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Club History and Other Information


About the Golden Spike "S" Gaugers


The Golden Spike American Flyer Train Club was formed in the late spring of 1993 here in Utah.  There were 13 original members that met during that eventful evening at a member’s home to start the beginnings of a wonderful train club and hobby experience.  We have just celebrated the club’s 20th anniversary in 2013 and have celebrated by creating an anniversary box car.  Currently, all of our members live along the Wasatch Front from Orem to Ogden.


       We are an S-gauge, tin-plate, modular train club running mostly A.C. Gilbert and Lionel American Flyer trains that are 3/16” scale (3/16 inch per actual foot) or a scale of 1/64.  These trains run on two rail, realistic looking track.   The 3/16 scale was conceived by A.C. Gilbert, a self-made entrepreneur that put himself through medical school by creating and selling magic kits and the infamous Erector Sets.   A.C. purchased the Chicago American Flyer Train Company in 1938, which at the time was an O-gauge train running on a 3 rail track and in direct competition to Lionel and other train manufactures at the time.  During the war years of 1942 – 1945 the A.C. Gilbert toy factory was converted into an electric motor production facility producing parts for the production of fighter aircraft.  A.C. wanted a more realistic looking and acting toy train that would inspire young minds and hands to create and grow.  Therefore, following World War II he started producing and selling the 3/16”  scale trains,  two rail track, and action accessories for trains which were sized approximately half way between the O-gauge and the HO-gauge trains that were popular at the time.  His goal was to make them look, feel, and work like a true railroad empire instead of just a toy, but something that would instill in the hearts and minds of youth the action of a real railroad at their fingertips.  Real smoke, choo-choo engine sounds, action accessories, and a fantastic array of different and impressive engines and cars were developed.  The glory years of the A.C. Gilbert toy company ran from 1946 through 1960, in which the benchmark for toy trains were created and enjoyed by youth of the world.  With the decline of the toy train markets in the mid 60’s, the A.C. Gilbert Company was a victim of the times.  Their last production run was in 1966 and then the company closed its doors.  A strong competitor, the Lionel Corporation purchased the remains of the A.C. Gilbert toy company several years later and began to produce a limited number of American Flyer vintage products starting in the early 1970’s.   Today, the Lionel Corporation produces many new and exciting S-gauge and S-scale trains and accessories in addition to the vintage trains of yesteryear.   The S-gauge market continues to improve and now the Lionel and MTH companies both have S-Gauge catalogs with a nice selection of S-Gauge and Scale products.

            Our club is made up of a variety of members from all along the Wasatch front and even into Idaho.  We are individuals that are close nit, usually raised with an American Flyer train in our past, immersed in our hobby, and love to exhibit and play with our trains.  Many of our members have operational layouts in their homes as well as our mobile layout that we custom create and display at various train shows in the intermountain area.  Many of our member have uniform sized ‘modules’ that when assembled together to make operational layouts that fit the venue we have to work.  Each of our members then decorate their modules with scenery and action accessories as well as bringing a host of different trains to smoke, choo-choo, fill the halls with train sounds, and run on the two rail main line tracks. We also fill the magnificent rail yard with American Flyer trains awaiting their individual turn on the rails.  We try and put on a great train show at each and every event we are invited to.  As the public and other train enthusiasts attend the local train shows, we hope to produce or bring back the excitement of toy trains and their pleasant memories.  Each time you see the Golden Spike American Flyer Train Club layout, it will have something different and unique for you to see and enjoy.  We strive to help keep the love and passion alive for the model train hobby, especially for S-Gauge American Flyer trains, operating accessories, and scenery.  Smell the smoke!

Club Purpose
Based on A.C. Gilbert Inc. American Flyer trains, "S" scale modeling has grown into a wide multi-faceted hobby. Many of our members are collectors and collector/operators of classic American Flyer trains. Others, who had a start with American Flyer trains have turned to other aspects of the hobby, such as scale and narrow gauge. And some are still "armchair" modelers who will someday have a layout when the time is right!

The Golden Spike "S" Gaugers club is dedicated to promoting all aspects of S gauge model railroading, including:


The GSAF  meets monthly, except June and July, to discuss club business and activities, such as workshops, seminars, road trips - and just plain having fun!  We promote the "S" hobby by displaying our sectional layout at various train shows in the area and have won many "First Place for Presentation" awards.

Based in the Northern Utah region, our club has members from Provo to Ogden. We welcome all members interested in our goal of promoting and supporting all aspects of model railroading in S Gauge. Annual dues are currently $12.

History of the Golden Spike S Gaugers

How it all began - the first meeting 
The first meeting of the Golden Spike S Gaugers occurred on July 29th, 1993 at Gene Dovenbarger's House in Roy, UT.  Judging from everyone's comments the meeting was a huge success. Currently we have about 16 members.  Membership peaked at 28 people in 1998.

Comments and Suggestions

Please feel free to email us about our WebSite and how it can be improved.

Other Information

We hope our Web site gives you a feeling of what our club is about and what we do, and inform you of our activities and accomplishments. We also hope to share what we've learned about model railroading in S Gauge, in hopes we may increase your understanding of our hobby and why we enjoy it so much..

Several navigation buttons back on the main page will take you to other pages describing our various club events and projects. Another button will let you see our club's sectional layout and how we use it to introduce model railroading to the public.  Check out the information button to learn more about the various terms and definitions used in model railroading.  The WEB links button has a list of many clubs, dealers and vendors of railroading products, and the RR News button will connect you to news stories from around the world - all dealing with railroads.

Our club has regular and informal meetings to improve and prepare our layout for public viewing, plus we have presentations by members and visitors on many aspects of modeling, scenery, and photography. We also take occasional outings to visit railroad interests in the Northern Utah area.

But most of all, we have fun! Come and join us if you have an interest in S gauge trains..  If you have a desire to join us send an email to jimbuckflyer@gamil.com

Privacy Policy - The GSAF WEB site does not record or retain any information about your visit to our site.

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