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Badgerland S Gaugers High Rail Layouts


Most of our membership have home layouts and most of those layouts are Hirail or classic American Flyer using Plasticville buildings just like many hobbyists did 50 years ago. The nostalgia that clings to the basement walls reminds us of the familiar scent of smoke oil in the air, chugging of steam units and the rolling stock as the hard wheels find the breaks in the track. Memories! Maybe that is why we do it. Just to feel like a kid again. Remember when your head laid on the floor as the locomotive came around the corner and you could see the headlight as the imaginary mass of iron came rolling toward your face just to veer off at the last second. The feeling was exhilarating.

Hirail is defined by rail height due to flange clearance requirements of the wheels. American flyer wheel flange is typically around .095-.100". Tin plate track originally supplied by A. C. Gilbert that some modelers still use has a height of .215" which would equate to a real rail height of 13-3/4". Due to this fact some modelers use rail from suppliers like American Models who sells an S gauge rail that is .148" high which resembles 9-1/2". Even though the American Models rail is a couple scale inches higher than real, it looks more prototypical and closer to scale. Scale trucks with an .080" flange height typically can not run reliably on either due to crossings and turnouts, although there are those who scratch-build hardware to allow running both types of wheel-sets. S-Helper Service now distributes a rail sold in rigid with ballast built in or flex that represents a 155# system that measures .131". This rail can also handle either type of flange as well as their switches due to unique designed switching frog as well as the points on the rail. 

Below we have began to photograph members layouts that share this experience of high flanges. Some layouts are under construction while others are near completion while their creators simply plays with the "situation" or era he or she is trying to recreate or represent.


Milwaukee Road

Flyer Layout

An American Flyer layout well done will over 3000 little people all with a purpose

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Milw Rd & Soo



I've Been Working On The Flyer Railroad... 
S Gauge Layouts Under Construction

The layouts shown below are a work in progress. Some are in a planning stage, some
are completed enough to run the owner's collections. Intent is to show some of the
construction and thought that goes into creating our dream layouts.  


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