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Originally Posted by HOSO&NZ:

jonnyspeed,

I hope you are correct as regards the switch question. I can only remember the problems the HO people had during their transition perion and the problems the O gauge people are having now to some extent. Please forgive me if I remain skeptical.

 

 


 There's two distinct sides to the S scene. One is the old Flyer toy trains and the other is scale trains that are 1:64 proportions .   The  size has enough advantages over HO and O scales that S could stand alone as a modeling scale without being tied to it's flyer roots. Most new S modelers are gonna come in knowing and caring nothing about flyer, they are gonna be just like HO modelers who model because they like trains and not because they played with toy trains 50 years ago.

 At some point Lionel needs to decide if it wants to go with flyer, S scale, or both. If S gets more popular we'll see scale stuff from other companies but probably not much flyer stuff so Lionel needs to decide if they want to dominate the S scale side or just leave it to others? The big key to the success of a scale is when Atlas decides to make a line of flextrack and switches for it. Atlas track would bring in all the big players like Athearn, bachman, etc. so lionel can play ahead of the break or on the edges going forward, looks like the ball is in their hands right now. It will be interesting times to see how it unfolds....DaveBranum    

Gentlemen,

It seems I am being misunderstood by many so at the risk of doing what I have been accused of doing and not wishing to, hijacking a thread, let me explain. I do not care what size the equipment is; my concern is with operability or how well the old will run on the new. The problem is every track switch has what is called a frog. This is the place where the diverging outside rails cross each other. Now there are two kinds of frogs, a closed frog and an open frog. The old Flyer switches had closed frogs. From what I can tell from the pictures the new Lionel Flyer switches have open frogs. What is the difference and the problems?

 

On an open frog there is a gap that the wheels must pass over. This is there in order for the wheel flange to pass when going in the other direction. This is a potential area for the wheel to go airy and derail, what is called picking the frog. This is controlled by two things both of which are dependent on the scale and size of the wheels. The first is the depth of the slot the wheel flange rides in since in this small area the wheel actually runs on the flange and not the tread of the wheel. The other is the position of the guard rail. The guard rail is that small piece of track opposite the frog. It is the purpose of this rail to keep the wheels form picking the frog. As I said both of these are dependent on the scale and size of the wheel flange depth.

 

On a closed frog switch there is no frog gap to cross and as such the size and scale of the wheel has little or no bearing on operation.

 

It is this problem of the frog that is my concern not the size of the equipment.

 

Thank you, Al

Rusty, you make an excellent point. For its time Flyer was the most scale and realistic model train on the market. You have to assume that if they never went out of business, they would be using all of the modern technology to continue that trend today. I don't think people take that into account sometimes. Al, I totally get your point regarding the Turnouts. That was a major sticking point for me when I started in S. SHS has a moveable frog that seems to work well. I am not sure what Lionel's design will be, but I have been told that it will support all wheel sets. And I don't blame you one bit for being skeptical. I am too, but Lionel has really been following through on their promises lately so I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Recently I have been in contact with Tom of Tom's Turnouts. He is hopeful to have rail soon to allow him to continue production of his wonderful turnouts. If I had to guess I would think that there would be a market for his numbered and curved turnouts because I doubt we will see those from Lionel. Of course that is my speculation.
Originally Posted by HOSO&NZ:

 I do not care what size the equipment is; my concern is with operability or how well the old will run on the new. The problem is every track switch has what is called a frog. This is a potential area for the wheel to go airy and derail, This is controlled by two things both of which are dependent on the scale and size of the wheels.


  I don't think you need to worry about the future. Flyer wheels will still run on flyer compatible track and S scale wheels will run on scale track. Folks will just use whatever track works best to fulfill their goals for their layouts. If someone builds an S scale layout they are not going to care about running flyer equipment on  it and if a guy likes flyer he will just buy the new cars in the flyer compatible wheel version. If someone can't decide between scale and flyer then he might have a problem but that's not gonna be something manufacturers need to worry about as the flyer compatible stuff and the scale stuff are so different that most modelers or operators only like one kind and don't want to mix them. As long as both types of wheels are available anyone that needs to can just change them and get rolling like we already routinely do with
SHS and American Models equipment. ...DaveBranum

As a relative upstart in S scale, here's some input from the peanut gallery:

 

IMHO, any interest that is based on aging Baby Boomers is being eyed by the mfg'ers catering to that interest.  Like it or not, the numbers of people that like nostalgic models from their youth are aging and dying off.  This will/does mean less market for newly mfg'd nostalgic type pieces.  The mfg'ers have maybe another 10-20 years (or less?) and the previously strong nostalgic market will definitely be a niche market, such as tinplate today.  (VERY few tinplate enthusiasts compared to the overall hobby of model railroading.)

 

Whether any of us like it or not, the long term future for model railroading is more scale fidelity and newer prototypes.  I feel this holds true for S as well.  IF a mfg'er is going to make inroads into the fertile fields mentioned above (i.e. capitalizing on its perfect size), it will do so by attracting the non-S scale serious scale modeler and not transplanting the nostalgic enthusiast.  (Such as an O 3 rail guy into AF type S.)

 

What will likely be a dependable era interest (regardless of scale) for many years to come will be the steam/diesel era.  However, it too, will shrink as those adherents age/etc.  Thus, the best future market will be newer prototype models along with extracting the remaining sales found from the transition era guys.

 

Of course, all of the above is merely my opinion... so... I could be wrong!!

 

Andre

Originally Posted by DaveJfr0:

, but then it comes down to scale wheels vs. tinplate/hirail wheels.  I thought S-scale vs. S gauge may have a similar issue, but I may be wrong. 

 

 


 The only difference is that S tinplate/hirail wheels are 2 rail and  insulated so they can run on scale track as long as  they can fit thru the switch frogs and if the flanges don't hit the spike heads while O tinplate/hirail wheels are 3 rail and not insulated so they cause an immediate short if placed on a 2 rail layout. In practice it results in about the same thing, if scale modelers buy 3 rail or flyer stuff they convert it to scale by changing the wheels and couplers....DaveBranum   

I agree with what you are saying Daveb. The one glaring problem that I see is that Lionel  released the new scale Challenger and announced the scale Y3a without scale wheels. 

 

So what is one to do? I am in this quandary right now myself. I would prefer scale track and I wouldn't have a problem with the new diesels because I can get scale wheels. What if I want the new scale steam? (I do!) That means I can't use scale track. I could use Fastrack. I have 2 cases of it and while it is nice, it isn't as nice as I would like. I am lucky in a way as I haven't built my layout yet. I would be a bit frustrated if I already had a scale code 100 layout. I actually have a small code 100 switching layout, but I dont count that.

 

In my opinion, now that I have thought about it I feel that adding a scale wheel option for steam engines is much more important, priority wise, than DCC. 

 

Think about it like this... A whole segment of S is not buying the new high end steam just because they physically won't run on scale track. Those folks aren't going to replace their track with Fastrack so unless scale wheels are offered they will never buy.  Priority 1 should be scale wheels. Why? S Scalers could buy and swap the electronics. At least they would run on their track. After that adding a common socket with DCC support would be icing on the cake.  Remember, you are talking about a group that has no problems dropping $2k+ on a brass steamer. $800 for a Y3a with scale wheels that just needs an electronic swap probably isn't a big deal.

 

I just feel that if Lionel is going to really do these scale offering right, then both diesels and steamers need to be on equal footing so at the very least one can have a common rail to run everything on. I don't see a lot of sense offering scale wheels only for diesels.

Originally Posted by jonnyspeed:

. A whole segment of S is not buying the new high end steam just because they physically won't run on scale track. Those folks aren't going to replace their track with Fastrack so unless scale wheels are offered they will never buy.  Priority 1 should be scale wheels. Why? S Scalers could buy and swap the electronics. At least they would run on their track. After that adding a common socket with DCC support would be icing on the cake.  Remember, you are talking about a group that has no problems dropping $2k+ on a brass steamer. $800 for a Y3a with scale wheels that just needs an electronic swap probably isn't a big deal.

 

I just feel that if Lionel is going to really do these scale offering right, then both diesels and steamers need to be on equal footing so at the very least one can have a common rail to run everything on. I don't see a lot of sense offering scale wheels only for diesels.


 I totally agree with you. I don't model the steam era so it doesn't affect me but if they want to attract the most S scale modelers they need scale wheels for steamers. Either in the box to be swapped or factory installed as an option. I kinda like the supplying both kinds of wheels in the box the best as it eliminates the need to stock two different kinds of locos and it allows one to re-sell the loco to either a scale track guy or a hirail track guy. I'm guessing Lionel is just taking it slowly and seeing how the scale stuff sells before getting too far into it so I think scale wheels for steam will come along eventually. MTH did something similar in O scale a few years ago when they marketed 3/2 rail steamers.

 After so many years of little new S stuff  to look forward to it's great to be talking about these possibilities. ....DaveBranum  

I am not computer smart  and just played havoc with my computer as I flipped through the catalog increasing the image size and back. To my dismay I messed up my screen size for all other stuff using the lionel sizing. Now everything is too small to read. Oh the joys of programs that wash together.

 

Phill

The problem with supplying scale wheelsets with steam locomotives is in changing the drivers.  They must be quartered properly and the instillation process must be exact.  This is the reason Don Thompson from SHS decided to build both scale and highrail configuration with his Consolidation.  Consider also, you must change 6 drive wheels and both the pilot and the trailing trucks on this loco.  The tender trucks would most likely be just a swap out.

 

This is not as much of a problem in the diesels, as you do not need to consider all the valving and eccentric rods.  Therefore, selling the product with both scale and highrail wheel sets makes sense.

 

If Lionel produced these steamers with, not the AF wheel flanges, but a highrail flange such as both AM and SHS do, along with the smaller driver flanges a on the Challengers, these will work with code 100 rail.  If you are just beginning to build your scale layout and are OK with closed frog turnouts, you are in good shape.  Open frog turnouts will still need scale flange depth to go through the frog.

 

As I understand it, the design is still in progress, so scale flange, DC and DCC plugs are still a possibility.  The saga continues.

 

Roger

Originally Posted by DRGWno1:

The problem with supplying scale wheelsets with steam locomotives is in changing the drivers. 


  As I said i'm not a steam guy so it might be harder than most would want to tackle but I was thinking along the lines of the Glacier Park O scale locos where a set of P-48 wheels can be purchased with the standard O scale  loco. If the manufacturers would rather stock 2 versions that would certainly be easier from a buyers perspective. I just would not want to them to only make high rail versions then claim S scale locos don't sell :>  I'm glad it's a problem I don't have to worry about for freight cars where wheel swaps are pretty painless....DaveBranum

Thanks for taking the blinders off my tunnel vision!  It is true you can use open frog turnouts with highrail.  Somehow I keep thinking about mixing scale and highrail wheelsets (ugh!, schiziod personality again).  Anxious for you to be back up and running I am ready to try your turnouts.

 

Roger,

 

A lot of people run all three kinds of wheelsets on their layout at the same time.  It is not a problem at all.  I run Flyer, Hi-rail and scale rolling stock in the same train... it makes for an interesting mix.  I use Flyer link and Kadee #5 couplers.  Kadees are body mounted.

 

Tom Stoltz

I too run a variety of equipment with flyer to scale wheel sets on the same train and can have Kadee's, Flyer knuckle and Flyer link couplers all on the same train. Right now on one train  it goes from Flyer knuckles to Kadees. on the other from Flyer knuckle to link and back to knuckle again! Some of my locomotives and cars have scale wheel sets and they will run on good quality Flyer track and switches.

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