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Any S Gauge Folks Out There?

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  • Member since
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  • From: Henrico, VA
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Any S Gauge Folks Out There?
Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, June 17, 2022 5:01 PM

I'm sure there is!

Here's last night's program from our Virginia Trail Collector's June meeting.  The feature was American Flyers produced under Lionel auspices.  It runs a little over an hour and you may find it interesting.  So enjoy!

https://www.facebook.com/VirginiaTrainCollectors/videos/547385773531352

We have a show coming up in Charlottesville in August, but more on that later.

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Posted by pennytrains on Friday, June 17, 2022 5:35 PM

Very informative!  They did a great job!  I watched it live last night.

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, June 17, 2022 6:56 PM

Thanks Becky!  Glad you liked it!

Since we've got no club meetings in July or August the next live-stream will be September 15th.  Local author and rail historian Jeff Hawkins will be doing a "Then and Now" presentation, all about Richmond railroad locations "way back when" and what they look like today.  Kind of like the "Difference of Decades" Trains magazine used to do.

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Posted by pennytrains on Sunday, June 19, 2022 7:38 PM

You know, I was thinking.  S Gauge has been around since 1945.  Yet, I've never seen a mass produced S Gauge trolley.  Streetcars, PCC's, interurbans, RDC's, open, closed, semi-convertables, doodlebugs, not a one.  No subway or rapid transit commuter cars either.

Do S Gaugers use the O or On30 Gauge cars or do they use something else like HO?

Just curious.  It seems like a segment of the S Gauge market that's never been utilized.

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, June 20, 2022 10:40 AM

Not being an S Gauge fan by any means (Nothing personal folks!) I don't have an answer to the above.  

I know it did requie a "leap of faith" for MTH to come out with it's subway and transit trains, a previously untapped market.  As it turns out it paid off for MTH.

So yes, it's a bit of a mystery as to why that untapped market was never approached by any S Gauge manufacturers, especially after MTH's success.

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Posted by pennytrains on Monday, June 20, 2022 5:54 PM

The only thing I can guess, is that since the car lines were being retired or abandoned in droves in the 50's in favor of busses, Gilbert just didn't want to risk funds on a vanishing mode of transportation.  Prewar, Flyer had electric locos in both O and Wide Gauges, but no trolleys.   It's weird.

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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  • From: Henrico, VA
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 7:25 PM

Yes, and even Lionel/American Flyer and S-Helper Service didn't try any trolleys or subways.  MTH pointed the way but nobody cared to follow.  

Oh, if anyone's interested in Virginia Train Collectors past programs here's a link:

https://www.vatraincollectors.com/?page_id=953

It's a little slow loading so give it a minute or two.  Some good stuff there!  

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Posted by Laurastom on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 11:58 AM

I have an S gauge layout set in the Pittsburgh/ southwestern Pa. area. I have some Corgi PCC streetcars I purchased several decades ago from a company called Pa. Heritage Models. This company installed custom made S gauge power trucks in the floor of the Corgi trolleys to run on S gauge track. These are 1/50th scale models so they are a little large for S but they look surprisingly good running on the layout. Visitors (unless they also have Corgi vehicles) do not realize the street cars are oversize. There is also plenty of room to add TMCC/Railsounds boards, or DCC.

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Posted by Leverettrailfan on Saturday, June 25, 2022 9:00 PM

A company that went by Putt Trains made an S gauge Birney car in the past, I've run into references of it while surfing the web. There's a picture of one up on the 'Gilbert Gallery' website:

I don't think it's the only S gauge traction in existence, but you'd struggle to find much else, and I imagine even these Birneys are hard to get ahold of (haven't tried). Historically I think traction modeling in the US has been primarily O scale (both as 1/4" scale and as 17/64" scale) and HO scale, both scales being established for a long time, and popular with scale modelers, as well as being made by a variety of different manufacturers. S scale was almost exclusive to AC Gilbert until more 'modern' times, and with traction modeling being a niche within model railroading, it makes some sense that S gauge traction modeling never really became a thing. I like Becky's theory as to why Gilbert never did a trolley, most cities gave up trolleys by the late '30s or mid '40s, and the few that carried on dwindled in numbers greatly by the end of the '50s. I think just about the only traction lines that didn't shut down the steel rails and overhead wire were major city systems, and perhaps a couple interurbans. I know that technically the remains of the Chigaco, South Shore & South Bend's passenger operations carry on in the present day, now operated by another entity, the Northern Indianna Commuter Transportation District, and using EMU cars instead of the old interurban cars.

Would be neat if somebody brought traction back to S gauge, but it may be up to scratch builders and kitbashers to right the injustice for now. I feel like an AF handcar chassis would be a great starting point for a single truck car. I think most city cars rode on smaller wheels so they were lower to the ground, and easier to board, so the small wheels of the handcar would add some element of realism.

-Ellie

"Unless bought from a known and trusted dealer who can vouch otherwise, assume every train for sale requires servicing before use"

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