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My only interest in this trail of speculation is that Atlas offer and deliver compelling 3-rail products that follow an established control standard, whether DCS, Legacy, or TMCC.  The vast majority of my locomotives are 3rd Rail, which makes TMCC my primary operating system.  Though I acquired the DCS Explorer to "wet my feet" in that system, the only MTH locos I have are pre-DCS and will need either complete replacement or new electronics, since I don't want to run "conventional" on my under-construction layout.  I prefer systems to be as open as reasonably feasible and would love to see Lionel configure Legacy to use 3rd-party enhancements like sound files.  Unfortunately, manufacturers would naturally prefer that we buy whole new locos to get better sound or whatever.

Gotta be looked at as a positive event!  I thought someone would pick up the MTH tooling. Like the plastic model hobby tooling rarely goes away. Plastic kit tooling from the 1950's is still in use.

Interesting to note NO steam loco's were bought. I understand they are more complicated to manufacture and not really in Atlas' current line.

Well that was a fun 6 page read...

My gut feeling is that Atlas will turn out the exact same models from the exact same factory that MTH did. Which is not something I am particularly interested in as a 2R modeler. Yes Proto 3/2 will run on 2 rail (If Atlas make the scale wheels - which was not mentioned) and yes it will work at a basic level on DCC, but none of that interests me. I'm with Jonathan P as a DCC only guy. Which means I really don't have much interest in getting a model that will need gutted, DCC installed, pilots fixed, and handrails lengthened. I think a lot of people are assuming Scale Wheel versions will be offered. I would be willing to bet that Atlas doesn't offer them. I hope I'm wrong, and someone correct me if Atlas has said otherwise. I've been asking them on social media since the announcement about it and they won't reply. I just have a feeling they aren't going to bother with the scale wheel versions. I guess time will tell.

Scott is making the models i want and I'm tired of waiting on Atlas. 6yrs. and counting for my EL Geeps...

What is most troubling to me is that there is so little new 2R steam being made. I would give a lot of money to get an Erie K5 in 2 rail!

Last edited by jonnyspeed

Atlas definitely picked up some very high quality products to add to their diesel line up. I hope Altas can make some small improvements, even if it costs a bit more.

The best part of this deal is the license acquisition of DCS. Operating platforms has always been a weak link of Atlas O. The early T.A.S. EOB platform is junk. ERR cruise commander is ok but obsolete compared to Legacy or DCS.

I really hope Atlas incorporates DCS into their outstanding locomotives they produced before the acquisition.

Last edited by Cogen1981

I am excited to see what happens and its my hope they continue with he 3-2 Scaled wheel versions as I am hooked. I also hope they redo some of the non 3-2 scaled wheel models and update them to Scale wheel fixed pilots. I am also to excited to see Atlas O previous model with proto 3 as one of the main reason I never bought atlas was the tummy with archaic sounds and feature.

According to one member on here since Lionel upgraded to Legacy that means TMCC and all engines with it should be recalled correct?

As far DCS reliability I seem to recall TMCC and legacy need a ground plain on large layout?

I run Both Legacy and DCS

I personally rans trains on Traindiesel's layout lionel and MTH and they ran perfectly. I would have loved to see it finished but I guess I will have to go and see his new one.

Last edited by Shawn_Chronister
@AGHRMatt posted:

That hit us too in areas where we have two-level trackage. The track running underneath would lose signal, so we ended up putting in an additional earth ground wire running along the track. That pretty much cleared it up.

Yes I know I just hate when people leave out pertinent details to make something look better than another.

As far as the rocket guy fixing issues I am pretty sure if MTH could have afforded someone like that they would have but there DCS people are pretty sharp and have to keep it affordable.

Just remember without DCS there might not be a legacy!!!!

Yes I know I just hate when people leave out pertinent details to make something look better than another.

As far as the rocket guy fixing issues I am pretty sure if MTH could have afforded someone like that they would have but there DCS people are pretty sharp and have to keep it affordable.

Just remember without DCS there might not be a legacy!!!!

Lionel has some pretty smart people too. They developed Legacy and I doubt that they needed DCS to be inspired do it. I'm sure DCS is wonderful but giving it credit for bringing forth Legacy is a bit of a stretch.

As for the wiring issue, from my use of TMCC and Legacy, all I have needed to do was hook up one wire to my transformer’s ground. Works great. I never had to create a new ground wire around my layout.

Legacy control is backward compatible to TMCC. There is no need for Lionel to recall TMCC locomotives.

Enjoy the awesome power of DCS! However,  talking down Legacy shouldn’t be necessary in order for you to enjoy DCS more.

Lionel has some pretty smart people too. They developed Legacy and I doubt that they needed DCS to be inspired do it. I'm sure DCS is wonderful but giving it credit for bringing forth Legacy is a bit of a stretch.

As for the wiring issue, from my use of TMCC and Legacy, all I have needed to do was hook up one wire to my transformer’s ground. Works great. I never had to create a new ground wire around my layout.

Legacy control is backward compatible to TMCC. There is no need for Lionel to recall TMCC locomotives.

Enjoy the awesome power of DCS! However,  talking down Legacy shouldn’t be necessary in order for you to enjoy DCS more.

What I think Shawn was trying to say is that due to the competition of DCS is what prompted Lionel to develop Legacy. Just for the record I am a MTH fan but not a DCS fan. I have heard stories about both DCS and TMCC having trouble working on layouts. You are lucky that TMCC works great on your layout and doesn't need any additional mods to make it work right.

@Hudson J1e posted:

What I think Shawn was trying to say is that due to the competition of DCS is what prompted Lionel to develop Legacy. Just for the record I am a MTH fan but not a DCS fan. I have heard stories about both DCS and TMCC having trouble working on layouts. You are lucky that TMCC works great on your layout and doesn't need any additional mods to make it work right.

Yup, I got the gist of what Shawn was saying. My point is the same: Lionel has some great people who are motivated to make Lionel trains (and the hobby) better. It takes credit away from the Lionel team to imply they would have only been motivated to create Legacy because of DCS.  Simply... no.

I don't use DCS so I refrain from making any comments about it, much less any negative comments about it's ease of use or it's reliability. However, I have been using TMCC/Legacy for about 25 years and I have used it on many different layouts, both mine and other people's layouts.  I have never had a problem installing or using it beyond the single wire hook up. I can say I am not a lucky TMCC/Legacy user...I am a typical TMCC/Legacy user.

Last edited by Madockawando

Yup, I got the gist of what Shawn was saying. My point is the same: Lionel has some great people who are motivated to make Lionel trains (and the hobby) better. It takes credit away from the Lionel team to imply they would have only been motivated to create Legacy because of DCS.  Simply... no.

I don't use DCS so I refrain from making any comments about it, much less any negative comments about it's ease of use or it's reliability. However, I have been using TMCC/Legacy for about 25 years and I have used it on many different layouts, both mine and other people's layouts.  I have never had a problem installing or using it beyond the single wire hook up. I can say I am not a lucky TMCC/Legacy user...I am a typical TMCC/Legacy user.

I totally and politely disagree.

This is actually my biggest fear about MTH going away... reduction in competition and innovation for us.

While I'm sure smart Lionel people could have come up with Legacy without DCS (just like MTH could have come up with DCS without TMCC/DCC/etc/etc), the back and forth of innovation, demand for that innovation and competition is what keeps industries moving forward (and in a cost effective way).

@Brad Trout posted:

This is actually my biggest fear about MTH going away... reduction in competition and innovation for us.

While I'm sure smart Lionel people could have come up with Legacy without DCS (just like MTH could have come up with DCS without TMCC/DCC/etc/etc), the back and forth of innovation, demand for that innovation and competition is what keeps industries moving forward (and in a cost effective way).

Twenty-five years ago. MTH did push Lionel to innovate and in that regard MTH helped Lionel develop the hobby we have today. But that was twenty-five years ago.

The hobby and it's expectations have evolved too far the last quarter century for Lionel to go backwards.  It's not in the current Lionel's culture to say: "OK everyone! MTH is now gone! Fill our next catalog with tired postwar Hudson's and GPs with mechanical E-units" That is not happening!  Even without MTH, Lionel still has lots of completion for discretionary money spent on hobby and leisure activities.  Lionel can't rest on it's laurels or those dollars go else where.

I know that people are emotionally invested in the concept of MTH as a company and it's story. However, the hobby is going to be just fine post MTH, it will go on!

Twenty-five years ago. MTH did push Lionel to innovate and in that regard MTH helped Lionel develop the hobby we have today. But that was twenty-five years ago.

The hobby and it's expectations have evolved too far the last quarter century for Lionel to go backwards.  It's not in the current Lionel's culture to say: "OK everyone! MTH is now gone! Fill our next catalog with tired postwar Hudson's and GPs with mechanical E-units" That is not happening!  Even without MTH, Lionel still has lots of completion for discretionary money spent on hobby and leisure activities.  Lionel can't rest on it's laurels or those dollars go else where.

I know that people are emotionally invested in the concept of MTH as a company and it's story. However, the hobby is going to be just fine post MTH, it will go on!

That's a little bit off my point... certainly Lionel will not go backwards.  Nor will anyone else.  But, IMO, MTH and Lionel mainly drove the technology in today's O gauge industry.  They were almost like the PC/Mac competition in the personal computer industry--the two big players that drove the industry forward.

Backwards - no.  Lack of as much forward momentum-highly likely!

@Hudson J1e posted:

I totally and politely disagree.

What? You don't think I am a typical TMCC/Legacy user? Well that's good to know for next time I head to the basement to run my Legacy locomotives. I'll say a few prayers before I start 'em up and and thank the ghost of ole Joshua Lionel Cowan himself when it all works and yet again I continue to be a lucky TMCC/Legacy user.

Come'on man!

@Brad Trout posted:

That's a little bit off my point... certainly Lionel will not go backwards.  Nor will anyone else.  But, IMO, MTH and Lionel mainly drove the technology in today's O gauge industry.  They were almost like the PC/Mac competition in the personal computer industry--the two big players that drove the industry forward.

Backwards - no.  Lack of as much forward momentum-highly likely!

Lionel just released a 200 page catalog filled with more stuff in that one catalog then I can get in a lifetime.  Post MTH, I think that catalog only gets bigger with more good stuff for all of us.  Foot stomp... stomp...stomp...stomp  The hobby is going to be OK after MTH. There will be more locomotives for you to purchase then your wallet can cover.  Don't worry

It's probably a good time to note that TMCC was developed by Lionel (and Neil Young) at a time when MTH hardly existed as competition or a source of innovation.  Sometimes individuals are more important than companies in driving innovation.  Without Neil Young TMCC probably doesn't happen.  Apple had almost no competition for development of smart devices when the iPhone was being developed. They largely ignored what was on the market at the time because Jobs and Apple's people had a vision of what they wanted to do.  So innovation isn't only about competition, to say the least. In fact, competition can sometimes stifle innovation because no one wants to take risks.  The auto industry in the 1970s was an example of that until the safety people put pressure on a stagnant industry. Of course, Japanese competition helped too .  It's complicated.

Last edited by Landsteiner

Lionel just released a 200 page catalog filled with more stuff in that one catalog then I can get in a lifetime.  Post MTH, I think that catalog only gets bigger with more good stuff for all of us.  Foot stomp... stomp...stomp...stomp  The hobby is going to be OK after MTH. There will be more locomotives for you to purchase then your wallet can cover.  Don't worry

Now there's a point I can agree with you on... "There will be more locomotives for you to purchase then your wallet can cover." 

Especially true as I won't be paying those prices.  Yet another benefit of true competition... price pressure and options (read... RailKing vs. Premier vs. LionChief vs. Lionmaster vs. vs. vs.)

I doubt Lionel will regress, but let's face it, while they have some great talent, they don't really drive the ship.  The owners and board do truly.  I'm sure their ears have perked up at the changes going on in the industry, and business cycles what they are, I could see them relaxing on the innovation side of things.  I may be wrong - but history has proven itself time and time again that a lack of competition often leads to companies resting on the laurels. 

There was/is already talk about how very little development is going into new tooling, and there is a plethora of models that could not only use improving upon, but simply don't exist.  I'm hopeful Atlas will enhance and improve upon the MTH tooling they bought. Two improvements I'd like to see are on the SD40-2 model (fuel tank size and truck positioning) and putting proto 3-2 trucks on the E6/E8.

What? You don't think I am a typical TMCC/Legacy user? Well that's good to know for next time I head to the basement to run my Legacy locomotives. I'll say a few prayers before I start 'em up and and thank the ghost of ole Joshua Lionel Cowan himself when it all works and yet again I continue to be a lucky TMCC/Legacy user.

Come'on man!

What I mean is anyone who doesn't have problems with the 3 rail control systems is lucky. Sure I would agree that most users these days don't have problems but the ones who do have issues are not having any fun with their issues. They are experiencing real aggravation. You say you have had many layouts over the last 25 years with TMCC and they all performed perfectly? Were all these layouts 4' x8' possibly? I only ask because it is only logical that the more complex the layout the more the chance for an issue. That's great for you and I am happy for you but I stand by my comment that you are lucky to have all those layouts over 25 years and never a single issue or problem!  Come on man! I only had one TMCC layout and I had a whole bunch of trouble with the system. Locomotives with flickering lights and not getting the TMCC signal. The command base not responding to the Cab-1 and locomotives not responding (sometimes because they weren't getting the signal and sometimes because the Command Base wasn't getting the signal) and then responding but what made it so terrible was the inconsistency of it all. There was no rhyme or reason to it. It was so intermittent! And I had just one TMCC layout! It was 24' by 12'. At times I wanted to pull the hair out of my head. It was a horrible, horrible experience and extremely frustrating. This was 22 years ago and I had no one to help me. There was no forum then. In the early years of this forum there were a lot of guys who had trouble with the system. There was even an article in OGR some years ago about a guy who couldn't get it to work properly so he mounted antennas on top of all his locomotives! Imagine having to do that? Why do you think it drove some guys to be conventional only? However, I will say that through the wisdom and collective intelligence of this forum and improvements by Lionel the system has gotten more reliable over the years. Who knows maybe if it came it now it would work for me and I would be using TMCC today. And as for the innovation in the hobby ask anyone who was around in the '70s and '80s how much innovation there was without any competition.

"The hobby is going to be OK after MTH. There will be more locomotives for you to purchase then your wallet can cover.  Don't worry"

I do agree with you here but if someone is a fan of steam with scale wheels like me there will be no new locomotives for me to buy. At least as of this writing.



Now go have your parade that MTH is closing. I have never seen anyone so happy that a train company is closing down. You're a big Lionel fan, I get it, but I don't like seeing any train company close down. I still miss Weaver and K-Line.

@Hudson J1e posted:

And as for the innovation in the hobby ask anyone who was around in the '70s and '80s how much innovation there was without any competition.

This is why my dad nearly threw out his entire train collection in the late 80's. He pretty much gave up on Lionel at that point, the trains got packed away and the hobby died in our house. Then in 1995 he saw and bought his first MTH locomotive with PS1 and he was hooked again. He looks back on the stuff he bought during the MPC days and just shakes his now.

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