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Thinking about going to S scale. I don't have room for O anymore and HO was with my son. I plan to have him tell me what he wants to keep in our HO selection, he might want a few O train items. Then everything will go up for sale or traded at a hobby shop for S scale trains. I plan on only running DCC and scale wheel trains. I have a American Models E8 AA set in DL&W that will get ESU loksound installed. I have a few other American Models engines on the list, Pennsy GG1 and matching budd cars. Train masters in CP, DL&W and Reading. RS-11 in D&H, E8 in ATSF with matching budd cars. And to round out the engine list, 2 or 3 of the new Legacy berkshires.

On the scarm layout, dark green is level. Light green is tunnel, red is freight track in yard, orange in yard are passenger tracks. I plan on using a building front for the station with platforms between the two tracks. The light yellow is incline to the blue on a bridge, the black in street running. The brown is spurs for business's. Still in my head design for the little town, but this will be in the middle of the room walk around four side viewing. The track is American Models scale track, the outside is S-54 and the inside is S-48. All switches are powered 27" with some flex and 12" straights. The two spurs on either side of the street running are to park freight cars while switching the business's.

Does this look like a nice track design, I could effectively run three trains with this design. I have two tunnels, a bridge in the center as the focal point and I always wanted street running.

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Last edited by DL&W Pete
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You have a really good amount of space for an “S”  scale layout.  My first suggestion is that you make a effort to eliminate the symmetry of your track plan.  In addition, all the yard tracks and mainline tracks are parallel the outside edge of your layout.  I know that this allows for the longest possible mainlines but it really limits your scenery possibilities.  Trains running on this type of plan may be ok for a window display but not for a home layout.

A word of caution: American Models turnouts are set up for Flyer/HiRail flanges.  If you're going to be running with scale wheels, the turnouts will have to have shims added to the guardrails.

The exact details escapes me right now and I haven't been able to locate the modification.  However, American Models will perform the mod at time of purchase for an additional $8.00 per turnout.

Rusty

Your plan is similar to what I did but 6x16. I have less sidings but two loops. I violated all the rules of model railroading. It's an island broke rule one. Modeled the flatlands oops. Last but not least I have two parallel mainlines around the perimeter. The proverbial race track, oh well. I'll try and post a picture later. Depends what you want to do and how realistic you want to be. I am more Flyer but run AM, SHS and Lionel Flyer probably more than my Flyer.

I also used AM track a mix of the R27 curves, straight sections and flex. The complaint is their track is brass rather than nickel silver but I'm pleased and so are others.

Rusty is right the turnouts need to be modified for scale wheels. I'm a fan of high rail wheels  even if everything else is scale. That way if you find a Lionel or MTH you got to have you can run it without major modifications.

I'll leave tweaking track plans to the experts. I do like my AM DL&W Train Master.

Last edited by Caldwell

If you haven't purchased track yet, you might consider Fox Valley track.  They have turnouts for scale wheels.   It is a lower profile track than the AM track.  Code 138 I believe.  There is also a mod you can make to the Fox Valley hirail turnouts so they can run scale wheels.  It can be found on the forum.  S is one of those scales with too many variations to consider.  The nice thing about HO, pretty much everything runs anywhere apart from radius constraints. S is still the perfect size, though.

Brendan

Last edited by Brendan

Caldwell and Brendan,

Still in the design stage, I have been looking at Chuck's YouTube videos. He uses the MTH S track with road bed, it's nice looking track. I have looked at S fastrack at the hobby shop, that looks good too. I do like the legacy Berkshire's from lionel, they don't have scale wheels but seem to run good on Chuck's MTH track and switches without a problem. I don't like the lobster claw couplers, I prefer kadee's.

SantafeJim,

I left room for scenery on all four sides. I planned to make a scene within a scene all over the layout. I am still debating on the cosmetic overhead wire for the GG1, if I should use it on the inside loop over the bridge .

I still need to find a hobby shop that is willing to do the trade. But I do want to make sure I choose the right track, I will be asking plenty of you in S about why you chose the track that you did. I have found a thread on the forum about the use of fastrack, it looks nice but problems with the switches. You need to buy a separate power straight, unlike O fastrack has the power plugs on every piece.

I took that into consideration, I had brass track in my early years of HO, when I got into O I found atlas stainless steel track and loved it. I will look into fox valley track, although I have not seen any at the various hobby shops I been in.

I will be asking plenty of you for advice if and when I start this project.

Thank you for your input...

If you want to see a fantastic S gauge layout using AM track go to tuveson.com. Carl also has details on the website of how he modified all his AM turnouts.  If you have AM modify the turnouts for scale wheels be sure to verify highrail equipment will still work with them. The reason is your Legacy Berkshires have highrail wheels. AM rail is .148 high. I believe the AM turnouts have what in HO is called an insulfrog design so frog juicers are not required.

As mentioned above Fox valley makes .138 rail flex track and #5 turnouts. Purchase the high rail #5's and add shims. They will then work with both scale and high rail wheels. The FV turnouts have an insulated metal frog. That allows them to be left as unpowered, or if some engines stall on the frogs they can be powered with frog juicers.

@Caldwell posted:


I also used AM track a mix of the R27 curves, straight sections and flex. The complaint is their track is brass rather than nickel silver but I'm pleased and so are others.

AM track may be brass, but it held up very well with the modular group I used to belong to.  Whatever alloy AM is using, it's different than the HO brass track of olden days.

While I would run a track cleaning car around after set-up, that was mainly to compensate for the various members storage conditions.  Otherwise, we could run 8-9 hours straight during a show without ever having to clean the track.  And if it was a two day show, didn't have to clean on the second day, either.

Rusty

AM track may be brass, but it held up very well with the modular group I used to belong to.  Whatever alloy AM is using, it's different than the HO brass track of olden days.

While I would run a track cleaning car around after set-up, that was mainly to compensate for the various members storage conditions.  Otherwise, we could run 8-9 hours straight during a show without ever having to clean the track.  And if it was a two day show, didn't have to clean on the second day, either.

Rusty

It is nothing like the the old HO scale brass track; maybe a different composition.  Even with plastic wheels, it doesn't get as dirty.

Brendan   

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