Collecting s Scale Model Trains

S-scale model trains may not immediately be the first scale of model trains that is thought of when it comes to potential purchases. Today HO/OO and N-Gauge are far more popular, but at a scale of 1:64, S-scale feels a niche market, and as a result many model train enthusiasts actively seek out S-scale model trains.

There are a number of reasons as to why collecting S-scale model trains should be more popular than it currently is. The scale makes it suitable for most households, and a reasonably detailed model layout will only fill a small proportion of a house. More importantly though many model diecast cars and other accessories are manufactured at the same scale, adding to the overall accuracy of any model layout.

When it comes to collecting S-scale model trains there is a relatively limited marketplace, especially for collectors that reside outside of the United States. Historically speaking even though the first S-scale model trains were built in England prior to 1900 it was in America in the 1930s that manufacturing started to take off.

One name quickly emerged as the market leader in S-scale, and that name was American Flyer Trains. Known for their accuracy and quality these S-scale trains introduced the model train enthusiast to realistic sounds and new features like imitation smoke. American Flyer Trains were helped in this area by the fact that they were also one of the first firms to design trains to run on two rail track rather than three rail. Eventually though competition got the better of American Flyer Trains and they were taken over by the Lionel brand in 1967, and even today the two firms are joined.

When it comes to collecting S-scale model trains, many collectors are on the lookout for the earliest models, those produced in the 1930s and 1940s. These models though are relatively rare, especially those in good or better condition, as such prices are at a premium. Some models may occasionally appear on Internet auction sites, but the bids soon see prices increase. Early American Flyer Train sets can go for several hundred dollars.

There are of course other sources for collecting S-scale model trains, with many stores dedicated to the buying and selling of older model trains. Live auctions and also house clearances can be invaluable as well.

Today there are a number of firms that are manufacturing S-scale model trains, giving the collector a chance to purchase new models in mint condition from a model store. There are other benefits from purchasing new models in addition to their cost, it is easier to buy complete sets of locomotives, rolling stock, carriages and even track. As such a collector can set up a new model railroad in next to no time.

Even a quick search on the Internet will bring up names like American Models and PBT who manufacture new models. Lionel has also continued to with the production of American Flyer trains although recent financial troubles have put some questions on future toolings. Modern S-scale models trains can be purchased direct from many manufacturers websites, although like older versions of the trains, Internet auction sites like eBay are invaluable.

There might not be the abundance of S-scale model trains when compared to HO/OO, made by the likes of Hornby, Bachmann and Lima, but a serious collector should have no difficulty in building up their collection.