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The original rail king and premier subway cars were the same scale such as the R-32 Brightliners, the R-27s Red Birds, and the R-36 World's Fair Cars from 2001. Starting with the R-1-9 cars they were smaller in scale and the looked too small compared to the trucks that they sat on. I think that the BMT Standards and the IRT Lo-V Cars also looked to be too small compared to the trucks they sat on. On the other hand the Q Cars looked too big compared to the other car models as mentioned above.

I've talked to Mike Wolf about making some of the B Division subway cars models such as the R-68s and the R-160s also the BMT Tri-Plex D types 6000 series cars which models of are at the N.J. Highrailers club in Patterson, N.J. when he was there in January, 2015. His answer was the cost of making new dies is the reason why we won't be seeing any new subway cars models.

Some companies now use 3d printers and robots in order to overcome expensive tooling costs.

Unfortunately, the MTH subways have been screwed up from the very beginning. Don’t get me wrong, I was one of the first subway modeling pioneers acquiring these sets. I’m glad they were made. Generally Premier is true O scale but Railking was made larger rather than smaller, being incorrect. Not sure what happened?

If you collect other MTH products such as diesels you will notice that they are made so much better than the MTH subways. Subways seem to have lower quality, sluggish, and less operational features. Sounds are much less as well. Feature wise, they seen to be cheated. Commuter MU sets follow the same path. After reviewing all offered DCS sounds on a few sets I said, “That’s it”?

Other examples are things like the number fonts on the add-on for the first WF set don’t match the original 4 cars. It’s almost like some other company supplies MTH with the subway product line separately. Lack of caring?

The heavy and oversized metal trucks were never improved either. Seems some improvements were attempted like painting black rubber between doors along the way. But in many cases it’s almost like they gave up on improving the sets along with losing the MTA copyright logo.

So many other items could have been produced as a supplement like 3rd rail kits, door chain kits for the Railkings, signals, separate additional power cars for 8 car operation and real El structures just to name a few. I guess they were never fully in the subway business like they could have been.

A cool experiment which peaked out a few years ago as being something new.


Last edited by SIRT

Unless the folks at Lionel decide to come out with a new subway car model don't expect to see any  new models. They have only done one using the R-27 die to make two other models. MTH's Mike Wolf has lost all interest but I give him credit for what was done in the past even though most of their models had issues with their appearance. Remember that MTH is located in Maryland and they don't have direct access to the New York City Subway System. Lionel is located in North Carolina even further away then MTH from New York City. They all just don't have the feel for mass transit models. Instead of holding out hope for any new O gauge models I joined the New York City Transit Museum in 2002 and recently have been riding the restored BMT subway cars built in 1915 and 1927 as well as the IRT subway cars from 1917 and 1924 and of course the IND cars from the 1930s.  

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