In the spirit of what's been going on over on the 3-Rail side, let's forget about some of the grim reviews on Challengers and U33C's for the time being and speculate on what we'd like to see in the next few catalogs in the way of Flyer.

And it's a given we'd all like to see improved quality control and lower prices, so passengers will please refrain...

So, here's mine:

N&W Class "J" 4-8-4
NKP 2-8-4
SD70Ae's in UP Heritage paint
2-8-2's and 4-6-2's in New Haven

Rusty
Original Post
Hummm...this is always fun!

First and foremost - SD70Ace Heritage Units

Then..

Milwaukee Road U33C, C&NW U30C
C&NW GP7
Sant Fe GP7 in the black and white stripes
Alaskan RR GP9
C&NW Northern
Santa Fe map & slogan reefers
Flyer Operating Milk Car remake
Milwaukee Road Heavywights
Milwaukee Road Red and Yellow Boxcar
D&RGW/SantaFe PB Units
Some rial sounds box cars for all the diesels with no sound

How about offering some of the nicer scale buildings from the O gauge line in S, there are some nice ones.

Last would be Lionel getting some starter sets out there with the new fast track. IMO, the best way to get some new people into AF. Put a new Polar Express set next to all the O gauge PE sets at Christmas time and see how it goes.

Ben

LCCA

quote:
Originally posted by NotInWI:
Rusty

Is S scale America not plagued with the same issues in China?

Ben


Yes and no. It' my understanding a good part of the SD45 is being tooled in California.

And in related news... Just saw on YaHoo that last Friday, SHS got half their tooling moved to their new builder. More news as it develops.

Rusty
Guys, I see so many good ideas suggested that I won't list anything else. I would be VERY happy to see any one of the steamers and one of the diesels and newly tooled cars listed above done in a given year. HOWEVER....after buying 2 challengers (one shipped with no bell and the other with electronic issues) and seeing all the issues with the U33C's I will not buy any more new Lionel items until I can see a real change in Lionel's quality control. For what I spent on the 2 challengers, I could have bought another River Rasin model or several SHS or AM locomotive and had $ left over. IMO, I saw the same quality issues when I was in 3 rail. It seems to me Lionel would prefer us to be so hungry for new product as to tolerate mediocre quality in order to get the latest technology and sounds. Also, Lionel wants to price their products as a premium brand. I would happily accept this as a consumer, but unfortunately at this time Lionel cannot get its quality consistent enough to qualify (in my mind at least) as a premium product. The quality problems are TOO GLARING AND FUNDAMENTAL to merrit premium branding. Granted, being new to S, older product is new to me and I can still buy things, but personally I do not want to see the issues I had in 3 rail O come over to S. By this I mean, that while there is a smaller quantity of available product, I find the quality is better and I LOVE that I can personally call a Don Thompson or Dan Navarre and have my questions answered. I guess after this long rant, that I would say "any of the above as long as it is built like a swiss watch!"

 

 

 

"Moreover, experience proves that there is virtually no limit to the amount of cars, track, equipment, etc., the scale model railroader will buy once you have planted the "system" idea in his head. The more he has, the more he still wants." A.C. Gilbert Co. - 1947

I really can't disagree with you Troy, you make several valid points.

I actually gave up on Lionel/Flyer back in the 1990's. While the stuff looked nice, very few pieces ran as well (EP5's for some reason) as an AM or SHS product.

It wasn't until the new, detailed Mikado's and Pacific's came out did I take a chance again.

Things were looking up since then and I have(had) high hopes for this new stuff. I'm still somewhat anxious to see what's in the next catalog. If something tickles my fancy, I'm willing to give Lionel one more shot. If I run into similar issuses myself and other are experiencing, well... Third time will not be a charm.

All the fancy electronics in the world won't help something that runs poorly, is missing or has poorly secured parts or has other serious cosmetic issues. S is a small market and it's Lionel's to loose.

Once AM, SHS and SSA get back up and running, Lionel will have to compete again.

Rusty
quote:
Originally posted by Rusty Traque:
I really can't disagree with you Troy, you make several valid points.

I actually gave up on Lionel/Flyer back in the 1990's. While the stuff looked nice, very few pieces ran as well (EP5's for some reason) as an AM or SHS product.

It wasn't until the new, detailed Mikado's and Pacific's came out did I take a chance again.

Things were looking up since then and I have(had) high hopes for this new stuff. I'm still somewhat anxious to see what's in the next catalog. If something tickles my fancy, I'm willing to give Lionel one more shot. If I run into similar issuses myself and other are experiencing, well... Third time will not be a charm.

All the fancy electronics in the world won't help something that runs poorly, is missing or has poorly secured parts or has other serious cosmetic issues. S is a small market and it's Lionel's to loose.

Once AM, SHS and SSA get back up and running, Lionel will have to compete again.

Rusty


Rusty, I too am eager to see AM, SHS and SSA be in a position to offer new product. I also welcome Lionel's presence in S as well. My disapointment comes from the fact that what we are seeing with the Challengers and U33C's is precisely what I saw with Lionel over the last 15 years in 3 rail. One other point for discussion about advanced train electronics: even though I used TMCC, Legacy and DCS while I was in 3 rail O, I never operated my trains much beyond runnning in loops or simple yard operations. As I get older, I'm finally asking myself if this is how I run trains, do I really need command control at all? Personally, I'm at the point that I will not accept the quality issues of the Challengers and U33C's to get it. I still like command systems and really like sounds,and if I had a complex or very large layout with multiple operators on different jobs running over a single track main, my system of choice would be TMCC/Legacy. But IMO, about 95% of most guys just run loops or do simple yard switching and these systems are overkill. IMHO,they have become nothing more than marketing plans designed to capture market share and sell more trains at higher prices. When I had my last 3 rail layout, it was 32' x 10' with a double main. It took 4-5 times around to ge the most out of the momentum and train handeling features on my Legacy FEF. If I was at a scale 50 MPH and wanted to use full momentum for a really slow stop at a station, I passed it 4 times around before I came to a stop Smile. What impressed me the most about Legacy engines (I had 4) in O was their low speed performance, yet as far as I can see this is not true for Lionels latest S scale offerings. I have been fortunate enough to get a set of SHS F3's and some River Rasin steamers and they are some of the best models I have seen in any scale. As a consumer we get to choose where we spend our money and I hope we as a scale, can demonstrate this to Lionel in a way that can allow for new product and have high quality. It really comes down to the expectations of the consumers and how close the manufacturer is WILLING to watch its Asian builder. I would think that if smaller companies like River Rasin and SHS can do this, then a flagship firm like Lionel should be able to do this as well.

 

 

 

"Moreover, experience proves that there is virtually no limit to the amount of cars, track, equipment, etc., the scale model railroader will buy once you have planted the "system" idea in his head. The more he has, the more he still wants." A.C. Gilbert Co. - 1947

Once again, I'm in full agreement with you, Troy.

What amazes me on the O Gauge side is how many folks there seem to be more enamored with all the "bells and whistles" than the locomotives. Even with things like the Lincoln Funeral train, the first question usually is, "Does it have command control?" The next one is usually about smoke or sound, not about how well it runs.

Lionel and MTH are cramming more cra... er.., stuff into their locomotives and yet it seems it's not enough for some folks. Then, afterwards the complaints come rolling in about failures and defects.

Now, I would have to say, the(my) Flyer Challenger is a far better locomotive than the Sunset Models(pre 3rd Rail) brass one I owned years ago. It doesn't excuse the problems others have had, however.

What really hurts with the U33C is that Lionel was attempting to reach out to the scale side of S. There's a natural prejudice by certain small but vocal band of S-Scalers over on YaHoo about anything American Flyer ever did, does or will do and the U33C just helps perpetuate the prejudice.

Quality problems aside, there was a lot of grief spun over there about the U33C drive mechanism, the short hood shape and especially the ever-lovin' swinging pilots, let alone the fact the scale wheels weren't included as advertised and a scaler would have to remove and sell off the electronics. Unless Lionel does some super-duper freight cars in S, they can pretty much kiss the crossover scale market goodbye...

So, all we have left is hope that things will get better. The problem is, that hope has at least a three-figure price tag. Product quality on items in the next Lionel catalog will be the breakpoint for me, if it's not there, neither will I.'

Rusty
quote:
Originally posted by Rusty Traque:
Once again, I'm in full agreement with you, Troy.

What amazes me on the O Gauge side is how many folks there seem to be more enamored with all the "bells and whistles" than the locomotives. Even with things like the Lincoln Funeral train, the first question usually is, "Does it have command control?" The next one is usually about smoke or sound, not about how well it runs.

Unless Lionel does some super-duper freight cars in S, they can pretty much kiss the crossover scale market goodbye...

So, all we have left is hope that things will get better. The problem is, that hope has at least a three-figure price tag. Product quality on items in the next Lionel catalog will be the breakpoint for me, if it's not there, neither will I.'

Rusty


Perfectly said,on all counts.

Mark in Oregon

After over 100 hours on my Clinchfield Challenger (see March S Gaugian) and over 50 hours on my U33C (Southern Pacific) I am convinced that these are two of the best engines I have ever had in S gauge. I operate almost all Am Models, S-Helper and link coupler Gilbert Flyer that have been produced. Most of the problems with the Challengers seem to have been with the UP's. Both engines operate beautifully in conventional, TMCC, and Legacy 1.3 on my layout, The Tennessee Central Railway. The Challanger did have some early issues, but all were easily correctable. Please see my description of my experiences with the Challenger on this forum. The U33C has operated perfectly out of the box. For the money it is an excellent locomotive with many excellent features. I quickly received my scale wheelsets for the U33C by return mail from Lionel and with them it is also a great runner and looker. If you want the scale wheelsets simply send an E-mail telling Lionel where you purchased the engine. They do not require a receipt.

 

As to my wishes for future production I would like a light mountain 4-8-2,  Alco RS36 and Alco C420 unlettered (although it is easy to remove decoration and re-letter). Of course these were all used by the TCRY. I like Lionel's new policy of not including the RR or road number in the crew and tower chatter as this makes more sense when I re decorate the engines for the TCRY.

 

These two engines as well as modern track and turnouts indicate a greatly increased commitment to the Am Flyer S Gauge line. Also the new separate catalog for Am Flyer emphasizes this new comitment (see Lionel's website).

 

Regards,

 

Tom

One down, three to go.  (From my original January posting...)

 

---------------------------------------

N&W Class "J" 4-8-4
NKP 2-8-4
SD70Ae's in UP Heritage paint
2-8-2's and 4-6-2's in New Haven

---------------------------------------

 

Oh, what the heck, let's throw the B&O EM1 2-8-8-4 into the mix. (It'll drive a friend of mine nuts!)

I don't want to be a wet rag about this, but...

 

While we can poll and speculate, I beleive Lionel will produce new locmotives in S that have already appeared in the O Gauge catalog AND the Legacy electronics will fit in. 

 

It's a pretty tight squeeze in the U33C and the Pacific/Mikado tenders, so I don't think we'll see anything much smaller for now.

 

Pity, their CN 2-6-0 in S would be really neat.

 

Rusty

I would like to see a conventional classic set headed by either a 326 Hudson or the 336 Challenger.

 

Pete

 

"Once politics becomes your ethnic and moral identity it becomes impossible to compromise, because compromise becomes dishonor."

 

- David Brooks -

Originally Posted by Texas Pete:

I would like to see a conventional classic set headed by either a 326 Hudson or the 336 Challenger.

 

Pete


If a freight set would satisfy your desires, nice original Gilbert sets containing a 326 or 336 with boxes and a wrap are out there for the finding at fairly reasonable prices. With the vintage sets there is the added satisfaction of seeing "The A. C. Gilbert Co., New Haven, Conn." on the side of the set box.

 

Bob Bubeck

 

Good Day,

 

I’d like to see the Norfolk Southern Heritage SD70ACe’s this fall!

 

Regards,

Swafford

 

NS Heritage SD70ACe Locomotives

• Central Railroad of New Jersey

• Delaware, Lackawanna and Western

• Erie Railroad

• Illinois Terminal Railroad

• New York Central Railroad

• Norfolk Southern Railway

• Reading Company

• Savannah & Atlanta Railway

• Virginian Railway

• Wabash Railroad

 

  

 

Originally Posted by Rusty Traque:

I get the feeling we'll be seeing GE ES44AC's in the next catalog...

 

Rusty


It makes one wonder, given all the excitement over the NS Heritage units that will be comming out.  I would probably be in for a couple of both the SD70ACE's and ES44's if they are offered in the NS Heritage versions.  Also, does anyone know if NS has released official paint schemes for the Heritage units?  I've seen alot of renderings on the forum lately, but was not sure if they were the final versions.

 

 

 

"Moreover, experience proves that there is virtually no limit to the amount of cars, track, equipment, etc., the scale model railroader will buy once you have planted the "system" idea in his head. The more he has, the more he still wants." A.C. Gilbert Co. - 1947

GS4 SP Daylight..also could be offered in plain black version and Bicentennial.

N&W J 4-8-4

NYC J3 Hudson with centipede tender....also could be offered in various roadnames with different tender. B&A etc.

 

Baldwin Sharknose diesel

 

Most 1st & 2nd generation diesels have been made by either SHS or AM so Lionel might consider it foolish to make something that many S gaugers already have. Seems they will look to produce something thats not out there yet and can be accurately made with several roadnames.

 

Rich 

Sorry, but I don't think Lionel cares what has been made. None of those models has legacy and railsounds. Lionel would probably sell more than both SHS and AM combined. That's just my opinion though. Lionel is well versed in competing head to head, model to model with much bigger and more aggressive companies like MTH in O gauge. If they didn't avoid making the same models there I don't know why anyone would expect that in S.

-Jonathan

 

Originally Posted by jonnyspeed:

Sorry, but I don't think Lionel cares what has been made. None of those models has legacy and railsounds. Lionel would probably sell more than both SHS and AM combined. That's just my opinion though. Lionel is well versed in competing head to head, model to model with much bigger and more aggressive companies like MTH in O gauge. If they didn't avoid making the same models there I don't know why anyone would expect that in S.

Lionel has the name recognition, owns the American Flyer brand and no doubt about it, that gives them the edge.  Lionel must also view the S gauge market with growth potential, otherwise they wouldn't be applying so much gusto to the Flyer line.

 

S will also spur Lionel to futher minimize the electronics.  As I mentioned earlier, Legacy is a tight squeeze in the U33C and Pacific/Mikado tenders.  To do smaller locomotives with all the features, like a GP9, either the Legacy electronics have to shrink, the drive go to one vertical motor or duplicate the U33C drive.

 

There is, however for the present time, great advantage in doing things that AREN'T available in S.  It makes S new again and gives more variety to the modeler. 

 

Interesting times.

 

Hopefully, there won't be a 2-year wait between product announcement and delivery.

 

What remains to be seen is if Lionel can bring "new blood" into S or if the growth will be temporary and the S-gauger vein gets tapped out too quickly.

 

Buckle up and enjoy the ride! 

 

Rusty


 

Originally Posted by Greg Elems:

What no one wants an SD7/9? How about an FP45?

 

Greg

Or the F45 and SD24...

 

But realistically, I'm looking at what was Lionel has done in O Gauge and fully expect those to be the "prototypes," if you will, for what will be released in S. 

 

I don't see Lionel breaking any new ground and producing anything in S that hasn't already been done in O.  At least not in the foreseeable future.

 

Rusty

I voted for an SD-7/9. Love 'em.

 

I think at first you will see models that have been done in O because that is the path of least resistance. However I have a gut feeling that you may see Lionel eventually bring out a brand new model in S if things go well. 

 

I just hope we see more than one catalog per year. Otherwise it is going to take a long time to get going.

-Jonathan

 

I guess I should have prefaced my SD9 wants. Lionel did put SD trucks under their GP shell; a scale shell with scale trucks would be nice.  I haven't kept track of Lionel's O gauge (scale) engines; did they ever do a scale SD7/9?  With dual truck motors, would there be enough room in the shell for the TMCC boards? 

 

Since I'm a scale modeler, operator and prefer DCC a basic unit without smoke, sound and cab chatter would be preferable to me. 

 

I like the Alco choices, throw in an RS11 with the RS32.  A C424/425 would look great in SP&S/BN and BCR.

 

GP40's anyone?

SW1500?

 

Lots of stuff for Lionel to seriously tackle.

 

Greg

 

 

Likes (0)
Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×