Layout Pictures

Very nice!

Always great to see A. C. Gilbert's post-war vision brought up to its 21st Century potential with vintage and current production mixed together seamlessly.

Thanks for sharing.  Would love to see more.



Capitol Holidays Layout

Keizer, OR


The layout is set in about 1954 in the Pittsburgh/western Pa area. It is operated with the Legacy and the LCS system. Conventional AC operation is possible but only Mainline 2 is wired as a single power district. Conventional running crossing multiple power districts is a bit of a nuisance.

The roster is about 60% diesel, 40% steam. That is more a function of what engines are available with Legacy or TMCC than specific intent. I had about a dozen AM diesels converted to TMCC/Railsounds and 4 AM steam engines converted. The two AM Northerns converted also had fan driven smoke units installed. All the Lionel Flyer TMCC steam engines (5) have been upgraded to 4 chuffs/revolution and fan driven smoke. The original Seuthe smoke units were hopeless. 

Five converted AM diesels are visible in the freight yard in the second picture. The AM Alco PA/PA set in picture three is converted and has scale wheels. To pull the six passenger cars it must be double headed, no traction tires. Five of the six passenger trains in the passenger yard in picture 5 are diesels but not really visible from this angle. 


The exact engine count is 13 TMCC/Legacy steam engines and 15 TMCC/Legacy diesels. One PRR Alco Pa/Pa Legacy set is on order. This does not reflect a lifelong collection of Gilbert American Flyer. I would guess that includes at least 50 engines.

When I look at the roster of engines on the layout I am always reminded how good our O gauge brethren have it with the wide variety of Legacy engines available in O scale. Not to mention the MTH DCS engines. What we do have the O gauge people do not is one scale for all equipment (I will of course not bring up that 3rd rail thing.) Whether made by Gilbert or AM or SHS/MTH a 40' boxcar is the same size and equipment from all S gauge manufacturers can be freely intermixed (as I have done) with everything being the correct physical size in 1/64 scale.


"S" scale is not really me but I do ADMIRE your layout photos. I always like the scale model trucks and cars to support your diorama. I prefer aluminum 0-gauge passenger stuff .. but not the new 21" cars since these are really too big for my modest layout. "S" gauge does have it's rewards of smaller space requirement. Just wanted to say thanks and keep the great layout photos coming. 

Happy trails to you ...  R. Peet 

Tom, that's a wonderful layout! I like to hunt for the small details a casual observer might not notice. Case in point...

The photo in the portal shows the tunnel fading into the distance... that's nice! 

Don't hesitate to post more pics. The quality of you layout is terrific.


Excellent stuff.  Amazed at how well the AF and "semi-scale" mixes. AF flanges w/Kadee couplers and Fox Valley switches might have been a viable direction for me had the FV switches been available back when I was looking at S.

Alas, it was not to be.

AmFlyer posted:

The two AM Northerns converted also had fan driven smoke units installed

Hmm.  I thought American Models steam locos had a dual worm wheel setup like old Flyer to drive the puffing smoke and "choo-choo."  Does removing the upper worm wheel affect the gear mesh or operating characteristics?  What's involved with this conversion?

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

Ted, the northern is pretty much completely rebuilt to add a fan driven smoke unit.  Ed Goldin developed the conversion design and selected the specific parts. He has a video on his website of one of the engines operating. He now offers this as one of his standard modifications.

Mark is is sunlight and it was completely serendipitous. I went to the layout to take some quick pictures between conference calls I had scheduled. I noticed the sunlight and shadows when I posted the pictures. If I had more time I would have turned on all the building lights and moved a train onto the green bridge. 


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