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Feedback Wanted

These engines have been in development for several years and delayed further by COVID-19.

This limited edition is our first locomotive, and we want to know your opinion of the model's appearance, functionality, reliability, performance, value, and most of all, did you have fun running it? This will help guide us in the future.

Please email your thoughts and feedback to Ray at Guest@menard-inc.com

Remember, the purpose of this test run is to gather feedback. The more people who get one, the better. With this in mind, and because the supply is so limited, we ask that you limit your purchase to one engine per customer.

Features

  • Very limited - Only 200 produced
  • Two powerful motors - Great for pulling!
  • Easy-to-use remote control with forward/reverse, horn, bells, and crew commentary
  • Adjust volume with a dial on the side of the controller
  • Call and response audio between engineer, fireman, and dispatcher (25 phrases)
  • Directional lighting illuminates going forward and backwards and lighted number boards
  • Rugged stamped-steel frame
  • Metal trucks with die-cast frames
  • Realistic train sounds with on/off switch (located on underside of engine)
  • Locomotive Weight: 2lb. 12 oz.
  • Locomotive Dimensions: 13"L x 2-1/2"W x 3-1/2"H (not including horns)





Get on board with the test run of this brand new locomotive from Menards!

Shop Now >


The Iconic F3 Locomotive

The classic F3 locomotive hails design from the Golden Age of American railroading and offers mighty O gauge action with two-motor power for hauling long trains.

The F3 is an iconic locomotive, often dubbed "the diesel that did it," in the transition from steam to diesel locomotives. The Menards F3 features America's most recognized railway graphics - the classic Santa Fe War-Bonnet livery that set a new visual standard for railway graphic design.


Not Just a Pretty Face
This precision crafted model has two powered motors, a rugged die-cast metal frame, metal truck side-frames, and power pickup rollers on each wheel set.

The F3 comes equipped with crew figures in the illuminated cab. Safety is assured along the line with a bright LED headlight, backup light, and classification lighting. The model has working front and rear couplers.

Cast-in detailing includes portholes, rivet and seam detail, and exhaust and radiator fans.

The model showcases premium painting and decoration of the complex Santa Fe silver, black, red, and yellow livery.

The F3 measures 13 inches long and easily operates on O-31 diameter curves, and all contemporary track brands.


Radio-Equipped
The F3 comes with an easy-to-use hand-held wireless controller. Easy for youngsters or adults to hold and use.
- Easy rotating forward-reverse directional control
- Select horn or bell sounds
- Trigger crew communications
- Adjustable volume control
- Quick battery replacement



In case you missed it, I've attached today's Menards Train email. If you'd like to sign up for these, click here.

Attachments

Last edited by Menards
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

@MartyE posted:

Interesting remote design.  I'm with John, I would have bet against it but good for you guys!  Looking forward to see what's next.

Should we assume this is Bluetooth control?  Any more info you can share on the range, etc?

I don't have in-depth knowledge of the remote electronics but I do know it is not Bluetooth. We haven't tested the full range but it works great from 20 feet away, no problem.

-Mark the Menards Train Guy

Mark;

        Thanks for the announcement.

My order is in. This should make the other big model train manufacturers pay attention.



Thanks;

idea-thinker

I'm sure the "other big model train manufacturers" are not too worried.   This loco does not compete with any of their offerings, and dare I say, it's not designed to.   Totally different market.

Conversely, I applaud Menard's for doing this.

I ordered mine.

I have some feedback.  Would you consider putting e units in these like they do on Lion Chief plus locos.  That way you can run them with the remote or conventional transformer control.

I assume this one can only be controlled by the remote and that is fine.

If I were to acquire a bunch of these (believe me I want to) I would prefer the option to operate them conventionally like all of my other locos.

I would be open to a sperate sale plug in/ wire in/ solder in module if you are worried about raising the price by adding an e unit.

Having said all of that, this is so cool.  I asked the Menards train guy about engines years ago,

He said they were working on it and asked me to keep quiet about it.

Hope it is OK to talk now.

So looking forward to running my "Menards & Santa Fe All the Way" train.

Glad to see some other options out there for pepole starting in the hobby.



So when are the passenger cars and freight engines coming out? 

Sorry I typed this before reading your post all the way through.

Should I email that e unit conventional control suggestion in?

Last edited by Garfield

I have never purchased anything from Menards yet, but understand from posts on the Forum that Menards makes quality products at reasonable prices. That Menards is beginning to manufacture and/or market O Gauge locomotives is great news.

I am not keen on Santa Fe and western railroads, but  very interested in similar future diesel locomotives and steamers with Northeastern road names.

More good news for me is  the new Menards locomotive runs well on 031 curves and has a handheld remote control that has the basics, which sounds similar to the LionChief Plus remotes.

Such a reasonable price for such a good quality locomotive is terrific.

Other basic features I would like to see for future Menards locomotives is operating electrocouplers that work by pressing 1 button on the remote,  and good smoke units for both diesels and steamers.

Arnold

@EscapeRocks posted:

I'm sure the "other big model train manufacturers" are not too worried.   This loco does not compete with any of their offerings, and dare I say, it's not designed to.   Totally different market.

Conversely, I applaud Menard's for doing this.

My thoughts exactly. Congrats to Menards and I will follow closely. However, I'm far from "in" on this and will wait see how the product line shakes out first.

Ear to the ground, er, rail.

I'm pleasantly surprised but not shocked.  If you connected the dots of Menards and trains, the path leads to right where it is today.  It looks like Menards figured out a way to build a new line from scratch using existing technology.  The consumer wins and this is good for our hobby.   Thank you Menards for keeping our hobby alive and well!  When are we going to see OGRR do a detailed video of Menards' secret layout with all the highways full of animated cars and trucks?

It looks nice and it sounds nice but I’m going to sit out this test run (My reasons are largely budgetary). I also like the fact that it lacks dual headlights. The NYC, the PRR, the CNJ, the Reading, the B&M and other RR’s didn’t  have any. Nor did the Katy’s or the Rock Island’s freight F-3s.

I would consider buying a couple if Menards authorized/released a limited-run in Santa Fe’s blue and yellow “cigar band” freight scheme.

EDIT:  I respectfully pass on being a Beta-tester.

Last edited by Mister_Lee
@IRON HORSE posted:

I'm pleasantly surprised but not shocked.  If you connected the dots of Menards and trains, the path leads to right where it is today.  It looks like Menards figured out a way to build a new line from scratch using existing technology.  The consumer wins and this is good for our hobby.   Thank you Menards for keeping our hobby alive and well!  When are we going to see OGRR do a detailed video of Menards' secret layout with all the highways full of animated cars and trucks?

Agree, a pleasant surprise here as well. I have quite a few Menards items and so glad for the products they offer. Just ordered mine and will test it well and give reports, they asked us to. Imagine the units to follow, ABA set, multiple road names, excitement builds. I believe they will listen to the "200" and make any adjustments/advancements for follow on products. This helps so much in the entry point for new kids at a great price. Thanks Menards!

Last edited by Rail Dude
Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
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