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Reply to "Atlas and MTH Electric Trains....GOOD NEWS!"

There's some ambiguity in the announcements.  Mr. Muffin says Atlas will be producing locos with DCS yet the Atlas annoucement/MTH announcement says they have the option of producing DCS.  Sounds like there are some details that haven't been fully decided, but perhaps it's just a disparity in the wording that means nothing.   

From the Atlas website:

"Atlas has also acquired a license for the MTH Proto-Sound 3 Sound & Control Electronics Boards, which adds realistic sounds to locomotives and also allows control via DCS (Digital Command System). Part of the license will give Atlas the option to sell DCS components as well."

If they do, I wonder if DCS will remain a closed system with lawyers waiting to go after anyone who tries to operate DCS with anything other than MTH equipment?  That won't maximally promote the use of PS3 locos I'd guess.  Will there be a new sheriff in town who won't be giving out parking tickets?

Will be interesting to see what Atlas does and doesn't do, and what the putative MTH DCS company does and doesn't do about these issues.  As one of our forum members has shown, you can use other devices (Lionel universal LionChief remote) to control DCS and Legacy locos.  There is no technical barrier, only legal barriers.  It's not clear Lionel would continue to license the most widely used system in 3 rail, TMCC, to Atlas, if they don't open their locos to control by Lionel products.

Personally, I won't be buying much Atlas product if it only has PS3 and is not operable by at least some of TMCC/Legacy/LionChief controllers. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in that, so there's a lot of unanswered questions at this point, which is not surprising given it's early in process.

Finally, one of the attractions MTH fans have touted is pricing a bit lower than Lionel's. Atlas is not known as a low end producer in terms of product pricing.  Will the pricing of these new products be more like Atlas's previous products, or MTH's?  Time will tell.

Last edited by Landsteiner
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