Skip to main content

My two boxes arrived today. I am just going to say WOW.....

I can't believe how I ever over looked S scale. All I ever saw was to oversized tube track and the huge lobster claw couplers. I never knew there was a "scale" side to S gauge trains. No hobby shops I was in ever carried the scale side, it was always the oversized that turned me away.

I can honestly say, I wish I was in S scale when SHS was in its prime, but as I said before.....

"Better late than never".....1605289355058567578444750680726

Attachments

Images (1)
  • 1605289355058567578444750680726
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Pete, that is great that you like the track! A word of light hearted caution, the MTH track is considered high rail even though it has a great scale appearance. The true scale side of our hobby uses code 70, 80 or code 100 rail.

Here is a picture of the MTH track installed and ballasted. The freight yard ladder turnouts are #5’s.



AEFDC1A7-6D95-4188-91B0-4B308DAB26C7

Attachments

Images (1)
  • AEFDC1A7-6D95-4188-91B0-4B308DAB26C7
@AmFlyer posted:

Pete, that is great that you like the track! A word of light hearted caution, the MTH track is considered high rail even though it has a great scale appearance. The true scale side of our hobby uses code 70, 80 or code 100 rail.

Here is a picture of the MTH track installed and ballasted. The freight yard ladder turnouts are #5’s.



AEFDC1A7-6D95-4188-91B0-4B308DAB26C7

I tried to find your layout on the NASG website, but nothing was listed for AmFlyer. I found a hobbyshop called port line hobby supplies. They have a boat load of SHS track, but I don't have SHS catalog to know what I am buying. Thanks for more pictures of your layout.

To find my layout on the NASG site go to Standard Gauge, then SMARTT under "S" and it is the layout called Western Pennsylvania. The layout was about 90% done when the video was shot.

Port Lines has no SHS flex but they have a lot of the MTH flex. They currently have 9 boxes of 24 count flex track, it is number MTH-FLEX-1005-24. They also have a number of partial boxes. Assuming you also want items such as bumpers he has almost all the SHS track pieces. Just let me know what you want and I can give you the correct order number.

Pete, here are two more example pictures for possible planning. The first picture during construction shows the freight yard entrance. The two SHS 5” sectional track pieces are a Legacy system Sensor Track and a Gilbert style uncoupler. You will not need either with DCC and KaDee’s but you will need a way to install the magnets in the track. We found cutting up the plastic 5” sectional track and pre making these things was easier than fitting things into the flex track by cutting ties. The second picture shows how the 5” sectional pieces disappear after ballasting. Turnout #36 shown in the picture is a #6 since it is part of a mainline reverse loop.



676ABD1E-ABA3-4172-8DA6-FA9879F12668B590FC1D-C340-4F79-8F29-DBDEB0224B1B

Attachments

Images (2)
  • 676ABD1E-ABA3-4172-8DA6-FA9879F12668
  • B590FC1D-C340-4F79-8F29-DBDEB0224B1B
@AmFlyer posted:

Pete, that is great that you like the track! A word of light hearted caution, the MTH track is considered high rail even though it has a great scale appearance. The true scale side of our hobby uses code 70, 80 or code 100 rail.

Here is a picture of the MTH track installed and ballasted. The freight yard ladder turnouts are #5’s.



AEFDC1A7-6D95-4188-91B0-4B308DAB26C7

Boy, you can tell at a glance that's not scale rail...LOL  Tom, this is really beautiful.  I am forever jealous.

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

@AmFlyer posted:

Pete, here are two more example pictures for possible planning. The first picture during construction shows the freight yard entrance. The two SHS 5” sectional track pieces are a Legacy system Sensor Track and a Gilbert style uncoupler. You will not need either with DCC and KaDee’s but you will need a way to install the magnets in the track. We found cutting up the plastic 5” sectional track and pre making these things was easier than fitting things into the flex track by cutting ties. The second picture shows how the 5” sectional pieces disappear after ballasting. Turnout #36 shown in the picture is a #6 since it is part of a mainline reverse loop.



676ABD1E-ABA3-4172-8DA6-FA9879F12668B590FC1D-C340-4F79-8F29-DBDEB0224B1B

Pete, if you are using Kadee couplers, you might want to have a look this thread about installing magnets under SHS flex.

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...magnets-and-kadee-5s

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

@AmFlyer posted:

Pete, here are two more example pictures for possible planning. The first picture during construction shows the freight yard entrance. The two SHS 5” sectional track pieces are a Legacy system Sensor Track and a Gilbert style uncoupler. You will not need either with DCC and KaDee’s but you will need a way to install the magnets in the track. We found cutting up the plastic 5” sectional track and pre making these things was easier than fitting things into the flex track by cutting ties. The second picture shows how the 5” sectional pieces disappear after ballasting. Turnout #36 shown in the picture is a #6 since it is part of a mainline reverse loop.



676ABD1E-ABA3-4172-8DA6-FA9879F12668B590FC1D-C340-4F79-8F29-DBDEB0224B1B

I might take you up on that advice when the time comes. I figured if I made every switch a #5 it would be easier on my first try. I am now going to use flex track for the entire layout, after doing some research I found a company called Fast Tracks Hobbyworks out of Canada. They sell thin radius cutouts to place between the rails of flex track. So I am going to stay within the 4x16 frame and use a 22.5 radius or 45" curve for the outside track and use 20 radius or 40" curve for the inside track. I still have to wait for it to arrive, tracking said sometime Monday. I am still in the planning stages so I have time to work out the kinks. I want to try and find as much SHS flex track as I can before going to MTH or Fox Valley, but I am just going to order the Fox Valley #5 switches.

@DL&W Pete posted:

I might take you up on that advice when the time comes. I figured if I made every switch a #5 it would be easier on my first try. I am now going to use flex track for the entire layout, after doing some research I found a company called Fast Tracks Hobbyworks out of Canada. They sell thin radius cutouts to place between the rails of flex track. So I am going to stay within the 4x16 frame and use a 22.5 radius or 45" curve for the outside track and use 20 radius or 40" curve for the inside track. I still have to wait for it to arrive, tracking said sometime Monday. I am still in the planning stages so I have time to work out the kinks. I want to try and find as much SHS flex track as I can before going to MTH or Fox Valley, but I am just going to order the Fox Valley #5 switches.

Pete, if you don't mind my saying, I think your radii are a bit tight, especially if you are thinking Kadee couples and scale wheels.  Can you stretch your space to at least 5x16?  Even a 24" minimum radius is tight.  SHS flex is the best and I believe MTH is a clone.  FV also has flex using the same rail profile so it should be good also.  I have no experience with FV turnouts, but for Hi-rail, I've heard they are the way to go.

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

The only difference between SHS and MTH track is that MTH used rail with a slightly different metallurgy. The difference when building a layout is immaterial. Fox Valley rail does not have pre-weathered webs so there is work to paint the rail web to match the SHS/MTH weathering.

In my experience 27"R is the minimum for scale operation with KaDee couplers unless all cars are 40' boxcars and all engines are short wheelbase like SW-1's and SW-9's. Using all #5 turnouts is fine unless you wander off into the world of long wheelbase River Raisin engines. I used a lot of #6 and #8 turnouts because I had the space and they look good. They were not necessary for reliable operation.

@Tom Stoltz posted:

Pete, if you don't mind my saying, I think your radii are a bit tight, especially if you are thinking Kadee couples and scale wheels.  Can you stretch your space to at least 5x16?  Even a 24" minimum radius is tight.  SHS flex is the best and I believe MTH is a clone.  FV also has flex using the same rail profile so it should be good also.  I have no experience with FV turnouts, but for Hi-rail, I've heard they are the way to go.

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

Hi Tom,

Only one way to find out. I body mounted Kadee HO #5 couplers to my AM heavyweights, going to try them on both curves and see what happens. I am keeping my passenger trains to 5 cars and one engine. I know the freight cars won't be a problem for the R-20 curves with body mounted couplers. My diesel fleet is already picked out. AM DL&W E8AA, AM DL&W & Reading Train Master, two AM RS-3 will get painted in L&NE, a MTH F7 AB in Reading, might look into a AM D&H RS-11. Steam engines is my problem, all the ones I want were made a long time ago or never been made yet. So I will start out with the diesels, hunt for the small steam engine's I want. 4-4-0, 4-6-0, 2-6-0, 2-8-0 and maybe a 2-8-2.

@DL&W Pete posted:

Hi Tom,

Only one way to find out. I body mounted Kadee HO #5 couplers to my AM heavyweights, going to try them on both curves and see what happens. I am keeping my passenger trains to 5 cars and one engine. I know the freight cars won't be a problem for the R-20 curves with body mounted couplers. My diesel fleet is already picked out. AM DL&W E8AA, AM DL&W & Reading Train Master, two AM RS-3 will get painted in L&NE, a MTH F7 AB in Reading, might look into a AM D&H RS-11. Steam engines is my problem, all the ones I want were made a long time ago or never been made yet. So I will start out with the diesels, hunt for the small steam engine's I want. 4-4-0, 4-6-0, 2-6-0, 2-8-0 and maybe a 2-8-2.

Pete,

Body mount Kadee #5s is what I do and I agree with Tom.  I can tell you first hand that the AM heavyweights with body mount #5s are a no-go on 24”R.  40ft freight cars are okay on 24”R, however the engine you choose will make a difference.  I can’t say from experience, but I don’t think the diesels will work with body mounts.  ‘Talgo’ (I’m never sure if that’s the correct term) mounts will give you a headache in backing moves – think of backing up a trailer with your car.  The heavyweights are fine on 29”R – that’s what I ran on my Xmas layout last year.

I know I might be stepping way out of bounds and will probably catch a lot of flak, but I would recommend you stay with Hi-rail wheels for the radii you are talking about.

A comment about Portlines Hobby; Doug Peck is the owner and he is absolutely top drawer for service and advice.  His website is a vast source of knowledge.  You will be happy there.

Like you choice of Reading…

Tom Stoltz

a Reading fan, in Maine

@DL&W Pete posted:

SHS DL&W F3 AB

SHS made this back in 2001, what are my chances of finding this set with scale wheels.

@PRR1950 posted:

Your chances are zero unless you post on the Wanted to But forum.

Chuck

Bear in mind all SHS diesel locomotives came with HiRail wheels installed and scale wheels in the box.  The F's also had Kadee compatible couplers and mounting brackets in the box.

When buying "pre-owned," make sure the original owner didn't discard them.

Rusty

Last edited by Rusty Traque
@DL&W Pete posted:


So I will start out with the diesels, hunt for the small steam engine's I want. 4-4-0, 4-6-0, 2-6-0, 2-8-0 and maybe a 2-8-2.

That's going to be a semi-tough search.  These are what I know were made, none are currently in production.

4-4-0: American Flyer "Casey Jones" and Frontiersman.  Both are reasonably available on the secondary market but oversized for S.

4-6-0: Cleaveland (C-D models) ancient wood and card CGW 4-6-0 kit, Omnicon Erie 4-6-0.  Both pretty rare.

2-6-0: Rex (kit) or Putt (ex-Rex, assembled) Trains.  River Raisin SP M-6 Mogul.

2-8-0: S Helper Service B&O 2-8-0, Southwind Models SP/UP Harriman 2-8-0, Omnicon MP 2-8-0.

2-8-2: Lionel/Flyer USRA Light 2-8-2, Overland Models Light 2-8-2, River Raisin SP Harriman 2-8-2's.

Rusty

Pete, the only newer engine made in large quantities from Rusty's list is the Lionel AF light Mikado. They are still available on eBay from time to time. I have 5 of them and they are great engines but there is no scale wheel option for them. They were the first TMCC/Railsounds 5 S gauge engines. In the pictures posted above the 1849 engine under the coaling tower and the PRR are two of my Mikados. The SHS engine shows up for sale once in a while. The two Gilbert engines, while readily available would need detailing work and a motor replacement to be appropriate for your layout.

If interested in small Gilbert engines the NKP 0-8-0 and PRR 0-6-0 are pretty good choices.

That's going to be a semi-tough search.  These are what I know were made, none are currently in production.

4-4-0: American Flyer "Casey Jones" and Frontiersman.  Both are reasonably available on the secondary market but oversized for S.

4-6-0: Cleaveland (C-D models) ancient wood and card CGW 4-6-0 kit, Omnicon Erie 4-6-0.  Both pretty rare.

2-6-0: Rex (kit) or Putt (ex-Rex, assembled) Trains.  River Raisin SP M-6 Mogul.

2-8-0: S Helper Service B&O 2-8-0, Southwind Models SP/UP Harriman 2-8-0, Omnicon MP 2-8-0.

2-8-2: Lionel/Flyer USRA Light 2-8-2, Overland Models Light 2-8-2, River Raisin SP Harriman 2-8-2's.

Rusty

Thanks again, the 4-6-0 Omnicon is a longshot as is the 2-8-0 SHS. The River Raisin 2-6-0 was made in 2014, that is possible. As for the 4-4-0, I am trying to get scale drawings in 1/64 for the MA&PA #4,5,6 and DL&W 978, 988 after rebuilding from camelback's. The 2-8-2 I am trying to get scale drawings for a DL&W 1253-1262 series built in 1920 with 63" drivers. These were the last group of light mikado's built from ALCO.

Fox Valley sent me a piece of there flex track and a #5 switch. The tie thickness on the shs track is double that of the fox valley.16059878084388591621189364136858

Here is the shs flex with the #5 switch 1605987914089417940550518826457

Here is the fox valley flex and #5 switch160598807292565415205532996618

I am waiting for the mth flex track to do the same test. Now I understand with rail joiners it should raise the rails to the same height

16059882944403827734026983283560

16059883582954520524412306892218

As you see it does, but this still leaves a gap between the tie thickness and base of platform. I want to keep the fox valley switches.16059886248254029783692965727600

I figured if I use the middle #5 switch, I would be able to run everything through them. The longest engine I will be running is my AM E8A diesel.

1605989006853965451144336966374

So I am asking all of you in S, what are your thoughts, suggestion. For those of you that have these fox valley #5 switches, do you have any derailments going through them with the tie thickness. Is your track pulling up over time because of this. The tie spacing is different too, shs has 43 to fv 41.

This will be my final layout build, so for once I would like to get it right the FIRST time.

Attachments

Images (7)
  • 16059878084388591621189364136858
  • 1605987914089417940550518826457
  • 160598807292565415205532996618
  • 16059882944403827734026983283560
  • 16059883582954520524412306892218
  • 16059886248254029783692965727600
  • 1605989006853965451144336966374
@Ukaflyer posted:

Another couple of questions as this all seems a bit confusing now.

Are the ties on the FV flex track the same thickness as on the FV turnouts?

One of your photo’s showed what looks like FV flex track next to a FV turnout and the railheads were different heights, is this correct?

The thickness of the tie's are different on all. The thinnest tie is the fox valley flex track, then comes the fox valley switch and finally shs flex track.

The rail height is different on all three, shs flex is the highest. Then fox valley switch and the fox valley flex is the lowest.

As for the size of the rail itself, it's all even as you see with the two sections with the rail joiner.

Last edited by DL&W Pete
@DL&W Pete posted:

The thickness of the tie's are different on all. The thinnest tie is the fox valley flex track, then comes the fox valley switch and finally shs flex track.

The rail height is different on all three, shs flex is the highest. Then fox valley switch and the fox valley flex is the lowest.

As for the size of the rail itself, it's all even.

@DL&W Pete posted:

You are correct Tom, the closest match with the fox valley switch tie height is shs flex. But it's still a few hairs higher than the switch.

Without your calipers, this is mostly meaningless.   But as Tom said, just shim the difference if it’s that great.   For what it worth, I can tell you when I was testing turnouts, I went for .137” rail to .148” rail without any transition.   I used the .148” rail joiner.   Testing consisted of scale, Hi-rail and Flyer wheels.  Scale wheels were not fazed by the difference.

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×