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Being an operator, the following comments.  First, why not remote controlled couplers.  I think that is a must. Secondly, these were usually sold in AA sets so a dummy should be offered ( with remote controlled coupler).  Thirdly, why not use bluetooth or one of the other control systems ( the listed range is rather limited.)That being said I am glad you are in the loco arena.  Art

Looks Like I'm in, Will love to test.  At the price point I am glad for Whistle/Bell/Commentary, and hopefully is a good runner like some of the Original RMT models before they got pricey. 

I'm sure reasonably priced sets will follow that will get kids into the hobby, hence the controller system.  Maybe 5 years down the line we will be talking about Menards Monarch Line of High End trains

Curious to know about tech support and part availability as you launch into Engines, don't need a lot of tech support for buildings and rolling stock.  This changes the game.

ok, so when does this thread turn into a discussion of how Menards will be purchasing MTH Railking tooling?  Asking for a friend, LOL!



Nice looking train at a fantastic price. I sure hope they continue down this path.

That’s already been discussed with most rolling their eyes. At the time I thought it was a pipe dream. Now, who knows. I just want to see a continuation of the railking line at decent prices.

@Art Lites posted:

Being an operator, the following comments.  First, why not remote controlled couplers.  I think that is a must. Secondly, these were usually sold in AA sets so a dummy should be offered ( with remote controlled coupler).  Thirdly, why not use bluetooth or one of the other control systems ( the listed range is rather limited.)That being said I am glad you are in the loco arena.  Art

Having to target a certain pricing point, somethings that you or I might consider must haves need to be left off.
If you look closely at the underside pics, there are other areas where some design issues had to be taken into account as far as cost go.
One has to be very careful with feature creep after initial design, or else one begins to miss the target price point

@Art Lites posted:

Being an operator, the following comments.  First, why not remote controlled couplers.  I think that is a must. Secondly, these were usually sold in AA sets so a dummy should be offered ( with remote controlled coupler).  Thirdly, why not use bluetooth or one of the other control systems ( the listed range is rather limited.)That being said I am glad you are in the loco arena.  Art

Obviously, Menards wants to keep the price point under $150. (And as stated, there are folks that can't take advantage of the rebate offers...) Bluetooth and remote couplers would probably push the retail over $200 for a powered unit.

Rusty

BIG THUMBS DOWN, they were soooooo close, but for the love of god why do your own control system! Blue tooth, TMCC, DCS dont do a new thing!

Those are closed systems and would require licensing from MTH and Lionel, which adds cost plus the tech. This would be a $350 engine if they did that. Bluetooth requires an app to run, which are very expensive to build and maintain relative to this market size…I still cringe from past personal experience.

For the target market this price point and remote is fantastic. This is an awesome entry level offering

I was pleasantly surprised to see this but I sort of figured down the road they would be  doing this.  I ordered one to try it out. I am amazed at the price but also understand that you get what you pay for and that you can't get all the bells and whistles for that price. I think Menards will definately be helping those who want to get into the hobby by offering reasonably priced engines. They already offer rolling stock and buildings at reasonable prices..........................Paul 2

Those are closed systems and would require licensing from MTH and Lionel, which adds cost plus the tech. This would be a $350 engine if they did that. Bluetooth requires an app to run, which are very expensive to build and maintain relative to this market size…I still cringe from past personal experience.

For the target market this price point and remote is fantastic. This is an awesome entry level offering

While it may not be Bluetooth, the remote bears a striking resemblance to those found in Lionel sets.  Could it be that it is the same control system used in earlier LC sets?  These were not Bluetooth.

Last edited by MartyE

@Menards - waiting for an answer regarding whether or not it will operate conventionally.

Love the look and price point, but if the only way to run it is with the proprietary remote, then I'm probably out.  Concerned about availability of a replacement controller, and don't want to deal with yet another control system. 

Also hoping for a dummy A or B unit to accompany it.  If there are no plans to produce a dummy A or B, I would suggest selling a road switcher - a lone F3 just looks odd to most train folks.

Menards, thank you, thank you, thank you. This is fantastic news! And your price point hits this out of the ballpark. Love the old school vibe, with the remote control twist. Don’t need smoke, remote couplers, this is a fantastic entry level offering. I’m not a Santa Fe guy, but will definitely pick up some with U.P. Or Milwaukee Road Livery. My Grandson will be very excited that he will be able to afford a nice loco. Hope the testing goes well. Such exciting news!

Joel

This is fantastic!  I might just spring for one even though I have MTH engines and DCS, would be a unique shelf queen.

I am assuming this is an RF linked engine that can run on the DCS 18V rails (I know the DCS won't control engine but the rail voltage will be there though you can dial  down TIU voltage in another mode)

BUT being a negative Nancy, who will repair these when they break, and future replacement supply parts? (think how hard its been to get parts for some Lionel and MTH accessories years later)

RTR sets are getting pricey and make it harder for parents to add one when other toys are more affordable on many budgets. Menards has always been a leader in making toys for a great price, kind of like Marx in the 50's.

I hope the tests are very favorable and any bugs get worked out for future production runs.

From the looks of the remote, it's probably similar to LionChief. The major difference is that on the lowest end LionChief there is no volume control and the horn and whistle buttons are reversed.

The lowest end Lionel sets can be run on AC or DC, although I am not sure any are dual-motored so the power transistors may need to be rated for more current.

I missed getting one, so I'll have to wait until someone gets their hands on one to check the frequencies and possibly the FCC ID number on the handheld.

@Ron_S posted:

RTR sets are getting pricey and make it harder for parents to add one when other toys are more affordable on many budgets. Menards has always been a leader in making toys for a great price, kind of like Marx in the 50's.

I hope the tests are very favorable and any bugs get worked out for future production runs.

Ron - I have one on the way.  I will have to find a day to swing by the P and P to see how it works with the multitude of command signals in the layout building between the various clubs.  My order said to expect delivery around the 17th.  We shall see?

Got an order in. I am a tinplate guy, so this is not my cup of tea, but I think it will get some great use on the club meet table layout.

I am jealous that things like this are available to you, and at the same time amazed at the non stop complaining about what is missing from an entry level item. Everything that some you want added runs up the price in one way or another.

If this works, and I suspect it will. think of the nice under $300 starter sets that can be put out, or assembled from individual items.

thanks Menards

Steve

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