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MTH HO Scale Trains production

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MTH HO Scale Trains production
Posted by Locojunkie on Monday, May 15, 2017 8:55 AM

Hi everyone, on the topic of MTH HO Scale trains, is it just me or is MTH getting out of the HO Scale train production. I have not seen a recent catalog for HO trains. I also have been searching on Ebay for quite some time now for a GS-4 in Daylight color scheme but it seems to me that MTH was more concerned about making 3 rail HO GS-4s then they were regular 2 rail HO scale GS-4s since there are 3 rail HO GS-4s out the ying yang on Ebay and very rarely any HO 2 rail GS-4s. I am aware that they are talking about producing a HO Scale Yellowstone, but it just seems to me that they have scaled back production on any HO Scale trains. Thanks.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, May 15, 2017 10:08 AM

What is "HO Sale 3 Rail"? Is it made to run on Marklin track? I have not heard anyone talk about US prototype equipment on Marklin track ever.

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Is it really a thing?

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by Sir Madog on Monday, May 15, 2017 10:44 AM

Locojunkie is right - the 2015 MTH HO scale catalogue does mention 3 rail HO scale engines following US as well as European prototype. They also state them to be DCC/DCS/Motorola compatible. I can only assume that MTH means locos to be able to run on Marklin´s bespoke 3 rail AC system-

   Ulrich     

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, May 15, 2017 10:59 AM

SeeYou190

What is "HO Sale 3 Rail"? Is it made to run on Marklin track? I have not heard anyone talk about US prototype equipment on Marklin track ever.

.

Is it really a thing?

.

-Kevin

.

 

Yes, Marklin has made US prototypes for their three rail AC system for decades, just not very many items.

As for MTH HO, who knows? Who cares?

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Trynn_Allen2 on Monday, May 15, 2017 11:10 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

As for MTH HO, who knows? Who cares?

Sheldon

YesYesYes  This and more.

 

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Posted by JEREMY CENTANNI on Monday, May 15, 2017 4:25 PM

I've ended up with a couple of PS3 equipped engines from various sales.

They have impressed me and been more reliable than other manufacturers "premium" lines.............

I get some of the stuff they do(MTH) is annoying, but in general a lot of the folks with newer(PS3) stuff seem to be satisfied.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, May 15, 2017 4:40 PM

JEREMY CENTANNI

I've ended up with a couple of PS3 equipped engines from various sales.

They have impressed me and been more reliable than other manufacturers "premium" lines.............

I get some of the stuff they do(MTH) is annoying, but in general a lot of the folks with newer(PS3) stuff seem to be satisfied.

 

Well since I don't want sound or DCC...........

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, May 15, 2017 6:43 PM

Sir Madog
I can only assume that MTH means locos to be able to run on Marklin´s bespoke 3 rail AC system-

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That seems so weird to me. OK, the GS4... If you make a Marklin version what will you sell, 500 if you are lucky. If you did all that work to make the model why not make the 2 rail DC version also where you will sell 10 times as many with 90% less effort?

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What am I missing?

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How many layouts built with Marklin's track are scenicked to look like the US? Who is buying these things?

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-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, May 15, 2017 7:20 PM

SeeYou190

 

 
Sir Madog
I can only assume that MTH means locos to be able to run on Marklin´s bespoke 3 rail AC system-

 

.

That seems so weird to me. OK, the GS4... If you make a Marklin version what will you sell, 500 if you are lucky. If you did all that work to make the model why not make the 2 rail DC version also where you will sell 10 times as many with 90% less effort?

.

What am I missing?

.

How many layouts built with Marklin's track are scenicked to look like the US? Who is buying these things?

.

-Kevin

.

 

Well, that is where you would be wrong. In Germany, model railroading, or at least collecting and running model trains like Marklin, is very popular. Much more so than here as a percentage of the population.

And Marklin is hugely popular in Germany and throughout Europe. 

And, those modelers/collectors are often taken by the "famous" North American prototypes. So that is what Marklin has done for decades.

BUT, generally they also offer the same locos in a two rail DC version, under the TRIX name. They don't get much notice in the US, but again, Europe has a whole bunch of two rail DC HO trains as well, So Marklin is in both markets over there, with some exposure in North America as well.

BUT, you might not want some of their US prototype offerings from either brand - they are designed to run on aprox 15" radius curves, the Marklin "standard radius".

As a result, the ALCO PA they offered had a pilot with a big whole for the talgo coupler, not unlike the old Blue Box Athearn.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Marklin-37610-49610-Type-PA-1-Locomotives-Union-Pacific-HO-Scale-Digital-/172674608201?hash=item2834356c49:g:cpcAAOSwB-1Y1pBI

Sheldon

    

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Posted by dknelson on Monday, May 15, 2017 8:50 PM

A few years ago a LHS had a whole wall of Maerklin and I asked the owner why he spent precious dollars on inventory that seemed so esoteric.  He told me that there is a huge Maerklin HO following in the US, that they tend not to associate with or become known to the "regular" crowd and thus totally fly under the radar but nonetheless he told me that he could keep his shop going based solely on his sales to Maerklin operators and collectors if he had to.  So maybe MTH knows best in this case.  

As to MTH's regular HO offerings, it seems to me they have engaged in this quixotic notion that everyone but they are dead wrong as to the proper voltage for HO model trains.  

Dave Nelson 

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Posted by 7j43k on Monday, May 15, 2017 9:00 PM

dknelson

A few years ago a LHS had a whole wall of Maerklin and I asked the owner why he spent precious dollars on inventory that seemed so esoteric.  He told me that there is a huge Maerklin HO following in the US, that they tend not to associate with or become known to the "regular" crowd and thus totally fly under the radar but nonetheless he told me that he could keep his shop going based solely on his sales to Maerklin operators and collectors if he had to.  So maybe MTH knows best in this case.  

 

 

 

I admit I am mystified about this.  Why would Amuricuns model European railroading?    Sure, a few people.  But enough to be more than a blip?

WHY are they going this route?

Going the other direction, I can see how a few mavericks (an American term) in Europe follow US modeling.  I know some.  But I would not think they would be statistically significant.  And I expect the same in the other direction.

Please do a follow-up interview (or whatever) with your LHS on the matter.

 

Ed

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, May 15, 2017 9:34 PM

My layout has a rather large passenger operation represented.

MTH made several runs of Passenger cars, of primary interest to me were the 1938 and 1940 Twentieth Century Limited and 1941 Empire State Express but they had offerings in other roads, too.

Later they introduced a handful of heavyweight cars in several road names.

I don't know who did the research and production work on these cars but for me, they are some of the best I own, and I'm comparing them to Rapido, Proto, Broadway Limited and even some brass.

The "stay-alive" lighting is superb, interior details, including table lamps and excellent interior paint colors, are second-to-none. The rolling quality is excellent, they came with genuine Kadees and car names were already applied.

Underbody details.

 

 

Paint and lettering.

 

Trucks, steps and end detail.

 

Full width diaphragms, correct "Century" diner end windows and door glass, end lettering, grab irons even in the passageways.

I would be very receptive to MTH offering more HO passenger cars but, alas, this may not be so. The heavyweight cars especially are lacking in car types.

I have a few of their HO freight cars and they are pretty decent for middle-of-the-road cars. Average detailing but good runners.

I only own the one MTH locomotive, the Streamlined Empire State Express Hudson since they were the only game in town other than the old Rivarossi one or the Precision Scale or LMB brass model.

I didn't care much for Mike Wolf's early business strategies but that was some time ago and things seem to have settled down in that regard.

I think MTH made some decent contributions in the HO field. I would like to see them continue.

Just sayin'  My 2 Cents

Ed

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, May 15, 2017 9:58 PM

Ed, I agree the passenger cars are very nice. I question the marketing and availablity? Did you have to buy them is "sets"? Not a situation I prefer.

I made my passenger equipment commitments decades ago, and have no actual purchasing interest in any of the current "high end" passenger cars....from MTH or others (Walthers, BLI, etc). But even if I was interested, I would have to set them up to have those cars close coupled with diaphragms touching.....

But my real gripe with MTH is as Dave commented - motor voltages, making it difficult to use them on my DC layout even if I was willing to buy such an expensive loco and gut the electronics. 

I run on 13.8 volts DC, no sound, no dual mode decoder locos, using pulse width modulated DC throttles which actually do not work with most "dual mode" decoders.

MTH has expressed virtually ZERO interest in selling me a locomotive, so I have respected their wishes........

Sheldon

    

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, May 15, 2017 11:18 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Did you have to buy them is "sets"? Not a situation I prefer.

I agree with the poor—at least from the consumer's standpoint—choice of grouping the cars in sets. Is this a carryover from Lionel marketing? I don't know.

I would really like to have the 10 section, open end obs. "Mount Baxter" as I used to ride in that car. I already have the other four Pullmans and I would have to buy a five-car SET in order to get the ONE observation car! That would mean I'd also have eight 12-1 Pullmans! No thanks.

With the Century and Empire State it wasn't so much of an issue since I was building the whole train. But the car combinations left no way to customize consists.

I also agree that the MTH electrical "non-compliance" has kept me away from any of their locomotives, other than the one ESE Hudson. I finally got it programmed for DCC but someday, that DCS decoder is coming out.

Regards, Ed

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Posted by Trynn_Allen2 on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 9:18 AM

7j43k

 

Because some of us got our start with a Marklin or Flieschmann set.  I still pick up the occasional car, and engine a a good price.

I was 2 years old when I got my first Marklin and from what I've found is that these people either served in Europe for extended periods of time, where born there (that'd be me) while one parent was serving there, or are affluent immigrents.

As to the why.  Because unlike Ford, I want it in some other color than black.  Because billboarding standards were a lot looser and so there was some other types of vareity.  And because electrics are darn cool and the US has too few of them.  Take your pick.

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Posted by ggnlars on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 10:17 AM

Kato HO US models have recently been designed to run on 15 inch curves.  MTH is not the first to realize that serving both markets with the same model makes sound business sense.

So many trains, so little time,

Larry

www.llxlocomotives.com

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 11:02 AM

Trynn_Allen2

7j43k

 

Because some of us got our start with a Marklin or Flieschmann set.  I still pick up the occasional car, and engine a a good price.

I was 2 years old when I got my first Marklin and from what I've found is that these people either served in Europe for extended periods of time, where born there (that'd be me) while one parent was serving there, or are affluent immigrents.

As to the why.  Because unlike Ford, I want it in some other color than black.  Because billboarding standards were a lot looser and so there was some other types of vareity.  And because electrics are darn cool and the US has too few of them.  Take your pick.

 

Well, I get the attraction, I explained it above. But to characterize North American railroading as lacking variety is hardly accurate - in any era one might choose to model. 

I model the early 50's and lots of freight cars were as flashy as the new cars of that time.

Silver and blue on the B&O

Gray and red on the NYC

White and blue on the BAR

Yellow, orange, and silver reefers, with black or brown roofs/ends

Flashy new piggyback service with colorful van paint schemes, SP orange and red, B&O blue and orange, CNW yellow and Green.

Similar flashy schemes on all those new diesels from EMD and ALCO.

Black like the model T, not hardly. B&O and Wabash had blue steam locos, C&O had few in orange and later yellow.

SP Daylight colors..........

And considering that the 400 plus common carrier railroads in the US had WAY more different types of locos than all of Europe combined with their government run railways, I think North America has the corner on variety.

Which is actually a problem. With all this great product we have seen in the last 25 years, we have still not put a dent in the possible prototypes in North American rail history.

In Germany by contrast, nearly every loco that has ever been used on the DB has been modeled......

Personally I limit my model purchases to the very narrow scope of my 1954 time frame set in the Mid Atlantic of the US.

An while I once worked in a shop that sold Marklin, I have no interest in it myself.

I do however respect the broad tent that is this hobby, even if I am focused on a very small part of it.

My first trains were Varney and Athearn...........

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Sir Madog on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 11:18 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
n Germany by contrast, nearly every loco that has ever been used on the DB has been modeled.....

Objection, your honor (you knew this had to come)!

If you limit your statement to post WW II electrics, Diesels and steam engines built after 1920, your close to being correct, but if you look at those pre WW I steamers, early electrics and even Diesels that made it onto the rails of modern (post WW II) Deutsche Bahn, we have covered maybe 30 % - not more. The 1950´s to early 1960´s saw many of those  old workhorses still being in service, but by the mid 1960´s they were mostly gone.

We start to drift away ...

   Ulrich     

People of my age don´t tan, they simply rust!


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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 11:36 AM

Sir Madog

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
n Germany by contrast, nearly every loco that has ever been used on the DB has been modeled.....

 

Objection, your honor (you knew this had to come)!

If you limit your statement to post WW II electrics, Diesels and steam engines built after 1920, your close to being correct, but if you look at those pre WW I steamers, early electrics and even Diesels that made it onto the rails of modern (post WW II) Deutsche Bahn, we have covered maybe 30 % - not more. The 1950´s to early 1960´s saw many of those  old workhorses still being in service, but by the mid 1960´s they were mostly gone.

We start to drift away ...

 

Agreed, but similar issues with pre WWI or pre 1900 equipment exist in the US model market was well.

But you have to agree, the history of trains in Germany, and in Europe in general is more completely covered in model form than trains in the US. The PRR or the B&O alone had more steam loco classes than the DB, and then there is the other 398 railroads with their unique locos......

As a total, if 30% of US prototypes have ever been offered in a commercial model, including brass, that would be a lot.

Ok, Proto2000 did most of the as delivered paint schemes on the diesels they have made, pretty good coverage. But steam locos, just the tip of the iceberg, even now.

But my bigger point US trains are hardly boring in color scheme, unless you only look at coal hoppers, black and oxide......

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Sir Madog on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 12:06 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
But you have to agree, the history of trains in Germany, and in Europe in general is more completely covered in model form than trains in the US.

That´s a statement I subscribe to!

In my younger days, I was a little bit jealous when I compared the rather uniform color schemes of German locomotives with the colorful liveries I saw in my Dad´s Trains magazine. My favorite paint scheme was Santa Fe´s "War Bonnet" design and a Marklin F 7 with that paint job was high up on my wish list. Santa decided otherwise...

   Ulrich     

People of my age don´t tan, they simply rust!


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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 12:16 PM

But back to MTH. They made it clear with their choices in both product and marketing that they are interested in the "buy it and drive it" crowd in this hobby, no matter the kind of track. 

They have made it clear that "servicing modelers" by selling individual passenger cars, or DCC ready locos that would run on 12 volts DC, is simply unimportant to them.

They have their version of the hobby in their head and they mean to save you from kit bashing locos, running mismatched passenger cars or running with DC.

Rather than do their best to imbrace everyone in the tent, they have said "this is our corner, these are the customers we want". 

Good for them, but maybe it is not working out as well as planned?

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Autonerd on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 2:55 PM

7j43k
Why would Amuricuns model European railroading?

Why not? I've always wanted to add some BR to my collection (and run it on the club layout). The UK has a ton of good TV documentaries on their railways, and I think a Class 37 with a rake of Mark 1 carriages would look great on our club layout!

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Posted by DAVID FORTNEY on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 6:03 PM

I have about 10 European steam engines that I run on my layout from time to time. It is the fun of model railroading. 

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Posted by DRfan on Thursday, May 18, 2017 11:05 AM

I also run both European (mostly ROCO and Piko) and US trains on my layout (although never together at the same time).  I enjoy the variety.  I even have a small Maerklin collection (I love their 0-6-0 Br 89 and 0-8-0 Br 81) which I run on a temporary layout (family room floor).

As far as the concern about MTH getting out of the HO market, it seems nothing new has come out lately.  I like their GP-38-2 (I bought the CSX one last year) and I have several of their freight cars (coal hopper, 40 foot box car and gondola).  All are really good models and come wiht Kadee couplers.  I think they are owned by Bachmann and if that is the case, MTH would be directly competing with the Bachmann line.

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