Mini Articles - Europe's A.F. Contemporaries

As the NASG's web site has grown over the recent years, various people have contacted the webmaster about European models that were made during the post-WWII era, i.e. contemporaries to the A.C. Gilbert American Flyer product line. Some were asking questions, and some provided information. At first, photos and information was captured in the "A.F. Product Gallery" section of the American Flyer part of this web site (see the button on the right). But since these are relatively static bits of information, and since that would dilute the pure American Flyer listing, we have decided to separate them and make them into this dedicated article. A special thanks to Dutchman Fred van der Lubbe and David Peterson for providing photos and technical details for this article.

The NMRA/NASG hi-rail standard for rail spacing of track is set at between 22.43mm and 22.99mm (see the NASG "S" Standard menu option of the NASG button on the left). So, nominally, S-scale hi-rail track spacing in Europe is identified as 22.5mm.

Bub

Bub was a West German company started by Karl Bub. They produced model railroading products for various scales, including S. A bit more company history is available on this web site (which also shows a few S-scale product photos). Apparently when Bub examined American Flyer track, they made a calculation error converting the track spacing from inches to millimeters, and so their wheels are gauged to 24mm. So, the equipment won't run directly on A.F. track, unless the modeler adjusts the gauge. In the second photo, taken at a German train show in 2016, the outer loop shows a Bub passenger train running on S-scale track. It is a German-prototype 4-6-4 with passenger coach cars.


copyright © Fred van der Lubbe

copyright © Fred van der Lubbe

the locomotive sitting on GarGraves track; copyright © David Peterson

JEP

JEP, short for Jouets de Paris, which translates to "Toys from Paris", was a French toy-train company that produced primarily HO- and O-scale products. During the 1950s they produced some S-scale products. They ran on S-scale track of the time. A bit more company history is available on this web site. They produced mechanical clockwork locomotives and electric ones. A video of one of their clockwork train set is available on YouTube (also see photo below).


clockwork train set; copyright © Fred van der Lubbe

Fred van der Lubbe's outdoor layout is dual-gauged for G-gauge and S-scale. It is a unique solution to wanting to run trains of different gauges in a part of the world where indoor space is very limited. He also has a video showing an electric JEP train set on this layout on YouTube. He shared a few still-shots of the train.


copyright © Fred van der Lubbe

copyright © Fred van der Lubbe

copyright © Fred van der Lubbe

JEP produced small, mid, and large passenger car models; copyright © Fred van der Lubbe

Palitoy

This British company produced plastic train sets in S-scale from 1950 through 1960. These sets have plastic locomotives and cars, and came with S-scale track. The brass rails of the track were fed via a controller that provided battery power to the rail. The electrical pick-up of the locomotive can be seen between the second and third driving wheels in the photos below. The wheels were all part of the body, and the locomotive and tender had four hidden wheels used for running. In the set shown below, the locomotive measures 30cm (~11-3/4"). The designer made a very special interpretation of the valve gear of a Flying Scotsman.


copyright © Fred van der Lubbe

copyright © Fred van der Lubbe

copyright © Fred van der Lubbe

copyright © Fred van der Lubbe

VEB Mechanischne Speilwarenthe

The East German company produced electric trains in 22.5mm scale. It runs on A.F. track just fine, although just barely. Below is a photo of a train set they produced.


copyright © Fred van der Lubbe

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