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I’ve Several pieces to my comment. Sorry if it seems a bit disjointed.
I get you want to do 2 rail. Why not also target 3railers ?  Won’t that get you more #s needed (combined 2R and 3R) to get project to fly ?  
Just some internal “guts” differences, yes?  

Atlas always offered 2R and 3R models. They had best product ….. BUT… they’ve have almost done nothing for 10 years or so !!!!! They’re still pushing 10 YO offerings into the future - and never delivering. That sure doesn’t promote a “warm and fuzzy” feeing for me.  

Atlas-Premier. Who knows ??? Why Wouldn’t they use the 3-2 “guts” MTH had. Did they not get this with their purchase ?? Does anyone know ???    

Remaindered MTH. I would think They should retain the 3-2 “guts” - but again I don’t know.

Where this goes (if anywhere) will be interesting. If it stays 2 rail only, good luck. All of the “I’ll buy this” talk is just that - talk. Talks cheap.  Here’s hoping you can soon firm up an offering for reservations - and Really see what kinda support is out there.    

Cheers !!!

Last edited by TrainBub

Trainbub, you bring up a very interesting point. Will Atlas use the 3/2 trucks from MTH or will they change the tooling (if need be) to accept their trucks? I have no idea but where this gets interesting for me is if Atlas were to start producing the MTH 3/2 trucks and actually selling them, then it would be very easy to convert older diesels to 2 rail by adding the 3/2 trucks and selling the trucks with the captured axles. Now that I think about it I wonder if the new MTH Parts will sell just the 3/2 trucks? Time will tell I guess.

Last edited by Hudson J1e
@TrainBub posted:

Where this goes (if anywhere) will be interesting. If it stays 2 rail only, good luck. All of the “I’ll buy this” talk is just that - talk. Talks cheap.  Here’s hoping you can soon firm up an offering for reservations - and Really see what kinda support is out there.    


Indeed it is, and not unlike all the talk about all the other loco's that folks look for reservations and most fail to follow through on.

I'm looking forward to this as an opportunity for a small loco that will run on just about any 2 rail layout w/o limitations.  That alone should improve the odds of success.

I appreciate Beth effort. I purchased a Frisco SW9 from the 2007 run from Public Delivery Track. It is my favorite 2 rail locomotive. It even negotiates O-24 radius track with 40 Foot or smaller cars. It is a smooth runner with over a decade of running. MTH RK Locomotives seldom if ever has 2 rail scale wheels. Those scale wheels were on the Premier Locomotives. I would welcome any new entry into the 2 rail scale switcher market at an under $500 price point.

@Hudson J1e posted:

I always thought it was really cool that MTH had the 3/2 option however (and I could certainly be wrong) to my knowledge I don’t believe they ever offered a SW like a SW1 or SW9 with the convertible 3/2 trucks. I would have bought one if I saw it advertised.

You are correct, the SWs never got Proto 3/2. MTH never made an actual scale sized SW to my knowledge either. IIRC they were oversized RailKing models. Only the Premier Alco switchers had proto 3/2 I believe. But they still had swinging pilots, vertical motors, and short handrails.

That's why I asked what it is exactly that we are talking about here?  I love end cab switchers. IF 2 rail versions get made similar to Atlas then yes, I'm interested. If these are reworked MTH RailKing models then no, I probably wouldn't be interested.

2-rail and 3-rail are different hobbies.  Beth is doing an amazing job even thinking about a 2-rail offering as first choice.  For committed O-scalers (dedicated that is, not 'committed' as in institutions) look at what Heljan is achieving in the British market ... and luckily Lionel is not a household name over here.

The D&H never had SW1s, but I'd look for a local shortline to justify buying one, I promise Beth.  The OO/HO modellers over here love the heft of O-scale (2-rail of course) and are setting up tiny layouts for O-satisfaction.  It's not good enough to say "fix your problem Beth by doing 3-rail as well."  Different wheels, frame/pilots, 3/2 trucks, innards - electronics and tower-power, all contributing to 3-rail extra cost.  No, no Jason don't mention rotating bearing caps on 2-rail diesel axle ends ... oh, too late.

There are many 3-rail models that could be worth buying if they could be yanked off the production line before the 3-rail chassis was screwed on.  I know, I know, it's been tried by Atlas.

Anyway, good luck Beth, the rumour that a new version of the mythological tale of Pandora's Box is being released as Beth's Box by Hollywood must be something somebody made up, eh?

Jason
ps: CP Action Red

 

2-rail and 3-rail are different hobbies.  Beth is doing an amazing job even thinking about a 2-rail offering as first choice.  For committed O-scalers (dedicated that is, not 'committed' as in institutions) look at what Heljan is achieving in the British market ... and luckily Lionel is not a household name over here.

The D&H never had SW1s, but I'd look for a local shortline to justify buying one, I promise Beth.  The OO/HO modellers over here love the heft of O-scale (2-rail of course) and are setting up tiny layouts for O-satisfaction.  It's not good enough to say "fix your problem Beth by doing 3-rail as well."  Different wheels, frame/pilots, 3/2 trucks, innards - electronics and tower-power, all contributing to 3-rail extra cost.  No, no Jason don't mention rotating bearing caps on 2-rail diesel axle ends ... oh, too late.

There are many 3-rail models that could be worth buying if they could be yanked off the production line before the 3-rail chassis was screwed on.  I know, I know, it's been tried by Atlas.

Anyway, good luck Beth, the rumour that a new version of the mythological tale of Pandora's Box is being released as Beth's Box by Hollywood must be something somebody made up, eh?



I want to see fixed pilots as much as the 2-rail folks, but I'm already heavily invested in 3-rail.  I disagree with your assertion that "2-rail and 3-rail are different hobbies".   Realism and accuracy are a sliding scale, and I've seen some downright awful 2-rail layouts and some amazingly realistic 3-rail ones.

I know this is the 2-rail forum, but I think there is a market for fixed-pilot diesels with hi-rail wheels and center rail pick-up rollers.  If there can be some manufacturing overlap, we all win.  If that means the 3-rail variants have Kadee couplers and are straight DC (with a NMRA DCC plug) to get to a reasonably priced and easier to manufacture model - I'm all for it.  If I want a command system that is compatible with my existing stuff I can throw in an ERR or DCS board at my leisure - just make sure the motors have flywheels!

I'm all for compromise if it helps the hobby along and I think the first company to realize this 3-rail O-scale market will have a success on their hands, and be positioned for the future of O-scale as it progresses toward more and more scale modelers.

We'll all be viewing this from our own corner.  Weaver started as 2-rail only and then got persuaded to do 3-rail too, good quality and prices, but the Lionel brand didn't let them in.  Atlas did 2- and 3-rail versions of all their models, then had factory problems, took criticism from hungry 2-railers and "Who?" from 3-railers and ended up taking MTH tooling and inventory, without telling 2-railers that 2-rail versions might be in plan.  The Airslide hopper, Gunderson boxcar easily good enough to be promised with 2-rail trucks and the existing pads for the Kadees(!). 

I've ordered some 2-rail Atlas Master autoracks to see how UK O-scalers deal with stunning temptation.  Uh-oh those tiny 28" wheels will need the cars raised for 3-rail wheels.

Jason

The railking scale SW1's and Sw1500 are nice full scale models.   I would do either of them in 2 rail in a heartbeat.  Especially the SW1, which has horizontal drive.   The Railking SW8, SW9, SW1200 are not to scale. the hoods are too long.  JSYK

I agree that the Railking Scale models are very nice models for the price but I have never seen any MTH locomotive with a horizontal drive system. I believe Lionel did a S2 switcher that had a horizontal drive system and maybe that is what you're thinking of. I checked the MTH website and I looked up a SW1 and in the description it says "(2) Precision Flywheel Equipped Motors". A horizontal drive would only have 1 motor.

2-rail and 3-rail are different hobbies.  Beth is doing an amazing job even thinking about a 2-rail offering as first choice.  For committed O-scalers (dedicated that is, not 'committed' as in institutions) look at what Heljan is achieving in the British market ... and luckily Lionel is not a household name over here.

The D&H never had SW1s, but I'd look for a local shortline to justify buying one, I promise Beth.  The OO/HO modellers over here love the heft of O-scale (2-rail of course) and are setting up tiny layouts for O-satisfaction.  It's not good enough to say "fix your problem Beth by doing 3-rail as well."  Different wheels, frame/pilots, 3/2 trucks, innards - electronics and tower-power, all contributing to 3-rail extra cost.  No, no Jason don't mention rotating bearing caps on 2-rail diesel axle ends ... oh, too late.

There are many 3-rail models that could be worth buying if they could be yanked off the production line before the 3-rail chassis was screwed on.  I know, I know, it's been tried by Atlas.

Anyway, good luck Beth, the rumour that a new version of the mythological tale of Pandora's Box is being released as Beth's Box by Hollywood must be something somebody made up, eh?

Jason
ps: CP Action Red



Yah there’s differences.
If she want to do only 2 rail - FINE.
If she can do 2 and 3 rail - FINE.  
Do what works. 😑    
Life goes on…….

@catnap posted:

I’ve never seen a 3-rail layout look as good as 2. Track work is what makes a layout and 3-rail loses all day, everyday by default. Turnouts look especially awful in 3-rail.

I politely disagree. If you are comparing only the track then yes 2 rail will always look better (meaning more accurate to the prototype).

I have seen some incredible 3 rail layouts. When you compare the entire layout you can't simply say, "Well the 2 rail layout is better because it doesn't have the center rail." The layouts must be judged as whole complete unit.

I remember many years ago I went to see Peter Kruimer's 3 rail layout. Peter's layout was complete with full scenery, many scratchbuilt structures, some weathered rolling stock, and some really cool scenes. Peter told me about a guy who lived not too far away from him who was a 2 railer. This guy thought his layout was better than Pete's solely because his layout was 2 rail but his layout was just track nailed to a wood platform. No scenery, no structures, no weathering, no roadbed, no ballast, no scenes, etc. As much as I like 2 rail there was just no comparison between the two layouts. Pete's layout was 1,000 times better.

All Opinion.

Last edited by Hudson J1e
@catnap posted:

I’ve never seen a 3-rail layout look as good as 2. Track work is what makes a layout and 3-rail loses all day, everyday by default. Turnouts look especially awful in 3-rail.

The two rail is a nice added detail. I’m more interested in the engines, rolling stock, and scenery.
You are entitled to your mean-spirited opinions - but they are better kept to yourself. I see layouts that I don’t really care for but I’d never say that and blemish someone else’s pleasure/pride/fun.
These are my opinions.

You guys are talking about opinions, and confusing them with facts.  Sure, it is a fact that many 3-rail layouts have beautifully executed scenery.

It is an opinion that 3-rail track is not as pleasing as 2-rail.  We are entitled to hold opinions.

I personally would rather have accurate track, wheels,and couplers than even one ounce of scenery.  Others actually like the center rail and giant flanges and couplers.  I for one am glad they are happy with their hobby.

@bob2 posted:

You guys are talking about opinions, and confusing them with facts.  Sure, it is a fact that many 3-rail layouts have beautifully executed scenery.

It is an opinion that 3-rail track is not as pleasing as 2-rail.  We are entitled to hold opinions.

I personally would rather have accurate track, wheels,and couplers than even one ounce of scenery.  Others actually like the center rail and giant flanges and couplers.  I for one am glad they are happy with their hobby.

Yep opinions. To each his own.

Regardless of our different opinions and dissappointments, I still hope to purchase at least two two-rail SW-9s should Beth  be able to proceed with this project. Aside from my need for a "broadgauge terminal" switcher for shoving broadgauge cars across the loading platforms for narrow gauge, I believe that two-rail needs to either hold steady or grow if it is to survive.

I read British modeling magazines from time and I've seen a lot of their layouts built around stations and small freight yards.  For those of us not blessed with basements or mother-in-law apartments (A fading feature of many southern inner-suburbs), I suspect that shelf layouts are the most feasible choice if we want to do any running at home.

Just before I wrote this text I was looking at a photo I took of what I believe is an Atlas SW-8 on the Dallas Fort Worth O Scalers' modular layout back in 2014. I don't recall their minimum radius, but the Atlas machine could take the curves.

As has been said by others we should be pleased Beth has taken up the possibility to provide a reasonably priced end cab switcher. O scale is in yet another transition. I used to say there was Atlas   at one end of the spectrum together with Sunset in the middle and Key at the top. Key is inactive and Atlas lost its O scale champion when Bill Weaver died. So no use in being critical. I am of the strong view whether you're modelling in 2 or 3 rail it's all one hobby. So Beth thank you and please keep plugging away as many of us are very supportive of your initiative.



Phil

You got it Bill.  Jim could see, even with Atlas's reputation in HO, that just copying Lionel wasn't going to win them much, he remembered the confusing message from the Roco-made offerings of the 70s.  Offering full 2-rail quality to 3-railers in the 90s worked a treat for Atlas.

Mike Wulf's fallout with Lionel and his extensive offerings came from his knowledge of 3-rail quality and he expected to carry 2-railers along easily.  I imported one of the 2-rail MTH Big Boys in the 90s and there was an extra bit between the 8-coupled frames because it used 3-rail curve geometry in the design I suppose.  Those early MTH GP30s were perched up on foreshortened Blombergs trucks.  Atlas's quality showed Mike how to outshine Lionel.

Mustn't forget Weaver.  Super stuff, originally good price, got me going seriously in 2-rail, used their mechanisms in early Gilmaur kits when CLW's supply stopped.  Joe Hayter saw a bigger market with China-made 3-rail.  Having nice to assemble, easy-to-mount freight car trucks with easy to swap 2- or 3-rail wheelsets and a simple king-pin spacer for the 3-rail height - no over-complicated metal brackets, etc.

Ah well, each to his own.  Wow, did I write all that?
Jason

Beth : CP Action Red

@jonnyspeed posted:

Hi Beth,

With all due respect, I really don't understand what you are shooting for here. You are asking for interest but you aren't really giving enough detail.

I might be interested in a 2R SW9 in the 1963 EL paint. Now if you tell me who is building it and what features and details it will have then I'd move closer to a more definite YES. If I knew this was an Atlas remake that would make me comfortable of the mechanics and then it comes down to Railroads and schemes. You picked the most obscure EL paint version out there, for example, which while not my favorite I would take 2 of. I'd also take 2 in pure Erie, 2 in EL Maroon/gray, 2 in Chessie, and 2 in B&O Blue/Yellow if you made them. I'd need to know what it was I was buying before I would be willing to commit though.

For what it's worth...

I ran a poll on the 2 Rail O scale Facebook page a while back to help gauge interest for a potential SW1 project with Sunset/3rd Rail. The results of that poll for a newly tooled SW1 with DCC/Sound in 2R at $700 ea. came to a minimum of 118 units with many people wanting multiple road numbers of the same scheme. This is my point though... How many of those would have been real orders? Nobody knows. Scott has never announced the project so there is no way to accept or track preorders. Right now it's just the results of an internet poll. Much like this thread.

In my humble opinion I think the best way to gauge interest is to do what importers have done since this hobby started. Do the research, crunch the numbers, put up the details of the project and take preorders. That's the only way to know if you have the support or not.

If you had product in stock to sell me today in Erie, EL, B&O, and Chessie that was accurate, ran well, and looked good I would purchase 6 at $450.

BTW... If you decided to do SW1's I'm pretty sure you wouldn't have much problem moving 100 units. Just saying.

I've helped push a few projects and there are 2 reasons why you cannot disclose "who" is willing to consider manufacturing.  The main reason is that if the MFG decides not to produce the model, they don't want to receive a bunch of calls and emails.  Another reason is the rules of the OGR Forum.  Depending on who the MFG is; you may or may not be allowed to mention them by name.

Of the 3 projects I helped push, 2 are a go.  That's a 66.6% success rate, so don't be discouraged too much.

Last edited by Brad Kowal

I hope this project moves forward.  I'd still try to buy the two units I'm interested in.

Personally, I find the idea that there hasn't been a commonplace first-generation diesel switcher put out in two-rail to be surreal. It's not just guys modeling the steam-to-diesel transition era who could use them: some of them not only lasted to the turn of the millennium but are still around today, howbeit not with their original owners.

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