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So I’ve read thru the comments on this forum, other forums and Social Media about this engine. I passed on it but not for all the other reasons that people have been saying, “it doesn’t have smoke, it doesn’t have Electro Couplers, it doesn’t have a place to take it to when it breaks.”

This is a TRIAL run of this loco. What this means is that if they can figure out the bugs like other things in the hobby such as the DCW WIFI App operations, this can open a door to a new manufacturer of locomotives.

I would worry about everything else last. If these engines turn out to be great locos and the response to Menards is positive, they will start producing these again and others road names maybe different types of locos.

The loco was being sold around 130. Find a loco with smoke, electro couplers and all the bells and whistles of a command control system, new in the box from a retailer…

This loco is geared more for someone who wants a loco that they can put on the track, it can pull anything that is put behind and let it go but don’t have to spend tons of money.

I certainly would of bought this loco, but there are people out there that are more happy and excited to get this than I would in life right now. I know at least 5 people who bought them and I will get to see them in person when they get here.



This is very exciting to see and probably in December, at least one person that sees a loco operate and how to maintain it and where it should go might be able to own a Menards Loco of there own.

Take it at face value gents. If  you want all the fancy features then the big mfr's have plenty to offer.

Think back to where their models were when command systems were first offered.

I'm looking forward to testing it out. My first Beta test! WHOO HOO!

Just think......20 years from now we can sell them on Ebay as first run collectors items for a ridiculous amount of money. .

Last edited by RSJB18

Aldovar ,

Those reactions are EXACTLY what these locomotives should mean, great price, good looks and it is something kids (Of ANY age) can run the wheels off of having FUN!

My grandkids currently run a Thomas , they love the fact it is their's and something they get to run without any hovering and corrections, this is a good step up for the NEXT train when that time comes if Menards goes into full scale production.

Last edited by Ron_S

"While it may not be Bluetooth, the remote bears a striking resemblance to those found in Lionel set"

As is the pricing.  LionChief separate sale locos are about $40 more.  LionChief sets as low as $200 for Thomas.  Menard's has carried Lionel sets and rolling stock for years so I suspect this was contracted with Lionel or a Lionel factory,  but does not bear the Lionel name.  The remote conforms almost exactly to the external outline of the LionChief remote.  Notice that the remote and loco bear little or no resemblance to RailKing in price or control system appearance. I suspect when you examine the PCB boards in the loco and the remote, they will look remarkably like LionChief, but I could be wrong.

Last edited by Landsteiner

I am happy to hear these sold out -- great for the hobby.  I was excited and I had one in my shopping cart this morning but decided to pass.  I have a great MTH Santa Fe Railking F3 PS3 that I absolutely love.  A Menards engine could not compete with it for track time --- but for $130 versus $550 or so,  I'm sure it was not intended to outperform my MTH model.  I'll look forward to hearing feedback from forum members.

Wow, although I’m late to make an order as they’re Sold Out, I will be checking at the Menards store in Evansville, Indiana  later this fall/winter when they begin their Christmas sales displays. I hope the folks that get theirs in the next few weeks will give us some interesting details on how they operate. The price is right for a beginner in the hobby. Remember when Williams brought out their line of diesels way back in the 70’s? Menards has some very interesting accessories, buildings, signs, houses, all good quality. This thread should grow by leaps and bounds as this new addition to their line of O gauge products is very fascinating. Happy Railroading Everyone

@MartyE posted:

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.

Striking resemblance?  Well not quite, other than a warbonnet paint job.  The LionChief set locomotives are FT's, with way different roof details and 4 portholes on the side.

Images: Menards and Lionel

The Menards locomotive bears a much closer resemblance to an F7 without dynamic brakes and the nose isn't shaped like any other model I've seen.  I will say the exhaust stacks and fans do closely resemble the Lionel postwar F3's.

There's really a bunch of detail issues with the model I could site, but this model isn't designed to please rivet counters, just those looking for an inexpensive locomotive option and I believe it succeeds on that point.

Rusty

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@Landsteiner posted:

"While it may not be Bluetooth, the remote bears a striking resemblance to those found in Lionel set"

As is the pricing.  LionChief separate sale locos are about $40 more.  LionChief sets as low as $200 for Thomas.  Menard's has carried Lionel sets and rolling stock for years so I suspect this was contracted with Lionel or a Lionel factory,  but does not bear the Lionel name.  The remote conforms almost exactly to the external outline of the LionChief remote.  Notice that the remote and loco bear little or no resemblance to RailKing in price or control system appearance. I suspect when you examine the PCB boards in the loco and the remote, they will look remarkably like LionChief, but I could be wrong.

I wonder if it can be run with the Universal Remote?

There's really a bunch of detail issues with the model I could site, but this model isn't designed to please rivet counters, just those looking for an inexpensive locomotive option and I believe it succeeds on that point.

There are certainly several items to cite for those of us who enjoy counting the rivets, but what is striking to me is how closely this comes to an actual Phase IV ATSF F3.  It has the correct pancake fans, the continuous grille, late number boards, and the correct style pilot.  It is surprising scale looking even down to the bulldog nose which is hard to replicate.

Not sure where the number came from though.  Definitely not an ATSF F unit number.

@JPLoco posted:

A little surprised here also.  Had to order one and check it out, only 200 being made and its only  $146.00.  They advertise $129.99 with the worthless rebate for those of us on east coast that would not be able to drop in to use the $16.00 rebate.  But still at $146.00 I gave it a shot.  I believe they showed a delivery date in July - lets see.    JP

You can always send it to a friend or OGR member that can use it. Their prices always seem fair and the rebate is a bonus. Know any seniors in "Menardsville" land? I'm sure they'd appreciate the gift.

Last edited by BobbyD
@Former Member posted:

Alrighty Bob... Do your duty and post up some close up pics and video.  Let's see how slow you can get it to crawl... Pop off the shell too and let's see it's innards!

If the loco can come close to a crawl, I would be ecstatic. Speed control is likely my favorite feature of legacy/dcs engines, so any bit of tweaking to provide smooth slow speed operation would be greatly appreciated.

@jim sutter posted:

Lets talk repair work. Who will do it? How long is the warranty good for? Will we be able to buy parts and do the repair work ourselves?



That is the sixty four thousand  dolor question.

A small issue. Guessing they have a plan. Do any TV's have a warranty after 30 or 60 days? Staples wouldn't even exchange an unused defective stapler of theirs received as a gift because we didn't have the receipt.

Last edited by BobbyD

Would be interesting to know if any of this came from K-Line tooling, can't wait to get mine for the open up  !

The details don't match up with a K-Line F-unit.

@jim sutter posted:

Lets talk repair work. Who will do it? How long is the warranty good for? Will we be able to buy parts and do the repair work ourselves?

I'm guessing refund/credit or exchange for defective units.  Functioning returned units to be placed in Menards Mystery Boxes.

Rusty

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