-1912. The trucks on the 8 wheel cars in 1909 had a simulated brake that was unique at the time.


4 ½ inch 90 series Philadelphia passenger car, circa 1910-11

Over the few years of their existence AMRR did produce a few original and patented mechanical features, including a disappearing coupler which functioned very similar to the American Flyer coupler. This coupler simply sat in a slot that allowed the cars to bunch up when the train was stopped and then extend when the train started up. Another interesting patented AMRR feature was their "Signal Post," which was a vane-type switch stand used on track switches and stops, it actually looked very similar to the switch stands used by Ives in the 1920s. Other patented items included the telegraph pole with a cable reel and cable, special track pins and solid rail switches. The switches came with a square center piece of metal that read "American Miniature R.R. Co. Patented 1907".

Whatever the reason, AMRR was unable to compete with Ives and American Flyer and closed their doors in 1912. We don't have any kind of production numbers but based on the number of surviving examples it must have been very low. AMRR trains are so rare that most collectors have not seen surviving examples and if they had they probably wouldn't know what they were. The list below represents what I believe to be a complete list of their production from 1907-1912, several of these items I've never seen and have to assume the catalog cuts are fairly accurate.

AMRR PRODUCTION LIST OF LOCOMOTIVES AND CARS

Number

Description

0

Tin Locomotive 2-2-0, number 100 on the cab

0

Iron Locomotive 2-2-0, number 125 on cab

9

Iron Locomotive 0-4-0, number 200 on cab, speed governor, no railings, 1910 & 11 AMRR cast on cab

11

Iron Locomotive 0-4-0, number 200 on cab, speed governor, 1910 & 11 AMRR cast on cab

15

Iron locomotive 0-4-0, number 200 on cab, brake and speed governor, 1910 & 11 AMRR cast on cab

17

Iron locomotive 0-4-0, AMRR on cab, speed governor

19

Iron locomotive 0-4-0, AMRR on cab, brake and speed governor

21

Iron locomotive 0-4-0, AMRR on cab, brake, reverse and speed governor

20

4 wheel tender, W.S.E. No. 20 on side

25

4 wheel tender, N.Y. & B.E on side, In 1910 this tender came with on an 8 wheel frame

35

1 gauge locomotive 0-4-0, AMRR on cab

41

1 gauge locomotive 4-4-0, AMRR on cab

50

1 gauge tender, marked A.M.RY. CO. on side

51

Stock Car 4.5",   'Live Stock Conveyance'

52

Refrigerator Car 4.5",  'Merchants Dispatch'

53

Box Car 4.5", 'Erie Freight Car'

54

Gravel Car 4.5",  No markings

90

Caboose 5",   'Caboose'

89

Baggage Car 4 1/2",  'United States Mail Exp. Service'  same as No. 97

91

Pullman 4 1/2",  "New York" or "Albany" or "Boston"  4 long windows

92

Pullman 4 1/2",  "New York" or "Albany" or "Boston"  4 long windows

93

Pullman 4 1/2",  "New York" or "Albany" or "Boston"  4 long windows

94

 Passenger 4 1/2",  "Washington" or "Philadelphia" or "Chicago" 6 small windows

95

 Passenger 4 1/2",  "Washington" or "Philadelphia" or "Chicago" 6 small windows

96

 Passenger 4 1/2",  "Washington" or "Philadelphia" or "Chicago" 6 small windows

97

Baggage Car 4 1/2",  'United States Mail Exp. Service'  same as No. 89

98

Passenger  4 1/2", 'Empress' or 'Chicago' or 'Philadelphia' or 'Washington' 6 small windows

99

Passenger  4 1/2", 'Princess' or 'Chicago' or 'Philadelphia' or 'Washington' 6 small windows

100

Baggage Car 5",  'New York & Boston Express'

101

Parlor Car 5",  'New York & Boston Express' & 'Parlor Car

102

Dining Car 5",  'New York & Boston Express' & "Dining Car"

150

Combination Car 8", …. 1909 'Empire State Express' & 'Buffet

150

Buffet Car 8", … 1910-11  "Empire State Express' & 'Buffet'

151

Parlor Car 8", …1909  'Empire State Express' & 'Juanita'

151

Parlor Car 8",  …1910-11 'Empire State Express' & 'Lincoln' 6 long windows

152

Passenger Car 8",  …1909  'Empire State Express' & 'Mikado'  8 small windows

152

Passenger Car 8", …1910-11 'Empire State Express' & 'Cleveland'  3 sets of 2 windows

153

Baggage Car 8", … 1909  "Empire State Express" & 'Baggage U.S Express'

153

Baggage Car 8", …1910-11 … Unknown

160

Gondola 8",  'N.Y.C. & H.R.R.R.

161

Coal Car 8",  'Nickel Plate Line' & 'NYC & St L.'

162

Stock Car 8",  "Eastern Live Stock Express"

163

Box Car 8", 'Chicago Rock Island and Pacific Railroad'

164

Refrigerator Car 8",  'Refrigerator Line' & 'ventilated for refrigeration'

170

Mail Car 12", 1 gauge 'Black Diamond Express'

171

Combination car 12", 1 gauge 'Black Diamond Express' & 'Buffet'

172

Parlor Car 12", 1 gauge 8 small windows 'Black Diamond Express' & 'Chesapeake'

173

Parlor car 12", 1 gauge 6 long windows 'Black Diamond Express' & 'Naragansett'

180

Gondola 12", 1 gauge 'N.Y.C. & H.R.R.R.

181

Stock Car 12", 1 gauge 'Chesapeake & Ohio' & 'Horse & Cattle car'

182

Box Car 12", 1 gauge 'New York New Haven & Hartford' & 'Eastern Fast Freight Line'

183

Refrigerator Car 12", 1 gauge 'California Fruit Growers Express' & 'Combined Ventilator and Refrigerator

190

Caboose 12", 1 gauge 'Illinois Central' & 'Caboose'

 

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