S Scale Model Trains

Do you feel that your lack of information about model trains is preventing you from making a key decision? So many people run into this: you have a key decision to make but don’t have enough information to make it. I recently came across the article below and it discusses model trains in more detail than I have read before.

The key issues are discussed in detail and, there is even a list of important things to watch out for. Trying to make decision with only half the information can end up being quite costly. I hope you will find this article as helpful to you as it was for me.

S Scale Model Trains

By John Vanse

The S-scale, known also as the S-gauge, for model trains is designed on the ratio of 1:64 [that is, 3/16 inches = 1 foot] and fits between the popular HO and O model train scales. It met the demands for a scale which was larger than HO [which was considered too small by many model railroaders] but smaller than the popular O scale thus allowing track layouts to be constructed in smaller spaces.

Although S-gauge model trains had been around since the early part of the century, it began to boom with the advent of the re-designed American Flyer model trains first produced by The A.C.Gilbert Company in Connecticut, USA, during the late 1930s. The famous American Flyer model trains, which had been produced since the early part of the century initially as clockwork model trains, then later, as electric trains, were radically re-designed by Gilbert when he bought the original company. These trains were built to S-scale but ran on standard O-gauge tracks.

Some years later Gilbert introduced another of his radical modifications – he re-designed the tracks for the S-scale trains, moving away from the traditional three track rail used in model electric trains to that date.

The three track rail then in general use had the two outer tracks for the wheels to run on with the third, centre track, carrying the electric current to drive the model train motor. The new two track rails made the layouts seem more realistic as they now looked like ‘real train tracks’. The development of these tracks to suit the smaller S-scale model trains also allowed track layouts to have curves of a different radius, more appropriate to the re-designed American Flyer locomotives and rolling stock.

Many, if not most, of today’s S-scale enthusiasts had their first introduction to that scale with the American Flyer when, as a youngster in the 1950s, they received a set as a Christmas present. During that period, the Flyer competed directly with the Lionel model trains of that time and these two companies were the market leaders.

Today the S-scale model trains, including the long-lived American Flyer are rising rapidly in popularity again.

This is the result of the Lionel Corporation, the predecessor of the present manufacturer of Lionel trains, Lionel LLC, having purchased the rights to the American Flyer from the company which had bought the rights from A C Gilbert when his company became bankrupt in 1967.

Lionel Corporation was itself in financial difficulties at that time, and went through the hands of several owners before reaching its present incarnation as Lionel LLC in 1996. But for some time that new company initially concentrated on producing and marketing its own HO and HO27 models and did little to inspire the devotees of S-scale. Since 2002 however, Lionel LLC has been introducing new models of S-scale model trains – and heartening those enthusiasts.

There is a range of organizations and associations to cater for the interests of S-scale model railroaders. A peak body, the National Association of S-Gaugers, which is also associated with the National Model Railroad Association, has a very active membership. Their website which provides information on activities, events, suppliers, and archived reference material, also has links to S-Gauge clubs in 29 US states as well as Canada and the UK. There are even two Yahoo Groups – S-Trains and S-Scale.

S-Scale model trains, and all the appropriately scaled accessories, are now produced by a number of manufacturers and cater for several different segments within that scale – mainly the American Flyer, the standard S-gauge and Proto:64 being the major ones.

After a long and checkered history S-scale model trains are certainly back in vogue again.

To quote Craig O’Connell from his “S” Scale Model Railroading Homepage website:

“S scale is one of the fastest growing scales within model railroading today and is growing in leaps and bounds. Why? Because you need only 10% more space than HO to operate, our products are proliferating in the market place and S scale products run reliably, track better and are easily modeled to prototypical accuracy.”

About the Author: John Vanse, a model train enthusiast, has a number of websites concerned with model trains. These sites can be accessed through the hub site: The Model Train Guide

Source: www.isnare.com

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N for apartment space

Do you live in an apartment? The N scale is 1:160 model trains and their layouts can be built or assembled on a small display stand. It can be easily broken down when you need to relocate and the N scale is considered trouble-free and will store easily.

Model layout and workbench

The ideal situation is to build your model trains and their layouts where it will remain undisturbed. Place the layout for easy access to electrical outlets and correction for derailed trains, line faults, etc. Prepare a portable and temporary working table for any miscellaneous building or repair work during the early construction phases.

Suggested layout measurements

The layout may be designed against a wall. It needs to be 3 feet wide. If designing for a loop railroad in HO scale (1/87th of the actual size).The layout size should be at least 3? 6? x 4?. A 6? x 4? would allow more space for an interesting model railroad.

The HO scale appears to be the most popular size for hobbyists and also has a large selection of available accessories.

Are you trying for a larger layout?

Estimate the total size you would like to create and take a lesson from stage building. Divide the overall space into equal workable squares or rectangles which can be worked as units which will be assembled as the work progresses. You will definitely need to make a grid drawing. This is a huge project for the experienced. Start small first.

Which scale you are planning to use?

The train scale which you will be using is largely determined by the amount of space available. Details are much easier to see on a larger model and the other items to be used are easier to reproduce. Larger models require much space. Fortunately, manufacturers provide a selection of other sizes.

First layout

I believe it is safe to say that most people will just have fun on their first layout project. With the passage of time and experience people want more and will have a tendency to create or bring realism to their display layout. Consider the first project as an adventure and learning experience.

Calculations for realism

Calculations become very important for realism. Have no fear. There are many free programs on the Internet which allow you to calculate. If space is at a premium then the N scale layout can be built with about 30% less space.

After the initial adventure many people enjoy setting realism in their layouts. Ideas of layouts may come from your own community. There are many still shots and videos of nature which are available as freebies or are available for purchase. Satellite pictures found on the Internet are very helpful.

Your layout platform may be a train running through the city, the country, and suburban areas, mountains with its rivers and forests, and much more. Let your imagination touched with realistic artistic details define the landscape.


Many accessories are available in hobby shops, toy specialty stores, and department stores. If creative and skilled; design and construct the necessary accessories. This wonderful indoor or outdoor hobby can keep you excited and busy for many enjoyable hours. Miniature craft abilities are an added benefit for layout designs.

Obviously, there is a lot more to know about model trains. This brief article is just a start, and the next step is to do some more research. In any case, the tips in the article set the stage for a more detailed treatment of the subject.

The History Of Model Railroading

Are you looking for information about model railroading? Here in this blog, we will tackle the different aspects, fundamentals and other points of interest about model railroading. Many readers and enthusiasts find that this blog is a great place to start if you are new to the subject.

We provide detailed resources like photos, articles, videos and links that may be of good use for those who want to make a more detailed study about it.

The History Of Model Railroading

By Alex Daniels

Over a century ago, the first train was assembled. Model railroading has become much more then child’s play. Collectors are serious about this hobby so much so that the art of collecting has been passed on from generation to generation. It is not uncommon for someone today to have in their possession a model railroading train set older then them.

The first wooden and metal floor toy train was made in the 1860s. By the 1890s, a series of wind-up and electronic-powered train sets were designed. In 1901, Lionel built an electronic train set for their store display that had the “WOW-factor” and amazed even the heart of an adult. It was on every young boys Christmas list that year. Lionel is today still one of the number one model railroad developers.

From the early 1900s to the 1970s, the popularity of electronic train sets grew. Lionel’s Standard Gauge Tinplate Commodore Vanderbilt was the first streamlined locomotive released 1934 in America and became the prototype for the first toy train. The design included a true-life sound system that imitated the big rigs and increased the level of excitement in owning such a grand train set. Lionel’s Union Pacific Veranda Turbine diesel-turbine power train set was different than most train sets. It was one of the first that could be disassembled and reassembled.

Model railroading is a hobby that evolved from wood to electric; from scale model railroading to toy trains; from HO trains to N scale trains and then Z scale which is even smaller in size. By the 1980s, the digital control systems were developed and were popular among Baby Boomers.

Some toy train sets are worth thousands, while others carry no significant value other then sentiment. This is a hobby for the “little boy” in every man. It isn’t so much the value of the item that draws collectors as it is the ownership.

Now in 2006, the model railroading hobby has grown beyond all expectations of our ancestors. There are well over 500,000 participants in model railroading hobby clubs across the nation: United States, Canada, Australia, England, Japan, and Germany. From those who craft to those who collect, the model railroading hobby keeps on growing.

About the Author: Alex consults for a hobby shop which offers model trains, wooden kits to build model ships, diecast cars, trucks and more.

Source: www.isnare.com

Permanent Link: http://www.isnare.com/?aid=115744&ca=Arts+and+CraftsDid you find the article useful? Model railroading is not as straightforward as some people think, so you might want to do some reading on the subject. As you learn more about model railroading, your understanding of the subject will increase, and so will your confidence.

Thanks for reading the article. And please, do come back again.

How Model Railroading Clubs Can Help With Your New Hobby

If you would like to know more about model railroading – then you will want to read this article. It includes plenty of information about this subject that is sure to help you better understand the ins and outs that seem to confuse most people. It really does not have to be difficult to understand.

The model railroading information that follows is one way to look at this information, and after reading the article you are free to form your own opinion. Whether or not you agree with the subject matter is up to you, and you are certainly free to make up your own mind about the material presented here.

How Model Railroading Clubs Can Help With Your New Hobby

By Bill Murphy

Most hobbies have associated clubs where you can meet other people interested in the same things, and learn more about the hobby. Model railroading is no different. There are hundreds of clubs around the world where model train enthusiasts meet to discuss the hobby and learn from one another.

Many of the clubs specialize in various things, as well. Some focus on certain scales while others focus on prototyping real life railroads with their layouts. Regardless of their focus, however, they all have one thing in common – their love for the hobby, and the desire to share it and improve it.

Whether you’re just starting out with model railroading or you’ve been around the hobby for many years, you’ll learn a lot by joining a club. And if you’ve got some experience under your belt, they would likely learn a lot from you as well.

There are a number of websites that list many of the most popular model railroading clubs, including the following:




Whether you’re interested in protoyping real-world railway lines, collecting antique or hard-to-find equipment, or just setting up a simple layout to enjoy with your kids, you’ll find a club that will suit your needs.

Many clubs offer different things on different meeting nights as well, so it may be helpful to see if they have a calendar of upcoming meetings or a website where you can see what they are planning.

Many clubs set up displays at county fairs and other exhibitions, so if you’re interested in learning more, check with your local club to see if they’re going to be doing a demonstration soon. You’ll be able to talk to some of the members in person, and you’ll most likely be hooked by the quality of their demonstration layout!

About the Author: Bill Murphy writes about model railroading for The Model Railroader website. For more helpful information and to sign up for our free Model Railroad Design Secrets report, visit http://www.themodelrailroader.com

Source: www.isnare.com

Permanent Link: http://www.isnare.com/?aid=113006&ca=RecreationNow, wasn’t that an easy read? We hope that you found the article as useful as we did. It’s hard to understand why some information is written in a way that just makes it impossible to decipher. Model railroading is so important to so many people that getting the right information, the first time, makes all the difference in making a timely decision. And who has time to wait these days?

Discover Model Trains

Have you ever wondered how model trains works? Doesn’t it baffle your mind a bit? Doesn’t it spark your curious mind, and make you think incessantly about it? Are you interested in learning facts, trivia and other interesting information about it? You have come to the right place because every so often we update this site with various information about model trains. Click on the links and start reading!

Discover Model Trains

By Gray Rollins

Model train manufacturers have done a great job of recreating life size trains as realistic models. And they?ve been doing it since the late 19th century when electric model trains first appeared. Take a moment to discover the magic of model trains.

Germany is where it all began when Marklin introduced their full line of model trains back in 1891. Their first trains were based on earlier toy models and were available in three scales. They were made from tin and were very crude, but they were a great success.

Then, in 1901, Joshua Cowen entered the market with Lionel trains. Lionel would soon come to dominate the model train market in America.

Of course there were other companies that came on board with their own lines of model trains. Ives, American Flyer, and Marx all introduced model trains.

Because model trains are so interactive they are a great choice for children and adults. Even the youngest children can enjoy them. It?s not uncommon for adults to recall their first train when talking about their fondest childhood memories.

Lionel was quick to recognize the importance of starting train collectors at a young age and that?s why they?ve got wooden train sets for ages 4 to 6. By the age of 8, kids are ready to be introduced to S scale, G scale, and the ever popular HO scale electric trains. And the hobby continues into adult life. Of course expanding on your model trains is just a matter of time, money, creativity, and space.

There are several different scales of model trains to choose from to fit your space, budget, and personal preferences. For example, if you are limited by space you can choose one of the smaller scales. Here are some of the most popular scale choices you have.

1. Z Scale is a 1:220 ratio. It is tiny and highly detailed, and is an excellent choice if you have limited space.

2. N Scale is a 1:160 ratio. It is the second smallest scale available and it?s a great choice for the hobbyist that want to be able to incorporate scenery and longer trains.

3. HO Scale is a 1:87 ratio. It is probably the most popular scale of model train. There is an endless supply of trains, cars, tracks, buildings, and scenery. The detail on HO is good and a fabulous setup can be put together in a reasonable amount of space.

4. S Scale is a 1:64 ratio. It is larger than the HO and is popular among those with plenty of room. It is the scale of American Flyer products.

5. O Scale is a 1:48 ratio. It is a popular choice for young children because they are able to easily handle them. Lionel carries a full line of O scale for the young ones.

6. G Scale is a 1:22.5 ratio. It is the perfect choice for the garden set up. Bachmann, L.G.B, and Aristo-Craft all make G scale trains.

To put together your model train you will need at least one engine along with some train cars. You can decide whether you want passenger cars or freight cars. And of course you will need train track. The type of track and how much track you?ll need is a personal choice.

You?ll also need a transformer to provide the electricity to your train. Then all that?s left is the scenery you want. Choose trees, tunnels, people, signals, or a host of other items.

If you are looking for a fun and rewarding hobby, why not discover the magic of model trains?

About the Author: Gray Rollins is a featured writer for GetModelTrains.com. To learn more about model train kits, and model train sets, visit us.

Source: www.isnare.com

Permanent Link: http://www.isnare.com/?aid=40307&ca=RecreationYou can never have too much information about such an important issue. Do you agree? Are you feeling better informed about the options you have? When all around you are scratching their heads, it’s a great feeling to have clear vision and know which direction you are heading.

If the above article helped your understanding of model trains please pass on the word about our site. We would like to help everyone gain a better understanding of the options they have available.