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Well, yes, no and maybe.  While I posed a lot of my HiRail stuff on my former code 100 railroad, I certainly couldn't run them on it.

Y3 122212 04

Although I'll admit in operation on larger rail, it does get difficult to notice.

Rusty

What is baffling with the Y3 is that the front and trailing wheels have the typical large flanges, while the driving wheels have a much lower profile. Why did they not make the front and trailing wheels to the same profile?

My Mikado has all its flanges with large flanges, so ther were consistent on this engine.

Results of the Lionel product survey from last Fall:

results



The biggest thing that sticks out to me is the low number of votes. That is the problem IMHO. If you want an importer to do road specific details on an engine for example they would need to have quantities in the thousands. Scale Trains in HO does engines in runs reaching over 10 thousand depending on model. If you follow any of Jason Shron's (Rapido) videos he goes into great detail about what it takes to build trains overseas. I had a post on the S scale FB group about the S scale passenger cars that Scott at 3rd Rail/Golden Gate Depot wants to make and got ripped to shreds mostly due to the $1800 per set cost. He isn't close to having enough orders to go forward. Not enough S people, and not enough people willing to spend the money that these low volume runs will require.

It's purely economics. I'm glad Lionel found the Pacific tooling and has been able to fit Legacy. I want to know if they will have a fan driven smoke unit synched to 4 chuffs per revolution and Kadee coupler option. For the price increase over the Berkshire I would hope so.

I have converted the original Pacific to DCC with a TCS WowSound decoder and I'm pretty pleased with it. Having a Legacy version with synched smoke unit would be even better as Legacy is just more fun and easier to use IMHO.

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I voted in that survey fully prepared to purchase products if made. I also put in a reservation for a set of the GGD passenger cars.

Something seems a little off to me. There are an adequate number of S scale operators willing to pay $2,900 for a RR engine with DCC, and $2,600 just DC to enable tooling and manufacture. People are also paying $350 for RR REA cars. Why would the same group of S scale operators object so strongly to $1,800 for a set of scale passenger cars? The target market is not the Gilbert/Lionel S operators since the planned GGD cars will not run on 20" R track.

My old TMCC Pacifics have 4 chuffs with synched fan driven smoke. They are nice running and great looking engines.

@Tom Stoltz posted:

Perhaps because they knew it wouldn't matter to Lionel?  I voted knowing I would not buy anything that has Legacy electronics in it.

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

Well Tom, the top 3 are all Legacy engines so I'd say you are in the minority. All I can say is that Lionel is the only company bringing out new S products. If people don't buy WHAT they make, the WAY they make it, then you might as well say goodbye to new S products. Doesn't matter what I want or what you want, it's what they think they can sell. As Rusty has pointed out they don't always have a great grasp on what to make and have had some bigtime flops lately, but I give them credit because they have gotten better over time and the Legacy Berkshires are fantastic.

As it has been said... Ask 20 S modelers and you'll get 21 different answers because the first one will have changed their mind by the time you're done.

@AmFlyer posted:

I voted in that survey fully prepared to purchase products if made. I also put in a reservation for a set of the GGD passenger cars.

Something seems a little off to me. There are an adequate number of S scale operators willing to pay $2,900 for a RR engine with DCC, and $2,600 just DC to enable tooling and manufacture. People are also paying $350 for RR REA cars. Why would the same group of S scale operators object so strongly to $1,800 for a set of scale passenger cars? The target market is not the Gilbert/Lionel S operators since the planned GGD cars will not run on 20" R track.

My old TMCC Pacifics have 4 chuffs with synched fan driven smoke. They are nice running and great looking engines.

Need to correct you on a couple things Tom.

-TMCC AF Pacifics came with a Seuthe smoke unit, Not a fan driven smoke unit synched to the sounds.

-They had 2 chuffs per revolution not 4. Karl Tuveson has info on his website how to make them 4 chuffs by installing a new cam.

-The GGD passenger cars are being offered in Scale and Hi-Rail with BOTH scale length and shortie (AF compatible) length options.

Scott needs to sell ~900 cars to break even. I would guess significantly more to make enough profit to warrant going forward with the project. He isn't even close to the break-even MOQ. The webpage has been viewed 4,385 times, but only ~50 sets (roughly 300 cars) had been ordered as of last month. That's why I say that there aren't enough people in S willing to spend the money... because they haven't. I realize it seems like a lot of money to many, but Scott doesn't set his costs... the factories do. If he can't get enough orders to break even then I think that just points to there not being enough people in S to "move the needle". In HO even a niche product can have thousands of orders just due to the massive numbers of people in the scale. S just doesn't have that luxury.

Last edited by jonnyspeed

Jonathan, I had the Seuthe units and the flywheels removed and cruise control, 4 chuffs and MTH fan driven smoke units installed in all my Mikado's and Pacifics shortly after purchase. They went from my least favorite to most favorite engines, topped only by the Y-3 when I purchased one.

I am aware of the choice of wheels, after some thought I actually ordered my set with high rail wheels. I missed that there was an option for short cars for 20"radius track, I guess since I wanted the full length cars. For the short cars the AM Budd cars at $329 retail for four would make the GGD at $329/car (or was it $350) seem unreasonably expensive.

How about a more specific survey that would have more guidance then just "Large articulated steam engine" or " medium sized steam engine?" Some ideas: SP Daylight Steam engine $500 range SP Daylight Steam engine $800 range N&W J Steam engine $500 range N&W J Steam engine $800 range SP Cab Forward Steam engine $800 range SP Cab Foward Steam engine $1,000 range Corrected UP Big Boy $800 range Corrected UP Big Boy $1,000 range UP Big boy with only corrected tender & trailing truck $800 range ACG 0-6-0 slope back tender steam engine $400 range ACG 0-8-0 NP switcher steam engine $400 range I will admit that I don't know modern Diesel engines, but similar questions. This would give them not only prototype results, but pricing too.

Part of the problem is everyone wants "their" favorite nowadays.  If it's not on the survey, fugettaboutit.

Do I have a favorite?  Sure... The Russian Decapod, particularly Frisco.  Do I expect one to be produced in S?  No.  Does it prevent me for participating in a survey?  No.

However, I have become reluctant to participate in surveys (I eventually did participate in this one) because nothing usually comes from it.

Right now we've got two so-called major players in the S "mass" market, for lack of a better term: American Models and Lionel.  One has less resources than the other.  Both insist on marching to their own drumbeat.  And who know when Ron B's going to retire...

MTH is done.  Even if someone buys the Showcase Line from MTH, expect at least a year before anything shows up and 4-5 more for anything truly new.

There's River Raisin and PBL for brass, but that's even a smaller piece of the pie.  Plus, PBL is almost exclusively narrow gauge.  For the average S person, RR & PBL are $$$$ and neither cater to the HiRail/Flyer crowd.

Can you believe that River Raisin couldn't get enough reservations for the N&W J?  A famous locomotive (even before the excursion era) that was supposed to be a slam-dunk.  Another company (G&W Models) also tried getting interest in the "J" back in the late 80's and failed.  Go figure...  I honestly don't think a Daylight GS4 would fare much better.

Rusty

Rusty, look at the price range that River Raisin is in--I would have bought their SP Mogul, but can't swing $3K for an engine to "play" with. If they had actually done SP 1727---hmmm. welllll, I might have! But it would have just become a shelf queen for me, so. . . . Yes, there is a market out there, but the price breaks are tough.
Rusty, look at the price range that River Raisin is in--I would have bought their SP Mogul, but can't swing $3K for an engine to "play" with. If they had actually done SP 1727---hmmm. welllll, I might have! But it would have just become a shelf queen for me, so. . . . Yes, there is a market out there, but the price breaks are tough.
@traindavid posted:
Rusty, look at the price range that River Raisin is in--I would have bought their SP Mogul, but can't swing $3K for an engine to "play" with. If they had actually done SP 1727---hmmm. welllll, I might have! But it would have just become a shelf queen for me, so. . . . Yes, there is a market out there, but the price breaks are tough.

That's the issue isn't it? If you want 1 SP Mogul then you could pay probably in excess of $10,000 to have one hand made by a craftsman. However, the more you make the less they cost due to economies of scale and production efficiencies. RR can do 100-200 or whatever Dan made at $3000. If you could sell 2000-5000 I bet that price would drop to about $1500 or less. If you could sell 10,000 I bet you could bring that model in under $1000.

I don't begrudge Dan or Scott for their prices. Both guys are honest and upstanding. They aren't getting rich on these projects. This is what it costs to bring these projects to market in such low volumes.  How long the market will bear the prices is the issue.

@traindavid posted:
Rusty, look at the price range that River Raisin is in--I would have bought their SP Mogul, but can't swing $3K for an engine to "play" with. If they had actually done SP 1727---hmmm. welllll, I might have! But it would have just become a shelf queen for me, so. . . . Yes, there is a market out there, but the price breaks are tough.

Part of it is River Raisin is the caviar, not the meatloaf.  RR's also paying a higher labor rate in Korea while making small runs.  The other part is the there's a sad reality that nowadays it costs almost as much to bring a small locomotive to market as it does a large one.

Rusty

@traindavid posted:
Rusty, look at the price range that River Raisin is in--I would have bought their SP Mogul, but can't swing $3K for an engine to "play" with. If they had actually done SP 1727---hmmm. welllll, I might have! But it would have just become a shelf queen for me, so. . . . Yes, there is a market out there, but the price breaks are tough.

$3,000?!?  Not quite.  They retailed for $1,499.

Rusty, that was my point, RR was the caviar, and the J market was the meatloaf gang!  Chuck, hmm, thought I remembered them being the higher price, oh well. . .

I have a Y3, and I think it's one of the best engines big L made in S, details and operates great through ACG trackwork. I consider it proof that they CAN do one right.

But, as long as they believe the production costs will exceed the sales, we will see nada.  I know many were shocked at the sales for the BB when it came out, and the results (short term) were the Challengers and the Y3s.  Anyone know if the sales were strong enough?  I have to assume the Polar Express sales were/are good, as they are still cataloged and at affordable prices.

Do I have a favorite?  Sure... The Russian Decapod, particularly Frisco.  Do I expect one to be produced in S?  No.  Does it prevent me for participating in a survey?  No.



Can you believe that River Raisin couldn't get enough reservations for the N&W J?  A famous locomotive (even before the excursion era) that was supposed to be a slam-dunk.  Another company (G&W Models) also tried getting interest in the "J" back in the late 80's and failed.  Go figure...  I honestly don't think a Daylight GS4 would fare much better.

Rusty

Road specificity is gonna be a killer for any models going forward.  Too small of a market. Locomotives like the Big Boy, Daylight, J3, etc - are popular models with collectors.   But they aren't exactly operator friendly choices.  Lionel not offering scale wheels will hurt the market. That's a bad choice on their part.

The 2-10-0 Russian suggestion is actually a very good choice.  Tons of roads had them - and the USRA based their version off the originals specs.  I'd buy one.  No question - if scale is an option.  Not only that, the motor block could be re-used for a generic 2-10-2 Santa Fe class.  Over 2200 of those were built and used across a ton of roads.   

@traindavid posted:

I have to assume the Polar Express sales were/are good, as they are still cataloged and at affordable prices.

Given how many Polar Express variants Lionel's selling in O Gauge, I actually find it hard to believe the Flyer version actually sells that well to keep it on the production schedule year after year after year.  It's not like Flyer is sold in all the places Lionel O is sold.  It would be interesting to know the numbers but I know Big L will never release them.

There's been no significant changes to the Flyer PE over the years.  Additions, yes.  Changes, no.  I can't help but wonder if there's just a stack of dust covered PE sets hiding in a corner of the building somewhere waiting to be bought.

Rusty

@Jacobpaul81 posted:

The 2-10-0 Russian suggestion is actually a very good choice.  Tons of roads had them - and the USRA based their version off the originals specs.  I'd buy one.  No question - if scale is an option.  Not only that, the motor block could be re-used for a generic 2-10-2 Santa Fe class.  Over 2200 of those were built and used across a ton of roads.   

Well, not really. The Russian decapod is not a large locomotive.  It looks big, mainly because it's narrow boiler is fairly high off the frame.

The Russian's driver diameter is 52".  Strasburg's ex-Great Western decapod's is 56".  A USRA 2-10-2 driver diameter is 63".   Depending on the Class, Santa Fe's 2-10-2's had either 57" drivers or 63" drivers.  The Pennsy's N1s and N2s 2-10-2'a had 62" and 63" drivers respectively.

Rusty

@Tom Stoltz posted:

However, when operating your trains, can you really see the difference between High-rail and scale wheelsets?

Yes, definitely.  The Flyonel flanges are huge even relative to hi-rail wheels from AM, SHS/MTH, SSA and Ace.  In fact the flanges are so big on the PA's and on the tenders, pilots and trailing  trucks of the Flyonel steamers that they bump against the molded rail spike heads of 27" radii FasTrack curves making a very loud and very bad rumbling as they pass through. All the other aforementioned brands of hi-rail wheels travel these curves with no problem.

@Chuck K posted:

In fact the flanges are so big on the PA's and on the tenders, pilots and trailing  trucks of the Flyonel steamers that they bump against the molded rail spike heads of 27" radii FasTrack curves making a very loud and very bad rumbling as they pass through. All the other aforementioned brands of hi-rail wheels travel these curves with no problem.

I seem to remember that the early years of Flyonel PA’s had a lower profile flange, more akin to the Gilbert PA’s of the mid 50’s. I believe Flyonel changed the PA flanges to the much larger style around the time of the NYC PA set.

So why did Lionel increase the flange height? I run a lot of my original Gilbert PA’s and GP7’s and don’t have any problems with them.

Well, not really. The Russian decapod is not a large locomotive.  It looks big, mainly because it's narrow boiler is fairly high off the frame.

The Russian's driver diameter is 52".  Strasburg's ex-Great Western decapod's is 56".  A USRA 2-10-2 driver diameter is 63".   Depending on the Class, Santa Fe's 2-10-2's had either 57" drivers or 63" drivers.  The Pennsy's N1s and N2s 2-10-2'a had 62" and 63" drivers respectively.

Rusty

I would take a pair of Legacy Erie 2-10-0 Russian Decapods. Really neat little engines that have never been done in S to my knowledge.

Credit: Monroe County Historical Org.

Last edited by jonnyspeed

I would think that any steamer considered would either have to have prototypically been used by a few roads, some close enough copies used by other roads or be a good candidate for "fantasy" schemes. The popular choices of the N&W J(shrouded, unshrouded on same road), SP GS(shrouded, unshrouded on same road, AFT), Big Boy (UP std, maybe greyhound fantasy same road) J3 Hudson (NYC Std W/ reg tender/centipede, Dryfuss, Century on same road, B&A "close").  All these popular choices had limited roadname exposure and limit the manufacturers offerings of reality before venturing into fantasy schemes. Correct me if I missed any actual uses of these realworld models. Even so I believe any of these have a better chance of sales than some of the more obscure real world steam variants. ****, I'm still hoping for a Legacy set of Baldwin Sharknoses!

@jonnyspeed posted:

Depends on how they flange/blind the drivers. The HO model that Bachmann makes requires 22" which is ~30" in S. Could be less if they blind more drivers.

The PFM HO model will go around 18" radius and all its drivers are flanged like the prototype.  The Bachmann models have the center driver blind.  It all depends on tolerance.

But a Russian Decapod in S is snowball in heck territory.  After two false starts in the past, I doubt we'll see one.  You won't see one from Lionel because they haven't done on in O.  MTH has the files, but who knows those will wind up.

Rusty

The Russian's driver diameter is 52".  Strasburg's ex-Great Western decapod's is 56".  A USRA 2-10-2 driver diameter is 63".   Depending on the Class, Santa Fe's 2-10-2's had either 57" drivers or 63" drivers.  The Pennsy's N1s and N2s 2-10-2'a had 62" and 63" drivers respectively.

Rusty

So make it with 60" and call it good.  Only a rivet counter would claim to notice, if they could tell.

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

@Chuck K posted:

Yes, definitely.  The Flyonel flanges are huge even relative to hi-rail wheels from AM, SHS/MTH, SSA and Ace.  In fact the flanges are so big on the PA's and on the tenders, pilots and trailing  trucks of the Flyonel steamers that they bump against the molded rail spike heads of 27" radii FasTrack curves making a very loud and very bad rumbling as they pass through. All the other aforementioned brands of hi-rail wheels travel these curves with no problem.

Maybe if you are up close and really looking, but if they are running...  I keep trying to load a video that has all 3 types of wheels in one train (going through a turnout) and the focus is on the wheels -- you can't tell.  Don't know if it will run for you but try the link:

http://www.tomsturnouts.com/video/VideoTTT.html

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

@Tom Stoltz posted:

So make it with 60" and call it good.  Only a rivet counter would claim to notice, if they could tell.

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

60"???  That's 8 prototype inches, almost a full 1/16" larger that would be on an S Russian. It's easy to get away with slightly undersized drivers, but harder to get away with oversized ones.

Stretched out over 5 driver pairs that's an extra 5/16" on an S scale model, not counting some additional spacing needed between drivers.  I'm not sure the selective expansion over the length wouldn't be noticeable.  Might as well just drop the trailing truck, add another driver to the Mikado's frame and plop the Pacific/Mikado boiler back on it, then call it done.

Maybe Lionel should have used two Mikado drives under the Y3...  After all, 63" drivers are close to 57" drivers...

Rusty

Last edited by Rusty Traque

60"???  That's 8 prototype inches, almost a full 1/16" larger that would be on an S Russian. It's easy to get away with slightly undersized drivers, but harder to get away with oversized ones.

Stretched out over 5 driver pairs that's an extra 5/16" on an S scale model, not counting some additional spacing needed between drivers.  I'm not sure the selective expansion over the length wouldn't be noticeable.  Might as well just drop the trailing truck, add another driver to the Mikado's frame and plop the Pacific/Mikado boiler back on it, then call it done.

Maybe Lionel should have used two Mikado drives under the Y3...  After all, 63" drivers are close to 57" drivers...

Rusty

Wouldn't 8 prototype inches = 1/8 inch in S scale.  I thought the scale worked out to be 3/16 inch equals 12 inches or one foot.  Or am I wrong?

Mike A.

Last edited by Mikeaa

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