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though primarily an o gauger i have a keen interest in American Flyer and s gauge

i have even thought of switching to s gauge several times and basically create my own version of Bruce Manson's layout where instead of the sierra railroad i turn the New Hope and Ivyland into a transport giant and i make places like Roanoke Island nc have trains even though they never had trains in real life

i have even visuallized my idea on a TM special nararated by James Tuohy even though he died in 2020

however it seems the flyer portion of the lionel catalog has gotten slimmer the past 2 years and even for the 75th anniversary it seemed thinner than just a few years ago . is lionel slowly closing the door on American flyer am i the only one wondering

what happened to Bruce's layout is it still intact?

i really hope the American Flyer stuff comes back stronger next year because i have been debating s gauge for awhile even if i still do o i will have s in the second level to create distance

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Hi paigetrain,

Without knowing you goals in thinking about S gauge, it is hard to give much advice.  If it were me, I would say stay as far from Flyonel as possible, especially their repro accessories.  I just took a look at eBay and there is so much original Flyer at very reasonable prices that you don’t have to think about Lionel’s future plans for S.  I also recently read that Scale Trains plans to reintroduce the SHS line, it doesn’t get any better than SHS.  There is also American Models to look at along with S Scale America and several more.

Again, just my option, but I would stay away from original Flyer track (sorry Ray) and go with Fox Valley flex and turnouts.  MTH/SHS flex is interchangeable with the FV trackage.  There are also a couple of brands of S gauge track in pre-formed roadbed, though the MTH/SHS line is getting harder to find.

The NASG web site will give you tons of info about S scale, there is also a pictorial of Bruce’s layout along with the TM video.  Looks like Bruce used a combination of original Flyer track and switches with Gargraves flex for wider radius curves.

Good luck and have fun,

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

Cody.  Tom's response is excellent, it really depends on what you want to do.  Others on this site are much more knowledgeable than me, but I thought I might add that Lionel has made available many different engines and cars over the years, and hopefully will continue to do so.  A few items by Lionel had problems for sure and I have experienced this, but the vast majority for me have been very good.  

American Models has beautiful and well made variety of engines and cars.  And then SHS, MTH along with a great many American Flyer original equipment is available on the secondary market.   As others will note accurately, nothing compared to the offerings and manufacturers for O Gauge, but in my instance enough for me.  These are some of my collection, just because a picture is worth a thousand words as they say.  I am blessed to have these and more.  Good luck.  Mike  



TrainsWall

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  • TrainsWall: Sample of Some the S Gauge Engines and Cars Available
  • IMG_4249: Some Christmas items available
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Last edited by Mike West
@paigetrain posted:


<snip>

what happened to Bruce's layout is it still intact?

i really hope the American Flyer stuff comes back stronger next year because i have been debating s gauge for awhile even if i still do o i will have s in the second level to create distance

Bruce passed on Sept. 10, 2010. Anna (his charming wife) had the layout dismantled and over a few years she sold their truly extensive collection of trains and toys. Bruce and Anna were good friends and great to know. Bruce was Editor of The TCA Quarterly for 27 years and a dyed-in-the wool Gilbert and American Flyer fan.

Depending on what you envision doing, Cody, if you are looking to build a pike along the lines of a Gilbert-style layout, there is nearly 20 years of Gilbert production and over 42 years of Lionel Flyer production to choose from at what are now relatively modest prices (the highly desirable LN/OB items aside). Lionel's Flyer offerings have never been as extensive as for their O gauge trains. Many of us here are enjoying Lionel's Legacy and FlyerChief AF offerings. Tom and Mike have given several good suggestions above about newer S other than Flyer. Pursuing Legacy/TMCC, DCC, or conventional control will cause a certain degree of self-selection, if you get my drift.

Enjoy!

Bob

Last edited by Bob Bubeck
@paigetrain posted:

It's sad that Bruce's layout is gone I've probably watched the tm video of it atleast a dozen times

Do the rebirth trains from scale trains have flyer style couplers?

The Pennsylvania Suite video in the McComas & Tuoy 6 video set is my #1 model train video of all time. It featured Phil Klopp's magnificent O Gauge layout as well as Bruce Manson's wonderful S Gauge layout.

In my mind I can still hear Bruce saying: "Now boarding on Track Number 2, . . ." and "two coffees to go, light on the sugar."

Again, just my option, but I would stay away from original Flyer track (sorry Ray) and go with Fox Valley flex and turnouts.  MTH/SHS flex is interchangeable with the FV trackage.  There are also a couple of brands of S gauge track in pre-formed roadbed, though the MTH/SHS line is getting harder to find.

Tom, No need to be sorry, I am not insulted, I do like the appearance of the tinplate track with the roadbed.  I admit my larger locomotives would look better on larger radius curves than on the Flyer track, I can live with that.

If not for the Legacy/TMCC I would not be this deep in trains. I have a good bit of the Flyonel but, my Gilbert still outnumbers it.

To reinforce what you have said about the Gilbert Flyer, at our last S Fest a couple of Gilbert locomotives and a number of cars were donated to our club, they looked like they had been stored in a garage under a car. Some intensive cleaning and some attention to the workings they are now part of our club layout. The younger engine is 60 some yrs old and the senior is seventy plus yrs old, both run fine.

Ray

Last edited by Rayin"S"

Cody, Scale Trains last updated the status of their S scale activities on June 9th. That update has pictures of a pre production boxcar and a 2-bay hopper. Those models have the MTH high rail trucks with truck mounted MTH high rail couplers. No comments have been made about scale vs high rail but it is reasonable to assume Scale Trains will initially follow the SHS/MTH practice for rolling stock. Engines will not be DCS, they will be DCC or DCC ready. Scale Trains also said they have begun work on the S gauge track line.

For those who want to read the announcements go to www.scaletrains.com. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the homepage. Hidden among the fine print is the heading Acquisitions, there are links to the MTH and to the FVM announcements.

In addition, Scale Trains did not purchase all of the FVM product lines. There is a separate announcement by FVM at www.foxvalleymodels.com listing the product lines FVM will continue to own. In addition to what is listed, Scale Trains did not purchase the FVM line of high rail flex track and #5 turnouts, FVM retains their .138 highrail track line.

@Bob Bubeck posted:

Bruce passed on Sept. 10, 2010. Anna (his charming wife) had the layout dismantled and over a few years she sold their truly extensive collection of trains and toys. Bruce and Anna were good friends and great to know. Bruce was Editor of The TCA Quarterly for 27 years and a dyed-in-the wool Gilbert and American Flyer fan.

Depending on what you envision doing, Cody, if you are looking to build a pike along the lines of a Gilbert-style layout, there is nearly 20 years of Gilbert production and over 42 years of Lionel Flyer production to choose from at what are now relatively modest prices (the highly desirable LN/OB items aside). Lionel's Flyer offerings have never been as extensive as for their O gauge trains. Many of us here are enjoying Lionel's Legacy and FlyerChief AF offerings. Tom and Mike have given several good suggestions above about newer S other than Flyer. Pursuing Legacy/TMCC, DCC, or conventional control will cause a certain degree of self-selection, if you get my drift.

Enjoy!

Bob

i just checked trainz i don't do ebay

i just found the silver flash alco units - my favorite flyer engine of all time for under 300 bucks and according to trainz it runs well

i just wish my god father would let me snag it

The Pennsylvania Suite video in the McComas & Tuoy 6 video set is my #1 model train video of all time. It featured Phil Klopp's magnificent O Gauge layout as well as Bruce Manson's wonderful S Gauge layout.

In my mind I can still hear Bruce saying: "Now boarding on Track Number 2, . . ." and "two coffees to go, light on the sugar."

that and the George Feyer piano music constantly get stuck in my head and i don't mind at all

i just wish i could find the version of let it snow from the winter portion of Phil's layout as i can't find it anywhere

@AmFlyer posted:

Cody, Scale Trains last updated the status of their S scale activities on June 9th. That update has pictures of a pre production boxcar and a 2-bay hopper. Those models have the MTH high rail trucks with truck mounted MTH high rail couplers. No comments have been made about scale vs high rail but it is reasonable to assume Scale Trains will initially follow the SHS/MTH practice for rolling stock. Engines will not be DCS, they will be DCC or DCC ready. Scale Trains also said they have begun work on the S gauge track line.

Tom, Scale Trains (updated Aug 4 2022) is mentioned in the NEWS section in the NASG web site indicating their intention to release the entire MTH line.  Also mentioned in the Sept/Oct Dispatch, in the Buffalo Convention write up by Jay Mellon about Des Plaines Hobbies speaking, with Matt Gaudynski, Scale Trains plans to release the entire selection of models formerly produced.

I'm probably reading into it because MTH includes an entire H0 line of products.  BOTOH, he doesn't exclude the SHS line either.  There is hope anyway.  Having the former SHS line back in production would be a big plus for S.  Matt also said they hoped to have the FV #5 turnouts restocked by late 2022 or early 2023.

With fingers crossed,

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

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