'Inherited' a train

My mother-in-law recently gave us a model train set she had in the
attic. It used to be a cousin's or something - I forget, and you don't
care - but now it is ours. I've never owned one of these, but I'm
getting interested.
The set is an American Flyer from 1952 or 1953, I think. It has a
282 on the side of the engine, and has a plastic 'case'. It didn't
work so I took it to the local train shop, and they fixed it up for me,
and told me what it was and when it was from. And threw in some smoke
for free! :) I have the manuals and track, so I came home, laid out
an oval on the carpet, and, after replacing a few rusty track pieces,
got the train running in circles, puffing smoke and going
choo-choo-choo. My boys - 6 and 3 - got more excited than I have EVER
seen them about any toy that didn't plug unto a TV. So, now I'm really
interested. If this is something they get into that I can do and enjoy
too, well, that's just what I've been looking for. I spent two hours
tonight cleaning the old, rusty, nasty track, so hopefully tomorrow we
can get the train running a little better.
I'm not posting just to tell you my boring stories though. Since
I've never done this before, I have a few questions I was hoping you
would answer. I apologize if these are FAQs, but I searched the group
for one and didn't find it. Also, I've googled around and found a lot
of pages, but they don't seem too novice friendly.
- Is there a glossary of terminology somewhere? Am I playing with
electric trains or am I model railroading?
- What scale / gauge is my train?
- Can I buy stuff for this scale /
gauge / brand? I know my kids will
want gizmos and scenery to aid their imaginary play. Would I be better
off finding a new set that comes with a few things?
- Can I get track for this?
- How should I clean the plastic cars? They have been stored away for
years, and I get the feeling they were not kept clean before that.
- How does it make that choo-choo sound?
I have a few extra bits - switches and what-not - that I haven't
tested yet, but the manual explains how to use it all, so hopefully
I'll get to that in the next day or two. The manual mentioned some
accessories that I looked for on e-bay, but the authentic ones are a
little out of my price range (that stock yard sounds so cool though).
Hopefully they have modern substitutes.
Thanks for your time. Again, I'm sorry if this is all answered on a
web page I didn't stumble across.
Reply to
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Ben, the American Flyer trains you have are "S" gauge, and that scale of train is still manufactured. Your best friend right now is running the hobby shop. Ask him about track, accessories, and about books to help you in your new hobby.
Reply to
video guy - www.locoworks.com
"Ben" wrote in news:1168747237.168282.270590 @v45g2000cwv.googlegroups.com: *snip*
Model Railroader magazine (aka MR) might have one. Try looking at
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and see if you can find one.
You're playing with electric trains, btw. To me, model railroading involves attempting to model something, even if it's just a general feel of a location. Nothing wrong with just playing with electric trains, mind you.
Probably S, 1:64. This is a really common toy car scale, so take a look at a toy store for properly scaled vehicles.
You can buy things, and you can also make them yourself. You may be able to find close to scale buildings and such at a toy store for this stuff.
One purchase I'd recommend is a good scale rule. Mine's an essential part of my enjoyment of the hobby.
Ask your LHS. (Local Hobby Shop)
My recommendation is usually just soap and water. Just wash and maybe use your hands to wipe the dirt away. I wouldn't use anything like a brush before I knew what condition the decals and details are in.
There may be a speaker in there that's connected to a sound board. Without hearing it, that's my guess.
Hope this helps, please note I didn't spell out the Usenet-specific acronyms, only the model railroading ones.
Reply to
Other posters have given you some good starter information so I won't repeat that. Here are some links to other information that you may find useful:
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A publisher and manufacturer of S scale magazines and products
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A manufacturer
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Repair parts and documentation
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National Model Railroad Assoc., more for scale trains rather than toy trains
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Toy Train Operating Society, this is really the group for Lionel and American Flyer toy trains
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a bit of history
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another manufacturer of S scale trains
Reply to
Rick Jones
Ben spake thus:
Regardless of what others here and elsewhere may say, you're doing both. Model railroading *is* playing with trains, just with a lot more realism, seriousness of purpose and, more than anything, $$$.
Nothing wrong with playing with trains. It's all good.
Reply to
David Nebenzahl
Best to play before you model, in fact. Playing gives you an idea of what you may want to do in the future.
But of course, even once you have modeled... you play.
Reply to
The American Flyer #282 (a 4-6-2 "pacific" patterned after a Chicago & Northwestern prototype) came with smoke and "choo-choo". AF used a couple different arrangements for these features, all versions of the #282 having a 1" dia. (about) cylinder mounted on the forward part of the loco chassis. AF used a worm on the motor driving a worm gear on the rear driver axle to propel the loco, and piggybacked a second worm gear above the worm to drive the piston in the smoke pump/choo-choo cylinder. It is the action of this piston that makes the choo-choo sound. Geezer
Reply to
Your children are playing with electric trains. You are engaged in the serious grownup hobby of model railroading. :-)
David Starr
Reply to
David Starr
In 1953 a "sound board" would be larger than the locomotive! But the glowing tube filaments could make for a nice glowing - and HOT! - firebox!
Reply to
Steve Caple
Thanks, all of you, for the information and links. I have a LOT of reading to do. And some money to spend from the looks of things. :)
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