Wayne’s been in touch with his American Flyer model railroad:
“Al, I am a regular reader of your layout plans and gained a number of ideas which I incorporated into my project.
I began in my extra garage in January with two four by eight foot platforms plus a two foot extension between them front and back.
That enabled an open center section for me to be able to access the rear corners of the layout.
Subsequently I covered the access section with a cardboard based painted lake which then waterfalls into the front of the layout where three trains bridge over the river valley.
The trains are from my childhood when my father began collecting the Christmas layout we set up each year starting in 1955.
I saved the trains, Plasticville buildings, and lights so the layout provides a lot of special memories.
I am now retired in Florida and have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and fun of recreating so many memories. All of the trains are operating despite their almost 70 years age.
American Flyer S gauge trains are less popular now, but were a significant contributor toward model railroading in the 1950’s.
They now provide me hours of fun as I add 1950’s era vehicles and operate my trains.
It has become a project that will go on forever😊.
A big thanks to Wayne for sharing his American Flyer model railroad.
There’s quite a few on the blog now. Here’s a few more:
Cecil’s American flyer layout.
Cecil’s layout is pretty big – 13×27 feet!
That’s all for today folks.
Please don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to get going on your own model railroad adventure.
PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.
I was recently watching a YouTube episode of The Toy Man Television where they went to look at a few “Toy Train” layouts in the Salt Lake City area (posted last Sunday I think). They focus on mostly model railroads as well as operating narrow gauge railroads in the Utah-Colorado area. You should check it out!
One of the vintage model railroads, I think Lionel had many Plasticville buildings, cars and people, all in original condition like yours. He mentioned how you should never paint them to look more “realistic” or weathered – The charm is their simplicity and that they were meant to be more toys than serious models. I guess now this whole Lionel / American Flyer toy train collecting and reliving one’s childhood is huge and the prices have soared. So you after so lucky to have had the foresight to keep these. I wish I had my Lionel trains from the early 1960’s, but I still have all of my HO trains from the late 60’s to mid-70’s!
That’s definitely one of the more nicely scenic’d American flyer layouts. Great job.
My story is similar to Wayne’s but with Lionel instead of “Flyer”. Still working
(since 2008) to “complete” my own layout. BRAVO Wayne !!!!
Shlack in NC
Where’s the ‘moving cows’ cattle yard, and the ‘moving people’ passenger station?!
When I was 7 or 8 years old (back in ‘63 or ‘64), I somehow became the recipient of my teenaged cousin’s fairly extensive, and essentially never used, American Flyer train set. It had the above-mentioned animated features, as well as an operating mail bag car. Although it never ended up in a formal layout, it endured many years of repeated set-ups & tear-downs on the rec room floor and provided hundreds of hours of fun for my younger brother and I.
Some 55 years later, I sorted through the big old cardboard box holding the not so pristine array of remnants, and ended up giving it all to an AF vendor at a local train show, in exchange for a few N scale pieces. The old train had more than served its purpose in my custody … it was time for someone else to make use of it.
As a railroader for 35 years and as a past modeler , I want to say Wayne’s layout was very nice , my problem with Lionel and American flyer guys and some HO guys ,they run their trains do unrealisticly so fast , wish they would just chill out and let them look real even though they are toys .
quite a handsome, idyllic layout especially with the surrounding mountain/sky background. wish for more close in photos as there is so much to view on this layout. Yes, American Flyer along with Lionel from the fifties bring us back to a simpler time and era. again, Wayne, thanx for sharing this beautiful time capsule.
Wayne! Thank You for the “Trip Down Memory Lane”. My first train set was an American Flyer. I’m thinking that they were associated with a company that also produced Chemistry sets for kids. Gilbert?? But anyway, I liked them better than Lionel because of the double rail versus the triple rail scenario. Have fun playing with a good piece of Americana!!!
Great planning a layout look good. So many fkyer layouts are so busy with plastic it doesn’t look organized. I too have flyer I have changed track to American Models code .148 and running legacy most of the time. I can and do run conventional also. I’m sure you enjoy running your layout.
My grandfather bought me an American Flyer train set for my first birthday.
Dad mounted the oval track on a board. Yrs of fun.
Family house was sold and we all moved to different states.
I left the board but dragged the engine and cars with me.
Eventually found a hobby shop that had others on display.
I did sell them. I wanted them to actually be used.
Wow! Love the narrative and layout. I stumbled unto S scale late in life and I think it is the BEST scale hands down. The visual detail is easier to see and build and the American Flyer sets running, smoking, and chooing ( in their old way ) is a testament to their ruggedness. The history of AF is amazing.
S scale is hanging on by threads, becoming too expensive to model and there is no marketing from the retailers. As a result if you want updated stuff, various themes and selections of buildings and scenery you have to go HO. So sad for me because I love the Shay, Climax and Heisler logging themes and there are none in S scale.
However the S scale Polar Express roars around the Christmas tree every year. I still cant part with my S scale and AF, wonderful, awesome sets in boxes and hope to make a layout somewhere.
I am trying to create an N scale layout for my Grandkids-long story- and it is tormenting me to bits.
Big AL thanks for this great sight.
To all- Merry Christmas, Happy Hanakah, Ramadan, and whoever I missed!!
George from LI, NY
I am wondering what it is that looks like three passenger cars zipping around without a locomotive?
I have the American Flyer “Royal Blue!” So exciting to see it in a well-designed and constructed layout!
Wayne, one of the nicest AF layouts I have seen. Many memories of our AF and Lionel sets. My PA was the blue comet as well as a Silver Bullet loco. We had many of the same buildings. Our airport used the old bubblers as runway markers. I still have a couple of the vibrating people.
Enjoy your time and thank you for sharing.
Mn Dan. With a fresh coating of 7″ of ❄.
That 3 car red demon running w/o a loco was a urban RR or commuter train.
At least I think it was — got whiplash watching everything dashing by at warp speed!!
Very Nice s scale layout very nice video, Way to go enjoy!
A response on two comments.
My biggest problem with the original engines is inability to control their low speed. I assume a talented electrical expert could modify them. Clearly huge progress with Legacy power controls in subsequent years have resolved this problem on newer engines.
The three red cars are original New Haven which I modified the front trucks from normal to a modular DC motor chassis. Therefore, they are not original from AC Gilbert.
Thanks for your support and encouragement. Wayne
I remember the S gauge. I had a 4X4 Lionel 027 but friend had the American Flyer. What I always loved about his layout was the fact there was no 3rd rail. Glad to see they are still relevant in the train world.
It was really nice to step back into a time machine and see the past again. We all set up such simplistic layouts then. Thank you for the memories! Keep steaming away!
So cool. My dad and I ran Flyer for many years. We had a 10 X 10.
You can fits lots of action on that size with Flyer. I was a Gilbert kid. Erector, Flyer and science sets. During Christmas season the Erie Lackawanna guys would put on a huge layout in Edgewater, New Jersey that ran through walls, mountains, etc..
All I had to do was walk with dad down the hill from our house to see it. I was there almost everyday because dad had worked for the Erie for years.
Brutal job on the Hudson River front in nasty weather back in the 40’s, 1940’s that is. Thanks for letting us in on your great layout.
I have Flyer also, it’s always great to see others running AF trains. My parents and relatives gave me my first trains when I was only 3 years old. i still have some of the early trains from my childhood, and I’ve added a lot over the years. My newest is a Flyer Polar Express for around the Christmas tree…
Look good, Keep up the good Work.
Nice setup. Living in England as a kid in the fifties, I had a Hornby tin plate 0 gauge clockwork set in its original box. Four wheel Loco and tender in BR lined green, three four wheeled tinplate coaches in blood and custard livery and a large oval track that filled the front room. It was in perfect original condition in its original box. I never knew what happened to it. Now it’s 00 gauge that has been 40 years in the making, but nothing like what I have seen here. Please keep up the good work Al.
Philip, East Liverpool, Ohio.
HO. Wayne . . . your dad’s memories are alive with this American Flyer setting. YOU KEPT the trains and buildings fir 1955 . . . they don’t make ’em like that . . . I appreciate your layout and how you explained the design ideas within it. Thank you. Con una sonrisa. Tony
Congratulations on a very nice job. Your background scenery fits in beautifully I still have my American Flyer from the ’50s (Super Chief and New Haven engines). I always wanted to do a layout with it for the grandkids but didn’t have the space I really needed. Decided to do HO instead. Probably need to sell it to finance the HO!!!
Slow the trains down and I might watch. Unrealistic!
It’s too bad AF didn’t get the attention that Lionel got. AF is an ideal size, not too small and not too large. Detailing is easier at 3/16″ to the foot. It doesn’t take up as much room as Lionel. AF started an HO line and I remember seeing them at the AF display in NYC at their 47th street location (I believe) before they moved further downtown. Their HO trains were all metal and heavy for their size. They never really took off as more companies were coming up with new HO products.
Wayne: the third photo down shows the “Royal Blue,” which was under the Christmas tree when I was eight! It still runs quite well; although, it has a few chips in the paint. Great memories. I also had a depot with some of the figures and carts, etc. Thanks for the memories.
All your comments bring out one thing. The statement “New and improved” means it’s downgraded and the price is raised. They still don’t make them as good as they used to. How many of the new ones will still be around fifty or more years from now?