Sorry but I am done Lionel!

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 3:54 PM

The last time I looked the only outfit with new locomotives that run on 027 track was RMT with their "Beep" series diesels.

Williams (Bachman) did some locomotives that would run on 027 track before they gutted the product line.  I'm not sure if they have any that will do it now. 

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Posted by robmcc on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 3:36 PM

Kev, I would be surprised if any of those cars would not run on O31, since they are all traditional scale. Like you said, the individual items in the catalog such as the ET44AC and the Maxi-Stack cars, they all list as a O31 minimun. It's wierd the set lists as O36. I have a few of those Maxi-Stacks and they are only 13 1/2" long and can handle the curves. Heck, I've run my scale 20" long SD90MAC through O36 curves! Looks awkward, but it does it.

Rob

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Posted by KRM on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 2:30 PM

I thought the same thing about the cars but don't see one in the set that looks that long unless it is the well container car?

When I built my layout starting 10 years ago the widest curve I needed was O31. Smile, Wink & Grin Most of the main loop is O42 to O72.

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Posted by rtraincollector on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 2:19 PM

Kevin the difference could be because of the train cars. I have atlas tank cars ( one would think a tank car could take about any curve well Not!) these require O-54 or larger curves. 

 

they may say the O-36 as thats the size track they put in it also. You need to remember also the larger the curve the better the train looks taking it. 

Thats why when I build my pernament layout I will use a minmum of O-42, I have O42 - O72 in O guage ( Missing O-63 as I have never seen it in O gauge track. ) But I also have O-42 - O-72 with gargraves track also. So who knows at this point which I will use. 

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Posted by KRM on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 1:28 PM

Flintlock76

Brianel, if that Tier 4 engine is listed in the 2019 Lionel catalog (I haven't looked yet myself) then minimum curve radii should be listed in the spec sheet.

 It does. states min curve 31" Length 16" Page 82. 2019 Big Book Tier 4 LionChief Plus 2.0

Page 92 for the BNSF set they say min curve of 36" It comes with FastTrack.

Lionel no longer states anything at a Min curve of O27 as far as I have seen. Maybecause because they no longer make O27 track so their Min curve is listed as 31" Now.

http://catalogs.lionel.com/19bb/#

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 12:30 PM

Brianel, if that Tier 4 engine is listed in the 2019 Lionel catalog (I haven't looked yet myself) then minimum curve radii should be listed in the spec sheet. 

Mind you, minimum curve isn't the only thing I look at, clearances are important too.  I passed on an MTH Susquehanna SD-60 because as nice as it was at 17.5 inches long it just wouldn't fit my layout.  I've got a 17 inch Train Master that barely fits! 

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Posted by rtraincollector on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 11:27 AM

BrianelO27 If you look real close to the picture you supplied ( thank-you for that) it appears to me there is about 2" onto the front of the engine beyond the boxcar and about 4" beyond the boxcar on the back end. So Lionel may be right on the legnth. I hope for you all I'm looking at it from an angle that gives me that impression.

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Posted by KRM on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 9:00 AM

brianel027,

 I hope it runs on 036 curves!! My smallest curve is an old Marx 034.

If I would of known then what I know now I would just as soon have just the engine in the LionChief Plus 2.0 that they have in the new catalog.

It is what it is. Tongue Tied

Just looked at my CSX # 7500 Dash 8 40C from 1994 6-18214 and it is 17" long and will travel through the Marx 34" curves. So I think it should be good. Also the scale SD60M new LionChief Plus BTO shows it is 21.5" long and they claim it will deal with 36" curves/

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Posted by brianel027 on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 8:36 AM

https://www.facebook.com/LionelModelTrains/photos/pcb.10158230432813345/10158230432633345/?type=3&theater

KRM, hope that link works. This is a photo from Lionel's Facebook page at the Big E train show this past weekend. Up 4 track shelves from the bottom, you can see the pre-production sample of the Tier 4 engine, on the left.

Lionel obviously had some production issues with this engine and made some changes which no doubt caused a delay. Jason Shron of Rapido has discussed some of the issues and problems with overseas production. Before they had their own dedicated factory, he mentioned products being delayed because the factory was producing plastic plates for someone else. There was more money in plastic plates than in productng trains!

Jason also talks about why production isn't coming back stateside anytime soon. Anyone who likes the new scale line of Lionel trains: They wouldn't even have been made if it weren't for overseas production.

So while I agree with your disappointment and also with your thought of why catalog something that won't be available in the near future, I'm sure Lionel didn't plan on the production delay. And it could very well be that alterations needed to be made, which slowed down production. I'd rather the loco be made right in the first place, than have design flaws only discovered after the BNSF set had shipped stateside.

One more observation: The 2019 catalog lists this engine as having a 16+ inch length. In my book, that's hardly a traditional size length in my book. Even the early MTH Railking (Rugged Rails) versions of the Dash 8, SD90 MAC, etc. had a overall length of about 14-1/2 inches and could run on 027 curves. Could be the length is a catalog typo? If the engine is that long, it'll be off limits for me.

Though in the above photo, you can see a boxcar directly above the engine. In my viewing, the engine appears to be less than 16 inches in length.

brianel, Agent 027

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Posted by KRM on Monday, January 28, 2019 1:19 PM

dlagrua,

 I am at that point that just any train won't do. These days it has to be something I want. I got more than I need from the flood of stuff that is out there. Laugh

 I just don't get why if it is not a BTO how they can catalog it before it is ready to pruchase.

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Posted by dlagrua on Monday, January 28, 2019 6:43 AM
My solution is to just buy what I can see and what is available. The market is flooded with trains. It would be unusual for me to not find anything quickly.
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Posted by KRM on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 1:07 PM

Michael6268

Its a joke.  Its a lot of things.    There's a good chance the LionScale Christmas Hopper listed in the volume one 2018 won't even be available for Christmas 2019. Currently it's listed as October 2019 ship date....

 

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Posted by Michael6268 on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 10:37 AM

Its a joke.  Its a lot of things.    There's a good chance the LionScale Christmas Hopper listed in the volume one 2018 won't even be available for Christmas 2019. Currently it's listed as October 2019 ship date....

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Posted by KRM on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 8:47 AM

Rob, I just checked and now Just found out that the Tire 4 set that was to ship 10-18 then 12-18, then 1-10-19 is now showing 5-16-19 on Lionel's site. Feb 2nd will be a year ago I first ordered it. Huh?

As you know I caved in and re-ordered it thinking 1-10-19 and now they pushed it back 4 more months. What a joke on me. Laugh

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Posted by robmcc on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 6:45 PM

Kev, that's too bad that it fell through for you. I was actually going to hit you up for a review in The Pot when it came in. I was interested in a first hand look. I totally understand though..

It is a fine line when ordering these days. I've given in to the BTO racket because there's been a few things I've missed out on doing the wait and see game. I'm not thrilled about it at as I would much rather see the real thing than base a decision on a computer rendered drawing. I've pretty much added at least 3-6 months on ANY manufacturers ETA.

Like brianel said, Jason Shron of Rapido Trains ( man I wish they would get into O!!) recently discussed the reasoning of pre-orders in one of their newsletters. He said the business has changed in the past 30 years. One can't crank out 5000 units and hope for the best. If only say 3000 sell, then they're setting on inventory that will either be repurposed for another project or blown out for next to nothing. It ties up money for further project development. They are all just producing as much as needed now.

One other thought for you with the BNSF Tier 4, Kev. I know Dave Olson was talking about that project on the other forum some months back. He redesigned the model after the initial catalog announcement because some of the details were incorrect for the ET44AC. I'm not sure if that caused the delays, but I know he said they wanted to "get it right" especially for a new model.

Rob

 

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Posted by KRM on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 2:06 PM

brianel, Agent 027,

Very well put. Yes It sounds like there will be another chance to get that engine. Lord knows I don't need another whole RTR set and neither do the kids.

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Posted by brianel027 on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 9:05 AM

KRM, I always watch the TCA presentation videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1xnz6CJQTg&t=689s

If you go to the 9:50 mark, Ryan Kunkle talks about and shows the pre-production sample of this locomotive which is from brand new tooling. Ryan also says the BNSF set should be received the end of Decemember or the beginning of January 2019. Given that the date of this video is October, that doesn't seem out of line. BUT October was the initial projected shipping date, not the preview date.

This is a brand new engine and certainly overdue. Like Ryan says, it is the traditonal starter set line that keeps Lionel in good standing, even though the high end products seem to get all the attention. I have no doubt that the starter set Dockside and 0-8-0 steamers have sold in quantities that surpass all the high end locomotives combined. This one will no doubt join the Dockside and 0-8-0.

That said, I understand your frustration. This is a NEW product and part of the product lineup that makes the scale products even possible, so it would have been nice to see a priority push on this product so that it arrived in time for the Christmas buying season.

This locomotive is long overdue in the starter set line and I applaud Lionel for finally putting some resources into a new traditionally sized locomotive. Given that this is new, one would wish that Lionel would be a little more on top of the production schedule, especially for this product. The scale market is small for certain, but is year-round. The larger tradtional starter market is more seasonal in spending: This is the time of year when starter sets get sold, so yes, Lionel is missing the mark on this particular product.

_____________

Now for some of the other comments. Folks, don't kid yourselves. All the other companies (even in other scales), including MTH are working on a BTO model even if they don't call it as such. MTH is quite well known for announcing long lists of product cancellations because they failed to get enough orders. Call it what you want, it's still built to order.

MTH has production problems too. Mike Wolf talked last year about how one locomotive was delayed because the gear box had to be completely re-desined because the motor that had been previously used, was no longer being made. That scenario can happen to any other company in any other scale. Watch some of Jason Shron's videos or read his blog: Rapido faces some of the same problems and also makes products based upon pre-orders. 

Built to order, or whatever you want to call it, is HERE TO STAY. The hobby market is too diversified and the train companies are trying to accomodate everyone's interests.

I for one, wish Lionel would drop the high end scale products all together. It's a very small market and appears to be far more trouble that it would seem to be worth by reading the many complaints on line. But when Jerry Calabrese was CEO at Lionel, he said Lionel could ill-afford to ignore any one segment of their market. So while the scale 3-rail market may be small in number, they compensate by being big year-round spenders.

Heck, look at the pages of Classic Toys Trains: There seems to be a lot of emphasis on the new scale products and exceptionally large layouts featuring these sorts of trains. Personally, not at all my idea of toy trains. And when a product gets reviewed that is what this hobby has always been, it gets jabbed for not being scale. Duh. Thank goodness.

As far as criticism of the new Lionel management, I say this: Be thankful that Guggenheim even owns Lionel. When K-Line was in financial trouble, a buyer for the company was being sought and fell through. Joe Hayter of Weaver tired to find a buyer who would keep the company going as was, but couldn't find one. So the Weaver tooling ended up being piecemealed out, with Lionel taking the tooling that was still stateside.

We've seen other train companies go out of business in the past couple of decades. Who has the many millions of dollars on hand to purchase a train company? And if you approach a bank seeking to borrow money to buy a model train company, the bank will take a look at the overall market and then laugh at you. I very seriously doubt MTH has the assests to even come close to purchasing Lionel.

And then, what are you buying? Tooling that is in China, pretty much stays in China. Sure, I wish that more trains were made in America. BUT none of this new scale product tooling would even exist if it weren't made in China. Remember, MTH was always in China (or Korea). K-Line went to China early on, closing their American facility. And if you look at the Lionel catalogs, nearly all of the new scale product tooling came after Lionel was in China, including FasTrack.

So like it or not, I'm thankful that the train companies that are around, still manage to stay in business. And I'm thankful for the products that have already been made. If the companies manage to stay solvent, I'm sure at some point, they will introduce newly tooled products if they think the market will support them.

And for anyone like me that likes what we now call "traditional" trains, there are plenty of them available on the secondary market, at prices that are a fraction of what they would cost as brand new.

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, November 21, 2018 9:52 AM

joe323

Hiccups do happen.  Recently over on The MR forum there was talk about a Chinese train manufacturer shutting down and affecting multiple suppliers. 

But if an order is BTO the company offering should be ready to build it.

 

I've heard that before.  If the Chinese toy train manufacturer can make more money making something else for someone else* the toy train building comes to a shuddering halt and the American importer is left high and dry, usually scrambling like mad trying to find another Chinese outfit to pick up the product line. 

And that doesn't mean it doesn't happen to other importers of various products as well. It does.

*Business is business after all.

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Posted by joe323 on Wednesday, November 21, 2018 9:07 AM

Hiccups do happen.  Recently over on The MR forum there was talk about a Chinese train manufacturer shutting down and affecting multiple suppliers. 

But if an order is BTO the company offering should be ready to build it.

Joe Staten Island West 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 8:52 PM

I've passed on some Lionel articles because they're LionChief, i.e. hand-held remote controlled only.  Sorry folks, I'm not going that route.  If that conventional option's not there count me out. 

LionChief-Plus, no problem, the conventional feature's there so I'll take a look.

The thing is, I've worked with electronics the past 30 years and I don't trust them 100 percent.  My rule is keep it simple, you're better off that way.

I think the industry's going in the wrong direction piling on the exotics trying to appeal to a group that's not interested (overmuch) in toy trains to begin with.

If the shallow wireheads addicted to video games were interested in getting their hands dirty building and running toy train layouts we'd have heard from them long ago.  I'm not so sure they even know what hammers, saws, and screwdrivers are, much less wirecutters and electrical meters.

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Posted by rtraincollector on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 7:11 PM

JoeD1981

And this is a picture perfect example of what is wrong with Lionel, or I should say the 'entity' that uses Lionel's name.  No control, no building, no blame.  I never thought I'd hear myself say I can't wait for the day Mike Wolf makes packages that say "Lionel, By MTH."

 

 

JoeD1981

And this is a picture perfect example of what is wrong with Lionel, or I should say the 'entity' that uses Lionel's name.  No control, no building, no blame.  I never thought I'd hear myself say I can't wait for the day Mike Wolf makes packages that say "Lionel, By MTH." 

 

That already happened. It was the tinplate he was producing. Not sure what is going to happen now as Lionel and MTH couldn't come to terms, so the contract was not renewed

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Posted by rtraincollector on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 7:07 PM

Firelock76

 

 
JoeD1981

And this is a picture perfect example of what is wrong with Lionel, or I should say the 'entity' that uses Lionel's name.  No control, no building, no blame.  I never thought I'd hear myself say I can't wait for the day Mike Wolf makes packages that say "Lionel, By MTH."

 

 

 

 

I'm a great admirer of Mike Wolf, but remember Mike's products are made in China as well.

I think Mike's advantage is in a very real sense he grew up in the business, starting with Jerry Williams when he was 12 or 13.  The people running Lionel now?  Who knows?  They're strangers to us.  Possibly the latest iteration of the MBA-holding "interchangeable executive" who, in theory anyway, can jump from one business to the next and run it sucessfully without a basic understanding of that business.  I don't buy into that theory myself.

Mike probably understands who he's dealing with better than the Lionel crowd does, which is most likely why he doesn't seem to promise what he can't deliver within a reasonable amount of time.  He certainly hasn't gone the "BTO" route.

I realize not all will agree with me, and that's fine.  As far as I'm concerned Mike Wolf is the closest thing we've got nowadays to Joshua Lionel Cowan or A.C. Gilbert. 

The only thing I have against MTH is they had to do there own command type system. Not saying anything wrong with there system but I just feel I should have to buy another system when I already own one that works fine. That and I'm not into blue tooth or fancy phones, so now I'm being put out of use of his engines if what I hear is correct, that there doing away with the controllers and going to blue tooth. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 5:48 PM

JoeD1981

And this is a picture perfect example of what is wrong with Lionel, or I should say the 'entity' that uses Lionel's name.  No control, no building, no blame.  I never thought I'd hear myself say I can't wait for the day Mike Wolf makes packages that say "Lionel, By MTH."

 

 

I'm a great admirer of Mike Wolf, but remember Mike's products are made in China as well.

I think Mike's advantage is in a very real sense he grew up in the business, starting with Jerry Williams when he was 12 or 13.  The people running Lionel now?  Who knows?  They're strangers to us.  Possibly the latest iteration of the MBA-holding "interchangeable executive" who, in theory anyway, can jump from one business to the next and run it sucessfully without a basic understanding of that business.  I don't buy into that theory myself.

Mike probably understands who he's dealing with better than the Lionel crowd does, which is most likely why he doesn't seem to promise what he can't deliver within a reasonable amount of time.  He certainly hasn't gone the "BTO" route.

I realize not all will agree with me, and that's fine.  As far as I'm concerned Mike Wolf is the closest thing we've got nowadays to Joshua Lionel Cowan or A.C. Gilbert.

 

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Posted by JoeD1981 on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 1:12 PM

And this is a picture perfect example of what is wrong with Lionel, or I should say the 'entity' that uses Lionel's name.  No control, no building, no blame.  I never thought I'd hear myself say I can't wait for the day Mike Wolf makes packages that say "Lionel, By MTH."

 

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Posted by Banks on Saturday, November 17, 2018 7:42 PM

My newest train is 30 years old. That said Lionel can blame suppliers but I didn't order from the supplier it was ordered from Lionel. They need to hold the supplier feet to the fire. Lower the payment x amount each week the item is late. During my years in construction the customer didn't care why it was late ultimately it was my fault if completion date wasn't made.

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Posted by rtraincollector on Saturday, November 17, 2018 7:37 PM

Dave45681

I did read the posts, every last one of them. (no reading comprehension problems here ;) )

The unfortunate thing is you tried to get a youngster interested in the trains, but unfortunately the current business model does not support a normal child or young adolescent's attention span.

For an adult to wait a year or more for something, not cool, but will get over it.  For a kid, it's too much of a large chunk of time in their lifetime (ours too, we are just conditoned for it) to maintain interest.

The unfortunate thing is the only way to really deal with it is not show kids the catalogs and just take them to the store and pick what may actually be in stock as a gift.  Which in today's pre-order/BTO/ (or whatever the term is this year) is not a good thing, as a lot of the interesting items will be sold out once they are released and a few people who hadn't ordered them learn they are a nice item.

Dave you hit the nail on the head The problem is, you have to many that don't mind waiting a year ++ to get a engine they want. They fell right into Lionel,MTH,Atlas etc hands. If folks would stop ordering BTO, they would then start to bring stuff back to the retailer so the customer can make a good decision. And from what I have heard getting them repaired is even worst as after a year or so they do not have the parts, as they order x amount over the BTO to diesec for parts and thats it ( the manurfactures. ) 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, November 17, 2018 7:21 PM

The current business model barely supports my attention span, and I'm 65!

To say nothing of the wallet...

Which is probably why I'm getting into post-war.  And at at least I can fix 'em if they go bad.

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Posted by Dave45681 on Saturday, November 17, 2018 7:06 PM

I did read the posts, every last one of them. (no reading comprehension problems here ;) )

The unfortunate thing is you tried to get a youngster interested in the trains, but unfortunately the current business model does not support a normal child or young adolescent's attention span.

For an adult to wait a year or more for something, not cool, but will get over it.  For a kid, it's too much of a large chunk of time in their lifetime (ours too, we are just conditoned for it) to maintain interest.

The unfortunate thing is the only way to really deal with it is not show kids the catalogs and just take them to the store and pick what may actually be in stock as a gift.  Which in today's pre-order/BTO/ (or whatever the term is this year) is not a good thing, as a lot of the interesting items will be sold out once they are released and a few people who hadn't ordered them learn they are a nice item.

 

-Dave

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Posted by KRM on Saturday, November 17, 2018 6:39 PM

Dave, please read the posts. This is not the first time for this. Just not going to go there again. last time it was a year wait before I gave up on the order, 4 months past the advertised delivery date.

As I said.

As for the point of this post,,,best I can sum it up is, burn me once shame on you, burn me twice shame on me. Like I said,,,Sorry but I am done Lionel!. No more pre-orders for me.

 

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