Are Lionel and MTH ever going to have some new locomotive model produced?

"Are Lionel and MTH ever going to have some new locomotive model produced?"

 

Laughing so out loud, that's the funniest thing I've ever heard.

Both will milk their current molds to death until we wise up and stop buying everything they out on the shelf.

First off there is a misconception here. Tooling costs today are less than they were even 30 years ago.  With the CAM and CAD capabilities today, molds are made with little hand labor.  Dies are not always necessary as small parts can be made in a CAM mill and drill machine or a printer  but complete loco tooling still costs money that  must be recovered.  As for new locos; it depends of what era your layout represents. For hobbyists that model the 1940's and 1950'd era ; most popular locos in that time period have already been modeled and those that haven't look very similar to what's available.  .  For new era. how may people want that?  The quantities of new stuff produced is low and the prices high.  Even a large company like Lionel is lucky if they sell 500-1000 run of a Legacy locomotive. The market reacts only to the demand and IMO the market is still active but near saturation.

Builder of the Hill Lines ( New Delta Lines). Recreating history for the model RR community.

Kudos to MTH for producing the scale 44 tonner.  They will get LOTS of mileage out of their tooling as they can keep reissuing them in a myriad of road names.  

Most of what's left to produce are locos that were made in small numbers or specific to just a few railroads.  I would very much like to see a U18B or a GP18, but I don't expect to see O Gauge versions of these any time soon.

I have had extensive conversations with a friend of mine who orders custom runs and in order to cover new tooling cost on a locomotive the minimum run must be 1000 models. Lionel did the SD60E and the NW2 as new tooling and MTH did the SD60E and the GE 44 ton all in the last 2 years. Ive seen quite  few of each of these locos available so they must have made their minimums. MTH is definitely getting their moneys worth out of the ES44 tooling and Lionel is beating the Berkshire to death. I dont really see manufacturers making a whole lot of new tooling for every catalog. If you see one every year or two consider yourself blessed.

MTH Authorized Service Tech

President Chief Operations Officer, The Lenny Lines

 

I love my trains!!!

 

http://www.netanimations.net/Moving-picture-steam-locomotive-running-animated-gif.gif

Originally posted by Dennis LaGrua:

For new era. how may people want that? The quantities of new stuff produced is low and the prices high.

Well it seems a lot because both co's made the GE ES44 , GE 6000, The C44-9, the SD80, SD90, SD70M, SD70M-2, SD70ACE, SD60E, and now the Latest from Lionel, the SD60 Triclopse!

I HOPE Lionel Makes the SD60MAC Demo! A Colorful Paint Scheme, A Popular Roadname, and what Trains mag calls it a Landmark Locomotive!  [YEah! Like the FT!]

member:Golden Spike Club Charter Member

A true O scale model of the SOO LINE FP7 locos have not been offered in either original or new SOO schemes. 

Both MTH and Lionel could make GP30 diesel-electric locomotives in China. Neither has produced the SOO LINE GP30s. The problem could be the ALCo FA sideframes on the real GP30s. 

Atlas O produced a small run of SOO LINE GP35 locos several years ago, so the people at Lionel and MTH are still holding off on making the GP35s in the SOO LINE scheme, for some reason.  

The people at MTH did have the SOO LINE GP40 produced with ProtoSounds 2 and ProtoSounds 3 in China. 

There are many more railroad paint schemes to produce using existing models.  

Andrew

All this talk about wishing that some nice manufacturer will read your mind and make your favorite engine but things don't necessarily work that way. For years I asked Lionel to make a ten wheeler for me.  It finally dawned on me that the folks down at Lionel or MTH just don't have the same mental image of my requested engine that I have.  So instead of asking for a GP9, an SD900MAC, a B&M 4-4-0 or a Soo Line 4-8-2.....SHOW THEM.  Do some research and provide plans, drawings, magazine articles....just anything to let them understand what it is you want.  It worked for me.  Just before Lionel released their first 4-6-0 I met Mr. Maddox, president of Lionel.  As we shook hands I introduced myself. "Ottosen?" he asked, "You're the guy who wanted a ten wheeler, aren't you?".  I smiled and told him that it was me.  He chuckled and told me to watch for the next catalog. And sure enough there was my ten wheeler.   Good luck.   Odd-d

R. E. Ottosen
Rusty Traque posted:
BobbyD posted:

The New Haven I-5! MTH would have sold a ton if they had produced them.

The fact that MTH didn't get enough pre-orders for the I-5 says different.

Rusty

UP Mountain was another.  I thought for sure it would've been produced, but not enough pre-orders was reality.

prrhorseshoecurve posted:

I don't understand why no one other than 3rd rail and only one run have not done the FP7? It was a popular locomotive made for many railroads and came in a variety of colorful paint schemes.

Since Sunset/3rd Rail produced the FP7 models, not to mention the FL9 models, how many more of those could/would Lionel or MTH expect to sell?

With all of the feedback you would think that the folks at Lionel and MTH should have gotten the message that in order to keep our hobbyist interested in their product new locomotive models need to be produced. I remember that fifty five years ago when Lionel stopped coming out with new models how the three rail O gauge hobby suffered and almost faded away. Well I can see the same thing starting to happen again. What if the automobile companies just keep coming out with the same models each year and just painted the cars in different colors. Well it seems like Lionel and MTH are doing the same thing. I have lost interest in even operating my layout lately mostly because no new locomotive models are forthcoming. I am ready to purchase new models NOW. The ball is now in their court.

Edward G.

Originally posted by Hotwater:

Since Sunset/3rd Rail produced the FP7 models, not to mention the FL9 models, how many more of those could/would

Lionel or MTH expect to sell?

A Lot because people like me couldn't afford it the only time it was issued. Lionel especially has the kings marketshare and following so they could easily make their quota esp with their Legacy electronics. Being a PRR fan, I would want at least Two sets of A-B-A... Tuscan 5 stripe set and DLGE single stripe set. I know I am not alone either!

member:Golden Spike Club Charter Member

ed new haven line posted:

With all of the feedback you would think that the folks at Lionel and MTH should have gotten the message that in order to keep our hobbyist interested in their product new locomotive models need to be produced. I remember that fifty five years ago when Lionel stopped coming out with new models how the three rail O gauge hobby suffered and almost faded away. Well I can see the same thing starting to happen again. What if the automobile companies just keep coming out with the same models each year and just painted the cars in different colors. Well it seems like Lionel and MTH are doing the same thing. I have lost interest in even operating my layout lately mostly because no new locomotive models are forthcoming. I am ready to purchase new models NOW. The ball is now in their court.

Edward G.

What do you mean by "new models"? 

Do you mean modern locomotives just produced by GE, EMD, MPI in the past 3 years?

Do you mean old locomotives that had a short life span in the 1960's and 1970's?

Do you have the Lionel Legacy or MTH DCS system?

Andrew

Fifty years ago, Lionel produced very few models, period, let alone models from new tooling. That’s not the situation today. MTH and Lionel have a lot of product. So the comparison between the late 1960s and today isn’t valid from that standpoint.

Also, Lionel reduced its model production back then due to financial stress brought on by falling sales, which actually began in the late 1950s. So the decline in three-rail O gauge came first, then Lionel curtailed its production. That scenario could repeat itself if the hobby slips too far.

Again, I understand the argument for new tooling. Certainly, that would help overall sales. But if the sales specifically gained from new tooling fall short of paying for that tooling, you would eventually have a company in financial stress, and we would be on a path similar to the 1960s.

So simply producing new tooling isn’t the answer. It has to be exciting enough to generate sales of more than 2,000 units (a guess, maybe more) over the life of the tooling. A lot of the wishlist models mentioned here have very little potential to hit that mark, especially less-than-iconic steam locomotives associated with only one railroad.

Bottom line: The manufacturers should look to fill in pockets of strong interest that they may have missed and not act too complacent, while hobbyists should acknowledge that some models they want simply won’t be made if the manufacturer deems the sales aren’t there. Fair enough?

Jim R. 

I think a Locomotive that would do well for MTH is a Siemens Charger SC-44.  If MTH made a Railking Scale version of it and put it in a starter-set it would do well for sure since these locomotives will be used on busy state-funded Amtrak corridor routes that have a lot of people riding them.  In Japan, atleast I have noticed Kato usually tries to offer trains that people actually ride on over older and fantasy stuff.  Connecting the hobby with modern passenger rail service like state-funded Amtrak or Brightline might bring new people in.  From a new tooling perspective, I would only focus on equipment that either a lot of railroads used or locomotives that were in service for decades.  The FL9 is another locomotive that would do well because it was in use for decades and had multiple schemes. 

It does make sense that Lionel and/or MTH would be offering the latest locomotives, since these are the ones seen by the public. These products have the potential to increase market share.

On the other hand, the esoteric desires of model railroad enthusiasts, for the most part, only reach those who are already deeply invested in the hobby. I, by no means, am suggesting this is a bad move. It is a good strategy, but only as a secondary vision. Also, esoteric is not a negative label. It is just the reality of the view of those prospective new hobbiests. 

Every Lionel/MTH catalog should include an offering of an oft seen locomotive by today’s public. Doing so, Lionel/MTH are allowing Amtrak and railroads to do the advertising for Lionel/MTH. Free advertising, a novel concept.

The problem with my opinion is that I have not considered the copyright rights that the railroads may charge. Those smarter than me should comment if pertinent.

TM Terry posted:

It does make sense that Lionel and/or MTH would be offering the latest locomotives, since these are the ones seen by the public. These products have the potential to increase market share.

On the other hand, the esoteric desires of model railroad enthusiasts, for the most part, only reach those who are already deeply invested in the hobby. I, by no means, am suggesting this is a bad move. It is a good strategy, but only as a secondary vision. Also, esoteric is not a negative label. It is just the reality of the view of those prospective new hobbiests. 

Every Lionel/MTH catalog should include an offering of an oft seen locomotive by today’s public. Doing so, Lionel/MTH are allowing Amtrak and railroads to do the advertising for Lionel/MTH. Free advertising, a novel concept.

The problem with my opinion is that I have not considered the copyright rights that the railroads may charge. Those smarter than me should comment if pertinent.

Outside of the risk of investing in new tooling,  I think doing modern passenger rail equipment, light rail equipment, and subway equipment that people ride on everyday would be a safe bet.  A cool starter set idea might be a model of the Downeaster which runs between Boston and Brunswick, Maine.  MTH already has the tooling for the P42DC and Amfleet cars,  all they would have to do is modify the F40PH tooling to be able to make a cabbage version.  

It reminds me of when K-line did the Greenport Scoot starter set which was pretty cool to have a realistic push pull set up on a starter-set.  

In threads such as these, I frequently see it mentioned that the hobby is "aging".  I'm new to the hobby as of last year at the age of 44.  Could it be that the hobby isn't aging so much as it's just a hobby for old guys?  And as such, aren't there more old guys like me coming along all the time?  Hopefully, I'll be around another 30-40+ years to be an old 3-railer.  Hopefully, the manufacturers are here too.  As a new-old guy, everything Lionel or MTH offers is a "new locomotive" (to me).

beachhead2 posted:

In threads such as these, I frequently see it mentioned that the hobby is "aging".  I'm new to the hobby as of last year at the age of 44.  Could it be that the hobby isn't aging so much as it's just a hobby for old guys?  And as such, aren't there more old guys like me coming along all the time?  Hopefully, I'll be around another 30-40+ years to be an old 3-railer.  Hopefully, the manufacturers are here too.  As a new-old guy, everything Lionel or MTH offers is a "new locomotive" (to me).

I agree. 

I was into trains when I was younger. I had a layout (N Scale) at my grandfather’s house as my parents didn’t have the room. This fell by the wayside when I was in college and when my now wife and I moved to Virginia. Now I am 43, and I am getting back into the hobby with O Scale. 

Doing all this from basically scratch, I have already purchased 2 MTH locomotives, I have 2 more on layaway, and yet 2 more on order. (All modern power - SD60E, ES44s and AC4400s). Only limited funds keeps me from buying more. 

I am in the camp that feels this is an evolving hobby - model trains in general. I believe new people get involved all the time.

No one really knows for sure how the hobby is changing. Enjoy it while you can. 

- Carl

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