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Unfortunately, it seems like the survey has stalled at 17 respondents.  I'm not sure if that reflects the population of S folks here, or just a general lack of enthusiasm for surveys.

Anyway, I'm not surprised at overwhelming the interest for a new Legacy diesel.

I find it interesting there's about twice the interest in medium and small steam than for large steam.  Could be the "R20 mentality" or the potential cost of a large locomotive?

Anyhow, I hope there will be more responses to the survey because 17 folks just isn't a large enough sample to have any serious influence.

Rusty

Last edited by Rusty Traque

I don't know what might be the reason for the stall, but, cost can have a bearing. A large portion of the S gauge crowd are retired folks like myself, also,  how much model rail road equipment can we really use or find room for? I have so much more than I ever thought I would have. I love this hobby but I realize there are limits.

Ray

The only way anyone can add to the survey is to log into the site under one's own login credentials, which means having registered and set up a password. Many more people are likely to read through the forum postings than make a commitment to register and sign in. This can be an annoyance to some people who already have multiple passwords--I have over 300, many of which have to be changed every 90 days and never repeated. I am not sure that a lack of response to survey contributions necessarily means disinterest in S scale.  

Probably all that responded, except me, are scale people not high-rail.  It might be an indication how few scale people are in the market.

I don't think retirees hurts market potential.  Look at the new Berk as it sells well.

I think you're reading too much into the survey, Bill.  You can probably count the "true scale" folks on this forum on less than one hand.  Myself, while I primarily do Scale, I also do Hirail and Flyer.

Pretty sure Johnathan's intent is to gauge and promote interest in non-traditional Flyer: like the Challenger, Y3, Legacy Berk, SD70's, ES44's and U33's.  There are folks in the Scale crowd that have had their Y3's converted to scale, bought scale wheels for their modern diesels and converted the trucks (one way or another) on the cylindrical hoppers.

For example: Maybe I'm wrong, but I'd bet folks would rather see a scale proportioned 4-4-0 vs a re-release of a Franklin 4-4-0.

Frankly, I think the best bet for the growth of Flyer resides in new products similar to those mentioned in the previous paragraph, that can be fairly easily converted to scale operation (OK, not so easy on the steam locomotives...)  Lionel has shown it can be done within their business model.

Rusty

ToKelly - I didn't have to go through a sign on process.  I just clicked and started the survey.

Rusty and Flyerrich - Sorry I was wrong.  It amazes me why all the people that view this and don't spend the 3 minutes to do the survey.  It would be such a big help to know what people want.

Bill et. al.,

I looked at the survey and thought:

   1) I don't need more trains

   2) my experiences with Lionel turned me off to their products

   3) my retirement income isn't conducive to buying high end items

   4) Many folks know that I'm adverse to electronics that I have no use for, even though I'm a hi-railer at heart with tendencies toward Flyer and scale.

   5) Any survey will be like a gnat to an elephant to Lionel   Looking through their catalog of O gauge items shows exactly what they think of S.  We're not a large enough market for them to invest precious capital in us, the new Legacy Berk notwithstanding.  And sorry to say, I firmly believe that the model train market in general is shrinking so much that we're some of the last to participate in it.  Just my opinion.  It was a good ride while it lasted.

   6) Right now, I'm in a hiatus as to trains with my layout and 95+% of my trains and tools in storage.  Sad to say, right now all my train things I can access could fit in a large drawer.  I'm now involved in finishing off long term bashing and scratch building projects.  

So as nice as the prospect of new items may be, even a survey doesn't do anything for me.

Last edited by poniaj

Probably all that responded, except me, are scale people not high-rail.  It might be an indication how few scale people are in the market.

I don't think retirees hurts market potential.  Look at the new Berk as it sells well.

I hover between high rail and Flyer, I like what Lionel has done with electronics, that I can walk away from the transformer and  still be in control.  I am just blessed to have what I have.   I took the survey stating what I would like, but buy more, I don't think so.

Ray

@poniaj posted:

Bill et. al.,

I looked at the survey and thought:

   1) I don't need more trains

Same here...

   2) my experiences with Lionel turned me off to their products

Guess I've been pretty lucky.  I haven't had any major issues with Lionel/Flyer over the years.

   3) my retirement income isn't conducive to buying high end items

Understandable.  That's why I continue putting 20 bucks a week into a "train fund"  to help defer the cost of a high end item.

   4) Many folks know that I'm adverse to electronics that I have no use for, even though I'm a hi-railer at heart with tendencies toward Flyer and scale.

I can agree somewhat.  While I think the current technology is pretty neat, (it is stuff of dreams in the 60's and 70's)  when my railroad was still up I still found myself running my conventional locomotives the most.

   5) Any survey will be like a gnat to an elephant to Lionel   Looking through their catalog of O gauge items shows exactly what they think of S.  We're not a large enough market for them to invest precious capital in us, the new Legacy Berk notwithstanding.  And sorry to say, I firmly believe that the model train market in general is shrinking so much that we're some of the last to participate in it.  Just my opinion.  It was a good ride while it lasted.

True enough, but every now and then they do listen.  While not the result of a survey but instead customer input (read complaints,) Lionel did surprisingly retool the truck for the cylindrical hopper.

   6) Right now, I'm in a hiatus as to trains with my layout and 95+% of my trains and tools in storage.  Sad to say, right now all my train things I can access could fit in a large drawer.  I'm now involved in finishing off long term bashing and scratch building projects.  

Being in the process of relocating myself, I'm not sure when I'll be able to become an active model railroader again.

So as nice as the prospect of new items may be, even a survey doesn't do anything for me.

Think of it as looking into the Sears Christmas "Wish Book"  of a bygone era.  It's costs nothing to dream or add your 2 cents.

Rusty

 

I think you're reading too much into the survey, Bill.  You can probably count the "true scale" folks on this forum on less than one hand.  Myself, while I primarily do Scale, I also do Hirail and Flyer.

Pretty sure Johnathan's intent is to gauge and promote interest in non-traditional Flyer: like the Challenger, Y3, Legacy Berk, SD70's, ES44's and U33's.  There are folks in the Scale crowd that have had their Y3's converted to scale, bought scale wheels for their modern diesels and converted the trucks (one way or another) on the cylindrical hoppers.

For example: Maybe I'm wrong, but I'd bet folks would rather see a scale proportioned 4-4-0 vs a re-release of a Franklin 4-4-0.

Frankly, I think the best bet for the growth of Flyer resides in new products similar to those mentioned in the previous paragraph, that can be fairly easily converted to scale operation (OK, not so easy on the steam locomotives...)  Lionel has shown it can be done within their business model.

Rusty

Precisely what I was going for Rusty. I wanted to see what kind of interest was out there to help convince Lionel to continue the new, never done scale proportioned models. Many people don't realize that the new Fox Valley models turnouts can be modified to run both scale wheels and hi-rail wheels. So for someone like me who is planning a new S layout, I don't even have to choose one or the other.  I can run anything made in S. Is it a bit of a compromise to true scale? Perhaps, but code 138 (really .131-.138) rail is prototypical for PRR mainline so there's that.

I will happily continue to support Lionel if the continue with products as mentioned above. I am blessed to be able to afford the trains I want and I've got plenty of room for more so I say bring it on Lionel. 

Question... If you aren't interested in buying trains why comment on a survey for new products? That confuses me. It is exactly the reason I mentioned "are willing to purchase" in the survey. Lionel is only interested in what they can sell I'm sure.

I'm not too surprised at the results so far. New Legacy Diesel and Legacy Med. Steam lead the way. Personally, I would take all the new diesels and steam engines they care to make. I'd kill for a GP30 or SD40-2 on the diesel side and a Hudson, N&W J, or PRR K4 steam engine. I am surprised at the lack of interest in freight or passenger sounds cars. They are huge in O and even in HO and N with DCC decoders. Just another time I'm reminded that for some reason I can't figure out S is an outlier.

Last edited by jonnyspeed
@jonnyspeed posted:

 

Question... If you aren't interested in buying trains why comment on a survey for new products? That confuses me. It is exactly the reason I mentioned "are willing to purchase" in the survey. Lionel is only interested in what they can sell I'm sure.

Simple.  I'm not considering my own desires, but what I think would be good for S.  Unlike many of the Scale brethren, I see Hirail/Flyer compatible as the best potential for growth. 

And if certain products were to make it to market, I wouldn't be adverse to purchasing ...

...Just not at the rate I used to buy.

Rusty 

 

Simple.  I'm not considering my own desires, but what I think would be good for S.  Unlike many of the Scale brethren, I see Hirail/Flyer compatible as the best potential for growth. 

And if certain products were to make it to market, I wouldn't be adverse to purchasing ...

...Just not at the rate I used to buy.

Rusty 

 

I wasn't referring to you Rusty. 

@jonnyspeed posted:

I wasn't referring to you Rusty.

Interestingly I took part in the survey soon after it came out and I am primarily a GAF collector/operator. I also have a number of Lionel items from the early days up to recent times along with a smaller selection of AM and SHS stuff, but I am more selective on what I purchase from these companies.

i also completed it for the same reasons as Rusty did and would say he has nailed it for how the future of S will continue.

I replied promptly to the survey because I actually buy these items. Most recently I bought two Legacy Berkshires. I will buy one of almost any Legacy engine Lionel makes. If they make two road numbers of the same engine I usually get both. I bought three FlyerChief engines to test them out and for possible use on a conventional powered Christmas layout. I ended up having the Berk and The Northern converted to TMCC/Railsounds. Far better than the FlyerChief system.

There is a place for FlyerChief in the market but I will not buy any more.

I do have a preference of new Legacy products. First a Hudson, second a switcher (which will not happen because the current generation of Legacy boards will not fit in an S gauge switcher.) Third, a large rigid wheelbase steamer, fourth an SD40 and finally a small road steamer. How about a Legacy E8 for my passenger trains? Again, I am likely to buy whatever Lionel makes next.

If Lionel chooses to make a large or articulated steam engine then they need to use the O gauge boards with absolute speed steps. So far the only S gauge engine made with absolute speed steps was the Big Boy. While oversize it is by far the best running S gauge steam engine. All 200 speed steps are usable in scale speed operations. On the Challengers only the first 20 are usable, by 30 it will fail to make some curves. Even the Y3 only has about 40 usable speed steps out of 200. The most recent production run of the U33/U36 diesels are quite good, apparently Lionel changed the gear ratios so about 100 speed steps are now usable for scale speed operation. My modified TMCC Mikado's (from the 2005, 6 &7 catalogs) and Light Pacifics have 100 speed steps and 60 to 70 of them are usable up to the prototypes max speed.

I have three AM E8's converted to TMCC/Railsounds. They are great looking engines. The design of the AM drive system limits the ability to use large cruise commander boards, large speakers with good enclosures and of course no room for fan driven smoke. Pulling 6 Budd style coaches they cannot maintain a constant speed up and down 2% grades with a cruise Lite board. With 9 coaches they stall on a grade. Other than appearance there is a night and day difference in performance and sounds compared to a recent U36 , ES44Ac or an SD70ACe. Even my AM Alco PA/PA set, both units powered TMCC engines do not perform nearly as well as a recent Lionel Legacy diesel. The AM PA's look a lot better than the Lionel PA's. Same is true for my AM Trainmaster diesels. If Lionel made a Legacy version as nicely detailed as the SD70's or ES44's I would buy several.

@jonnyspeed posted:

What I find amazing is that this is supposed to be the forum for all the AF folks, but the survey only has 236 views. Is that how few people are on the S forum here? On the S scale Facebook page we have over 1600 members. I'm always being told how S scale is the minority.... so where is everyone?

Obviously, not a lot of AF Folks (or Scale guys either) are interested in a place called "O Gauge Railroading," in spite of the fact that the Forum Folks have allowed an S sub-forum.

If it's any consolation, the Flyer S-Trains io group hasn't exactly been a ball of fire either.  That group has 199 members vs 988 for the S-Scale io group.

Maybe the "hard core" Flyer Folks simply aren't all that interested in forums.

Rusty

Well I must admit I did not respond as my buying days are over. It would take something really special that I didn't even know I wanted to get me to purchase.

I know the S scale Facebook has 1600 members or whatever they are called. American Flyer Facebook has over 3000. NASG has what 1500 or 1600. What does this mean? No clue. The various forums here at one time had 10,000 I believe. How many actually post? How many are one and done (the endless "found this box in the attic etc. what's it worth" post).

I am just thinking trying to judge any meaningful results from social media would be difficult at best. Contrary to what some of our 3 rail brethren say, this forum is social media. So how many serious S scale/ gauge people are there? Does anybody know?

Maybe Rusty is right, the serious modelers are working on the railroad and have no interest in any of this. Not like me who just spent time posting who knows what.

Last edited by Caldwell

Obviously, not a lot of AF Folks (or Scale guys either) are interested in a place called "O Gauge Railroading," in spite of the fact that the Forum Folks have allowed an S sub-forum.

If it's any consolation, the Flyer S-Trains io group hasn't exactly been a ball of fire either.  That group has 199 members vs 988 for the S-Scale io group.

Maybe the "hard core" Flyer Folks simply aren't all that interested in forums.

Rusty

Hey Rusty,

I think that's a very valid point.   Most local train people I know into O, S and HO, do not frequent social media (forums)

@jonnyspeed posted:

Question... If you aren't interested in buying trains why comment on a survey for new products? That confuses me. It is exactly the reason I mentioned "are willing to purchase" in the survey. Lionel is only interested in what they can sell I'm sure.

I don't know how many folks you were referring to, don't be to confused, I for one stated, "I don't think so", BUT, if a Legacy Hudson would appear on the horizon I might well be persuaded, especially if it might fit Milw. Rd. configuration. There may be more "BUTS" here than you suspect. I don"t have the spendable income I had while working but, I can be tempted.

I do agree, it would be nice if more people would chime in on this topic, S people are definitely different folks from Lionel people. We, especially, AF people, think ourselves maybe a little more like scale people. We, in general don't so much go for the Halloween types of cars but at the same time might be willing to buy Christmas cars, maybe just tradition. I don't know, just my humble opinion.

Ray

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