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American Flyer Layout

For the initial opening, I will be moving my layouts and trains to the shop as well as some inventory of classic toy train equipment. I had no idea how much I really had until I started packing. My main layout is a 9' by 9' "L" shaped arrangement with two loops of track. The layout was originally set up to be run by dual AC transformers, but I have subsequently setup the outer loop to operate Digital Command and Control (DCC). The outer loop services the main yard and industrial area; while the inner loop services two industrial spurs. A reversing loop is included to connect the two loops. There is also a double crossover to enable two-way operation of trains between the two loops. Both loops are at the same level at the crossover; the inner loop rises and the outer loop descends to enable vertical separation of the tracks so the outer track can access the interior of the layout.


The layout uses entirely AC Gilbert American Flyer S-gage tinplate track and automatic switches and uncouplers. Several operating accessories including a water tank, coaling tower, and electro-magnetic crane are incorporated, as is a third rail for activating automatic dump cars.


I created the scenery entirely from styrene foam, mostly scavenged from packing materials. The foam was carved using a hot knife and painted with acrylic paints to create rock outcrops and forested areas.


Overview of the Layout


Initial grade separation. Outer loop to left, then inner loop, industrial spur, and transfer reversing loop track in order going right, The track with the train on it is the elevated portion of the inner loop.


Automotive facility - Miles Motors accessed off the transfer track.


Contractor's shop


Double crossover with industrial area with operating coaling tower and electromagnetic crane for scrap yard.


Control Panel and Transformer. This shows a Lionel ZW transformer that I later replaced with an AF No. 18B and ESU Cab Control for DCC.

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