2019 American Flyer

I think the flyer market filled with non-scale Gilbert or Gilbert-esk pieces kills the market potential to soak up scale models when there is already a non scale counterpart.  

Case on point...

Flyer Chief Berks vs Legacy Berks. 

Gilbert and flyonel Geeps been around since the 50s.  Flyonel and their “sort of” SDs since the late 80s or 90s.  I would be surprised if Lionel would ever spend money on new tooling for what in their eyes would be a duplicate model.  

But we will know in a few weeks.  



Funny you brought this up. Today I revisited your original post asking for "wishes" in the 2018 catalog.

My "asks" haven't changed much:

A. 66' Center beam flat car. This length will easily roll on S gauge r20 curves:

B. SD40-2 in MKT green/yellow. Many many other road name paint schemes out there...

C. NW2 in Katy red and white. Again, many roads available to model.

D. S scale Fastrack grade crossing with flashers and bells:

(O scale shown)

 None of these will be made so.....See you for the 2020 catalog! 




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I expect to see nothing new tooling-wise. Anything, rolling stock or locomotive with new tooling would be a treat. We'll probably get more of the same with new roadnames.  Would like to see more Soo Line, B&O, CB&Q, MILW. Ooh, a CGW Geep or Baldwin would be nice.

Anyway, what I'd like to see. Well, earlier someone mentioned a GS4. Good choice. Probably utilize the Northern running gear. It has a couple variants in it's livery, and you could get away with lettering it Western Pacific as well. (Something to run with my WP caboose I bought from them when the Mikado was cancelled.) FlyerCheif would be okay. 

I still mourn the loss of the USRA Mikados and Pacifics they had.

Speaking of the Northern, it has freshened tooling from the Gilbert offering. I'd like to see the Hudson get the same treatment. Or the 0-8-0. Many roadnames possible for the 0-8-0.

I'm sure a new diesel could be offered using the trucks and many other parts of the SD70, and the GE units. Please put the headlight in the nose, as the overwhelming majority of roads are ordering their headlights in that position. Or, modify the SD70, and GE ES44C tooling for a lower headlight, and many more roads will be correct for those models. Unless they do the Holy Grail, the SD40. Then most roads ordered the upper headlight in that era. Weird to say SD40s belong to an era now.

So, I do look forward to the new catalog. A few tidbits that I would like to buy would be nice. Bigger things would be wonderful.1d8a02a83869a22aa10d6010307d41af22433075557_1ef7177b61_b






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>> Speaking of the Northern, it has freshened tooling from the Gilbert offering. I'd like to see the Hudson get the same treatment. <<

Actually, the L-AF Northerns are made using all new tooling except for the pilot, which is the only Gilbert carryover piece. Although modified along the way, much of the original Gilbert tooling for several of the classic die cast steam engines, such as it still exists, dates from before WW2.


Bob Bubeck posted:
Carl Tuveson posted:

I vote for the  0-8-0...

Would be nice to see, but it would require all new tooling. Given their royal foul up with the stillborn Legacy Berk ...... 


I still think removing the molded hand rails and putting on postwar-type hand rails would improve the Berkshire immensely at very little additional cost.


What is sad here is the list is full of great ideas and also full of pessimism  that Lionel will never build these items.  I know they used to read these postings and nothing here will impact 2019 Vol 1.  I just don't see that releasing a SD40 or a GS4 would not be a big seller for Lionel.  GS 4 seller well in every scale so why not S?  My recommendation to Lionel is if you are going to do new  tooling, start with the Legacy version then a year or 2 later offer the FlyerChief version to those who did not have the dollars for the Legacy version.  This way both versions will get made.


I would like to think that Lionel is aware that the right new S gauge Command Control engines will good sellers. Unlike in O gauge there is really no competition for Command Control, be it Legacy or FlyerChief. I will buy pretty much anything new they make in Legacy. I will only buy FlyerChief if they, for example, make a Hudson equivalent to the Berkshire. I would then have it converted to TMCC/Railsounds like the other FlyerChief engines I bought.

I also would like to recognize Lionel for dramatically improving the freight cars in the prior catalog. I bought 6 boxcars (PRR, Reading, Lackawanna) and five 3 bay (Erie) hoppers. They all had unique road numbers and the graphics are really great, far better than previous releases. But best of all for me, the wheelsets are now correctly gauged!


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