Availability of American Flyer and other S Scale?

Switchman Jan 13, 2012

  1. Switchman

    Switchman TrainBoard Member

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    I'm interest in getting back into American Flyer. In todays market what are the availability of Locomotives, Rolling stock, Track and accessories, structures? And how are the prices? I not a collector but will be a runner. Are there some very good on line American Flyer and S Scale sites?


    See ya
    Ron
     
  2. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    I can't provide too much useful info except to say that Lionel makes new American Flyer products.
    On the used market, boring 3 rail dominates, but I see a good selection of AF at shows and swap meets with prices to match.
     
  3. Switchman

    Switchman TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks YoHo, I'll be on the lookout at train shows. I did not know that Lionel now manufactures American Flyer. I hope they keep true to two rails and other specs.
    See ya
    Ron
     
  4. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Staff Member

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    Hi again Ron,

    Lionel has been producing AF from the original molds for 10 yrs or so. But they have also tooled up a couple new steam engines, renewed some of the AF dies and brought out the UP 4-8-4 of AF fame. Lionel has delivered a totally new diesel this year, a U33C. It has AF size couplers but is the TMCC electro couplers which allow remote uncoupling. I just received mine today and need to take some pictures. Over all it is a very nice looking GE U33C but it does have some errors. But then what model engine doesn't have an error or two? :D Lionel has also hinted at another totally new engine coming out but hasn’t said what it will be. Talk about fueling the speculation express. :D For freight cars and passenger cars, most of it is recycled AF tooling but some new stuff has been added from modified O27 models. The SP style cupola caboose comes to mind.

    Greg
     
  5. rg5378

    rg5378 TrainBoard Member

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    RE: American Flyer and S gauge question

    Hi there! Lionel makes American Flyer trains. There is another company called American Models that is strictly S gauge. Although I don't own S gauge, I have heard that American Models makes good quality items. Check them out.
     
  6. Switchman

    Switchman TrainBoard Member

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    I was really surprised to learn that Lionel makes American Flyer. Another thing I did not expect was that there is a difference between AF and other S scale. I've some question on that.

    Can AF locomotives and rolling stock run on actual S scale track?

    See ya
    Ron
     
  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    If you are meaning scale rail versus their older tinplate/hi-rail, no. As built original AF would not work. However, there are many folks who have converted pieces from hi-rail to use on scale rail. I cannot speak to what Lionel is producing these days, but you might check what they offer. Many S manufacturers offer an option at time of purchase of wheels to run on either scale or hi-rail for their new engines and rolling stock.

    Check out this page for a good starting point and a bunch of links:

    http://trainweb.org/crocon/sscale.html
     
  8. Switchman

    Switchman TrainBoard Member

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    That's interesting. Are we saying that if you buy/have an original AF it won't run on S Scale track? And that a conversion of some kind, to the rolling stock wheel sets or the locomotive drivers and trucks is required to run on S scale track?
    Thanks for the help and info.
    See ya
    Ron
     
  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes. 1946-1966 AF "S" hi-rail/tinplate would likely not work on scale sized rails. Those large wheel flanges are the issue. Remembering back to those I had, I'd not try it. As I noted last night, that is why the current day manufacturers offer options on wheels as to which type of rail you are using. Scale wheel have much smaller flanges and a more prototypical appearance.
     
  10. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Staff Member

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    S has two factions though. AF/tin-plate standards and scale. The gauge is the same but the standards for the wheels and couplers are different.

    Will original AF run on S scale rail? Depends on the code of the rail. Will AF work with scale switches? No. By the same token, scale wheels of today’s S scale won't work with some AF switches. The gauge is the same but the tolerances have tightened up considerably. The track offered by American Models will work with AF and scale. The frogs on the switches from AM are made to run the AF compatible wheels which have larger flanges and fatter treads. SHS Helper Service also has rail that works with AF and tin plate wheels. If you are interested in scale S then the flange and tread standards are the same as HO and switches reflect that. There are even Proto 64 standards that are even finer and the scale S code 110 standards won't work. Like HO and O, standards run a wide gambit and the finer the standards the less forgiving the trains.

    American Models is considered the Athearn Blue box of S. SHS is on the level of Kato or Atlas for detail and reliability. Lionel is re-releasing old AF for the most part but dipping their toes in the scale market. Their new U33C is an example of that. It's the first engine they have offered scale wheels for. Many wish the would offer scale wheels for their Mikado. Hope is Lionel will come out with cars that are closer to scale and can work on either standard with the proper wheels.

    Greg
     
  11. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Staff Member

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    Well Lionel has put out an S only catalog with the U33C's (new road names) and a new SD70ACe to be offered with the scale wheel option. Lionel also introduced a scale covered hopper, ACF cylindrical hopper. Also the S Fast Track line is to be expanded and switches offered. If you go to the Lionel web page they have broken up S into AF and scale. For you AF fans, have no fear they are going to continue offering the AF line. The big news is Lionel dipping the toe into the scale pool so to speak. By now there are several videos on you tube showing the U33C in action. Even with the swinging steps/pilot on the U33C it is a good looking unit in action IMHO.

    As a side note, I e mailed Lionel and received my scale wheels for the U33C in about 4 days. Others have had good dealings with Lionel on problems with the U33C shell not being completely painted, i.e. some details not painted on the Erie Lackawanna shells. Shells replaced with correct paint job in a timely manor from what I've read.

    Greg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2012
  12. Luke221

    Luke221 New Member

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    MTH has acquired S-Helper Service and they will be putting out S items hopefully late 2013 early 2014. I run S gauge tinplate trains and American models Hi-Rail. Pretty much my only source has been the train shows. My LHS has some S items but geez they are priced like he thinks they were made out of solid gold.
     
  13. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I wonder if you'd find any connections via such as the Toy Train Operating Society? ("TTOS") Many of those folks are runners. Surely somebody amongst them would have a few ideas?
     

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