While this banter about MTH and Lionel is going on, I wonder what AM is doing. MTH and Lionel both make O scale versions of just about every model AM makes. Will this new competition with AM sink their ship? Ron’s FP7 is what got me into S so many yrs ago. I hope he hangs in there. MTH has stuck with HO and made a go of it while Lionel seems to abort their HO before really giving it a chance. MTH will stick with S, and if their track record with HO is any indication we scale people will benefit. MTH has been considering S for a long time. I talked with Mike Wolf in 2006 about S. But Lionel’s doing more than sticking their proverbial toe in the water, since they jumped from a U33C to an SD70ACe and scale cylindrical hopper. I’ve never seen Lionel do that with their HO. Only time will answer our questions but it sure is fun to hypothesize…… .
A good question, Greg. AM has always been rather low profile. Their ads in Trains and Classic Trains must be paying some dividends, otherwise they wouldn't continue to advertise there.
The last "new" thing I can think of from AM was new roadnames for the E8's and Budd cars (MP Colorado Eagle, SP Daylight, MKT/SLSF "Texas Special") and the addition of MKT to the Pacific and heavyweights. All are nice, but not exactly barn-burners.
The last I heard was all the tooling was back in Michigan, but I don't know what AM's capacity for manufacturing is. Whether it will be in-house or farmed out is unknown. It took almost 9 months for AM to get last years' S Fest Burlington trailer out.
Still, I would hate to see AM get lost in the shuffle. They provide a solid, reliable product, that even though appear somewhat dated by what most train manufacturers are offering nowadays, there's no reason to apologize for.