American Flyer Rolling Stock

snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:


Lionel's decline began soon after the War. It was clear by 1950 that the majority of model railroaders wanted both scale and standards, so that products from different manufacturers would work together. The "scale vs tinplate" debate raged, often acrimoniously, in the model press. Eventually, the tinplaters left the "serious" model railroad community, which was then dominated by model builders, not by operators. But even now, there are occasional articles about tinplate layouts operating as model railroads. (There is still a divide between builders and operators, with the builders moaning about the decline in standards, the dumbing down of MR, etc, as shown on some threads on this forum.)
Lionel did build 1/4" scale models (they fetch very high prices on the collectors market these days), but refused to conform to NMRA standards, and so lost this segment of the market. The fact that the small post-ware houses and large post-ware families encouraged people to choose HO over O didn't help either. Nor did the fact that almost all HO worked well together. (The exceptions were, significantly enough, the European imports from manufacturers that each built to different standards.)
When Lionel did offer HO trains, they once again refused to conform to NMRA standards. I had a couple of their cars - nice enough mouldings, but I had to change the trucks, as the Lionel wheels hiccupped (to put it nicely) over the turnouts. I think I still have two or three of those trucks in my scrapbox. I also had their version of the 4-wheel Plymouth diesel. Execrable modelling, horrible wheels, and gears that made the durn thing run at around 400 scale mph.
Lionel just didn't understand that captive markets didn't work anymore. Pity. Their trains were tough as Mack trucks, and were and are a lot of fun to play with.
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Spender wrote:

O gauge is 1-1/4" gauge, S gauge is 7/8" gauge.
O scale is 1/4" to the foot, S scale is 3/16" to the foot.
American Flyer rolling stock is built to S scale.
Lionel is a mixed bag. The quality stuff is built to 1/4" scale. Most of the toy stuff was/is built to 3/16" scale, not 1/4" scale. But it's mounted on O gauge trucks. Lionel did this many, many years ago to be able to offer trainsets that would fit on a dining room table (the O-27 line). The smaller cars and locos could handle those very tight curves.
So if you change the trucks and couplers, you can run that Lionel rolling stock on American Flyer S gauge track. And vice versa.
Not that changing trucks and couplers is easy.
Confusing, isn't it? :-)
Have Fun!
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Not too bad. The great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from... ;)
I had just seen an American Flyer box car that looked cool and was wondering if it would work on O/O27 track. I'm not sure I want to get into attempting to change trucks though. At least not because my wife likes Winnie the Pooh. (Don't tell her I said that... she'll stick my Woody Woodpecker boxcar in my face and say "Oh yeah?")
I've seen the variations in Lionel rolling stock that I have. But I'm not big on wanting all the cars to be the same height or anything. It actually looks kind of cool to have an eclectic consist.
"Where on earth is that train hauling Comet Cleanser, Jack Frost Sugar, Rocket Fuel, a Woody Woodpecker boxcar, and three AEC Reactor Fluid tank cars headed?"
I'm still working on a likely story. It's headed to Lionelville, obviously, but what those Lionelvillans do with the stuff is anybody's guess. We might want to get the Homeland Security Department in on this...
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I recall the original Toy Trains magazine advocating putting 0-27 trucks on AF and S on 0-27 to give additonal variety. Roger Aultman
Wolf wrote:

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Didn't American Flyer make some O27 stuff for a while?
--
-Glennl
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Pre-WW2 I believe.
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On Fri, 16 Feb 2007 23:56:19 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com ( snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com) wrote:

Is there an official definition of O27 (other than the track diameter)? For rolling stock, O27 seems to mean "more or less kinda O scale".
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Spender wrote:

27 is track radius, not diameter - OTOH O72 is track diameter.
Both indicate toy trains, built to tinplate O gauge standards (ie 32mm gauge with round topped rolled tinplate rail) but somewhat smaller scale. (if scale is a word that can be applied to toys)
Regards, Greg.P.
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wrote:

I thought O27 track pieces will make a 27" circle. It only works that way for O36 and up?

It's all toys to me. :)
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Spender wrote:

I read it in an OLD US mr mag from about 1950 discussing "Hi Rail" - semi-scale O gauge modelling for those not into scratch building and hand track laying.

Sure, but some of us differentiate 0-4-0 Big Boys from 4-8-8-4 Big Boys.
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wrote:

I can't get a straight answer from Google. Too many site have strange terms like "O27 scale"; the use of "scale" making no sense. The terminology is so arbitrarily interchanged that it's hard to make sense of it.

I would to! But I'd still play with the 4-8-8-4 Big Boy. I heard about an old guy who buys everything from every Lionel catalog and puts it all into glass cabinets. He owns no track. That seems sad. But to each is own.
As for real modelers such as yourself, I don't have the talent or skill for it. Maybe I'll develop some over time as the space I can devote to it increases.
I want to buy the 120" long Amtrak Acela and then demand a government subsidy. O scale political graft.
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Spender wrote:

"Scale" is a word not understood by 99% of the world's population and only by about 50% of those who model/run/own trains. The word is often used by people who want to say "gauge" so always treat the term with a degree of suspicion if model to prototype proportion is of interest to you. There are currently at least four different "O scales" in use world-wide: (in terms of model to prototype proportion) - 1:48 USa. - 1:45 Europe. - 1:43.5 Europe. - 7mm:1 foot. UK - 23mm:metre. France.
Before there were scale models there was "tinplate toys". Maerklin set "O gauge" in 1900 at 32mm between the rails (actually 35mm between rail head centers) and most toy makers went with that standard. The trains applied to that gauge were in assorted sizes, cheap ones were small, ... scalish ones were expensive. Small boys usually liked the bigger sizes because ... Lionel made (and still makes) those trains with "models" big enough to look more or less realistic, but an actual scale model would probably be 10-20% bigger overall. (retires to fallout shelter)

I started with Maerklin, (Germay's equivalent to Lionel) nowadays they make for three distinct markets; the toy train buyers, the "collector" who never runs anything and finally the "modeller". The modeller is obviously a very poor third place these days while the "collector" is where the real money comes from.

We all start with no talent or skill ;-)

It's nice to combine a hobby with a paying business!
Regards, Greg.P.
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wrote:

Maybe I'm not doing the math right, but I looked up the specs on a C&O Berkshire, or Kanawhas as that company called them, built by Alco. It's 105' 2" long. True 1/48 scale should have the model being about 2.19' long. Of course the model I have is called a Berkshire Jr.
O36 track would scale up to a 144' diameter circle No, it doesn't seem to match up. Even GarGraves O138 track would scale up to a 552' diameter circle. Could a 105'2" train turn in a circle only 5.25 times greater than it's length?
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Spender wrote:

Depends on how many breaks in the frames you're prepared to accept! ;-) The 0-4-0 would go around the 144' diameter circle if you uncoupled the tender.
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wrote:

Thank God for Lionel and other manufacturers fudging... It seems that even a perfectly scaled Big Boy train is going to be running on unrealistically scaled tracks.
I'll find out someday. I'd like to buy perhaps 20 acres of land and build an actual steam train on it - like the kind they have in zoos.
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Spender wrote:

Most of us are forced to utilize a smaller than ideal space to run our trains, particularly if we want to operate mainline trains at (umm) realistic speeds - 10 or so scale miles to get up to scale speed quite honestly gets quite boring. Deciding what compromises we're prepared to accept can be difficult; length and radius tend to be forced on us. :-(
I've spent a lot of time designing and redesigning 4-4-0 and 2-12-0 loco chassis to go around set-track curves so that they behave in a manor that isn't totally ludicrous.
Regards, Greg.P.
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Spender wrote:

That depends on how it's articulated!
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wrote:

If it's articulated that well, it should have it's own act in Cirque du Soliel.
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Greg Procter wrote:
> There are currently at least four different "O scales" in use > world-wide: (in terms of model to prototype proportion) - 1:48 USa. - > 1:45 Europe. - 1:43.5 Europe. - 7mm:1 foot. UK
7mm is also becoming very popular in Australia, specifically in NSW. In the last five years a number of very nice models have been produced commercially, with the emphasis on the steam-to-diesel transition era, which for us spans the 1950s to the 1980s...
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Mark Newton wrote:

I didn't know that but I had noticed in "Continental Muddler" that Aussie prototype models are getting quite sophisticated these days. Here in NZ there aren't quite enough modellers to justify Chinese production orders. =8^(
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