American Flyer improved its own accessory in 1952! Meet SAM
MEET SAM THE SEMAPHORE MAN FROM 1952-53
Sam comes out of the crossing shanty when the train comes by, and then retires inside after it passes.
The earlier version had one button, and posed some operator issues. You had to press the button a lot, and unless you locked the locomotive in forward, pressing the button would cause it to go in neutral and reverse.
So American Flyer decided to IMPROVE SAM.
Flyer came up with a new and improved Sam the Semaphore Man. THIS ONE, the 758A (as opposed to the 758), solved some of those problems. First, the control was updated to the two button red and green control. Second, a Fahrenstock clip was added behind the tool box so you could hook up a 707 terminal to keep the engine from cycling during operation.
The way it operates is this: When you push the red button, Sam comes out and the semaphore drops down as the locomotive stops if it is on the track section powered by the 758a. When you push the green button, the locomotive resumes, Sam goes back into his shack, and the door closes as the semaphore arm raises.
Improving one's own product--that is one of the many reasons American Flyer was so beloved.