Favorite Flyer

Now, most of you fine folks here probably consider me to be an S Scale-stick-in-the-mud worried about accuracy and where the rivets are hiding.  That's mostly true for scale and somewhat less so for hirail.

But, I have my soft spot.  While I never met a Flyer EP5 I didn't like, my favorite Flyer turns out to be the C&O passenger set from 1989.

AFL 091910 01AFL 091910 02AFL 091910 03AFL 091910 04

While the C&O never had PA's and the gray fluting should really be silver, these things don't bother me here.  The colors and graphics are well executed.  This set makes for a great piece of eye-candy (runs pretty good, too...) and edges out my Lionel/Flyer Silver Flash set as my number one choice.

I had the good fortune to pick up an orphaned coach way back when to add the fifth car.  I also know a baggage car was offered and I almost bought one, but I happened to consider the set "perfect" as it stands.

I'm guessing one or two of you out there in Forumland might have a favorite Flyer piece.  Let's see 'em.

Rusty

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Original Post

I am primarily a Lionel guy, but I have some familiarity with Flyer, and own a few pieces.
My favorite American Flyer item is the 370 Geep with no couples, just a bar on each end to engage the rolling stock's couple. I also like their 792 shed and 793 station. I used both on several of my Lionel layouts.

C.W. Burfle

My current favorite Flyer is a Flyonel SD70Ace in the MKT heritage paint scheme. I have essentially shed all of my Gilbert Flyer products and now run essentially modern and modern-ish diesel engines. Lionel Flyer (Flyonel) has been exceptionally stingy with MKT rolling stock and engines. The Alco PA Texas Special engines are "OK" but not accurate. Lionel made them because they already had the PA molds and decided..."Meh...good enough". I do own the Texas Special set but it is definitely more toy-like in appearance.

The release of the SD70Ace was long awaited by myself and others and I scooped one up as soon as it was released. Attached is a short video showing the engine pulling a train of the fantasy (mostly) cylindrical hopper cars...another favorite of mine.

The caboose at the end of the train is also fantasy in use (c'mon...a caboose behind an SD70Ace? Really?) and appearance. It is an AM wood caboose decaled by me with what decals I had and bears little resemblance to any actual MKT caboose. However I like cabeese and usually run one in all my trains silly or not.

I'd certainly be in for a Flyonel FlyerChief GP-7 painted in the green/yellow paint scheme if Lionel ever decides to make any:

Image result for MKT GP7

Mark

Bob Bubeck posted:

Without a doubt (IMHO), the piece of modern Lionel Flyer that is heads and shoulders above all, both as a model and operationally, is the Y3a.

Bob

I agree Bob. I have the Santa Fe version. I have not run a Challenger, so I can't compare it to that, but among my U33c's, ES44's, SD70's and other Flyonel locos, it is tops. Fabulous runner, great sounds, fantastic detail. Whenever I am showing my layout to someone new, it definitely gets run.

What's my favorite?  That's like asking who's my favorite child!  As far as Gilbert Flyer goes, the passenger trains are my favorite as a general rule.  When it comes to Lionel Flyer, it's the NH EP-5.  I could not afford the original Banker's set, so when Lionel re-did the EP-5, I got it and scrounged a few junker passenger cars and repainted them.  I added the repop NH boxcar as a head-end item, and here it is:

I made decals for the cars and have a few more in reserve to make the train longer.  Now, to find the time to do it!

 

 

 

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Not only the NH EP-5. but all three of them that were made, even though GN and MR never had them.  The models are great runners and are very dependable. 

And on second (or third or fourth) thought, the American Flyer Commemorative train assembled over a few years.  When I run it at train shows on our club's layout, it never fails to get favorable comments from Flyer guys and hi-railers.  But since you can't please everybody, a scaler or two will tell me it's either out of place or gaudy.   Oh well...

BTW, thanks for the "likes".   And the other guys' picks are just fine with me too!  Like I said, it's like picking your favorite child!

 

 

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Francine posted:

I'm pretty sure the next release will be the Baldwins (VO1000), after that, it's anybodies guess, although in conversation with Lionel, something new is a brewing.

If it's Legacy, it's not my cup of tea....  (brewing.....  Oh well)

 

 

poniaj posted:

Not only the NH EP-5. but all three of them that were made, even though GN and MR never had them.  <snip>

Ah, do you know about the 6-48075? 

The fourth and best of the bunch. It is a NH EP-5 "Jet" with two vertical can motors, a horn, power trucks with 6 driven wheels and black side frames (like the first Gilbert catalog illustration on the back page of the 1956 catalog) and a more prototypical deco. It could easily be the basis of a new FlyerChief EP-5. I often employ this engine to pull a NH "Bankers" with the LTI orange stripe cars and a similar head end NH boxcar much as you do.

Enjoy!

Bob

Chuck K posted:
Bob Bubeck posted:

Without a doubt (IMHO), the piece of modern Lionel Flyer that is heads and shoulders above all, both as a model and operationally, is the Y3a.

Bob

I agree Bob. I have the Santa Fe version. I have not run a Challenger, so I can't compare it to that, but among my U33c's, ES44's, SD70's and other Flyonel locos, it is tops. Fabulous runner, great sounds, fantastic detail. Whenever I am showing my layout to someone new, it definitely gets run.

I own a Challenger, too, which I run and enjoy, but the Y3a is significantly better. Trust me. 

Bob

Bob, what differences are you seeing between the Challenger and the Y3a? I own both, and the chief differences I've noticed are: 1) the Y3a can run on AC, DC, or Legacy while the Challenger is only AC or Legacy; (on straight DC the tender reverse light is illuminated going forward and off when going in reverse); 2) the Challenger had some problems backing through American Models switches until I switched around two wheelsets on the tender; no problems at all with the Y3a; and 3) the Challenger was missing some simple details, such as an ash wheel on the engineer's side. I know there are some design improvements in the Y3a drive coupling that Carl Tuveson pointed out in his review, but those may not be noticeable until the Challenger begins to wear sooner. Are there some other differences I may have missed?

Bob Bubeck posted:
The fourth and best of the bunch. It is a NH EP-5 "Jet" with two vertical can motors, a horn, power trucks with 6 driven wheels and black side frames (like the first Gilbert catalog illustration on the back page of the 1956 catalog) and a more prototypical deco. It could easily be the basis of a new FlyerChief EP-5. I often employ this engine to pull a NH "Bankers" with the LTI orange stripe cars and a similar head end NH boxcar much as you do.

 

http://www.lionel.com/products...lectric-378-6-48075/

I have one of these also and I really need to run it 

TOKELLY posted:

Bob, what differences are you seeing between the Challenger and the Y3a? I own both, and the chief differences I've noticed are: 1) the Y3a can run on AC, DC, or Legacy while the Challenger is only AC or Legacy; (on straight DC the tender reverse light is illuminated going forward and off when going in reverse); 2) the Challenger had some problems backing through American Models switches until I switched around two wheelsets on the tender; no problems at all with the Y3a; and 3) the Challenger was missing some simple details, such as an ash wheel on the engineer's side. I know there are some design improvements in the Y3a drive coupling that Carl Tuveson pointed out in his review, but those may not be noticeable until the Challenger begins to wear sooner. Are there some other differences I may have missed?

You have captured most of the differences. The Legacy speed step programming is more evenly progressive in the Y3a, yielding slower speed capabilities and smoother more realistic starts. There are more Legacy sound goodies and the extendable tender tether is a big plus. The Y3a is just a better model and its build quality is superior. Another desirable attribute is that it is an articulated steamer that is no larger than the Gilbert Northern which leads to the Y3a sitting and running better on Gilbert curves. I like the sound of the whistle more, too.

I own and enjoy running examples of all of the modern Legacy L-AF diesel-electrics which are excellent. However, a truly great steam engine beats a diesel any day. 

Have fun.

Bob

   The carbody look is a progressive downhill run for me after the TA.

But that peticular C&O/PM color scheme is stunning on any of them.

It even improves Jerry's signature

Too bad it didn't have the right body lines for the "swoosh" version. But I wouldn't deny it space in my yard.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Another couple of differences with the Challenger and Y3a -- the Challenger has no crew in the cab, and lacks brake squeal sounds.  I have two Challengers (gray and black) and two Y3a's.  I too would have to give the Y3a the nod, but my Challengers also run smooth as silk, smoke well (better than Y3a) and are sure to please a crowd when present.  

David Horn

One word of caution on the 6-48075 NH EP5, and I own one that I converted to TMCC with sounds, LED directional lighting, and two electro-couplers to show you how much I like it, but it does depend on four relatively tiny vertically sprung rollers for contact with the tracks.  None of the wheels are used for pick-up.  If you have great track work then you shouldn't have any problems (I don't), but I have seen people quit using theirs on club layouts with rougher track work b/c those rollers jam in gaps between sections of track.  And you don't want to damage or lose any of those - nothing else provides power from the rails.  Repairing or re-soldering them can be tricky b/c the box in which the square post with the roller on it travels up and down is plastic -- if that gets deformed or damaged inside from heat or impact the alignment and/or travel of the roller can get messed up making matters worse.  I guess after a while there can be such a thing as too much real world experience with something.   

David Horn

You guys and your chatter on Flyonel.  Real Flyer was built by Gilbert.  While I have lots of Flyonel from 1979 on and including the Y3 and Challenger I think my #312 K5 from 1948 is still King.  It woke me up on Christmas eve of 1948 when I was three years old.

It runs on my layout regularly.

I agree that the Gilbert NYC Hudson is a classic and remains my favorite AF steamer, but since my Dad had already purchased a nice freight set led by the 322AC, the other set I coveted throughout my youth, and through most of my adult years, was the Silver Flash Alco streamliner.

I never got one as a kid, and the vintage sets I saw later were either too expensive or too beat up. In the mid-90s (the years in the last century, not my age!) my wife and I were at a toy train club convention, and a vendor in the trading hall had a Lionel Silver Flash remake in a factory sealed box for a fair price. We had flown to the convention, and when he said he would ship it to our home for free, the deal was also sealed.

The Silver Flash remained sealed in the box and was actually "lost" in the storagein my "train room" until about five years ago.  I then took the new found treasure to our local TCA clubhouse for its inaugural run on one of the club's S Gauge loops.

imageimage

The beautiful Alco set returned a few years later during the clubs annual Christmas Open House where it rubbed shoulders with my Lionel AF Polar Express Berkshire, a locomotive which, of course, Gilbert never produced.

image

Cheers!

Alan

 

 

 

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Sgaugian posted:

One word of caution on the 6-48075 NH EP5, it does depend on four relatively tiny vertically sprung rollers for contact with the tracks.   If you have great track work then you shouldn't have any problems (I don't), but I have seen people quit using theirs on club layouts with rougher track work b/c those rollers jam in gaps between sections of track.  

Those rollers are making appearances on the new Flyonel Geeps and Baldwin switchers also.

A friend in my train club had one shear off on or club's portable layout's less than perfect Gargraves track . They are not expensive to replace (except for the labor) as you say:

 ($5.00 part)

I use Fastrack so my trackwork has no flaws to hurt the rollers.

Mark

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Sgaugian posted:

Another couple of differences with the Challenger and Y3a -- the Challenger has no crew in the cab, and lacks brake squeal sounds.  I have two Challengers (gray and black) and two Y3a's.  I too would have to give the Y3a the nod, but my Challengers also run smooth as silk, smoke well (better than Y3a) and are sure to please a crowd when present.  

I had the Rio Grande Challenger on my To Be Acquired list. After Bob's comments above, I was thinking of scratching it off.  The Challenger smoke I have seen in videos is attractive though for someone like me who loves smoking up my train room.  I am on the fence, so I'll probably wait it out and watch for a deal to come along like the $500 MIB Y-3a I found for a friend recently.

Good point Roundhouse.  Your favorite Flyer is the Flyer you'd get rid of dead last.  For me that's the first Flyer I ever encountered - a New Black Diamond set made in 1956.  A simple AC Gilbert freight train starter set, but still a "thrill" to see, hear, and smell in action.

 s-l225

David Horn

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