Brand new to the hobby-need some guidance

Hi All,

I'm brand new to model trains. I grew up in the Lionel period, so naturally I was interested in O-gauge 3 track. But, given the compromises in life, I can only get an 8 x 10 layout space for myself. I went to a local (Chicago area) train show last week and found a layout of S-gauge trains, set up by the local S gauge club.

S-gauge, not too big, not too small. The look is fantastic, especially S-scale. There's even a local shop that's heavily involved, Des Plaines Hobby.  It's all good, right?  Yeah, not so fast. I want to do this right. I bought an unused modular layout that's 8x10 from Craigslist. So far, so good. The club is actually pretty far from me and they meet at times that I simply can't ever make it. The hobby shop is happy to sell me locomotives, rolling stock, DCC systems, but track, not so much. They are starting to promote and possibly manufacture track from Fox Valley Models. Sounds great. Flexible track with #5 switches. Problem is, it's not available yet. When will it be? Call and check in every week.

So I went on-line, like I've done with every other crazy hobby. Now I'm really at a loss. I've read through a lot of the pages from this and other forums. I've done searches for track, switches, layout planning and command systems. I'm not sure what to put over the plywood. Homasote? Something else? Not sure how to go about designing my layout. SCARM? Design an HO scale layout for an 5.8 x 7.4 layout, then blow it up by 1.36 %?

I really like the look of S-scale. When I was thinking O, I decided to go with Ross track, because I like the wooden ties on cork/ballast look. I looked at Tomalco. Seems like a winner. Except maybe the switches aren't so good. I looked at Railway Engineering. Seems like I have to hand lay the track. Not gonna happen. I found a few S-Scale resource pages. They seem out-of-date.

So, in order I want to:

1. Plan my track layout.

2. Lay the track, preferably over cork and ballast. 

3. Set up a DCC system.

4. Buy locomotives, rolling stock, etc.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

David Shapiro

 

Original Post

Well from my experience, I just gather what track I already have and throw it all on the table to make a crude design in my mind. I stay away from SCARM and other track programs simply because it takes to much time for me. Also when building layouts I try to be as cheap as possible which works most of the time. This helps as I have a lionel postwar layout and I'm able to slap a green carpet down and call that scenery. I also buy cheap but great looking plasticville buildings which fit in greatly with the theme. Wiring the layout is simple as I can't solder and wouldn't waste the money and time to buy a soldering gun. Thus I just wrap bare wire around more bare wire and wrap that with electrical tape which I extend to other areas of the layout that require more power. 

Now aside from that mess, I also have an HO layout. I don't have a buss wire system for that but I would say when ballasting you have to make a certain mixture of glue and water.. It's like 40% water and 60% glue... I'm probably wrong on that but oh well. 

- Joe

Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters, METCA,

Independent Hi-Railers Eastern Division,

Ocean County Society of Model Railroaders,

Raritan River Chapter of the NRHS,

Black River Railroad Historical Trust

 http://raritanriver-rr.com/

"You're too young to remember the Raritan River!" -Told to me by a man at a train show.

My sentiments are similar to Joe's.  Take whatever you may already have and play with it a bit before actually building a serious layout.  Go slow.  There is way too much information and products out there to dive too deeply into any one option.  But most of all, have fun doing it.

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

Before you commit to a scale, I suggest you take a look at what is available.

HO probably has the widest variety of product, followed by "N" gauge.
Then I think it would be "O", followed by "S".

That written, the popularity of "S" scale certainly does appear to be growing.
Have fun!

 

C.W. Burfle

First, I am in O gauge and don't know a lot about S gauge other than I have always thought it is just about the perfect scale for the reasons you describe in your original post, size, looks, 2 rails, etc. I just about went into S scale when I got back in the hobby a few years ago, but the lack of product sent me back to O gauge which I was already familiar with from my youth. Anyway here are a few comments for whatever they are worth, but probably not a lot.

RR-Track has several S gauge track libraries, but it's a pay program and not free like SCARM. I use RR-Track, I had it before SCARM came out. RR-track was once the best available, I don't know if that is still true or no though, but I believe it still has the best selection of libraries of anything available. I have no personal experience with SCARM.

Gargraves makes S gauge track. It is quite similar to Ross with wood ties and has been a favorite with many O gaugers. It's also made in the USA and they have been around for years. I would also think it should be readily available. Ballast should be no problem, I am not sure about the cork, but I don't imagine that would be a problem either. I believe that Lionel and MTH have both been making S gauge track, but I sometimes see folks here that are waiting on certain pieces to be made so I don't know about the supply availability of those tracks? Some of the posts above about experimenting with different track layouts is also good advice, it will give you some ideas about what works and what might not. Also will probably help you with your final plan.

I have both Lionel Legacy and MTH DCS systems with my O gauge, but I also really like DCC, I find it very interesting. The NEC system, also made here in the USA, would be my choice. It's my favorite out of all the ones I have read about. I hope to add an NCE system to my layout someday to go along with my other systems. One additional thing to fiddle with (and I like to fiddle with the electronics parts of the hobby). Both Lionel and MTH are also now making S gauge products so you could use those systems as well, if you ever wanted to. 

As for engines and rolling stock, the selections in S scale are somewhat limited. If you have a small layout this could be an advantage as you wouldn't have so many things to be tempted to purchase. I like the selections we have in O gauge, but I have a lot more than will fit on my layout so I am not sure that is the best thing to have. Sounded good at first, but a more limited selection could definitely be an advantage and a lot less tempting.

Good luck with your layout and please keep us posted on your progress. Pictures always welcome.

I just got into the hobby earlier this year and did a lot of research.  I too recommend RR-Track CAD software.  Libraries of available products are excellent.  I created 2 track plans with 2 different brands to see which I liked better. I had a great deal of fun designing my layout with it, and it allowed me to buy exact quantities of my supplies. I ultimately chose Fastrack because I wanted easily set up turnouts that could be controlled with the wireless remote control.


Repeat to your self; "Do not spend any money on RR stuff for at least 6 months".  If you do not listen to your self please listen to me.  You will regret most everything purchased at the outset of being new into model trains.

Visit lots of model RRs, all scales.  Ask advice of those who have actually built something.  Many forums feature phantom experts.  My favorite signature:  "I'm not an expert, I just play one on the forum".

Neat bumper sticker:  "Nobody owes you anything, neither respect nor income.  All must be earned."

David Shapiro posted:

 

So, in order I want to:

1. Plan my track layout. "I bought an unused modular layout that's 8x10 from Craigslist."

OK. Here's a link to some free S gauge track layouts. Some use plastic roadbed track like the current MTH S-Trax or Lionel's Fastrack. Others use Flyer tubular track (cheapest option) and/or Gargraves tubular which will connect directly to American Flyer tubular. Turnouts are limited to original Flyer, Gargraves S turnout, AF Fastrack (2 radii) or the older S-Helper (now MTH turnout). Please take note that SCALE WHEELSETS will NOT operate on tubular track.

2. Lay the track, preferably over cork and ballast. 

That's easy. Use 2 sizes of cork roadbed...O gauge and HO gauge side by side. Their combined width will be exactly what's needed for S gauge track.

3. Set up a DCC system.

I'm not into DCC but here's a page that covers some of it.

4. Buy locomotives, rolling stock, etc.

I tend to purchase from Charles Ro online. They are usually the best at discounting prices however in some cases other online vendors are comparable. Don't overlook your nearest brick and mortar hobby shop as they can usually offer service after the sale.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

David Shapiro

Good luck!

Mark 

 

 

 

 

I agree with Tom Tee to a point. buy a inexpensive O gauge layout and a A.F. ( if you can find one that works , that is inexpensive ) and put both around your tree this year and see which you like better. Sell the other after christmas. Don't go overboard till you have time to make sure what you want. Also ( yes they make kits to do it for you but ) remember that you can't do a reverse loop with S Scale with out special wiring. ( I'm not that up on electronics so it would be a challenge for me probably even with the kit lol ) 

Bill

First, get Scenery Unlimited's catalog, it's where you'll find the most in S between two covers.

Another good place to do some research is the National Association of S Gaugers site.

If you're considering the scale side, SU carries Shinohora S Scale code 100 track and turnouts (switches.)  I've had their track in service on my layout for 30 years.  (Plus a couple of Old pullman's, no longer available...) 

I used a roadbed product called Homasote product called Homa-bed rather than cork directly on plywood.  It's not any better or worse than cork, it's what was easily available when I started.  Once scenery goes down, it hardly matters what's under the track.

SL 071006 01

SL 071028 03

KGB 042212 06

And yes, you can "blow up" an HO track plan.  My plan is basically an ancient Atlas HO snap-track plan for a 4'X6' platform, modified and expanded for an approximate 12'x18' space.  No track planning software here.  Here's my 30 year old freehand drawing of it.  The weird shape was dictated by the basement usage.

KGB trackplan

Some minor changes were needed in going from 2 dimensions to 3, but the essence remains.  Mainline radii is 33" and 29" respectively.  It will handle my scale wheeled American Models Santa Fe Northern with no issues.

Currently the railroad will run DC or DCC.  It was initially set up for two DC throttles and when I decided to get a DCC system (MRC's Prodigy2) I simply removed one of the DC throttles and wired in the DCC system.  I run mostly my straight DC stuff, though.

Take your time, however.  S isn't as easy to get into as it was 15-20 years ago due to a change in the manufacturing invironment that it still hasn't quite recovered from. 

Lionel and MTH aside, S consists of relatively small manufacturers, some are even part-time.  It can be a little frustrating, but can also be very rewarding.

Rusty

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Thanks to all for your suggestions and comments. It turns out that I'll be able to have an L-shaped table. One side will be 12' x 6' and one 4' x 8'. I like the idea of starting with a simple layout and going from there. With regard to to the homasote covering, that also seems to work well for a lot of people. 

Can't wait to start.

Thanks All,

David

Scale track has a lower profile than high rail. The profile of the rail is described with a code number. Code 172 would be considered high rail. Code 125 could be considered scale, but only if representing a heavy rail on a main line. For running trains, it really doesn't matter until you come to turnouts (switches) or crossings. The turnouts are designed for either scale wheels or high rail wheels, but not both. Scale wheels are, just that, scale, while high rail wheels have over-sized flanges.

Keith

David Shapiro posted:

Just to make sure I understand, can somebody explain the difference between      S-scale track and Hi-Rail track. I'm asking since I'm specifically interested in            S-scale.

Thanks,

David

Pretty much code 125 and above rail in S is considered Hi-rail, but it's not written in stone.   Anything less than code 125 and the flanges of Hi-rail or Flyer equipment may start bumping on the ties.  These images of a truck of the Lionel SD70 illustrate the difference in wheel flanges.  It should also be noted the Hi-rail wheel tread is wider than the scale wheel tread.

Hi-rail:

AF SD70 HR

Scale:

AF SD70 Scale

The crucial point between scale and hi-rail track is the gap of the flangeways and frogs in the turnouts.  These gaps need to be wider than on scale track for the deep flanged American Flyer and hi-rail wheelsets to pass through. 

To better illustrate, this is a Hi-rail car on a (code 100) scale frog.  While this car will roll pretty well on scale track, the turnouts are impassable as the flange rides up on the frogs guard rail:

Wheel 112416 001

This is why Fox Valley will be offering turnouts as Scale or Hi-rail versions.

Hope this is of some help.

Rusty

 

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Hi Rusty and Keith,

Very, very helpful. This particularly true since I haven't bought anything yet. Is Fox Valley filling an unmet need, or will it be competing with other established manufacturers? I'm asking since I'm itching to get started, once the tables are set up.

David

Another question.  Does that mean that some or all the new American Flyer or American Model or MTH trains ( i have no interest in vintage)  won't work in an S-Scale layout because of the wheel size?  That is to say, if I get code 100 track and switches , how can I be sure of the flange size of the cars?  Do the manufacturers specify which type of track that they are building for?  I have my eye on a beautiful Southern Pacific Crescent Line set on Ebay. If the Hi-rail stock won't run on S-scale switches, then is it possible to modify them so that they will? Am I even asking the right questions here?

Thanks,

David

 

David Shapiro posted:

Hi Rusty and Keith,

Very, very helpful. This particularly true since I haven't bought anything yet. Is Fox Valley filling an unmet need, or will it be competing with other established manufacturers? I'm asking since I'm itching to get started, once the tables are set up.

David

A little of both.

Lionel and MTH have their track systems: Lionel with their S FasTrack and MTH with (the former S Helper Service) S-Trax.  Both these systems have molded plastic roadbed and are compatible with each other with a minor modification to the roadbed.  MTH/SHS on left, Lionel on right:

Track 031012 1r

It's my understanding that the Fox Valley track will use the same code rail as Lionel and MTH, so it should be compatible with both with some roadbed underneath.  I'm told the Lionel and MTH turnouts will run scale wheels, but I've never tried it.  The sharp diverging route (20" radius) would seriously limit the type of scale equipment run over them.

American Model uses a larger rail size (code 148) and their turnouts and crossings are set up for Hi-rail/Flyer wheels.  The flangeways can be modified to run scale wheeled equipment over them.

Shinohara and Tomalco are code 100 and turnouts are set up for scale wheels only.

Gar-Graves and traditional tubular Flyer track are not desirable for scale operation.

As long as your considering scale, I would suggest getting an oval of MTH S-Trax 15" straights and 30" radius curves to get the feel of things.

Rusty

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As commented by others, track is relatively easy to find, turnouts are the challenge if you want to operate both scale and high rail equipment. I have .138 rail which is the SHS/MTH track. It accommodates both scale and high rail wheelsets. The turnouts are handlaid .138 rail on modified FasTrack jigs. These turnouts will run both scale and high rail wheelsets. The trick is in the spacing of the guard and wing rails as well as the depth of the nylon frog inserts. Tom Stoltz has videos demonstrating this at tomsturnouts.com. By the way, the Lionel and the MTH turnouts shown above are closed frog design so they will allow scale wheels to operate if the cars can get through the small radius. The advantage of selecting .125 rail, or .100 is all the track and turnouts are commercially available.

There is a big difference between just scale wheelsets and actual scale equipment with body mounted KD couplers. I have minimum 30"radius curves. If you want to run scale equipment with bigger rigid frame steam loco's then a minimum of at least 36" radius is needed. Modern longer prototype cars will set clearance requirements if you choose to run them.

I doubt all the Gilbert cars will run reliably on .125 rail. It would be close, but I found even with .138 rail the ballast has proven to be a real problem. Any grains of ballast near the rails cause the wheel flanges to bounce. The cleanup along the inside of the rails after ballasting was time consuming and critical to reliable operation. Another thing I discovered with the handlaid turnouts is 100% of the new production Lionel Flyer cars have wheelsets that are gauged about too narrow. The engines are correct. I have spent countless hours regauging all the car wheelsets. All the MTH and AM cars are correctly gauged. About half of my original Gilbert cars are correct, the other half are slightly narrow as well.

Tom

David Shapiro posted:

Another question.  Does that mean that some or all the new American Flyer or American Model or MTH trains ( i have no interest in vintage)  won't work in an S-Scale layout because of the wheel size?  That is to say, if I get code 100 track and switches , how can I be sure of the flange size of the cars?  Do the manufacturers specify which type of track that they are building for?  I have my eye on a beautiful Southern Pacific Crescent Line set on Ebay. If the Hi-rail stock won't run on S-scale switches, then is it possible to modify them so that they will? Am I even asking the right questions here?

Thanks,

David

 

American Models is the easy one to answer - they offer just about everything in either scale or hi-rail.  If the seller of an American Models item on Ebay doesn't list hi-rail or scale or doesn't show a picture of the end of the box where its indicated, then make sure you ask. 

You are probably looking at the Flyonel Southern Crescent Mikado.  It's hi-rail as is just about all Flyonel.  In the last 3 years or so, Flyonel has offered a few items in scale or with a choice of scale or hi-rail, and their catalogue listings tell you so.  You can assume that unless a Flyonel product says scale, it is hi-rail.

Related to Rusty's post above, Flyonel Fastrack says it can accommodate scale or hi-rail wheels, but when I tried putting scale wheels on my son's Flyonel SD70ace diesel loco, it derailed on turnouts.  That was my only test of scale wheels on Fastrack though.

Chuck

AmFlyer posted:

 

 If you want to run scale equipment with bigger rigid frame steam loco's then a minimum of at least 36" radius is needed. Modern longer prototype cars will set clearance requirements if you choose to run them.

 

The scale wheeled AM Northern will handle 29" and 33" radius just fine.

AM 29XX 061111 03

KGB 053108 03

Naturally, they do look a lot better on larger curves.

Rusty

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I think that it's coming into focus, a little. I really like the look of scale. I don't like the way the outsized wheels or the couplers look on either the locos or the cars. When I was thinking O, I really wanted 2 rail scale, but settled on 3 rail since there was so much more available.

is it the same situation here, much more available for Hi-rail due to the American Flyer heritage?

In any case, the Shapiro Basement Line will opt for S-Scale, availability be ****ed.         For now...

David

Rusty, I always enjoy looking at the pictures taken on your layout. The layout is fantastic and I had not previously seen the track plan you posted above. I have two AM Northerns but the center two drivers are blind. I did not think it would take the 30" radius if all four were flanged.

David, the nice thing about S is virtually all equipment is an accurately scaled 1/64 model of its prototype. All that is needed for scale operation is to change the wheels or trucks and add KD couplers. Some additional detailing can be done if desired. Most passenger cars scale out to about 70'; AM makes 80' cars as well, they require 27" radius track. The problem I hear most complain about is the limited selection of models of modern equipment. Since my layout is set in the 1950's I do not have that issue.

Tom

David Shapiro posted:

I think that it's coming into focus, a little. I really like the look of scale. I don't like the way the outsized wheels or the couplers look on either the locos or the cars. When I was thinking O, I really wanted 2 rail scale, but settled on 3 rail since there was so much more available.

is it the same situation here, much more available for Hi-rail due to the American Flyer heritage?

In any case, the Shapiro Basement Line will opt for S-Scale, availability be ****ed.         For now...

David

Welcome to the dark side of the dark side then, Dave...

The commonly accepted ratio for S is 85% Flyer/Hi-rail and 15% scale.  That's what American Models and the former S Helper Service have reported in the past.  It may have shifted a little recently in favor of Flyer/Hi-Rail. 

The American Flyer heritage has a lot to do with it.

Rusty

FWIW, I am in the dark side closet. Back in the early 2000's I started buying SHS and AM; all scale wheels. Last year when I was finally ready for a layout, I had to decide between building a 3 rail O gauge layout or scale S gauge layout. I went with the O gauge for my 9 year old grandson. If it had just been for me, it would have been scale S gauge. Maybe some day. 

Keith

This is an interesting thread. Although I am in O gauge I also like the S gauge stuff as well, but have none. As I said above it seems like the perfect scale and I am always surprised it is no more popular. I did look into S when I got back into trains a few years ago, but I sure didn't look far enough. I had no idea there was that many different tracks and rails available and also did not realize they also had scale and hi-rail. Thanks for all the informative posts, I learn something new every day hanging around the OGR forums.

My wife and I have wanted to do a "Polar Express" themed layout as the indoor trains is a winter time hobby for us(we have a nice garden railway for summer time fun!)  However the toy like apperance of the Jr Berkshire used in the set was a turn off to both of us.  To go with the scale size in O was way way beyond our meager train budget.  Then we saw the much more scale looking and closer to the movie look S gauge set from Lionel.  While it does have some quality control issues, the train better represents the look of the train from the movie.   I do wish big L would support the S gauge PE line up better with more ad on's.   Guess they expect you to use the figure sets for the O scale set.    Also keep in mind the huge selection of farming equipment from Ertl that is S scale in size.  From farm tractors, semi trucks and houses/barns/farming equipment.  Like 2 rail O scale, which I was preparing to make a start in, S scale stuff takes some searching.  And thus keeps one in check at train shows.  With 3 rail or HO, the show is overloaded with choices.  Not so much for S gauge other than vintage Flyer.   I find "The hunt" for trains that fit my needs part of the fun and much more enjoyable than trying to process the huge "mass" of HO or 3 rail to chose from.   As I was gathering 2 rail O scale, if I found 1 or 2 car kits/built up models at a show, I was tickled pink.  Now my wife and I will concentrate on getting more xmas buildings for the new layout.  My PE set will arrive later this week from Amazon.    Mike and Michele T

Silly NT's...I have Asperger's Syndrome! 

Tom Tee posted:


Repeat to your self; "Do not spend any money on RR stuff for at least 6 months".  If you do not listen to your self please listen to me.  You will regret most everything purchased at the outset of being new into model trains.

Visit lots of model RRs, all scales.  Ask advice of those who have actually built something.  Many forums feature phantom experts.  My favorite signature:  "I'm not an expert, I just play one on the forum".

This is the best advice I've seen on any forum'...The secret to your future happiness in building your layout is RESEARCH, RESEARCH, AND MORE RESEARCH!!!!!.  S scale is a fabulous scale.  There are plenty of locos by both MTH and Lionel.  Take your time and don't rush.  It takes years to build a decent layout.   

Here are the basics you need before you spend a penny'..

1 What era, time period, Steam or diesel, transition era modern day etc.. 

2. What will your RR do, for revenue, oil, coal, mining, freight, passenger svc,ETC, EYC.

3. How prototype will it be. How realistic would you like it'..

$. what is your budget.  

As you go you will grow,  Additionally, it is to be fun and enjoyable.  Start slow and small..

 

Another great scale and is growing rapidly, is ON30.   O scale rolling stock that runs on HO track.

You can create a wonderful  fully packed attractive  layout with the space you have...in that scale.

When I re-entered the hobby after many years, I just automatically went wit O Gauge.  I didn't research, I didn't know about ON 30 and all the other scales that were available.  Had I done a little more research, I think I would have gone with S  or ON 30....SO we all live and learn'...

So take your time and enjoy yourself while exploring and researching'...And be careful of the PHANTOM  EXPERTS'...

 

 

 

Quarter Gauger 48 posted:
Tom Tee posted:


Repeat to your self; "Do not spend any money on RR stuff for at least 6 months".  If you do not listen to your self please listen to me.  You will regret most everything purchased at the outset of being new into model trains.

Visit lots of model RRs, all scales.  Ask advice of those who have actually built something.  Many forums feature phantom experts.  My favorite signature:  "I'm not an expert, I just play one on the forum".

This is the best advice I've seen on any forum'...The secret to your future happiness in building your layout is RESEARCH, RESEARCH, AND MORE RESEARCH!!!!!.  S scale is a fabulous scale.  There are plenty of locos by both MTH and Lionel.  Take your time and don't rush.  It takes years to build a decent layout.   

Here are the basics you need before you spend a penny'..

1 What era, time period, Steam or diesel, transition era modern day etc.. 

2. What will your RR do, for revenue, oil, coal, mining, freight, passenger svc,ETC, EYC.

3. How prototype will it be. How realistic would you like it'..

$. what is your budget.  

As you go you will grow,  Additionally, it is to be fun and enjoyable.  Start slow and small..

 

Another great scale and is growing rapidly, is ON30.   O scale rolling stock that runs on HO track.

You can create a wonderful  fully packed attractive  layout with the space you have...in that scale.

When I re-entered the hobby after many years, I just automatically went wit O Gauge.  I didn't research, I didn't know about ON 30 and all the other scales that were available.  Had I done a little more research, I think I would have gone with S  or ON 30....SO we all live and learn'...

So take your time and enjoy yourself while exploring and researching'...And be careful of the PHANTOM  EXPERTS'...

 

 

 

Absolutely, positively agree 1000x!!!!

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

Thanks George', I'v spent quite a bit of money on some things I thought I would need but didn't, when starting out.  It's easy to do and many do the same thing as excitement sets in and you want to run trains'...And most of us lack patience.....The best is the Phantom Experts, and there's plenty of them on every forum.......Dave has received some very accurate input on this thread.  I think he'll be fine'..

If I ever build another layout, it will be either, S or ON30, 3 0r 18....

 

Best to you George'.. 

artfull dodger posted:

My wife and I have wanted to do a "Polar Express" themed layout as the indoor trains is a winter time hobby for us(we have a nice garden railway for summer time fun!)  However the toy like apperance of the Jr Berkshire used in the set was a turn off to both of us.  To go with the scale size in O was way way beyond our meager train budget.  Then we saw the much more scale looking and closer to the movie look S gauge set from Lionel.  While it does have some quality control issues, the train better represents the look of the train from the movie.   I do wish big L would support the S gauge PE line up better with more ad on's.   Guess they expect you to use the figure sets for the O scale set.    Also keep in mind the huge selection of farming equipment from Ertl that is S scale in size.  From farm tractors, semi trucks and houses/barns/farming equipment.  Like 2 rail O scale, which I was preparing to make a start in, S scale stuff takes some searching.  And thus keeps one in check at train shows.  With 3 rail or HO, the show is overloaded with choices.  Not so much for S gauge other than vintage Flyer.   I find "The hunt" for trains that fit my needs part of the fun and much more enjoyable than trying to process the huge "mass" of HO or 3 rail to chose from.   As I was gathering 2 rail O scale, if I found 1 or 2 car kits/built up models at a show, I was tickled pink.  Now my wife and I will concentrate on getting more xmas buildings for the new layout.  My PE set will arrive later this week from Amazon.    Mike and Michele T

I just had the opportunity to view and run both the O and S scale Polar Express from Lionel, and I have to agree the S version is a much better looking train.  

 

Here is a link to more S Gauge Manufacturers and vendors:

http://sgaugers.org/links.html

Aflyer

So the table is up. It's 6 x 12 with a 2 x 4 ell on the end. Homasote covering to be bought and installed soon.

I spoke at length with Don from Scenery Unlimited. What a nice guy. He invited me to come over and check the place out. I bought the catalog. Very old school, but I like it! I plan to give him a lot of business.

My next choice is track. I like the look of Tomalco and Shinohara. Any experience people would like to share? Micro-engineering?

I started buying some used S-helper and American Model rolling stock on Ebay. I'm having trouble finding S scale engines. Plenty of Hi-rail stuff around. Any suggestions? 

Finally, I also really appreciated the suggestion of starting with a simple layout and expanding from there.

Thanks,

David

David,

I don't know much about Scale S Gauge railroading, I am one of those Hi-rail guys.  

But I think you might find something you like looking at American models;

http://www.americanmodels.com/locos/

Or try Portliness Hobbies for old S Helper Service inventory

http://64.251.10.24/~worldofw/...age=results-new.html

Or take a look at River Raisin models:

http://www.riverraisinmodels.com

Aflyer

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Alan Rogersrepair technician


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