Lionel American Flyer Special Issue Commemorative Boxcar

The North Florida Division of the Atlantic Coast S Gaugers is offering for sale a special issue boxcar highlighting Larry Shughart's layout where the club often meets for their monthly meetings.

The boxcar is decorated in Florida's colors representing citrus orange, lush green vegetation, and the white sand beaches. Three of Florida's universities incorporate these colors in their logos: University of Florida, University of Miami, and Florida A&M University. The car number is the charter date of the NF layout.

All proceeds of the sale of this car will support the North Florida ACSG club activities.

Price = $70 per car including shipping or $60 per car when picked up at a train show

Please send a check for the number of cars you want and your shipping address to:

Larry Shughart
5216 Lourcey Road
Jacksonville, FL 32257


The Northern Florida Railway is an imaginary company represented on the toy train display in the second floor of Larry Shughart's barn in Jacksonville, FL. The logo and slogan are adapted from the Northern Pacific Railway "Route of the Vista Dome North Coast Limited". The Chinese Yin and Yang represent the balance in life, particularly between matter and spirit.

A fabled history: In the early 1900's, while fishing with Henry Flagler, James J. Hill (President of the Northern Pacific Railway) was enchanted with the remote beauty of Florida. Hill thoroughly enjoyed his train trip from Minnesota to Jacksonville and decided to make an annual trip to Florida accompanied by his friends and family. They would cross America by train and experience typical American cities, towns, and country side. With Mr. Hill's connections in the railroad industry, it was easy for him to gain permission to operate a special train, the American Flyer First Coast Limited, over any railroad he wanted to and from Jacksonville. Mr. Flagler was quite wary of Mr. Hill's intentions in Florida and would never give him permission to operate on the Florida East Coast Railway, forcing Mr. Hill to charter and construct his own line, the Northern Florida Railway, in order to have a place to yard his train upon arrival in Florida.


Northern Florida Railway - Layout Construction

The room is 67' x 37'. The layout has a three-foot wide maintenance aisle around the four walls. Each wall has a six-inch shelf to display buildings and hold the back drops.

The main tables are assembled from Seivers Benchwork from Wisconsin. Table tops are 1/2" plywood with 1/2" Homasote. Grades and elevations employ the cookie-cutter method. Mountains are Hydrocal on window screen. Collections are displayed on Glenn Snyder Display Shelves.

The layout uses three 1,000-watt buck-and-boost transformers; one each for lights, accessories, and trains. The Lionel Legacy control system has been adapted so each sections of the layout can be operated independently from the remote control. Each section can be set to operate AC, DC, or TMCC locomotives.


The Northern Florida Railway S Gauge Display

The layout is designed to be a whimsical tour of America. No scene is specifically modeled to represent an exact location. Rather, the viewer should recognize and relate to their own life experiences. The journey travels from the plains, across the Midwest, into a busy Eastern city, skirts the Appalachians, and terminates in Florida.

There are over 50 bridges on the layout carrying highways, trains, and pedestrians. Bridge makers include Colber, Lionel, American Flyer, Authenticast, Marx, Junior Bridge, and homemade.

The walls include the American Flyer Train-O-Rama, panels by Skyline, Aeroplane, Walthers, Scenic Express, a hand painted mountain by Clara, and several unknown manufacturers. HO structures and flats by Cat's Meow and Sheila's are intermixed to create interest and depth.


Track Design

The layout consists of four mainline loops and the main freight yard. The four loops can be switched together to form one continuous loop with the trains being separated by an automatic block system. The trolley shuttle, mountain top railroad, the Disney World train, and the Tyco trucking set combine with other accessories to make a visual cacophony of motion.

The track is American S Gauge code 172 with nickel silver rails along with some S helper flex track. The main yard is recycled rail laid on a mixture of wood and plastic ties. There are 16 switches on the upper two loops, 24 switches on the lower two loops, 20 switches in the lower level of Union Station, and 23 switches in the main freight yard.

Freight service track capacity

  • 175 cars on seven tracks in the main freight yard
  • 16 cabooses on two crummy tracks
  • 100 cars on eight hidden storage tracks under the Military Base
  • 100 cars on three hidden storage tracks behind Union Station
  • 4 military and space trains
  • 1 grain train
  • 50 ore cars on the docks
  • 7 locomotives in the engine terminal
  • 20 cars on three tracks in the Port Yard
  • 5 cars on the down town team track
  • 20 cars on three tracks in the Industrial Yard
  • 10 cars on the Yard Spur track
  • 10 cars on the Running Repair / Car Shop track

Union Station track capacity

  • 20 lower tracks each hold ABA + 8 cars
  • 4 upper tracks each hold ABBA + 10 cars


Over 500 Buildings

Many different buildings and structures from a large number of manufactures have always been available for use on toy train layouts. In the real-world buildings are all constructed at different times, are made from different materials, are in various states of paint and repair, and come in all sizes and shapes. The North Florida Railway mixes and matches structures from every decade from the 1920's to the present. The different makers, materials, and scales create a realistic randomness. There are at least 25 churches, 25 train stations, 15 diners and 10 gas stations.


S Gauge Layout Building Inventory

Manufacturer Materials Number
American Flyer Metal, Wood, Plastic 56
AF by Colber Metal 10
AF by Mini-Craft Wood 14
Lionel Plastic, Steel, Litho 33
Marx Litho, Plastic 18
Skyline Litho, Cardboard 27
Tinytown Cardboard 6
Pop-up Houses Cardboard 12
Scratch Built Cardboard 7
Leroy Wood, Cardboard 10
Ertl Plastic 18
Lollipop Houses Litho 5
Department 56 Ceramic 32
Other Ceramic Ceramic 10
Plasticville/Littletown Plastic 66
Dime store Houses Cardboard/Mica 50
Other Kits Plastic 30
Other Various 25


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