check out this S scale layout

AmFlyer posted:

Thanks, I think. That is my layout. The video was taken just before disassembly for shipment. That is why the roadbed joints at the module interfaces are not detailed.

Kudos Tom. Enjoy your new railroad. I've often thought that I might entertain having a layout built someday. Going to have to save up for a while though.

Out of curiosity, what brand of turnouts did they use on the Hi-Rail line?


All the track is MTH flex, the rail is .137-.138 high. this is the minimum all the original Gilbert equipment will run on. Tested .125 but no go. The turnouts are made from the same rail, stripped out of the flex track. At the time the layout was built there was no commercial source of turnouts using .138 rail so SMARTT built them as part of layout construction using modified FasTrack jigs. We looked closely at Tom Stoltz's turnouts and used the same clearances for the wing and guard rails so the turnouts allow flawless operation of both scale and high rail wheelsets.

Since the layout was built Fox Valley has made turnouts available using .138 rail. Theirs require specifying scale or high rail when ordering.

I have run some scale equipment on the layout. As long as it handles the minimum 30"radius and #5 turnouts the scale equipment can run anywhere. The turnouts other than the freight yard are #6 and#8's.

I really enjoy the layout and in retrospect glad I waited as long as I did to have it built. My priorities in what I wanted for a layout evolved over time, so now I have exactly what I want, limited only by the size of the room.


Hi Tom,

I live in South Florida, and know some of the guys from SMARTT, so I heard about it when they were building your layout, since they knew I was a big S Gauge fan. Unfortunately, I never got by their studio to see the layout under construction, so I'm grateful to whoever posted the video. It looks like they really outdid themselves on this one, I'm really envious! Enjoy!

Like you, my S Gauge tastes have morphed over the years. I started in HO scale as a kid, then went to O 2-rail for a while, then On3, (both were to big and pricey for my means). That led me to Sn3 and then to S scale in the late 1980's (I fell in love with the American Models FP7), during which time I picked up an occasional Flyer piece because the size was right. In the past two years, I have gotten more interested in Flyer and have started actually running some of my pieces after just displaying them on a shelf for over 30 years. Now, I'm glad that I built my layout as Hi-rail using code 148 rail and Eshleman closed-frog turnouts so I could run either scale or deep flanges. I only wish the slightly smaller rail from SHS had been available when I started.


Bill in FtL


Bill, it really is too bad you did not make it to their shop before the layout shipped. I was fortunate in that my layout was the only large project in the shop for most of the build period so I had the undivided attention of their "A" team.

What has helped make this layout fun to operate is the Lionel LCS on the iPad. The track plan takes 5 screens and is totally intuitive to use. I cannot even imagine a control panel for 45 turnouts, 20 uncouplers, 3 operating tracks and many other required controls. Plus I would have been forced to operate each item from a fixed location, unable to operate while following the trains. Getting the LCS system up and running turned out to be a bigger challenge than expected, but it now operates flawlessly.


Very impressive. Very neat and well done.  Taking a dozen people just under 1 year to build; this has to be a new record for the most expensive S gauge layout of all time. Looks like it was built in an industrial building of some kind.

Builder of the Hill Lines ( New Delta Lines). Recreating history for the model RR community.

Dennis, like many things these decisions become a tradeoff of personal time versus costs. I am not sure where the 12 people for almost a year came from but the number of labor hours that calculates to is waaay high.. These people are amazingly talented and experienced and the results they produce for the time spent is hard to believe until you see them in action.


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