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@sdmann posted:

"Can Scott Mann be far behind?"  Short answer... No.

Long Answer: As long as customers ask us to make models, and we get enough orders, then I will continue to make model trains.

I don't know what I would do with myself if I wasn't working on something. For me, this is my hobby, running the business, reviewing the designs, traveling and checking production, interacting with interesting and interested customers at the shows. Getting a little golf in with the factory guys.

I get up early, 2- 3 AM most days and chat with Korea and China (end of their day), answer emails and maybe go back to sleep for a few more hours. I work with the office (remotely for now), coming in on their off days.

I don't wake early because I have to. I have always been an early bird. I love driving around town with no one out except me and the animals. I see Deer, Skunks, Raccoons, Owls... I have to drive more cautiously at that time because the deer tend to jump out from the bushes when they see my lights.

Before COVID, I traveled extensively to Korea, China and Europe (When we make European models), and Chicago and the East Coast (York). And I am the biggest white knuckle flyer you ever met, but I still traveled. That part of the business is gravy for the soul. To be able to pat the guys that make this stuff on the back, hold production models, make small corrections and changes with eager smiles from the workers. Everyone is invested emotionally. How could I walk away from that.

As time goes on I feel obligated to keep going to help those that make the designs, tooling and models, work at our office, print the magazines, all trying to make a living at it. We all have pledged to help each other in business, and so I feel the same obligation.

Dad was the same way. He came to work even during his Chemo at 75 years old, most every day. He was pretty tired most of that time. He passed away at 78, leaving me to run the business. I remember walking around the office early in the morning, before anyone was there. I could hear his voice, words of advise. Things I already knew, but we had rehashed over and over during our 10 years working together almost every day. He too loved running the business.

So that's the long answer. I am here to stay, as long as I have support from the factories, customers and a little luck.

BTW: Would you guys be mad if I dropped the SD40-2 for something more popular? After all this time we only have 190 reservations, only 1/2 of what is needed.  What could the new diesel be that many want?

Scott Mann

We're happy to read you will be around! For myself, I plan to keep purchasing your offerings not only because they are top-notch, but because you are great to work with. Also, it is a bonus to be able to conduct business with friends.

I like the idea of an SD40-2 run, but at half, maybe something like the Siemens Charger would get more interest? I'd also love to see the SD70ACe-T4 made.


Last edited by vash44

Well, way back when, I suggested a GP40-2 might do better, but probably not much better.  We've also discussed the new Amtrak Chargers, to go along with the Amfleet and Viewliner cars but that got zero interest.  I don't think the Dash 9s or E60s will fare much better, but I hope I am wrong, I could use several Dash9 chassis for my MTH/Lionel ES44s.  This is good for my finances.  It's also why Midwestern has a bucketload of my reservations.  

Hey Scott: Got the new LED lights you sent and already installed, they do look nice and the "flicker free" feature is very  much welcomed.

As for the SD40-2, yes, drop the project. As was mentioned above, having too many projects might be mudding up the waters in terms of reservations.

I have no opinion on what makes a project popular or not, (I would have thought the SD40-2 was a pretty sure bet) but it might be time to dust off some of the old models and dare I say, start to remake some of the more popular choices.

From a business point of view, Chevy did not stop making Corvettes because they feed the demand. Improvements were made, new customers entered the market and technology marched on.

In your case, many of your iconic models are more than 20 years old. New customers, new technology and quite frankly, very limited product is available on the secondary market. You and your staff can figure out what might be a good project based on past numbers, current secondary market availability and how new technology and manufacturing techniques might bring an old(er) project to market that would be in demand.



As I mentioned in an email a few weeks ago, with the impending closure of MTH, I'm looking to your company for my future purchases. I've previously suggested the New York Central K-Class Pacific in this thread and would also be interested in small steam engines such as a 2-6-0 and 4-6-0 (maybe even generic) if they are economically feasible. As for diesels, I prefer the smaller ones such as the GP7/9 and F3, which I already have on order. Continued best wishes for success to you and Sunset...


I will add my (2) cents.

I am pretty much thru with buying any new Lionel engines, steam or diesel. I am frankly tired of hoping for a model that is not broken or not working out of the box. 7 out of my last 10 Lionel engines had to go in for warranty work immediately or got sent back to the supplier. With MTH gone and Atlas back orders 3 years and waiting.......

I only plan to purchase 3rd Rail products from now on. That being said, I feel the price equals the quality.


@EMD posted:

Hi Scott,

With 190 reservations, what would the SD40-2 have to cost to have a production run?

For an estimate take $200K (that's the minimum for one or a thousand) and divide it by the number of models. So for 200 models $1K each.  And that's for 2020.  The Chinese government will give workers their 10-20% raise next year so next year it will be $220K or more.

And oh, for those I know are thinking it, that minimum for making them in the US is ~$500K in 2020.  Scott has already tried that route.

hmmmm what to ask for in place of the sd40-2? maybe something to go with those beautiful misouri pacific cars he is issuing. along with the other roads using like santafe, atlantic coast line, emd demonstrator, florida east coast, chicago & northwestern, rock island, union pacific. if not that, then something to go with the m&p cars he is issuing.

I saw somewhere in the thread we are just short of 200 reservations. I’ve a MP and a Frisco reserved. I’d up my MP to two to help get to Needed 275 numbers to get it to fly. 275 into 200,000 gets to  the 729$ current pricing.  250 reservations get to an 800 price point.  I could also double my Frisco too. If I’m a lonely Frisco fan I can switch the Frisco to SF.
ANYONE Else out there willing to make a final push ???????????
Can we Help Finally Make this a GO ?????
One last push ??? Or just pull the plug!!!!!!   Time to 👍 or 👎this offering.
If a no-go I’ll just realign my reservation “bux” into the Alco FA offering. Gotta get it moving too.
cheers !!! 🤗

Trainbub, I like your thinking


Would it be worthwhile to see if existing reservation customers are interested in upping their reservation figure to make this project possible/worthwhile

Then maybe calculate a higher price

Just one last ditch effort to make this project a reality

Thanks for listening

Can we keep this thread on topic w/ 40-2s (please )

Ok folks. Final push time. To contribute to the push, I’ve doubled my MP and Frisco reservations to 2 each. We need 275 reservations to maintain the $729 price. I could go to $750 but not higher !

Scott.  Give it another month to see how this reactivated thread uptick Relates to total reservations. If we can’t get to the needed reservations, put it to bed and move on. I’ll move some Reservation money to increase my Alco FA Position.

cheers 🤗

I will simply state that this is what usually happens on any 3rd rail diesel these days.  There is this huge push to get to minimal reservations and then once it get produced those who didn't reserve ask for a second run once photos go up of the model.

In the past it was possible to do things like pilot models.  That is not today's reality.  So in as that horrible 80's song goes when it comes to pre-ordering, "You gotta have faith!"

I just can't quite justify going above two orders myself with current pre-ordrs.  Maybe I could go one more on a 3r ATSF one for a pair, but the 2 rail Conrail one I pre-orded is way out of my 2 rail modeling era.  Especially true now that I picked up an old Gem PRR F-3 Mogul detailed for the 1920's for my layout.

Pondering ...  the ATSF SD40-2 does go well with the 3r era I model at my club.... decisions, decisions.

It is silly to have the conversation in general for such an iconic locomotive that has never really been done well at this scale remotely close to this price point.

Well shoot, I'll add another one this weekend after I finish my current assignment for Scott.

Last edited by GG1 4877
@sdmann posted:

BTW: Would you guys be mad if I dropped the SD40-2 for something more popular? After all this time we only have 190 reservations, only 1/2 of what is needed.  What could the new diesel be that many want?

Well I’ll never buy another Sunset mod...

Just kidding.  😇

My feelings won’t be hurt.  However, could you please keep the option open in the future to try again?  Maybe when all the dust settles from the closing of MTH and people start changing their ordering behaviors.

As for what to replace it, I don’t have a good sense of the things you’ve offered before, so forgive me if these have been done recently.

1. GE C39-8 Conrail (humpbacks!)
2. GE U33C Conrail
3. GE U25C PRR or Conrail
4. GE U28C PRR or Conrail
5. GE U23B Conrail
6. GE U30C PRR or Conrail (already done by MTH)
7. GE U25B PRR or Conrail (already done by MTH)

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