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Vintage Athearn GP9 Train Set

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  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 120 posts
Vintage Athearn GP9 Train Set
Posted by skippygp123 on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 4:56 PM

My mother just gave me my old (late 1950s or early 1960s--I was born in 1952) Athearn HO train set that she's had in her attic.  The box has a steam locomotive on the front of the cover and, on one end of the box top it says, "GP9 Freight Train Set Milwaukee". 

The locomotive appears to be a GP7, not a GP9, based on the 2 louvers below and one in front of the cab window (it also has 4 vertical louvers at the rear).  The locomotive has no road number, just the words "The Milwaukee Road" along the sides and the tilted rectangle below the cab window that says, "Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific". 

There are 4 freight cars in the box plus a silver Milwaukee Road caboose.  Does anyone know if there are any freight cars missing?  Included are an M-K-T stock car (yellow), a 3 dome tank car (Deep Rock-black in color), an E.J. & E. 4 bay car with plastic coal load and a G.M. & O flat car (black) with a red and white boat on it. 

If there is something missing, I'd like to try to replace it if I could.  There is no paperwork in the box at all and the picture on the cover is not of the train set that is in the box.  I'm also missing the power supply, although it appears the track may be all there (I haven't taken that out of the box yet to see if it would make a complete oval.)

If someone has a picture of the instructions, I'd LOVE to get a scan of it.  Or, a picture of the set as it would have appeared when I first opened the box so many years ago.

Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated! 

I do not suffer from insanity...I enjoy every minute of it!!!      Over 60 and still playing with toys!

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Posted by mlehman on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 5:45 PM

Sounds like a neat find. I suspect it may be hard to pinpoint the exact set it might be. Train sets are often put together and offering in a wide range of prices and choices. There was often variation in the names on the rolling stock, although locos and cabooses tended to be the stars. You might try looking through old Sears or Monkey Wards Xmas catalogs to see if something like it shows up.

There may have been no instructions. As you're old enough to remember -- or not!Wink -- it's amazing we survived childhood at all, considering the great lengths people go through to protect kids nowadays. They know you were smart enough that you probably didn't put the AC side of the power pack leads on your tongue more than once [kids, don't try this at home...<-- really they made me say it!].Clown And every kid back then had actually already seen a train set on his block somewhere under some other kid's bed, so that part was easy.

GP7/GP9, Uncle Irv wasn't real picky about what it was, so you shouldn't be either...Cool

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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Posted by maxman on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 5:53 PM

The HOSeeker website has a bunch of Athearn catalogs listed by year.  Browse through and maybe you'll get your answer:  http://www.hoseeker.org/athearn.htm 

  • Member since
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  • From: Wisconsin
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Posted by skippygp123 on Thursday, December 13, 2012 7:32 AM

I know what you mean about kids today...actually it is adults too (remember the stupid lady who put the hot cup of coffee between her legs and then sued McD when she got burned while driving?)  But, logic tells me there was some kind of instruction sheet showing how to connect the wires from the power pack to the track or even a small catalog printing showing the other cars and accessories that one could buy to add to the train set. 

At any rate, it is a neat thing to have.  I'm now wondering what other goodies my mom has in the attic? 

Thanks!  Ed

I do not suffer from insanity...I enjoy every minute of it!!!      Over 60 and still playing with toys!

  • Member since
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  • From: Wisconsin
  • 120 posts
Posted by skippygp123 on Thursday, December 13, 2012 7:35 AM

Thanks or the tip!  I went to the website and did find a picture of the box cover (1960) and also the catalog from that year.  However, no picture of my actual set (assuming of course that the rolling stock in my box are the same cars that came in it originally).  Will do a bit more checking online now that I have an idea of what I actually received so long ago. 

Thanks for all your help!  Ed

I do not suffer from insanity...I enjoy every minute of it!!!      Over 60 and still playing with toys!

  • Member since
    August, 2006
  • From: Saskatchewan
  • 1,598 posts
Posted by last mountain & eastern hogger on Thursday, December 13, 2012 12:51 PM

Whistling

Hi Ed,

I have been doing some checking for you as well.

There was a Milwaukee road GP7-9 set with a silver caboose but the cars were different.

The cars you mention were indeed in train sets of different roads, but no match with the M.Road

That being said, depending where it was sold and to who, there might have been a switch of those cars to something that the purchaser desired more.  If that is not your set, it might be that your set is the one made up with what was left over from the switch.

I have checked in the Athearn Guide to Model Trains and also on HOSeeker.

But all units do fit into that time period and into sets of those times.

Johnboy out...........................................

from Saskatchewan, in the Great White North..

A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station. Tongue Tied  

We have met the enemy,  and he is us............ (Pogo)

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  • From: Detroit, Michigan
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Posted by Soo Line fan on Thursday, December 13, 2012 1:19 PM

Perhaps this was a uncatalogued set.

The lack of a power pack seems to be typical of Athearn sets of this era.

Watch Ebay as they show up regularly.

Jim


  • Member since
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  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, December 13, 2012 2:12 PM

To the best of my knowledge, this is what my original Athearn set consisted of:

There's the Milwaukee geep up front.  Mine was a rubber-band drive.  Next, a gon filled with some sort of silver cannisters.  Then a Burlington reefer and a TOFC with Wabash trailers.  The yellow MKT stock car, a bulkhead flat and that silver Milwaukee caboose bring up the rear.  I'm pretty sure of most of these, but the Burlington reefer is questionable.

Every one of these, by the way, is in running order and most are on my layout right now.  The belt-drive GP9 has been gutted and upgraded with a road number and handrails, and has a sound-only decoder.  Everything has Kadees.  On my project list is repainting and re-decaling that silver caboose, too.

These are old friends to me.  When I pulled my trains out of the cardboard boxes they'd lived in for 40 years before I got back to the hobby, it was important to bring them back to life.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by mlehman on Thursday, December 13, 2012 2:29 PM

Not that it mattered to Athearn, but did the Milw Road ever have silver cabooses?

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

  • Member since
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  • From: Wisconsin
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Posted by skippygp123 on Friday, December 14, 2012 11:30 AM

My Geep was also a rubber band drive.  Right now, it is a dummy engine as I haven't the time to do anything with it.  Will have to check into a newer Athearn locomotive and, possibly, swap out the cab shells.

I'm torn between leaving the plastic wheels and hook and horn couplers on all the rolling stock and just keeping it all in the box or switching everything there too.

As for the cars being switched from one set to another at the store, I would have no idea.  My mom doesn't remember where the set was purchased and since I don't believe toys were wrapped in plastic way back then, it is entirely possible that someone took a few cars from one box and then swapped them for the ones that were originally in the set I got.   

Where on the Athearn website would I go to check for information about what rolling stock may have been included in the set originally? 

Thanks, to everyone, who replied to my post and for all the great information.  This will be a fun after- Christmas endeavor to keep me busy when I can't be outside. 

Ed

I do not suffer from insanity...I enjoy every minute of it!!!      Over 60 and still playing with toys!

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, December 14, 2012 1:14 PM

This is that vintage rubber-band drive Geep, now a sound-equipped "honorary" engine with no motor:

I've since added a road number to it.  The other engine, incidentally, is a GP9m.  The GP9ms were actually re-built GP9s.  I chose the numbers so that the new geep was the rebuild of the old one.  The big difference here, though, is the handrails, which are a stock item and go on very easily.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 120 posts
Posted by skippygp123 on Friday, December 14, 2012 1:16 PM

Do you happen to have the original paperwork that came with your train?  If so, I'd sure like to get a scan of it, just for old times sake.

I'm also wondering how many pieces of track were included in the original set?

Ed

I do not suffer from insanity...I enjoy every minute of it!!!      Over 60 and still playing with toys!

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