I started out in trains when I got my first American Flyer train set in 1956. It was the Crusader set with a Reading Atlantic, a Seaboard boxcar, a Penssy gondola, a B&O hopper and a caboose. The loco smoked made choo-choo sounds and was S gauge. Beauty, eh?
The problem was that not one of the real steamers that I saw had American Flyer on their tenders so I was a little dismayed. They all had funny little wafers that read Canadian National.In the mid 1960’s I became enamoured with CNR wood sheathed cabooses and wanted to build one for my Flyer. When I asked around the hobby shops about this, they told me that S Gauge was dead and that you could not get anything in it. At the time this, was not true but I didn’t know it. Instead, I bought a George Taylor HO CNR caboose kit and went into HO for the next 35 years.
In 2000, I had the chance to move back into S but from a scale perspective. My daughter was interested in the Flyer every Christmas so after doing some research to buy her a cheap Flyer car, I discovered a viable S scale marketplace where I could even get a Simon Parent designed CNR Mogul kit. That and 8 rung ladders on ARR boxcars made my mind up to switch back to my favourite size. And now I have all the equipment that I need to run a CNR branchline operation in S. I even have a CNR wood sheathed caboose from Ridgehill models that I built up as CNR 77365 which was the prototype the George Taylor HO caboose kit was designed from. (Yes, Luke the cycle is complete.)
I sold all my Flyer and now I use P64 wheelsets and Sergent couplers on my scale equipment whenever possible.
When I’m not working on trains or being the gofer of M.L.W. Services, I write music and perform.