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@DRGWno1 posted:


Just went down to check on this.  Found that the L-AF flanges on their new cylindrical hoppers went through the frog smoothly.  There was a slight up tick when riding over the actual frog, but the wheels never left the top of the rail.  When running the Code 110 wheelsets, there is a slight drop between the closure rail and the frog at very low speeds.  This, however, did not cause a problem for me.


Thanks for the update. So, with a bit of ingenious modification you have effectively   got a universal turnout to suit all needs. Is it worth going to FVM with this and letting them know what you have done? It would then enable them just to make one model of turnout for all needs and they wouldn’t keep running out of the hi-rail version.

@gunny posted:


Think you ought to take out the reverse loop. They require special wiring with 2 rail.


Hi Gunny,

I might be a good idea.  Now that I think about it, I guess it would not be practical to reverse a train operating on one line and then move it to one of the other lines.  I could see that being a very complex electrical problem and I'm looking for simplicity.

Also, I appreciate the comment from Bill about having too much reach for the operating accessories.  I'll revise soon and re-post.  I've not anything better to do and it is better to plan first before building.


Concerning custom turnouts,  Brad strong of Signature switches makes just about anything in any gauge.  His workmanship is excellent, he will make any variances you want or need.  His prices are reasonable.  You can even crayon a template to converge any arrangement of tracks in any gauge, any code.

When I was building layouts his special switches made the impossible workable.

run a round build 024

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Brad #6 3-way Left Leading

Diamond on two curves.

Curved Diamond

He even makes curved and straight ladder tracks with the points butting up right next to the frog.

72 inch 60 inch curved ladder 003




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LionelFlyer, I think the layout is a great first pass. These always take a few minor revisions to get to the "approved for construction" version.

The reverse loop is needed for all your sidings to work. If you take it out than then all the sidings should be "back in" If the running direction is CCW then the siding on the left is not practical. Wiring a single reverse loop is not hard, my issue would be "where there is one there has to be two", if not you will always be backing trains through the reverse loop to turn them. Two reverse loops is more difficult, both with space needed and wiring. All things considered I would take it out and have more sidings. I never put reverse loops in my temporary Gilbert layouts. My permanent scale layout has four, but each one is long enough to hold the longest train so they are trivial to wire up. Unfortunately those kind of reverse loops require a lot of space.

The pair of turnouts on the lower right will not work. Some engines if running CW will hit the housing of the turnout on the outer loop. I also recommend you try to eliminate the S curves by moving some of the turnouts so they are at the curve, one turnout uses the diverging route, one uses the straight leg. Now is also the time to think about operation and decide where you will put uncouplers and action car clip ons. Also mark where you will want fiber pins.

When I build a layout this complex I always mock it up on the floor so I can test everything and get the exact sizes of partial track sections so nothing hits.

@DRGWno1 posted:


When using the FV turnouts with mare scale flanged wheelsets there are two areas of concern:

1.  The cast frog assembly will not allow these wheelsets to run through the turnout.  The wheelsets will drop into the space between the points and the closure rails.  To address this issue, I added 0.020 X 0.60" spacers attached with JB Weld.  This allowed the scale wheelsets to ride over the space in the cast frog assembly (see Illustration).

2.  The guard rails allowed the tread of the scale wheelsets (Code 110 and 125) to be misdirected through the turnout causing them to derail.  To address this issue, I decreased the width of the guard rail by attaching a 0.030 X 0.100 spacer to the original guard rail.  I roughed up the guard rail with 100 grit sandpaper to increase the bite for the adhesive (I used Eileen's "The Ultimate" ).  I painted the spacer with American Accents by Rust-oleum.  Color: Espresso, a perfect match for the original FV guard rail.  The spacer is difficult to see in the illustration as it has already been painted.

Haven't had any problems in the two years I have had over 20 turnouts on the layout.





Tom Stoltz (formerly Tom's Turnouts)

in Maine

Yeah, sometimes a topic will drift from the original posting.  In most cases, good info comes to light anyway. 

I posted that in sequestration, I have very little train things to do, but here's a project I did just before I disassembled my layout (which may NEVER get done) and put it in storage.  It's a Pine Canyon Rigsby Freight Terminal that didn't quite fit in the spot I wanted. Here's the mock up in place:

Then after some judicious measuring, cutting, CA-ing and painting, here's the result:

It was a god kit, and I wish thy still made more. 

Maybe some day I"ll run trains again.


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Okay, swerving back to another previous "track", I've tried making recommended changes to the layout that I was planning.  The reverse loop has been removed and all of the sidings have been modified so that a train can back in.  The entire layout was rotated 180 degrees and some space made so that operating accessories are within reach of the edges.  This covers most of the operating accessories that I own for now.  RR Track doesn't have a listing for the cow-on-track but I'm sure I can get it in somewhere.  

I appreciate the comments that I have received and will take into consideration any others.  Thank you all for the help.



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@poniaj posted:

Yeah, sometimes a topic will drift from the original posting.  In most cases, good info comes to light anyway. 

I posted that in sequestration, I have very little train things to do, but here's a project I did just before I disassembled my layout (which may NEVER get done) and put it in storage.  It's a Pine Canyon Rigsby Freight Terminal that didn't quite fit in the spot I wanted. Here's the mock up in place:

Then after some judicious measuring, cutting, CA-ing and painting, here's the result:

It was a god kit, and I wish thy still made more. 

Maybe some day I"ll run trains again.


Where can I buy that Pine Canyon Scale Models freight terminal? Looks like they are not around any more.

That is very nice!

Chad(?),Try  web search.  Some dealer may still have one on the shelf.  I bought mine years ago from Pine Canyon and finally got a "round tuit" a few months ago.  Trains shows are a good source of old kits, but lately they're another victim of the sequester.   The Sprees and Fests were great at this kind of thing, not to mention the national conventions.  I also have done the Pine Canyon's Barrie's Custom Shop and gas station.  I was sorry to see the company discontinue full building kits.  It hurt my sensibilities to cut it up to make it fit, but it came out OK.

Speaking of resin kits, Twin Whistle may still have the Rialto movie theater kit.  Here's mine, which I just HAD to electrify with LEDs.  I use a 3V alarm battery for power. The roof vent is the on/off switch:

This building, along with my whole layout, is packed away, perhaps never to see the light of day (or the basement) again.


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@poniaj posted:


Be very careful, or acquiring 1:64 cars can become another hobby!  I know of what I speak...

And they keep delivering MORE!

I'm sorry, you are too late. I already have about 200 "fine" 1:48 costing me $350. However, the 1:64 cars are only for my small S layout. The trick is parking lots, a trailer park, and downtown streets. Understand that I grew up during the 1950s (8-18 years old), so its also a nostalgia thing for me.

What is interesting is that a few of the 1:64 M2 cars at $8. had cost me a small fortune finding them in 1:43...namely a '55 DeSoto ($250) and a few others at $85. each.

Even though my layout is "finished" there are always little details to add. Been working on some cyclone fencing to add in a few spots. Anyone who has built a layout knows that things evolve during construction and one has to remain flexible as to how late additions are added.



Tool shed leak being repaired





Next project is repairing a bunch of Flyer steamers and building a GE 44 tonner and painting an AM RS3 in southern colors.




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Well, I'm gonna be honest here.  I'm not as optimistic as I once was.

As I'm in the still working through the early phases of relocating, MTH closing down is giving me pause about what I will do when it's time to build a new railroad. 

I've actually given some thought to doing retro-HO: Forsaking the high-detail, high-tech HO world for the likes of working with Athearn Blue Box, MDC Roundhouse, Mantua-Tyco, etc.  I still have some "leftovers" from 30+ years ago, plus good used stuff abounds.

Of course, I could accomplish pretty much the same thing with American Models and original SHS.  Or I could even go Hi-rail. 

Part of this reasoning is, assuming someone does buy the Showcase Line from Mike Wolf, it would probably be another two years before production would resume as the new manufacturer figures out how to fit S into their operations.  It was a bumpy ride when MTH took over the Showcase Line, never reaching it's full potential.  I look at the way the former K-Line and Williams products have been handled in O and it's not a pretty sight.

Also, Ron at AM is no spring chicken, who knows what will happen when he decides to retire.  Things are also pretty fuzzy about the goings on at S Scale America/Des Plaines Hobbies and Fox Valley Models (track.)

The future is written in Silly-Putty for both S Scale and my involvement in it.


Wow Rusty. That's pretty heavy stuff right there. I can understand your dilemma, though. IF you decide to return to HO, be advised that you can get some very GOOD non-DCC engines from essentially all the manufacturers. Bachmann, Atlas, etc. If you purchase these RTR, the it's open the box, set on the track, and play.

I wish I had a more upbeat outlook for S scale. But it really seems that over and over again, circumstances have conspired against S scale.

In view of the S side of MTH, I a'feared the scale will brace themselves for what may happen in view of the SHS line: Nothing. Adios SHS line.

As I see it:

Lionel will be fine and dandy with the former SHS line fading away. Lionel's market is Hi-rail and traditional S. Make no mistake, Lionel is very aware of the demographics in motion within the very small niche of S, which is similar to what is happening in the O 3-rail world, but the numbers are even smaller (less profit potential) in S.

As we all know, Boomers are aging out and passing. This is already putting a lot of product on the secondary market (with much more to come), but NOT new customers with money burning a hole in their pocket for S scale products (or O 3 rail). I would be highly surprised if Lionel obtains the S line from MTH, and if they DID, it will be at least two years before any motive power product starts trickling through, for the product will have to be redesigned to be "Lionel-ized" with Lionel electronics. NO way on God's green earth would Lionel EVER use DCS tech. Thus, IMHO, Lionel is very doubtful for picking up the SHS line.

The only other option, American Models, will not have the deep pockets required to purchase the SHS line. Besides, as Rusty pointed out, Ron is aging out, also. Like many small businesses, I suspect that AM is asset rich, but cash poor. I also suspect he makes just enough money to keep afloat and have an acceptable living, but would NOT have the needed venture capital to purchase SHS from MTH. Frankly, I think the SHS line was a very expensive experiment for MTH, and, as I perceive it, became a liability. Piece meal sales of specific products may happen, but again, this depends on just who has (or if they do, would be willing to risk) the venture capital they're willing to sink into a retracting model railroad industry, especially at this precarious moment in US history?

"This precarious moment in US history": To wit: Co-19 with its dramatic downturn of the economy, resulting in countless small business shuttered forever, wide-scale violent insurrection in the streets, losing infrastructure because of same, etc, etc? It will be a HUGE job to rebuild this Nation after the panic-induced economic damage, along with the property damage (once the violent tantrums are over).

All of the above and more makes it terrible timing for MTH to attempt selling their business segments.

Having said all of the above, I do wish Mike and his family the best and I don't blame him one iota for wanting to cut his business losses so as to minimize damage to his personal finances and move on.

All fer now. Off to ride my motorcycle.


I could see a faint possibility where 3rd Rail could pick up the former S Helper tooling, but it's probably a pipe dream.

Most of you would disagree, but I believe it would actually make more sense for a entrepreneur to bring out a line of TT scale trains from scratch than to buy the S Helper line from MTH. There would be a much bigger potential market, and all of the scale-Hi-Rail silliness would be avoided--everything could be made scale, state of the art, and run on scale railed (Code 65 or 70) track. 

Jeff C


Guys...those of you that stated your unhappiness about the mods editing and deleting the multiple threads about the current situation with MTH...well....we deleted your posts per our TOS.  The Publisher posted the request/explanation as to why (found in the featured topics) we want the discussion consolidated into basically one or two threads.  We put those threads in the featured topics and you are certainly welcome to discuss in detail how the MTH announcement will affect the S-Gauge community within those threads.  What is so unreasonable about us asking for a little help and cooperation so that we can manage the huge responses....please try to consider more than just one side of this story.

Hi Alan,

We understand why you consolidated the threads down to the featured topics area which happily serves the O members.

You also kindly allowed the S fraternity to have a space on this forum to specifically discuss our little world because it has connections with the mainstream O manufactures as a common interest. Would it be possible to ask if we could have our own featured topic area for S or to allow us to have just one thread in our own area?

I suspect that if we posted in the main threads they will get lost amongst all the O content and would make it nearly impossible for us to see anything connected to the S world. It just wouldn’t be viable to keep tabs on our postings by scanning up and down the thread.

Ukaflyer has put into words what I struggled to form a response for. 

The main discussion has ballooned to 12 pages in a day.  The S Gaugers here wouldn't generate that kind of volume in a year.  We might be able to generate two, possibly three pages regarding this subject before we moved on the next stage of grief and turned our attentions elsewhere.

The news about MTH is pretty much devastating to the S community.  MTH was 1/3rd of the suppliers of mass market locomotives in S and 1/2 of "high visibility" S manufactures to the outside world.  Unlike with O gauge, where there is a pretty good possibility that MTH O products will be picked up by someone else, the chances of the S product line stands a relatively poor chance of becoming someone else's property.  It's been reported many times that the sale of S-Helper to MTH was a difficult proposition, in the current environment resale will be even more difficult.



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