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@catnap posted:

I'm not looking for any new models in 2-rail although it would be nice. But, when Atlas goes over 10 years since their last run of GP9's, GP35's, Dash 8-40B's, MP15DC's, SD40's, etc. then that's a problem. I'm pretty sure a run of Alco C424's would sell out quickly in 2-rail and 3.

Just reissue past models in motive power and rolling stock. If that's too much to ask then maybe Atlas should focus their efforts on accessories like track and buildings. Atlas acquired tooling from Weaver for the VO1000 3 years ago and they've done nothing with it so you'll have to forgive me for being skeptical about their capacity to produce MTH Premier trains not to mention their own (GP7's...7 years and counting).

You could not be more correct!! Atlas C424, C anything would sell. I know a bunch of us want the Lehigh Valley Snowbirds, and also RS-1's. I would love a late Susquehanna RS-1 Silver.

Thought...

If "Dead-Rail" (Battery power) becomes more accepted in O scale, there will be an O2R resurgence, eroding the O3R market particularly among younger generations. 

However,....

If "Dead-Rail" should gain an accepted foothold in the HO portion of the hobby before O-philes even wake up, well,...sayonara, O!  Your remaining manufacturing/investing in O scale will probably run...not walk...away.

Just MHO, of course. 

Too negative?

We'll see.

KD

Beth,

I appreciate that you are backing 2 rail items. Unfortunately, items I currently need for the N&W are pretty specific to the N&W and will likely have to be scatchbuilt or bashed. I've happily picked up some other interesting 3/2 items along the way such as the Weaver Milwaukee rib sides and B&O wagontops, Atlas C&O cement hopper, Pennsylvania X29 and some run of the mill boxcars and tank cars. I have a fair amount of brass cars that I know are pretty accurate. I'll have room on the layout for 30-40 more pieces of rolling stock.

The problem for me is that the big importers slap any road on any item and then I'll have to figure out which is actually accurate at all, and then accurate for the specific year I'm representing. I know what has been produced that is accurate for the N&W but for all of the other railroads, not so sure. I guess at some point I'll get around to approaching other modelers of other roads about what models from MTH, Atlas, and Lionel were the ultimate in their categories in detail and paint scheme.

@Hudson J1e posted:

@rplst8 Just curious but when you went from HO to O did you consciously choose 3 rail or did you not know about 2 rail back then?

I knew about 2-rail - but at the time (about 2001) MTH wasn't doing their Proto 3-2 trucks yet and other 2-rail offerings were either scarce or $$$$.  It seemed to be an extremely niche market - maybe more so than S scale, which I strongly considered since I have a soft spot for Gilbert Flyer stuff.  I was earlier in my career at that point so 2-rail O was a non-starter price wise.  The cost for 3-rail stuff has been creeping up - obviously still not as high as 2-rail - but "accurate" 3-rail is not cheap either.  Point is - I could probably now swing it money wise, but I'm not ditching my existing collection of scale and "mostly" accurate 3-rail stuff.  I'm not a rivet counter per se, but I avoid things that are just obviously wrong - like pretty much all of the SD40-2s out there.  One of my favorite diesels, so I'm very excited about the 3rd Rail SD40-2 project.  I did get suckered into the MTH PRR J1a with it's rear drivers shadowed by the firebox - but the price was too good to pass up.

@Mike CT posted:

Mentioned briefly.  MTH at one time did 3-2 models, as long as 2 rail modelers would except the larger flanges.  At the time I thought this offering to be a plus for two rail numbers that could be simply added to the 3 rail orders.  The Russian Decapod was may be the most noted offering 3-2.

Russian Decapod

Understood, but AFIAK MTH never offered the wheel sets to convert the steam 3-2 models - only diesels - and only a subset of the catalog.  E8s, PAs, and others never got the Proto 3-2 trucks - and still had inner blind drivers to boot.  I sold my PA set after I realized they were like that.  Unfortunately they had advertised 3-2 trucks but it was a mistake.

I have purchased many 3 rail freight cars and converted them to 2 rail over the years. the manufacturers and dealers have no idea how many 2 railers have done these conversions of 3 rail models. so to them, all they know is that they sold another 3 rail model. that also means that the original purchase of the 3 rail model is a vote for more 3 rail models

@dkdkrd posted:

If "Dead-Rail" (Battery power) becomes more accepted in O scale, there will be an O2R resurgence, eroding the O3R market particularly among younger generations.

However,....

If "Dead-Rail" should gain an accepted foothold in the HO portion of the hobby before O-philes even wake up, well,...sayonara, O!  Your remaining manufacturing/investing in O scale will probably run...not walk...away.



Maybe I'm just out of the loop, but I'm not sure what dead rail has to do with it, could you elaborate?

@rplst8 posted:

I knew about 2-rail - but at the time (about 2001) MTH wasn't doing their Proto 3-2 trucks yet and other 2-rail offerings were either scarce or $$$$.  It seemed to be an extremely niche market - maybe more so than S scale, which I strongly considered since I have a soft spot for Gilbert Flyer stuff.  I was earlier in my career at that point so 2-rail O was a non-starter price wise.  The cost for 3-rail stuff has been creeping up - obviously still not as high as 2-rail - but "accurate" 3-rail is not cheap either.  Point is - I could probably now swing it money wise, but I'm not ditching my existing collection of scale and "mostly" accurate 3-rail stuff.  I'm not a rivet counter per se, but I avoid things that are just obviously wrong - like pretty much all of the SD40-2s out there.  One of my favorite diesels, so I'm very excited about the 3rd Rail SD40-2 project.  I did get suckered into the MTH PRR J1a with it's rear drivers shadowed by the firebox - but the price was too good to pass up.

I totally understand. I would never blame anyone who has a sizable investment in 3 rail for not converting to 2 rail. When I converted I did not have a lot of 3 rail. Most of it I sold and some got converted and I kept a few pieces.

I don't understand what Dead Rail has to do with 2 rail either. Obviously, it is out there for those who want it but to me it is just another option of controlling the trains. True if one installs Dead Rail components in their 3 rail O scale trains there is no need for the center rail.

If Dead Rail was available in HO off the shelf in ready to run products that alone would not make me want to switch to HO.

For years I have been reading on this forum that Dead Rail is the wave of the future and someday all model railroading will be Dead Rail and maybe the people who say this are correct but if so many people want it and it is so great than why have manufacturers yet to offer it in ready to run products? I don't have the answer to this question but I suspect it is a complicated answer. I have no interest in it but I know some guys on this forum love it and that's great. There is no doubting that Dead Rail has some really great advantages. OTOH it does have a few cons. I always say there is no right or wrong way to go about the hobby. All opinion.

My decision to forgo a layout entirely and just display my trains was guided by the lack of a decent dead rail system.  Sorry, just not into wiring anything.  I spent much of my career wiring data networks and it was one of the things I was happy to leave behind when I retired.  Battery powered locomotives and just a single 5VDC USB power line or maybe 12VDC and everything else is wireless with wifi or bluetooth would have been awesome.  Especially with modular layouts.  I agree that the lack of modular O Scale layouts at shows does diminish this corner of the hobby.  I watched for years expecting an O Scale freemo group to emerge but it never happened.

For me, the gigantic track used in three rail (and for two rail with the center rail simply removed) is the biggest drawback.  Two rail track simply looks better regardless of the control system used.  The catch is that you have to have large radius curves and much better trackwork in general.  I understand the appeal of three rail track and operation, but I think O scale will still need scale or semi-scale wheelsets to appeal to 2 rail modelers.

@bob2 posted:

I don't see it as a diversion.  The discussion is based on why folks don't buy more 2-rail, and "dead rail" or battery RC will make the center rail obsolete.  What could be a more natural progression in a thread such as this?

OK, well in that case I'll offer a few thoughts.

One of the challenges with 2-rail is reversing loops.  It wasn't as much of a problem in the days of running everything in blocks before command - but with command - which I VASTLY prefer - you need relays and sensors and all kinds of things to get the trains to run smoothly through a reversing loop.  Now 3-rail doesn't have that issue - and neither doe dead rail, and that is one thing that makes dead rail attractive.

The challenge with dead rail is recharging the batteries of course.  They have to be taken out of the engine or whatever and then charged on a pack.  I guess maybe some systems have an external charging port, but that route takes the engine out of service until it's charged.  This is a first world problem obviously - but there is one thing I don't like - and that's leaving 3rd party lithium batteries charging un-attended.  While I (mostly) trust laptop and cell phone manufacturers with their built in lithium batteries do to their proliferation - I've still seen lots of phones and laptops turned into charcoal bricks.

I think part of the reason we haven't seen any major manufacturers take the battery power route is due to the fire hazard and potential liability.

Now, how to solve it...  I thoroughly believe a combination system is the right path.  Battery powered locos combined with Bluetooth wireless (or other wireless coms) that use a STANDARD that everyone can agree on.  Then, charging-on-the-fly operation where you just provide dead simple AC or DC 15-20V on sections of the layout to allow the locomotives to charge as they pass over them.  This will allow them to enter and exit reversing loops without trouble, and continue running on the actual dead rail sections of the layout.  Engines could also be easily charged while they sit in a yard or engine facility.

Think of these "charging sections" as the track pans of yore where the locomotive scoops up what it can opportunistically.  Doing it this way would allow the whole layout to be powered down without worry of the lithium batteries overheating, giving everyone peace of mind and removing a lot of danger and liability issues.  The current supplied doesn't need to be anything special, no special wiring to combat signal issues, or voltage drop or anything else.  Just electrified straightaways or something.

[quote] It wasn't as much of a problem in the days of running everything in blocks before command - but with command - which I VASTLY prefer -[b] you need relays and sensors and all kinds of things[/b] to get the trains to run smoothly through a reversing loop. [/quote]

Really?? How do all the HO & N scale layouts that are 2-rail and have balloon tracks manage?? For DCC, simple 'reverse loop modules' are readily available. Honestly, judging by many of the comments I see from 3-rail guys, anyone would think these smaller scales, that work perfectly well in 2-rail, had never been invented!!??!!

I'll repeat what I would like to see in 2-rail - an affordable (i.e. not brass) EMD/Santa Fe CF7, and modern (post-1980) rolling stock - ARMN Reefers, etc. I have 2-railed some MTH Premier 50ft high-cubes with Atlas roller-bearing trucks and they look great.

Last edited by SundayShunter
@rplst8 posted:

One other thought on going 2-rail.  Why do most HO trains run on 18" radius, but 2-rail O scale trains need like O96 (48" radius) or O108 (54" radius)?  In O, the equivalent to 18" radius is 33". A few I've seen need 22", but even that is like 40" in O scale.  Therefore O72 to me seems like it should be doable for a minimum radius in 2-rail O.

Big steam locos might need wider curves, but even 6-axle diesels & longer modern freight cars can take 36" radius curves. Of course they can look a bit silly doing so, just like HO models on 18" radius, but "can't be done" is just a myth. Here's a YouTube link showing my Atlas SD40 on the 36" curves at one end of my layout. First car in the train is an MTH Centerbeam on Atlas roller-bearing trucks.

https://youtu.be/YdhXghlga04

I agree with SundayShunter.  Reversing loops are no problem at all with DCC as several manufacturers including Tony's train exchange have the simple automatic electronics board for seamless reversing.  So easy! and so much easier than years ago.  This has been available for at least 25 years without separate switches and sensors or other devices needed.

I also agree that some 3 rail sales clearly go to 2 railers who convert the items.  I recently purchased an MTH NH GP7 from Beth - converted to 2 rail wheels, constructed proper longer pilots and repainted handrail stantions correctly after creating new proper railings for the extended pilot stairs.  Part of the hobby used to be modeling what you wanted. 

I have to believe that Atlas will now get its act together over the next 2 years or so and will be offering both 2 and 3 rail as 2 rail is a large part of their business.  BTW, the reason that 2 rail track has been out of stock is that there has been a strong run on it during the pandemic.  2 rail may be growing - just look at Sunset/3rd rail's offerings - they are difficult for dealers to stock though.

J2M

Beth, I also live in Paso and have bought numerous things from you in the past. I would be interested in around 10 3 rail SP drop-bottom gondolas. As for two rail numbers being down I think cost might be a factor all O scale models are expensive compared to HO and N, I believe it has more to do with the amount of room person needs for the large radius curves. Especially for those of us out in the West.

...

Really?? How do all the HO & N scale layouts that are 2-rail and have balloon tracks manage?? Judging by many of the comments I see from 3-rail guys, anyone would think these smaller scales, that work perfectly well in 2-rail, had never been invented!!??!!

I'll repeat what I would like to see in 2-rail - an affordable (i.e. not brass) EMD/Santa Fe CF7, and modern (post-1980) rolling stock - ARMN Reefers, etc. I have 2-railed some MTH Premier 50ft high-cubes with Atlas R/B trucks and they look great.

Exactly, I wonder how the HO and N communities exist with dead rail without...

The ARMN reefers are one of the Cars I tried to talk Scott Mann into doing along with 53' spine cars.  And yes the MTH 50' high cubes are very nice.  I have several I'm lengthening into 60' cars.

Beth brought up modified tooling.  Scale Rails has videos on Youtube on how they use modifiable tooling in HO.  But I don't know what is possible.  If Atlas could modify their 53' articulated well car tooling into a standalone version I would get those.  If they could modify their tooling to make 40' versions both articulated and standalone I would get those.  A big one for me would be for Atlas to take their Husky Stack tooling and cut off the ends to make Maxi Stack Is.  How about Atlas modifying their MP15 tooling to make an SW1500.  Its what was asked for in the first place.  It seemed time and time again people would ask for something when Atlas had a forum, like, oh say, a GP40, and Atlas would respond with something strange and unusual that was not as widely wanted.  Again, not holding my breath.

Like I said, make things that people can go down to the tracks and watch (with their children and grandchildren) and more people will be interested.  With the death of so many hobby shops how many remaining are also Amazon shops.  That's where people find things today.  Or Ebay.  I found a company on Ebay in Hong Kong that makes great contemporary 20' and 40' 1/48 scale containers but only in 6 liveries.  Not the old ones Atlas copied from Pecos River Brass that haven't been seen in the real world in 20+ years.  In HO and N this company makes many more liveries available and also additional types and styles of containers.  I told them if they make more in 1/48 I'll be buying.

Big steam locos might need wider curves, but even 6-axle diesels & longer modern freight cars can take 36" radius curves. Of course they can look a bit silly doing so, just like HO models on 18" radius, but "can't be done" is just a myth. Here's a YouTube link showing my Atlas SD40 on the 36" curves at one end of my layout. First car in the train is an MTH Centerbeam on Atlas roller-bearing trucks.

https://youtu.be/YdhXghlga04

You're right.  Those MTH centerbeam cars are very nice if you correct the truck placement.  I think I have about a half dozen I'm doing the same thing to.  I think Atlas now has the tooling; what are they going to do with it?  

How about contemporary covered loads for them?

I dont remember ever shipping to a Paso address.  Did u just move here?

I'll have to see what I have lofe in SP drop bottoms, and I'll let u know.   I could probably deliver them rather than havoing to ship...

beth

First items I purchased from you or at the Great American train show in Anaheim, williams- cab forward and a few other items don't remember exactly what. And and items you had at Anita's (CCTs) Been in Paso since the 70s.

Last edited by shasta

I never thought about the fire hazard / liability of Lithium batteries in our trains - interesting point in regard to future widespread availability from a major manufacturer

I wonder if the radius issue in O scale is that not only are our trains just a little less than 2x as long as HO; but they are also a little less than 2x wide; so maybe saying 18" in HO = 36" in O Scale doesn't work (?)

Sunset / 3rd Rail sales are about 60% 2R / 40% 3R.  They produce the largest amount of O scale 2 rail locomotives and passenger cars at the moment with Atlas's recent challenges.  Since most Sunset sales are direct, these numbers aren't easily reflected in dealer sales.  Please don't take my Atlas comment as any negative comments about Atlas product.  They have always produced a quality product and I have lots of Atlas in my collection. 

During my 14 years on this forum, I have seen the number of 2R modelers grow and the average age drop.  Many of us who came to O from HO and N just didn't realize the possibilities in 2R O and started in scale 3R.  I believe there is a body of evidence to support this in that MTH started offering 3/2 locomotives with scale wheels and DCC compatible command and the availability of 2 rail conversion kits for Lionel scale offerings.

The number of 2 rail modelers will never rival the amount of 3 rail modelers and I still live in both worlds depending on the road name and where I will operate my trains; home vs. club layout.  Having stated that, I will say that my 2 rail purchases are much more directed. I am pretty close to the point where I have everything I am looking for in 2 rail O for a future layout.  The final rolling stock and locomotives that I am looking for either 1) have not been made in O scale and are not likely to be, or 2) I need to do more research on the prototype and era before purchasing.  I also find my self much more discriminating when it come to 2r vs. what I enjoy and operate in 3R.   

Of course balance all of this with the certain uncertainty of the times and it could all mean nothing in the end.

[quote] It wasn't as much of a problem in the days of running everything in blocks before command - but with command - which I VASTLY prefer -[b] you need relays and sensors and all kinds of things[/b] to get the trains to run smoothly through a reversing loop. [/quote]

Really?? How do all the HO & N scale layouts that are 2-rail and have balloon tracks manage?? For DCC, simple 'reverse loop modules' are readily available. Honestly, judging by many of the comments I see from 3-rail guys, anyone would think these smaller scales, that work perfectly well in 2-rail, had never been invented!!??!!

Even w/o DCC it's not a big deal.  I have one on my little layout and it's a single switch to flip and everything runs just fine. The reverse loop thing is just another bit of mythology that continues to be perpetrated as an excuse to shun 2 rail.

Really?? How do all the HO & N scale layouts that are 2-rail and have balloon tracks manage?? For DCC, simple 'reverse loop modules' are readily available. Honestly, judging by many of the comments I see from 3-rail guys, anyone would think these smaller scales, that work perfectly well in 2-rail, had never been invented!!??!!

I'll admit I haven't followed HO and N or DCC all that closely since switching to 3-rail O, and I'm definitely not an expert.  It just always seemed people were either complaining about the complexity or the cost of the electronics to manage it all.  I remember one conversation in another forum where an HO modeler just completely questioned the need for a reverse loop at all.  As if it wasn't common in HO and most people didn't have them.  I honestly have no idea, like I said before it's been a good 20 years since I've thought seriously about HO, and there's enough to keep track of building an O scale layout as is.

But the point stands, in dead rail and 3-rail, it's not a concern. 

@mwb posted:

Even w/o DCC it's not a big deal.  I have one on my little layout and it's a single switch to flip and everything runs just fine. The reverse loop thing is just another bit of mythology that continues to be perpetrated as an excuse to shun 2 rail.

Agreed.  I built a wye for my 24'x16' HO layout when I was 16 and a DPDT switch with some wire was all I needed to make it work.

@j2morris posted:

I also agree that some 3 rail sales clearly go to 2 railers who convert the items.  I recently purchased an MTH NH GP7 from Beth - converted to 2 rail wheels, constructed proper longer pilots and repainted handrail stantions correctly after creating new proper railings for the extended pilot stairs.  Part of the hobby used to be modeling what you wanted.

I think each person building a layout has to pick their battles.  Some are good at modeling, some are good at wiring, and others are good at scenery.

I feel like your assertion is a little bit like the "No true Scotsman" fallacy.  Do you hand lay all of your track?  Do you cut the ties yourself?  Do you do your own motor windings?  Some people buy it and some people make it and most of us are somewhere in between.

@mwb posted:

Even w/o DCC it's not a big deal.  I have one on my little layout and it's a single switch to flip and everything runs just fine. The reverse loop thing is just another bit of mythology that continues to be perpetrated as an excuse to shun 2 rail.

I actually said that.  I felt that before DCC, 2-rail reversing loops were easier and much less costly.

rplst8.  I totally agree with your thoughts, just saying that some 2 railers convert 3 rail equipment and that doesn't show up in the sales numbers.  Didn't mean to discount/disregard others who practice the hobby differently.  To each there own and hopefully they enjoy it!

BTW, I do lay my own track and cut my own ties on my O scale trolley layout since good street guider rail is not available in O scale.  I have rewound a motor or two in the past, I don't recommend it.  Still use Pittmans when I can.

I came to O scale from HO, actually I've been through all the scales a timer 2. Had a substantial HO layout and an early adopter of DCC, still have my "system one"  now (NCE) to run my Bachmann on30. My first purchases where from Scott at 3rd rail, 2 rail O scale. At the time I couldn't find large enough DCC decoders. The local hobby had a Lionel S2 and gave me a good deal on it and I bought some fast-track just to have something to run as I had sold off my HO. That introduced me 2 scale 3 rail, I like how well the engine operated and ended up buying more three rail stuff. By the time I found good decoders with sound that were available in for 0 scale I had already sold off my two rail and had such a large investment in 3 rail that I elected to not go back.

@j2morris posted:

rplst8.  I totally agree with your thoughts, just saying that some 2 railers convert 3 rail equipment and that doesn't show up in the sales numbers.  Didn't mean to discount/disregard others who practice the hobby differently.  To each there own and hopefully they enjoy it!

BTW, I do lay my own track and cut my own ties on my O scale trolley layout since good street guider rail is not available in O scale.  I have rewound a motor or two in the past, I don't recommend it.  Still use Pittmans when I can.

Cool, my bad.  I jumped to conclusions.  I've rewound some field windings on old Flyer stuff.  Fun times.

@j2morris posted:

rplst8.  I totally agree with your thoughts, just saying that some 2 railers convert 3 rail equipment and that doesn't show up in the sales numbers.  Didn't mean to discount/disregard others who practice the hobby differently.  To each there own and hopefully they enjoy it!

That flows both ways.  Over the years I have bought a number of two rail cars that I converted for three rail use.   Sometimes it was because the item wasn't made in 3 rail.  Other times it was because I couldn't locate the item in 3 rail or the price differential broke heavily that way.  So far for me it has been exclusively freight cars, but others have posted about efforts to convert locomotives. 

@bob3 posted:

I never thought about the fire hazard / liability of Lithium batteries in our trains - interesting point in regard to future widespread availability from a major manufacturer

...

My Tesla is powered by lithium batteries and charges in my closed garage when I am asleep.  Most of my power tools are powered by lithium batteries as well as my lawn mower and my snow blower.  My drone is lithium powered.  And my laptop.  And other things.  I am simply not concerned about lithium batteries any longer.  BUT, part of the issue with model trains is the availability of a complete system.  For years I tried hobbling something together.   Not a concern about the batteries but getting it to work and fit as expected at all.

For years I spent the most frustrating time during my career dealing with vendors pointing fingers at each other when things didn't work properly and was having the same issues with model trains.  Ahhhhh... no more!

@rdunniii posted:

My Tesla is powered by lithium batteries and charges in my closed garage when I am asleep.  Most of my power tools are powered by lithium batteries as well as my lawn mower and my snow blower.  My drone is lithium powered.  And my laptop.  And other things.  I am simply not concerned about lithium batteries any longer.  BUT, part of the issue with model trains is the availability of a complete system.  For years I tried hobbling something together.   Not a concern about the batteries but getting it to work and fit as expected at all.

For years I spent the most frustrating time during my career dealing with vendors pointing fingers at each other when things didn't work properly and was having the same issues with model trains.  Ahhhhh... no more!

It's true, there are plenty of lithium batteries out there in many different forms.  However, a lot of the things you mentioned are built by large corporations, a few are very large.  The drone is probably the most comparable thing to trains.  I'm not doubting that it's possible that there might be a line of battery powered trains soon, or even that we may see this become mainstream.  I just see it as a potential hurdle, and I think on the fly charging removes most of that as well as bringing a lot of user friendliness.

@rplst8 posted:

It's true, there are plenty of lithium batteries out there in many different forms.  However, a lot of the things you mentioned are built by large corporations, a few are very large.  The drone is probably the most comparable thing to trains.  I'm not doubting that it's possible that there might be a line of battery powered trains soon, or even that we may see this become mainstream.  I just see it as a potential hurdle, and I think on the fly charging removes most of that as well as bringing a lot of user friendliness.

Absolutely!  One of the main things about a system is that it works with a charging track.  And that is the only power on the track so that dirty track become irrelevant.

I don't know for sure, but I'd guess the charging circuitry and safety features of a Tesla or power tool are significantly more sophisticated and expensive than the charging circuitry and safety features of the LiPo setups in use for model airplanes/boats/cars/drones.  The latter are repeatedly subject to reports and warning of LiPo batteries catching on fire, bursting or otherwise doing nasty stuff so that manufacturers recommend charging in metal containers or fire resistant bags.  This suggests that model trains and their LiPo batteries might best be sold using the same sorts of chargers and safety provisions used in the more expensive power tools and cars if this difference is real, as I suspect it is.

Ive seen plenty of cool stuff in 2 rail come out in the last decade.

PRR GRa gondolas,  the H30 covered hoppers.  MILW ribbed side box cars, and of the Atlas USRA hopper cars, 8000 gallon tank cars, or AC-2 covered hoppers.    All the golden gate passenger cars...and our special run of the 64' woodside coaches.    Engines....MTH did big boys in 2 rail 6 months ago, but now they are all gone.   2 rail diesels...Ive been pushing for this..and hopefully some day it will happen.  2 rail road diesels..there are plenty available.

I'm getting MTH steel drop bottom gondolas done in 2 rail (as well as 3 rail) . They are really nice highly detailed cars.    The remarks I get from 2 railers when they see some of the nice MTH stuff is...."i had no idea this stuff was that nice".

Im also going to have a program introduced on the website maybe in a month....where if u buy an MTH freight car, 2 rail trucks for it will be available for $19.95 .  I know its not 5.00 bucks, but best I can do right now.  Part of the probem with the MTH cars is that the bolster screws go in from the top down, and u have to take the car apart to change the trucks, and I dont have time for that.  If it was an easy truck change, I could do them and charge less..

What would u want that has enough mass appeal to make the project economically viable?  Id say of course diesel switchers (like an alco S-2) and consolidations, but what else. 

FWIW... The last time Atlas offered the SW series switchers, they cancelled the run due to low order numbers.   You cant expect the manufacturers and dealers to take all the risk, and then have the hobbyists sit back and decide.  "well maybe I'll get it after I see it. "    The marketplace has spoken...and dealers are saying "im not stocking any 2 rail". Im only ordering what customers order.  And the numbers  are coming up short for production.

I wish I had the answer..other than more publicity for 2 rail

my .02 again

I'm a 47yr old 2R convert from 3R. I left 3R because the detail kept getting better and better in the 90s and later, and eventually the models were so close to scale that I couldn't stand the track anymore. Personally I love the features and "play" value that 3R brings, but I can't stand the track, swinging pilots, etc... So I went to 2R O thinking it would be the same only with 2R track. Wow was I wrong. I started the 2R Facebook group, and over the years it has taught me that I do not think like the typical 2R modeler.  I want different things out of my models and my hobby than the majority in 2R. That's fine, but it shows that the segment is divided amongst itself. In several factions actually if you include P48 which seems to be growing.

As for advertising, we have over 2,000 members on the FB group. Everyone is quite aware what has and is going to be made. I don't think the MFGs are making products people want to buy. Atlas canceled that SW order and you are putting the blame on the consumer which I don't think is fair. I think they chose bad road names. If they were to offer Erie, EL, Chessie, or B&O I'd buy 6 of them right now on the spot! If they only do a road name once every 20 years or so they might not sell very many! Also, how many people simply don't trust Atlas to deliver anymore? The GP7s are 6 years behind and counting now! Why would anyone want to lay out a deposit for something that they have no idea of whether it will be made? It's not like the deposit is the only issue either... 3rd Rail doesn't require a deposit, but just look at the issues with the recent geeps. I started out wanting 6 models in Chessie, B&O, and Erie.  Then it was decided that I couldn't get 7s and 9s in both schemes only one or the other, and the B&O scheme that I wanted wouldn't be offered. Come delivery time and 2 of the 4 I had ordered were sold to someone else so I was left with 2 of the 6 that I wanted. When I finally got them they didn't run well and were not what I expected. This really has me on the fence going forward.

With the demise of MTH and apparently no takers for the O scale scale wheel steam I will never be able to buy a RTR steamer with sound and smoke again. I have a list of steam engines that were never made that I would be happy to pay for, but that's not likely to happen. I think the fair thing to say is that this is as much on the mfgs. as it is on the customers. 

Let's face facts... HO has about 2/3 of the entire model RR market according to the industry experts. Of the remaining 1/3 N scale has 10%. That means O scale 2R and 3R are fighting for the scraps of what's left with 3R taking the bulk of that. With the hobby shrinking we should expect to see the fringe scales affected first. Just look at On3, S, Sn3, On30, HOn3, G, etc... All shrinking.

I'm struggling personally as to whether I can stay in O for the long term. For example, it's really frustrating that Atlas made a Chessie SW900 20 years ago and I have never been able to find one in 2R so I finally bought a 3R model and converted it. So now I have a total of 1...  How am I supposed to build a roster at that pace? I am very willing to spend the money, but I want products that interest me. I'm not going to spend money on stuff I don't want. Lately I've been converting Lionel rolling stock which is very nice. If Lionel would offer their Diesels and Diecast steam in 2R I would buy them in a heartbeat. As it is I feel like I'm stuck. The scale seems to be dwindling around me and I can't get the stuff I want. Perhaps the mfgs. should pay more attention to the desires of the customers that are here now and willing to spend money? Example, We have been discussing the EMD SW1 lately on FB. We did a poll a while back and there seems to be a lot of support for this project, but so far we don't have a firm commitment or announcement from any mfg. If we can't get an SW1 made I'm not sure what will move the needle personally.

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330-757-3020

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