The existence of things like this gives me tremendous joy, representing a great deal of resourcefulness and creativity on the part of its maker--as well as a great deal of dexterity and persistence, to say nothing of love! I'm not sure if there were once more cars to it, but the three that have endured are quite marvelous, made almost entirely of cigar box bits, with doors on the side of one of them that slide open and closed (with nails for handles), a spool for the barrel of the engine, wheels that (mostly) roll, and the paper labels left on the wood animating all of them with color and texture. Photos tell the story best--a very singular, very special train!
Engine: 4 7/8" l x 3 3/4" w x 3 3/8" t. Car with sliding doors: 6 1/2" l x 3 1/2" t x 3 5/8" w. Cubano car: 6 1/2" l x 3 1/2" w x 3 7/8" t. All in good, stable, fairly sturdy condition. There is a missing edge to the roof of the car with sliding doors, and one half of one wheel missing on the engine car. Late 19th/early 20th c. I believe.