Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Walthers, Watering Down The Whiskey!

3999 views
136 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: 4610 Metre's North of the Fortyninth on the left coast of Canada
  • 7,554 posts
Walthers, Watering Down The Whiskey!
Posted by BATMAN on Saturday, May 1, 2021 10:36 AM

I see the new flex is only 36" and not a metre in length. It is more expensive than the old stock as well. They have changed their turnouts but how has the flex changed, has anyone got their hands on some for a comparison? 

I have a friend that wants me to pick up his order at PWRS as he can't get there before closing, they still have old Walthers stock as well as the new stuff. He doesn't know what to get as far as the flex track goes.

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

  • Member since
    March 2017
  • 5,575 posts
Posted by Track fiddler on Saturday, May 1, 2021 10:51 AM

I think this is the same for everything Brent.  I always get my almond M&M's and my dark chocolate Hershey's Minis when I go to the grocery store.

I noticed they're making the bags smaller, adding more air with less candy but charging more $.  The chocolate treats are still the same though, so I would imagine the Walthers track is still the same as well.  Just less ties and rails to glue and less candy for me to chewLaughIndifferent

 

 

 

TF

  • Member since
    June 2007
  • 8,348 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Saturday, May 1, 2021 11:01 AM

Ain't most ho flex sticks 36".  Nothing to see here, move along.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    January 2010
  • 2,570 posts
Posted by peahrens on Saturday, May 1, 2021 11:09 AM

BATMAN
I see the new flex is only 36" and not a metre in length. It is more expensive than the old stock as well.

It's like candy bars.  First they make it bigger and raise the price, so it seems to make sense.  Then they make is smaller again.  Then they make it bigger again and raise the price (again).  Then...

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • 6,323 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, May 1, 2021 11:16 AM

BATMAN

I see the new flex is only 36" and not a metre in length. It is more expensive than the old stock as well. They have changed their turnouts but how has the flex changed, has anyone got their hands on some for a comparison? 

 

Not I, but my recollection of a comparison photo from Walthers was that the new track was better detailed around the spikes and tie plates.  My recollection is also that it WAS better looking.  

Enough to pay the difference?  Don't know.

It's not like you have a choice:  Atlas, Walthers, and Microengineering.  If Atlas is too clunky, and Microengineering too scary, that leaves Walthers.

I see that Piko lists flextrack in concrete (only?).  It's brown, which does seem strange.  It's also listed as 37" long.  Not exactly metric, eh?

 

 

Ed

  • Member since
    August 2006
  • From: Nashville, TN area
  • 571 posts
Posted by hardcoalcase on Saturday, May 1, 2021 11:16 AM

I have some "vintage" Atlas flex (at least a few years old) and it's 36".

Jim

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 10,714 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, May 1, 2021 11:28 AM

Walthers old flex was metric because Shinohara who made it, always made meter length flex long before their deal with Walthers.

Shinohara is gone, so is meter flex track.

I know we are hard headed down here in the states, but I don't have much use for metric anything.

It does not work for the construction industry.

The English system has one big advantage, maybe two.

It is based on the proportions of our bodies, and it divides evenly by 2 and 3

A 4x8 piece of drywall or plywood covers 3 16" stud bays in one direction and 6 in the other. It also evenly covers 24" or 12" bays when I need more strength.

Most rooms and floor spans in houses are based on roughly 12' or 16', please rattle off from memory how many centimeters that is?

And I think Walthers either wants to be on the same apples to apples with the others, or their manufacturer is already making track for someone else at 36".

Still happy with Atlas flex, easiest to use, best price, looks fine painted and ballasted.

Sheldon

    

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: 4610 Metre's North of the Fortyninth on the left coast of Canada
  • 7,554 posts
Posted by BATMAN on Saturday, May 1, 2021 11:44 AM

I am just trying to be my usual impish self and stirring the pot. It ain't going to break the bank either way. However, the price has gone up while the length of track has shrunk by almost 10%. That will ruffle the feathers of some.Mischief

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 10,714 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, May 1, 2021 11:50 AM

BATMAN

I am just trying to be my usual impish self and stirring the pot. It ain't going to break the bank either way. However, the price has gone up while the length of track has shrunk by almost 10%. That will ruffle the feathers of some.Mischief

 

They are like the other higher priced track, the price needs to reflect the "higher quality"......

And, it is likely that the tooling for this whole replacement of Shinohara has been expensive......

Sheldon

    

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • 6,323 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, May 1, 2021 12:54 PM

And once they pay off that expense, it will be all gravy.  Unless, of course, they lower the price to reflect that event.

 

Ed

  • Member since
    October 2020
  • 1,207 posts
Posted by NorthBrit on Saturday, May 1, 2021 1:10 PM

Never mind the candy and yards of track.

 

Watering down the whiskey!!!

 

No! No,   NO!!!      I wont stand for it.  No!  Never!   NO!!!

 

SoapBox

 

David

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 10,714 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, May 1, 2021 1:20 PM

7j43k

And once they pay off that expense, it will be all gravy.  Unless, of course, they lower the price to reflect that event.

 

Ed

 

That is how you fund the next new project. But in the 80's and 90's Athearn kept his prices low on the older stuff, while other brands had no choice but to charge more.

Sheldon

    

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: 4610 Metre's North of the Fortyninth on the left coast of Canada
  • 7,554 posts
Posted by BATMAN on Saturday, May 1, 2021 2:08 PM

NorthBrit

Never mind the candy and yards of track.

 

Watering down the whiskey!!!

 

No! No,   NO!!!      I wont stand for it.  No!  Never!   NO!!!

 

SoapBox

 

David

 

No watered-down stuff at my house David, have a pour.Laugh

 

It's all I have on hand right now, the expensive Irish stuff is somehow missing, not sure where it went.Whistling

 

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • 6,323 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, May 1, 2021 2:21 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

 

 
7j43k

And once they pay off that expense, it will be all gravy.  Unless, of course, they lower the price to reflect that event.

 

Ed

 

 

 

That is how you fund the next new project. But in the 80's and 90's Athearn kept his prices low on the older stuff, while other brands had no choice but to charge more.

Sheldon

 

 

Yes.  That would be the paying off the expense I mentioned.  The molds were either paid for out of money on hand, or there was a loan.  Once replenished, then the continued profits can be spent on other things of Walthers' choosing.

 

 

 

Ed

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 11,706 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, May 1, 2021 2:50 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
...I know we are hard headed down here in the states, but I don't have much use for metric anything....

I heartily agree, Sheldon, even though Canada has "gone metric".  It's a puny form of measurement for countries the size of yours or ours.  I can easily envision a mile as I drive, but a kilometre is an eyeblink at my usual speeds.

As for milligrams, it's main use is as a measurement of the brain capacity of those who came up with the system, based on units of obscure scientific things unrelated to common measurements, like the distance between Paris and the moon at 9:34PM on the 37th of August .

My guess is that the French needed a response to the British system (back in the days when they didn't get along all that well together), and decided to come up with one which would baffle everyone, who would then pretend to espouse its ease-of-use.

I do notice that it's in favour with the manufacturers of plywood, as it allows for fewer plies in a product which no longer matches the original stuff - good luck if you need to replace some plywood underlay for flooring.

Wayne

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 7,410 posts
Posted by maxman on Saturday, May 1, 2021 3:01 PM

7j43k
And once they pay off that expense, it will be all gravy.

There is no such thing as "gravy".  I don't believe that I have ever been on a bridge where the temporary toll has been eliminated.  And I think here in Pennsylvania we are still paying a "temporary" tax to recover from the Johnstown flood.

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • 6,323 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, May 1, 2021 3:12 PM

Metrification was attempted in the US.  The first event was soda pop.  That worked out OK.  Then speedometers started coming with dual scales.  Again, no big deal.  And speed limit signs started being posted with both.

Then the big fail:  SOME gas stations started fielding metric gas pumps.  Around here, and I presume everywhere else, citizens just refused to buy something where the price was posted out on the street for something they just couldn't envision.  The price was a lot lower, for sure.  But it was pretty obvious you weren't paying by the gallon.

Nobody went to the metric stations.  Then the pumps were replaced by gallon pumps, and all was well.

I also recall being warned that if we didn't go metric, our economy would fail because no one who was metric would trade with us.  You are now enjoying that failure.

 

On a slightly different subject, the US DOES use decimal inches, too.  When I work as a machinist, ALL dimensions are in decimal, usually inches.

 

And one final thing:  note that the metric people TOTALLY wimped out, and didn't do time.  They did distance.  And they did weight.  But not time.  In France, there's still days, weeks, months, years.  ALL non-metric.

 

Ed

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 16,372 posts
Posted by Overmod on Saturday, May 1, 2021 3:32 PM

maxman
I don't believe that I have ever been on a bridge where the temporary toll has been eliminated.

I was never prouder of Connecticut than when they kept their word.  The Connecticut Turnpike was financed with 30-year bonds, to be paid off via Garden State Parkway-style tolls.  The understanding was that, at retirement of the bonds, the tolls would be abolished.  That is exactly what happened.

Craven little New York, of course, didn't abolish their craven little toll to connect to the west end of the Turnpike...

Meanwhile, after I moved to Louisiana, I maintained residency in New Jersey just so I could drive 1429 miles to vote against that Teflon governor Florio.  We had covered a story at PRB about the New Jersey Turnpike getting voter approval to take out a large bond issue 'to widen the road' -- this of course paid for by the toll industry, via a rise in toll rates.  But Florio instead floated a plan to use the bond revenue instead to buy parts of the free Interstate system 'at cost' from the Government -- this being the sections of I-80 and I-95 connecting from the north end of the Turnpike at exit 18 across to the George Washington Bridge... and incorporate it in the toll system of the Turnpike Authority.   Then he planned to issue yet more bonds, covered by yet a further increase, to get the road widening that was the reason we all approved the original rise.  That little weasel had to GO, and the whole wretched scam with him.  That business with Christie in Fort Lee didn't hold a candle to it!

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 16,372 posts
Posted by Overmod on Saturday, May 1, 2021 3:37 PM

Amusingly, although automobile wheel mounting bolts have been metric 40 years or so, metric automobile tires were a flaming failure -- even though touted by major European (I.e. metricized) companies like Michelin.

I liked TRX in principle; didn't much like the fun of finding replacements for them after discontinuation...

  • Member since
    April 2012
  • From: Huron, SD
  • 964 posts
Posted by Bayfield Transfer Railway on Saturday, May 1, 2021 3:39 PM

BATMAN

I am just trying to be my usual impish self and stirring the pot. It ain't going to break the bank either way. However, the price has gone up while the length of track has shrunk by almost 10%. That will ruffle the feathers of some.Mischief

 




If you're that bored, my lawn needs mowing.

 

Disclaimer:  This post may contain humor, sarcasm, and/or flatulence.

Michael Mornard

Bringing the North Woods to South Dakota!

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 11,706 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, May 1, 2021 3:42 PM

maxman
...I don't believe that I have ever been on a bridge where the temporary toll has been eliminated....

There aren't too many toll bridges here in Ontario, except at border crossings into the U.S., but we did have one about 15 miles from here, which was built in 1958.  It spanned the canal which connects Hamilton Harbour to Lake Ontario, a former traffic bottleneck with several lift- and swing-type bridges for local roads, the QEW highway, and the railroads. 
While there's still one lift bridge for the local road, the railroad is gone, and the tolls, $.15  for a car (trucks payed more, based on the number of axles) were dropped in 1973.

The bridge was twinned in 1985, allowing for four lanes in each direction.

Wayne

  • Member since
    April 2016
  • 209 posts
Posted by Lazers on Saturday, May 1, 2021 3:53 PM

Hi Brent,

Replying to your original Q' - one of the reasons why Walthers may have reverted to a 36" length of track, is because USA Model Railroaders are more familiar with and used to working with this size, i.e. Imperial Units.

Also Shipping-costs in the USA, may be higher for a metre length than a yard. That certainly is the case in the UK - as I discovered, to my cost!

The quality of the new Track may have improved greatly too, i.e. a more robust Tie-base that can easily be manipulated, in a manner similar to Peco, with Spikes that hold the Rail-section firmly in place. I was not impressed by my Shinohara track's in-abilities in this respect. Likewise, with the quality of the Plastic used as well as the finish of the Mouldings.

My instinct would be to try some examples of the new track and compare the two for any future decisions. I would certainly be interested in reading about these. Paul

"It's the South Shore Line, Jim - but not as we know it".

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 10,714 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, May 1, 2021 3:54 PM

7j43k

Metrification was attempted in the US.  The first event was soda pop.  That worked out OK.  Then speedometers started coming with dual scales.  Again, no big deal.  And speed limit signs started being posted with both.

Then the big fail:  SOME gas stations started fielding metric gas pumps.  Around here, and I presume everywhere else, citizens just refused to buy something where the price was posted out on the street for something they just couldn't envision.  The price was a lot lower, for sure.  But it was pretty obvious you weren't paying by the gallon.

Nobody went to the metric stations.  Then the pumps were replaced by gallon pumps, and all was well.

I also recall being warned that if we didn't go metric, our economy would fail because no one who was metric would trade with us.  You are now enjoying that failure.

 

On a slightly different subject, the US DOES use decimal inches, too.  When I work as a machinist, ALL dimensions are in decimal, usually inches.

 

And one final thing:  note that the metric people TOTALLY wimped out, and didn't do time.  They did distance.  And they did weight.  But not time.  In France, there's still days, weeks, months, years.  ALL non-metric.

 

Ed

 

Yes, built lots of hotrods, rebuilt lots of engines, worked lots of cars, and actually designed and drafted my share of machine parts, machine work in 1000ths of an inch.

Civil engineering uses 10ths of a ft, not inches.

Sheldon

    

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 22,652 posts
Posted by selector on Saturday, May 1, 2021 3:59 PM

Metric is simple. Base 10.  Water boils at 100 deg, freezes at 0.  That's complicated?

100 km/hr is so close to 60 mph that it might as well be the same thing for practical driving purposes.  Either way, you get to 60 miles within a couple of minutes of each other.

The only reason metric is disliked is because we keep harkening back to the imperial measurements, things like 16" on center.  If we changed it to 40 cm, and kept at it the way most of us do diets, wouldn't that work out for the better?  How hard is it to remember '40 centimeters?'  Any harder than 16 inches?  Don't think so.

It's our penchant for converting back to published standards that kills the enthusiasm.  It was poorly managed right from the beginning.

Back on topic, our hobby is always going to get more costly.  What, and when, is just a waiting game. The shorter flex lengths is disappointing, but understandable.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 16,372 posts
Posted by Overmod on Saturday, May 1, 2021 4:02 PM

Didn't that bridge get rebuilt at higher level so there was no need to retain road bridge tenders?  There has been quite a bit of discussion of this area in past years on the Classic Trains forum.

There has been a push to monetize the various Delaware River highway crossings; I believe everything but the 'bypass' Interstate that was built as I-95 connecting near Hamilton to I-295 is the only 'free' one.  I distinctly remember a free crossing somewhere in the Delaware Water Gap area, with fairly high-speed ramps from what I remember as Rt. 46 along the river north of the Bel-Del end of track... it has been removed without a trace, at least not one I can find any more.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: 4610 Metre's North of the Fortyninth on the left coast of Canada
  • 7,554 posts
Posted by BATMAN on Saturday, May 1, 2021 4:30 PM

Bayfield Transfer Railway
If you're that bored, my lawn needs mowing.

You got beer? Be right over.

has anyone on here done a lawn mower v8 swap? if so what transmission did  you use and how did you mount it?

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 7,410 posts
Posted by maxman on Saturday, May 1, 2021 4:50 PM

7j43k
note that the metric people TOTALLY wimped out, and didn't do time

Metric time?  Time to pass out the 7.62 mm ammunition and permanently get rid of those varmints.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 16,372 posts
Posted by Overmod on Saturday, May 1, 2021 5:09 PM

maxman
Metric time?

The French tried it after 1794... but dropped it reasonably quickly.  (They had a wacky metric calendar to go with it, which hung on a bit longer).

Reportedly France planned to re-introduce the current (manifestly non-SI-compliant) hobgoblin of small minds:

https://about-france.com/metric-time.htm

but many perceived it as the April Fool's joke an idea like that really is, and like our 'we're going metric' no one wanted to come along.

 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: 4610 Metre's North of the Fortyninth on the left coast of Canada
  • 7,554 posts
Posted by BATMAN on Saturday, May 1, 2021 5:15 PM

The military, Nasa, and medical all use metric along with many, many industries. Like Elon Musk said if you run across someone that thinks using the metric system is a bad idea. Just smile and say "how do you argue with that" and move on.Laugh

Living next to the U.S. makes it necessary for us in the Great White North to know both systems and anytime I have more knowledge about anything I am delighted. Everyone I know can use both systems equally and I have little problem converting one from the other in my head.

 

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 21,208 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, May 1, 2021 5:15 PM

Metric?

We don't need no stinkin' metric.

Unless, of course, I am comparing Tanqueray 10 - - - 750ml to 1.75L.

If 750ml costs $36.99 and 1.75L costs $64.99, I'm going with the 1.75L. Drinks

Rich

Alton Junction

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!