Skip to main content

Atlas Acquires Select M.T.H Locomotive and Rolling Stock Molds

Hillside, NJ – Atlas Model Railroad Company, Inc. is proud to announce the purchase of a variety of tooling in the M.T.H. Premier O Scale Locomotive and Rolling Stock lines from M.T.H. Electric Trains of Columbia, MD.

Rolling stock molds acquired  include the  4-Bay Hopper, Coalporter Hopper, PS2CD High Side Hopper, 40' PS1 Box Car, 55' All Door Box Car, 2-Bay Centerflow Hopper, 3-Bay Centerflow Hopper , Steel Caboose , 50' High Cube Box Car , PS2 2-Bay Hopper, 20,000 Gallon Tank Car, 50' Airslide Hopper, Russell Plow, 8000 Gallon Tank Car, Funnel Flow Tank Car, Modern Tank Car, Crane, Crane Tender, 100 Ton Hot Metal Car, Rapid Discharge Hopper, 75' Depressed Flat Car, Scale Test Car, 2-Bay Offset Hopper, Operating Coal and Log Dump Car, Premiere 70' Heavyweight Passenger Cars, Premiere 70' Streamline Passenger Cars and Amfleet Cars.

Locomotive molds include the E6A/B and E8A/B, 44 Tonner, Amtrak P42 Genesis, Dash 9, SD45, F40, U30C, SD70M-2 with SD70Ace, GP38-2, SD70ACe, SD70MAC, GP40, S2, SD40-2, GP30, ES44AC&DC with ES44DC and GEVO ES-44.

In addition, Atlas has also acquired the following accessories from MTH’s Railking Line: Water Column, 22 figure sets, Operating Traffic Light, Motorcycle Pack, Pedestrian Crosswalk, Floodlight Tower, Sanding Tower, Road signs, Telephone Poles and the Operating Modern Crossing Signal.

Atlas has also acquired a license for the MTH Proto-Sound 3 Sound & Control Electronics Boards, which adds realistic sounds to locomotives and also allows control via DCS (Digital Command System).  Part of the license will give Atlas the option to sell DCS components as well.

"MTH has long been an outstanding manufacturer of model trains and we are excited to continue that legacy," said Jarrett Haedrich, COO of Atlas. "We will be working closely with the existing supplier to ensure that the models are produced and delivered in a timely fashion."  The first model to be produced will be announced Wednesday, March 24th.

M.T.H. Electric Trains was founded in 1980 by Mike Wolf as a mail order train business. Over the years it grew into a full manufacturing business with full lines of O, HO and S scale trains and track. In June 2020, Mike Wolf announced he was retiring and that M.T.H. would be closing in May of 2021.

Founded in 1924 and incorporated in 1949 as Atlas Tool Co. Inc., present day Atlas Model Railroad Co. produces locomotives, rolling stock, track, and accessories in N, HO and O scales for its Atlas Master, Atlas Classic, Trainman, and Atlas O lines.

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Kudos to Atlas for a VERY good move! They appear to have pretty much taken on the "cream of the crop" of MTH Premier Line production, at least in my opinion. Would be nice to see them also do more MTH Premier cabooses at some point, but I know they can't do everything. In short: VERY glad to see Atlas take this step, which, I believe, is sure to bring smiles to the faces of a good many fans of both the MTH and Atlas product lines.

Last edited by Allan Miller

Wise preemptive move by the moderator to channel discussion to one place.

For the Atlas naysayers saying that they were getting out of the O business, this clearly  indicates they are going in the opposite direction.  Looks like they are picking up ability to produce DCS as well.  Very good news (or at least hope) for those of us who are fans of the MTH Premier line and Atlas O.

Now the rumor mill will really start churning about the Railking line.

Last edited by eaaiii

This is exciting news to me. I look forward to Atlas engine production and the rest. Having production on PS3 brings me joy too.

I think this is a good list of engine products from above:

"Locomotive molds include the E6A/B and E8A/B, 44 Tonner, Amtrak P42 Genesis, Dash 9, SD45, F40, U30C, SD70M-2 with SD70Ace, GP38-2, SD70ACe, SD70MAC, GP40, S2, SD40-2, GP30, ES44AC&DC with ES44DC and GEVO ES-44."

Remember what Atlas has produced so far and how big this expands their line-up in O scale.

Thanks for sharing!!!

This is exciting news to me. I look forward to Atlas engine production and the rest. Having production on PS3 brings me joy too.

I think this is a good list of engine products from above:

"Locomotive molds include the E6A/B and E8A/B, 44 Tonner, Amtrak P42 Genesis, Dash 9, SD45, F40, U30C, SD70M-2 with SD70Ace, GP38-2, SD70ACe, SD70MAC, GP40, S2, SD40-2, GP30, ES44AC&DC with ES44DC and GEVO ES-44."

Remember what Atlas has produced so far and how big this expands their line-up in O scale.

Thanks for sharing!!!

Yeah, like Pepperidge Farm, I remember... gotta get the dust and cobwebs off too!

Haven't been on the Forum for a couple of weeks and just hopped on to see what's up. What sterling timing for me to discover this announcement! As a long-time MTH fan, I'm very excited at the prospect of Atlas producing new engines and rolling stock using the MTH Premier tooling and electronics. Atlas' product line in O gauge/scale is greatly increased with this deal, as should their production in the future. Great news for all of us in both three- and two-rail O gauge. Can't wait to see their next catalog's "Premier" offerings.

Stay well.

Chris

@Richie C. posted:

That's the $64K question, for sure.

Since the release only states that Atlas acquired the molds and is silent about the proprietary hardware/electronics, it may be that we will be seeing MTH products with TMCC electronics.

Read the entire press release:

"Atlas has also acquired a license for the MTH Proto-Sound 3 Sound & Control Electronics Boards, which adds realistic sounds to locomotives and also allows control via DCS (Digital Command System).  Part of the license will give Atlas the option to sell DCS components as well."

Interesting that this good news was not leaked earlier.  I'm sure they have been in discussion for some time and probably inked the deal long before today, but their hasn't been a hint.

Good news indeed for us MTH fans.  I'll be interested to see if Atlas pricing is similar to MTH.

I guess we will see a bunch of threads asking people what they want to see Atlas make.  I'm still looking for D&H 18" streamlined passenger cars. 

Good news I guess for DCS and a few diesels. I.M.O. I see several undesirable items in the mix.

I would think the other group will pick up the 50’ PS-1’s F3’s, FM’s, RS-1, RS-3, 44 ton, Subways, MU’s or GP35’s. I know Atlas offers some of these so they were probably avoiding conflict in the choice.

Very excited about this news! Glad DCS/Protosound 3.0 lives on!  I have been buying more Atlas O freight cars over the past few years and I've grown to really appreciate what they do.  I hope they keep the prices comparable to MTH because Premier diesels have been the ceiling I am willing to pay.  I like Railking, too -- and hope it lives on as well, especially for steam.  This news made my day.  Hooray!

Happy it has life!!!! The es44 and SD40 is great due to the swiveling pilots. I still hope that railking lives on. Either through lionel or some other manufacturer will likely purchase the tooling eventually. There are no mid level engines or passenger cars in lionels repertoire so maybe something will happen. (e.g. imperial and railking scale engines)

I agree, but time will tell

@ncdave posted:

I’m hoping Atlas will be able to produce a PS3 and a TMCC/Legacy edition of the same engine. This would appeal to both sides of the O Gauge market. IMO it would be a big mistake for Atlas to drop the TMCC/Legacy license.

As far as I know Atlas only has TMCC licensing I don't think Lionel will let Legacy walk out the door.  The only reason I could see for Atlas to drop TMCC is so they don't have to keep paying Lionel for the licensing now that they bought their own system in DCS.

Good to see some movement on this issue.  Hope that Atlas can do a better job delivering product.

The slow pace of news (until now) had me concerned that either Mike Wolf had an unrealistic idea of the value of the assets or that other manufacturers were bearish about the future prospects of the hobby. 

Hopefully some of the panic buying of MTH stuff will taper off.

I’m way too optimistic, but if they got a really good price for the    dcs/tooling, could we see new six axle diesels for a preorder at or about $400? I doubt it, but it’s definitely possible, and would give Lionel a run for their money. PS, maybe the current mth brand turns into railking with Mike wolf limited runs or catalogs 1-2x a year? If something like this happens, the hobby is in excellent shape.

I doubt Mike Wolf will be making limited runs of anything he's getting out of the business. I could see Lionel possibly picking up the Railking line and putting Lionchief in them for separate sale locomotives and RTR train sets but they won't have PS-3 in them for sure.  

Yes, this is too bad for those of us running smaller layouts with 031 track. Much of RailKing fit nicely there, was great value for the money. I hope some of the Premiere tooling will allow for 031-036. I know some of it does now, but much does not.

But it's GREAT news about P3 and DCS being supported. That really helps me feel better about owning MTH trains right now.

@Csxcellent posted:

I’m way too optimistic, but if they got a really good price for the    dcs/tooling, could we see new six axle diesels for a preorder at or about $400? I doubt it, but it’s definitely possible, and would give Lionel a run for their money. PS, maybe the current mth brand turns into railking with Mike wolf limited runs or catalogs 1-2x a year? If something like this happens, the hobby is in excellent shape.

I'd be shocked!!  Atlas O 'conventional' diesels approach the $400 mark.  A whole new line of product?  Probably bigger than their $500 TMCC locomotives.

@pdxtrains posted:

Yes, this is too bad for those of us running smaller layouts with 031 track. Much of RailKing fit nicely there, was great value for the money. I hope some of the Premiere tooling will allow for 031-036. I know some of it does now, but much does not.

But it's GREAT news about P3 and DCS being supported. That really helps me feel better about owning MTH trains right now.

I agree with you, I will miss Rail King a lot, but hey, we can't have everything.  At least our investment in DCS appears to be better protected going forward. That's peace of mind.

This move acquiring Premier but not Rail King adds further support to my belief that the middle of the hobby is getting reduced. Just not enough of us running semi/O27 scale that want the goodies that Lionmaster and Rail King Imperial offer.  .

I understand it and respect the business side of that equation. Heck, I realize I'm part of the problem. I have about 25 engines.....9 conventional, 6 DCS, 1 LC, 1 LC+, and 8 TMCC.  I don't need another engine. In fact, I'm planning on giving 3 of my TMCC engines to my daughter and soon-to-be-son-in-law this Christmas to get the hobby going further in the family.

Plus that makes room for an LC+2 K4.

Wow!  Great news!  I'm very excited.  I've had some small doubts about moving forward with building a 2-rail layout when I heard MTH was going out of business.  This makes it all better!  Of course, this assumes they still offer the 2-rail versions which seems very likely.  Sure, I would like to see them do steam as well, but we can't get greedy here. 

What would be better is if they offered their own 2-rail models with PS3.   I'm hoping to run all PS3 if possible, and DCC only when needed (on the new 2-rail layout).   I haven't bought Atlas in the past because I don't buy floating pilots, TMCC and I couldn't run 2-rail with DCC (or didn't want to).   If they install PS3 in their 2-rail models I'm sure I will be buying some especially the ones MTH did not make.



It would be great to see Andy, Rich and others from the MTH team be part of the acquisition. 

Thank you Atlas!

This is great news for lots of reasons, to include keeping some competition for Lionel and maybe keeping DCS alive.  But with only 2 first generation diesels, minimal older style freight cars, no steam, no R50, and one steel caboose (?), there is nothing that currently interests me.  Hopefully other companies are picking up the rest of the tooling.

However, I don't think Atlas will be too upset when I don't buy these.  My freight fleet is already over 50% Atlas, and that percentage is growing.

I agree with you, I will miss Rail King a lot, but hey, we can't have everything.  At least our investment in DCS appears to be better protected going forward. That's peace of mind.

This move acquiring Premier but not Rail King adds further support to my belief that the middle of the hobby is getting reduced. Just not enough of us running semi/O27 scale that want the goodies that Lionmaster and Rail King Imperial offer.  .

I understand it and respect the business side of that equation. Heck, I realize I'm part of the problem. I have about 25 engines.....9 conventional, 6 DCS, 1 LC, 1 LC+, and 8 TMCC.  I don't need another engine. In fact, I'm planning on giving 3 of my TMCC engines to my daughter and soon-to-be-son-in-law this Christmas to get the hobby going further in the family.

Plus that makes room for an LC+2 K4.

I hear you. I think I may have one last MTH RailKing I'll buy while I can, and a set of passenger cars. But then it's LC+. I'm also a toy train guy and not a modeler, so there are certain LC Starter Sets that knock me out and I buy, particularly passenger sets. That Blue Comet Lionchief set from a bit back was a real winner, as was the Santa Fe set.

I started up with DCS, moved up to Legacy and have never looked back. I dumped the last of my DCS engines in favor of Legacy. MTH has some great looking engines and cars that I really like and own. Just never was happy with DCS operations once I bought my first Legacy engine.

I do hope that Atlas will offer the MTH engines with TMCC/Legacy control.

It's not how many whistles and bells one manufacturer has over the other, rather it's the quality of the product first, and then the features that best meet the need of the user without over whelming the operator with a lot of nonsense features.

RAY

@pdxtrains posted:

I hear you. I think I may have one last MTH RailKing I'll buy while I can, and a set of passenger cars. But then it's LC+. I'm also a toy train guy and not a modeler, so there are certain LC Starter Sets that knock me out and I buy, particularly passenger sets. That Blue Comet Lionchief set from a bit back was a real winner, as was the Santa Fe set.

Yep, there's a lot to be said for the LC and LC+ (1 and 2) offerings. I really like my LC+ Mikado....it does 95% of what I use TMCC for.....remote, coupler, crew talk, bell.  Same for the LC Thomas set we bought years ago. Winners!

I was all Lionel until a couple years ago when I saw my brother-in-laws Premier and got hooked on MTH, especially for the speed control and 4 chuffs.  When I saw I could get that in Rail King for my smaller layout, I jumped into DCS even though I had no permanent layout (in progress).  They've only seen carpet central around the Christmas tree, but I love them.  If MTH was staying around, I might've started replacing my old TMCC with PS3 RKs, but not now, at least not unless someone picks up the RK line.

Could be a lot worse. These are "first world problems" and I'm grateful for what I have.

This is a great 1st step!  So I am now looking forward to the next announcement!  What I hope to see is more on steamers and early generation diesels (F, FA, PA, etc) as well as buildings, track products and other accessories.  Further, it would be nice to see DCS advance to still another level, whatever that may be.  No offense intended here, but I am also hoping that some party other than Lionel gets many of the remaining pieces.  The hobby has benefited from competition both in innovation and pricing and fostering that would be in all of our best interests!

@ncdave posted:

I’m hoping Atlas will be able to produce a PS3 and a TMCC/Legacy edition of the same engine. This would appeal to both sides of the O Gauge market. IMO it would be a big mistake for Atlas to drop the TMCC/Legacy license.

Yup. Hoping MTH engines will be available with TMCC/Legacy. I have no real interest in adding DCS and running two different control systems. It'll be interesting to see how Lionel decides to work in the mix. Complicated - are they better off continuing to work with Atlas O on offering the RailSounds/ERR stuff, or letting Atlas O go, and move a different direction and switch over to DCS. How does Atlas O see the market?

As others have noted, one has to wonder what Atlas O - with its apparent issues with getting product to market in a timely fashion - is going to do to ramp up in order to be able to handle the additonal load of marketing MTH product.

It seems reasonable that Atlas got a pretty good deal on the MTH items. After all, how many companies were in a position to buy these MTH product lines? MW couldn't sell it after working a year to find a buyer (reportedly). Could have been Atlas O's offer or nothing. MW had a choice to take this offer at the zero hour, or else sit on it and end up getting nothing. We won't know, but it seems logical that Atlas O had a lot of leverage.

Last edited by breezinup

I started up with DCS, moved up to Legacy and have never looked back. I dumped the last of my DCS engines in favor of Legacy. MTH has some great looking engines and cars that I really like and own. Just never was happy with DCS operations once I bought my first Legacy engine.

I do hope that Atlas will offer the MTH engines with TMCC/Legacy control.

It's not how many whistles and bells one manufacturer has over the other, rather it's the quality of the product first, and then the features that best meet the need of the user without over whelming the operator with a lot of nonsense features.

RAY

This is why I upgraded from TMCC to DCS and sold my Legacy system due to it's lackluster and somewhat overcompensating nonsense features.

Here is the entirety of the announcement in an email sent this evening for those who don’t receive them:

MTH and Atlas announced today the purchase by Atlas of O Gauge Premier Tooling from MTH and Atlas moving their O Gauge product production to MTH's facility in Asia. The purchase included basically 20 different diesel models; 18 different freight cars; and all of the 18" passenger cars.

MTH plans to continue production and distribution of the remaining products under the MTH brand. We have been discussing with MTH on the production plan for the balance of 2021.

From Atlas' press release:

"Rolling stock molds acquired  include the  4-Bay Hopper, Coalporter Hopper, PS2CD High Side Hopper, 40' PS1 Box Car, 55' All Door Box Car, 2-Bay Centerflow Hopper, 3-Bay Centerflow Hopper , Steel Caboose , 50' High Cube Box Car , PS2 2-Bay Hopper, 20,000 Gallon Tank Car, 50' Airslide Hopper, Russell Plow, 8000 Gallon Tank Car, Funnel Flow Tank Car, Modern Tank Car, Crane, Crane Tender, 100 Ton Hot Metal Car, Rapid Discharge Hopper, 75' Depressed Flat Car, Scale Test Car, 2-Bay Offset Hopper, Operating Coal and Log Dump Car, Premiere 70' Heavyweight Passenger Cars, Premiere 70' Streamline Passenger Cars and Amfleet Cars."

"Locomotive molds include the E6A/B and E8A/B, 44 Tonner, Amtrak P42 Genesis, Dash 9, SD45, F40, U30C, SD70M-2 with SD70Ace, GP38-2, SD70ACe, SD70MAC, GP40, S2, SD40-2, GP30, ES44AC&DC with ES44DC and GEVO ES-44."

"In addition, Atlas has also acquired the following accessories from MTH’s Railking Line: Water Column, 22 figure sets, Operating Traffic Light, Motorcycle Pack, Pedestrian Crosswalk, Floodlight Tower, Sanding Tower, Road signs, Telephone Poles and the Operating Modern Crossing Signal."



Atlas is planning their first product announcements for the end of next week - they are  ready to start making trains using MTH's tooling.

Atlas also announced they have licensed MTH's DCS technology and will be using it in their future products.

“MTH plans to continue production and distribution of the remaining products under the MTH brand. We have been discussing with MTH on the production plan for the balance of 2021.“

Just trying to understand. So is this saying that MTH will continue making the last products they planned to make for 2021 OR MTH will continue as a company and make products from the tooling they have left that they didn’t sell to Atlas?

Yes, at Mr. Muffin's zoom meeting tonight, it was discussed.  Atlas will be a major player in O Gauge using MTH/DCS in a big way.   MTH's people will continue to make limited runs with the remaining products and we will likely see even more short line stuff moving forward.  We will likely also continue to see MTH steam engines and subways.  They may still sell more parts off to other manufacturers.  But it's a very exciting time again for MTH fans AND Atlas O fans!

There's some ambiguity in the announcements.  Mr. Muffin says Atlas will be producing locos with DCS yet the Atlas annoucement/MTH announcement says they have the option of producing DCS.  Sounds like there are some details that haven't been fully decided, but perhaps it's just a disparity in the wording that means nothing.   



From the Atlas website:

"Atlas has also acquired a license for the MTH Proto-Sound 3 Sound & Control Electronics Boards, which adds realistic sounds to locomotives and also allows control via DCS (Digital Command System). Part of the license will give Atlas the option to sell DCS components as well."

If they do, I wonder if DCS will remain a closed system with lawyers waiting to go after anyone who tries to operate DCS with anything other than MTH equipment?  That won't maximally promote the use of PS3 locos I'd guess.  Will there be a new sheriff in town who won't be giving out parking tickets?

Will be interesting to see what Atlas does and doesn't do, and what the putative MTH DCS company does and doesn't do about these issues.  As one of our forum members has shown, you can use other devices (Lionel universal LionChief remote) to control DCS and Legacy locos.  There is no technical barrier, only legal barriers.  It's not clear Lionel would continue to license the most widely used system in 3 rail, TMCC, to Atlas, if they don't open their locos to control by Lionel products.

Personally, I won't be buying much Atlas product if it only has PS3 and is not operable by at least some of TMCC/Legacy/LionChief controllers. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in that, so there's a lot of unanswered questions at this point, which is not surprising given it's early in process.



Finally, one of the attractions MTH fans have touted is pricing a bit lower than Lionel's. Atlas is not known as a low end producer in terms of product pricing.  Will the pricing of these new products be more like Atlas's previous products, or MTH's?  Time will tell.

Last edited by Landsteiner

I’m so happy for Atlas.  They’ve been in the model train business for a LONG time...a good, solid company.  Unfortunately, they ran into a series of well-documented overseas manufacturing problems after getting involved in the “O” gauge/scale business that at times has brought production—especially locomotives—to a halt.  IMO, they’ve built great products (strong, reliable performance) when they’ve actually been able to get them to market.

Being able to have the newly-acquired MTH tooling produced at MTH’s well-established production facility is a HUGE win for Atlas.  They are almost instantly “back in the “O” game”...and have already indicated so by saying they’ll be announcing their first product next week.  Think about it.  These will be the same products that have been produced at the same facilities for many years, except now they will have an Atlas box instead of MTH.  That’s pretty turn key if you ask me!

And I’m so happy for all of us with an interest in “O” because competition should now remain, and I view that as a very good thing.  Having Lionel, AtlasO, Sunset/3rd Rail...and possibly some newly-formed or reconfigured company producing/selling the MTH RailKing and other remaining products...that sounds great to me.  

Congratulations and best of luck to Atlas!

Last edited by CNJ #1601

Just thinking a bit further.  If Atlas is trying to do this with minimal capital outlay, which is the low risk way,  redesigning these locos to incorporate TMCC is a non-starter.  The least expensive way for them to do this is continue using the tooling that incorporates PS3.  So that's almost certainly what it's going to be is my guess.  That's what the factory or factories are currently doing, so the least expensive way to proceed is PS3 only.  Say goodbye to TMCC in Atlas locos would be a good guess too.

I didn't want to derail this thread, but my tangentially-related thread question was deleted and I was instructed to come here, so here goes:

With Atlas not buying the Rail King molds as part of its purchase, one can assume Atlas only wanted the scale models (and only diesel for that matter). Does anyone want to speculate on what will happen to the Rail King molds for engines and rolling stock?

Other than a little cherry picking, I can't see them being acquired and used. Lionel has near or exact equivalents in its traditional line, often multiple.....my entry into Rail King was more out of interest for DCS and less on appearance or wheel arrangement availability. Same for WBB. They've got plenty of semi-scale models and don't appear to be making those anyway recently, so why buy more? Sure, Rail King has more detail, but is that enough to convince WBB to retire its O27 Hudson molds for example and using Rail King bodies? And both Lionel and WBB have enough rolling stock molds to not need Rail King. Maybe some cherry picking here or there, but I can't see the entire Rail King set of molds as appealing to either of these competitors.

Whose left? 3rd Rail seems positioned in high-end, detailed scale engine making, so unless they want to diversify, Rail King doesn't seem like a fit for them.

Menards? If not, unless a newcomer wants to enter the middle of the 3 rail market, I fear Rail King is dead, sad to say. Anyone else have more hopeful opinions.

"For the sake of OGR I hope the Atlas advertising increases to compensate for the magazine's loss of MTH advertising."

Agree.  But MTH hasn't been doing much advertising in print media, as you've probably noted.  Whereas Atlas has often had a full page in both magazines.  Personally, I prefer print media to electronic for reading, so I'm hoping the magazines survive as long as I do .  I recently resubscribed to two of the three major SF mags, for this reason.

@Jeff78rr posted:

If you read through some early discussions, it stated some of the RailKing line has been bought by another group, with an announcement in about a month. Hang tight, there is hope for you guys and RailKing!

Thanks!  I missed that despite thinking I've read it all. Can you post a link or quote (or is there minimal detail beyond what you already stated?).

This is becoming almost as fun as speculating NFL free agent signings and draft choices.

@Landsteiner posted:

... Personally, I prefer print media to electronic for reading, so I'm hoping the magazines survive as long as I do .  I recently resubscribed to two of the three major SF mags, for this reason. ...

I enjoy my magazines in print form, too. I even drive to the hobby shop to buy them. I'm old.

Anyway .... I guess no chance of those MTH Premier engines coming from Atlas with an option of ESU Loksound DCC, like their other 2-rail engines. I shouldn't be greedy.

Well I figured there was a lot going on behind the scenes, but of course this is certainly an interesting development.  Since the majority of the S and HO scale line were sold off separately I guess it really should not comes as a surprise that O gauge line is breaking up.

- First thought - Atlas are you kidding me?  I don't buy their product now because it astronomically priced, and they have a reputation of taking forever to bring anything to market.  Are $450 diesels about to become $700 diesels? O gauge costs dearly now, I can't imagine what this will do.

- second thought, hmmm, if they are hiring some of the people maybe things will speed up.

- cost to consumer is going to depend a whole lot on tooling cost to Atlas.  The molds aren't brand new so depreciation should be involved in the sales price.

- licensee to dcs huh? - okay well that's interesting.  clearly dcs isn't dying today - Yea!

-No steam engines, that's odd, then again, Atlas doesn't usually make steam engines so maybe that means nothing

- Still waiting for independent dcs company announcement.  What is happening with dcs as a stand alone company and what are the exciting products that were teased?  Inquiring minds want to know!!

- Looks like there was a spoiler alert - railking going else where - that's very good news.

- Following the rest of these developments will be exciting, but still bittersweet.

- My guess is that WBB may step up for the railking line, but I guess we will see. 

@jhz563 posted:


- Looks like there was a spoiler alert - railking going else where - that's very good news.



I believe the quote was "some" of the railking line.  IMO the Railking line seemed to be a pretty good line for folks who wanted a nice engine with all the DCS goodies but didn't have the room or didn't want to spend the money on the premier engines. I hope they find a home for the entire line just not some of it.

@Landsteiner posted:

"For the sake of OGR I hope the Atlas advertising increases to compensate for the magazine's loss of MTH advertising."

Agree.  But MTH hasn't been doing much advertising in print media, as you've probably noted.  Whereas Atlas has often had a full page in both magazines.  Personally, I prefer print media to electronic for reading, so I'm hoping the magazines survive as long as I do .  I recently resubscribed to two of the three major SF mags, for this reason.

Thanks to you and to Andrew for your support of our print publication, which is the foundation of our business. As you noted, MTH has never been a strong supporter of print, but that was their choice. That certainly did not help OGR or the O gauge segment hobby as a whole, but we have survived thanks to other very supportive advertisers who have stayed with us through thick and thin. We have a very good relationship with Atlas, and I am hopeful that, together, we can help grow this wonderful hobby even further and faster.

I didn't want to derail this thread, but my tangentially-related thread question was deleted and I was instructed to come here, so here goes:

With Atlas not buying the Rail King molds as part of its purchase, one can assume Atlas only wanted the scale models (and only diesel for that matter). Does anyone want to speculate on what will happen to the Rail King molds for engines and rolling stock?

Other than a little cherry picking, I can't see them being acquired and used. Lionel has near or exact equivalents in its traditional line, often multiple.....my entry into Rail King was more out of interest for DCS and less on appearance or wheel arrangement availability. Same for WBB. They've got plenty of semi-scale models and don't appear to be making those anyway recently, so why buy more? Sure, Rail King has more detail, but is that enough to convince WBB to retire its O27 Hudson molds for example and using Rail King bodies? And both Lionel and WBB have enough rolling stock molds to not need Rail King. Maybe some cherry picking here or there, but I can't see the entire Rail King set of molds as appealing to either of these competitors.

Whose left? 3rd Rail seems positioned in high-end, detailed scale engine making, so unless they want to diversify, Rail King doesn't seem like a fit for them.

Menards? If not, unless a newcomer wants to enter the middle of the 3 rail market, I fear Rail King is dead, sad to say. Anyone else have more hopeful opinions.

From my understanding of dealer posts on this site non-atlas items will continue to be made via mth. This doesn’t make sense, considering mth is supposedly going out of business, but would be good news.

MTH is about to leave the Maryland facility and has new office space set up for continuing business releasing the already announced products and new unannounced short-run projects.  Understandably, these products were intended to keep the factory and it's employees busy as usual.  In the meantime there will be many more product announcements with the tooling that has not already been acquired by other manufacturers.

MTH asked us (and probably other dealers) approximately 8 months ago about what custom run projects we wanted to do.  I gave them a long list of projects we were serious about having produced, and probably other dealers did too.  Be advised that any short-run items will be "Built-To-Order".  At this time, we are excited about yesterdays Atlas news and news that will be announced within the next month or so.

Stay optimistic!

Yes, DCS is continuing.  Mike and the new DCS company that was previously announced will continue to produce the DCS system and technology, which will now be marketed by Atlas O and who ever else is licensed to distribute it.

Again, this is good news for the DCS and Proto-Sound 3.0 support of existing products through the service network.  Atlas is and always has been very good working with dealers in product support.

@MichRR714 posted:

I think this is wonderful!  Hopefully Lionel will recognize that there is a serious competitor in the marketplace that wants to eat their lunch.  Lionel should seriously get control of quality control and start painting most of their offerings the right color.

Wasn't MTH a serious competitor more so than Atlas?  I agree Lionel needs to work on their QC issue but I doubt Atlas will be anymore of a competitor than MTH was because MTH was right there when it came to competition.   MTH has always been a great competitor and made Lionel a better company in the process.  To be honest I think both kept each other somewhat honest.

@MartyE posted:

Wasn't MTH a serious competitor more so than Atlas?  I agree Lionel needs to work on their QC issue but I doubt Atlas will be anymore of a competitor than MTH was because MTH was right there when it came to competition.   MTH has always been a great competitor and made Lionel a better company in the process.  To be honest I think both kept each other somewhat honest.

Marty absolutley!

MTH has been going away for the last year though.  I don't think that Lionel was all that worried about what was becoming of MTH because it felt more like they were just going away.  Thankfully that isn't happening and competition will remain in the market place.  I used to buy much more Lionel when they were painting trains like models with the correct and consistent colors.  Hopefully Lionel will raise their game again.

Last edited by MichRR714

After reading all the discussion, I venture that Atlas is following its business plan for both their successful N & HO markets. Atlas is a Scale oriented company so the Premier Line makes business sense. Atlas had one attempt at steam in O Scale and it was not a success. ie Atlas choice of sticking with diesels. Plus Atlas in both N & HO manufactures diesels and not steam.  Atlas one failing recently in the O market was the lack of the ability to get their locomotive to the market. Thus this move puts them back into the locomotive game which was their one weakness in the O Scale market. I think this is a win win for all and their purchase follows their proven business plan with their other model lines.



Mike Parks

Charter Member of "The 48 Club"



https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/fileSendAction/fcType/0/fcOid/154026430976643495/filePointer/154026430976643521/fodoid/154026430976643516/imageType/LARGE/inlineImage/true/mceclip0.png

Re Z-4000 and Z-1000 transformers

No announcement has been made for future power supplies and related items yet.  The last run of Z-4000 transformers are still on schedule for a late spring/early summer delivery and quite frankly the amount of pre-orders we have for them are amazing.  The Z-1000 transformers has been shipping in a little at a time over the past four months.  We are stocked up on them and they sell because Lionel doesn't have their redesigned 80 watt available yet.  Both of the MTH transformers has been proven excellent quality power supplies at an affordable price point for many, many years.  Lets hope at least the Z-1000 sticks around for a long time.

@GG1 4877 posted:

This is a good fit for Atlas.  I'll be curious to see what Atlas does with their new acquisitions.  I've always found Atlas product to be superior to MTH in many ways so maybe Atlas will upgrade some of the tooling.

Jonathan, I agree with your assessment.  Their Master 3-rail locomotives (when they were able to get them produced and shipped) were ahead of their time (and certainly ahead of MTH & Lionel) in terms of level of detail.

My biggest complaint is with the sound package...both quality and variety.  RailSounds was fine back when Atlas was getting started with "O" locomotives.  However, selling $400-500++ diesels still equipped with very generic and very dated RailSounds packages (e.g. 4 "notches" of prime mover sounds instead of 8) just doesn't cut it today, especially when compared to Lionel Legacy and MTH PS3.

This deal with MTH--and (hopefully) the ability to use the wide variety of PS3 diesel sound packages--would immediately eliminate that issue...at least for me anyway.

Last edited by CNJ #1601
@CNJ #1601 posted:

Jonathan, I agree with your assessment.  Their Master 3-rail locomotives (when they were able to get them produced and shipped) were ahead of their time (and certainly ahead of MTH & Lionel) in terms of level of detail.

My biggest complaint is the sound package...both quality and variety.  RailSounds was fine back when Atlas was getting started with "O" locomotives.  However, selling $400-500++ diesels still equipped with very generic and very dated RailSounds packages (e.g. 4 "notches" of prime mover sounds instead of 8) just doesn't cut it today.  This deal with MTH--and (hopefully) the ability to use the wide variety of PS3 diesel sound packages--would immediately eliminate that issue...at least for me anyway.

I’m also assuming that the dcs license will be substantially cheaper than lionels tmcc. The Lionel brand carries a lot of weight, while mth is no where near as well known (think outside the hobby, not on this forum) and does not carry the premium name recognition. What this leads to price wise, I don’t know but I’m very cautiously optimistic.

Wow so many Atlas/MTH Dies and Molds treads I was not sure which one to reply to. Like everyone else I can only guess what exactly Atlas will do with these mold but one thing I can say without too much risk is what they will not do.

They will not produce a Premier line using any reference to MTH. They will most likely use these dies and molds in their existing product lines Master Line and Trainman Lines. They will perhaps use the MTH tooling as is putting the more detailed items in the Master Line and less detailed or a little worn tooling in their Trainman line. I think they will add details to expand the detailing on the tooling so that they can charge a premium price for their products.

As far as licensing DCS my guess is they will discontinue using TMCC software once their agreement with Lionel runs out. If they would put both TMCC and DCS in their engines as options think how complicated their offerings would be Not only would they have say SD70ACe engines in say 4 or 5 road names, two or three engine numbers, TMCC or DCS or Conventional, almost forgot 2 or 3 rail holy crap they better build to order as no one could predict how many of each to produce. I would say in less than a year Atlas will stop using TMCC control and sounds.

As far as pricing goes I do not see Atlas going with being the budget line of products. They will continue to be the more detailed higher priced option.

I currently do not own any Atlas engines, going to DCS is not my preferred operating system so future purchasing Atlas engine is iffy in the future. I do own a significant amount of Atlas rolling stock so I can still support Atlas in that effort.

Well the best of luck to Atlas hope they can expand their O scale business.

Oh almost forgot I would hope Lionel can purchase some of their steam tooling, being a PRR fan I would hope to see a Legacy Decapod (Long & Short tenders), T1. Q2 (no Q1s PRR only had one) L1 2-8-2s etc.

JohnB

This is fantastic! The announcement was for "all passenger cars" but then goes on to name specific passenger car molds. No mention of the premier Pullman bi-level gallery cars (Metra).

Those things are like gold right now. Can't buy them for literally any less than a down payment on a new Toyota. Would be nice to see more of them enter circulation just to bring these stupid prices to something more reasonable.

For those that don't watch, they literally sell for around 300 to 400 dollars PER CAR at the moment. 1200+ for a 4 car set, 800+ for a 2 car set. I'm a buyer at a third of that.

@JohnB posted:


Oh almost forgot I would hope Lionel can purchase some of their steam tooling, being a PRR fan I would hope to see a Legacy Decapod (Long & Short tenders), T1. Q2 (no Q1s PRR only had one) L1 2-8-2s etc.

JohnB

John, I second that statement! I would be interested in an I1 or L1 with Legacy. I really would love to see Lionel acquire the P5 boxcab (non-streamlined) tooling and do a legacy run with that (imagine if they added the sparking pantographs too like the VL GG1).

That being said, I really hope someone buys the tooling for & produces the less popular PRR electrics such as the DD1 and L5 that MTH has done over the years. I would hate to see the tooling for those fall through the cracks. 

@JohnB posted:


Oh almost forgot I would hope Lionel can purchase some of their steam tooling, being a PRR fan I would hope to see a Legacy Decapod (Long & Short tenders), T1. Q2 (no Q1s PRR only had one) L1 2-8-2s etc.

JohnB

I love Lionel, but I wouldn't want them being the sole producer of scale die cast steam locomotives.  No competition or incentives to improve or policing the quality.

I believe I read somewhere in these pages that some of the remaining MTH employees will be producing trains that Atlas has not acquired the tooling for, including steam.

There's still a lot that will be sorted out in due time.  Time will tell, I guess.

This is fantastic! The announcement was for "all passenger cars" but then goes on to name specific passenger car molds. No mention of the premier Pullman bi-level gallery cars (Metra).

Those things are like gold right now. Can't buy them for literally any less than a down payment on a new Toyota. Would be nice to see more of them enter circulation just to bring these stupid prices to something more reasonable.

Amen to that! I’d be a buyer at a price close to where MTH priced them in their catalog, but not at the ridiculous auction prices I’ve seen over the past year. One can hope.

There is the distinct non-zero probability that all model trains go to some form of wireless control. If only there was an entity like Lenz with DCC that would let their standard become open. Or just DCC commands over Bluetooth as a baseline.

TMCC is stuck with a certain PIC microprocessor family. DCS got stuck with its polarity problem, and issues with the signal propagating down the track. Batteries are getting better and better. I guarantee batteries will see a doubling of energy density, there is WAY too much money behind it. I could see how the track becomes a way only to charge batteries and keep the lights on in passenger cars.

Another thought came to my mind.

The MTH website has previous PS2 and PS3 files available so anyone can download and install them into their engine. Assuming Atlas starts making their own PS3 files under the license, will these new files be available for all?
My reasoning is as follows: What if someone needs to replace a board in a "new" Atlas PS3 engine (and thus needs a sound file) or someone wants new sounds in one of their diesels?

I know I am thinking very far in advance but someone has to ask these questions.

Bryce

Last edited by Oscale_Trains_Lover_

There is the distinct non-zero probability that all model trains go to some form of wireless control. If only there was an entity like Lenz with DCC that would let their standard become open. Or just DCC commands over Bluetooth as a baseline.

TMCC is stuck with a certain PIC microprocessor family. DCS got stuck with its polarity problem, and issues with the signal propagating down the track. Batteries are getting better and better. I guarantee batteries will see a doubling of energy density, there is WAY too much money behind it. I could see how the track becomes a way only to charge batteries and keep the lights on in passenger cars.

I disagree.  LEGO train operators that do big show often lament the use of batteries.  There biggest complaint is the need to constantly be changing and chargin batteries.  I think going to all batteries all the time would be a mistake.  just my opinion

This is fantastic! The announcement was for "all passenger cars" but then goes on to name specific passenger car molds. No mention of the premier Pullman bi-level gallery cars (Metra).

Those things are like gold right now. Can't buy them for literally any less than a down payment on a new Toyota. Would be nice to see more of them enter circulation just to bring these stupid prices to something more reasonable.

For those that don't watch, they literally sell for around 300 to 400 dollars PER CAR at the moment. 1200+ for a 4 car set, 800+ for a 2 car set. I'm a buyer at a third of that.

Agreed.  I'm shocked by those used prices on auction.  I'm glad I have some sets.  If they are made again, not only Metra but green/gold CNW and the red Rock Island would be nice.  Beautiful cars and fun to run.

Batteries are getting better and better. I guarantee batteries will see a doubling of energy density, there is WAY too much money behind it. I could see how the track becomes a way only to charge batteries and keep the lights on in passenger cars.

So now we get to add a consumable to our engines that guarantees the need for replacement in the future. Everyone says batteries are the future and the future for most of the batteries is the landfill, that is not very environmentally friendly. MTH dropped batteries when it went to PS3 electronics because people hated changing batteries when the super-cap does a better job for the life of the product with zero maintenance.

So we are still powering the track to run everything else, plus charge the battery so the battery can run the engine???  Here's a better way, dump the battery and run the engine off of track power, because it's already there for everything else.

Last edited by H1000

I didn't see anyone post what might be the BEST news related to the Atlas move:

In the USA, Atlas is the second oldest manufacturer to Lionel.  Also I THINK they are still family-owned.  From this one might assume that the Atlas people have a grip on the trends.  IF so- you could surmise:

1.  No matter how little that investment might be NOW as compared to what it might have been to buy all of MTH as an entity a few years ago, the fact that they were willing to invest ANYTHING in O and that a very knowledgeable group of people are willing to "put their money where their mouth is" says they think that O is NOT dead.   If they really thought the O hobby (or even the MR hobby as a whole) was totally "dead"- they would not have spent ANY money on it.  Therefore one might assume that they think there IS a future on O Scale.  But that is and will still remain a fragment of the business available in HO and N.

That's the good news.

2.  The fact that they did not buy the RailKing ("traditional") sized line, tells me that they see O SCALE as being the part of the hobby remaining long-term, but not the O Gauge part.

They are and have been a scale model producer, in every scale.  The MTH line gives them a big line of O Scale.  And immediately a big line of accessories for all of the O market. 

Regarding control systems- most likely, Atlas will phase out of Lionel Legacy/TMCC, etc., and move on with DCS, as it IS more similar to DCC than it is to the Lionel systems. Whereas, Lionel SEEMS to be moving toward "non-handheld" methods of control??  That is the bad news for those of us committed to Legacy and TMCC.

Another thought came to my mind.

The MTH website has previous PS2 and PS3 files available so anyone can download and install them into their engine. Assuming Atlas starts making their own PS3 files under the license, will these new files be available for all?
My reasoning is as follows: What if someone needs to replace a board in a "new" Atlas PS3 engine (and thus needs a sound file) or someone wants new sounds in one of their diesels?

I know I am thinking very far in advance but someone has to ask these questions.

Bryce

I would be surprised if Atlas creates its own sound files, rather they will ask the MTH spinoff to create them. Otherwise they would have to hire someone with the expertise in MTH DCS.

Pete

Another thought came to my mind.

The MTH website has previous PS2 and PS3 files available so anyone can download and install them into their engine. Assuming Atlas starts making their own PS3 files under the license, will these new files be available for all?
My reasoning is as follows: What if someone needs to replace a board in a "new" Atlas PS3 engine (and thus needs a sound file) or someone wants new sounds in one of their diesels?

I know I am thinking very far in advance but someone has to ask these questions.

Bryce

Well once the engine reaches the consumers hands, the sound file can be downloaded to a computer and distributed by way of the internet even if Atlas doesn't make their files public. This is assuming that Atlas doesn't have a modified PS3 board/firmware that does not allow the sound file to be downloaded with the normal Consumer software package from MTH.

@jhz563 posted:

I disagree.  LEGO train operators that do big show often lament the use of batteries.  There biggest complaint is the need to constantly be changing and chargin batteries.  I think going to all batteries all the time would be a mistake.  just my opinion

It would be trivial to add a charging circuit that uses track voltage on certain parts of a layout (to avoid issues with reversing loops on 2-rail setups) to intermittently charge the batteries.  I think two unit lash-ups would work well here.  One locomotive with sounds, wireless/command, and motors; the other with motors and battery.  Steamers could do battery in tender.

@H1000 posted:

Well once the engine reaches the consumers hands, the sound file can be downloaded to a computer and distributed by way of the internet even if Atlas doesn't make their files public. This is assuming that Atlas doesn't have a modified PS3 board/firmware that does not allow the sound file to be downloaded with the normal Consumer software package from MTH.

True.
I highly doubt that Atlas will modify the board/firmware to prevent the sound files being downloaded. It is very nice and convenient to have all the PS2/PS3 files on MTH's website.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that those who work at Atlas will see this and decide to do the same thing that MTH has done for their customers.

Bryce

@MikeH posted:

Man, the hobby veterans do howl when the subject of battery power comes up!  I'd take battery power in a heartbeat.  No more fried circuit boards, no more wiring track, and no cleaning track.  If this wasn't such an old guy hobby, it would've happened long time ago.

You don't have to be an "old guy" to be completely uninterested in battery power.  Believe me I'm not that old and the last thing I want to do is make sure what I want to run is charged.  NO thanks.

@MikeH posted:

Man, the hobby veterans do howl when the subject of battery power comes up!  I'd take battery power in a heartbeat.  No more fried circuit boards, no more wiring track, and no cleaning track.  If this wasn't such an old guy hobby, it would've happened long time ago.

Batteries that have to be recharged often, batteries that have to be charged under supervision because they are serious fire hazard, the only way to power operating cars is with more batteries, replacing batteries that will definitely go bad over time only for most the used batteries to end up in the landfill, batteries that leak and ruin expensive circuit boards.........

Last edited by H1000
@MikeH posted:

Man, the hobby veterans do howl when the subject of battery power comes up!  I'd take battery power in a heartbeat.  No more fried circuit boards, no more wiring track, and no cleaning track.  If this wasn't such an old guy hobby, it would've happened long time ago.

Mike, I am one of the younger guys in the hobby and am not a fan of batteries. Both sides of the argument have pros and cons but at the end of the day, everyone has their personal preference.

Bryce

As I posted elsewhere, I, myself, am very excited about the Atlas purchase and the Atlas licensing of DCS. I am hoping to see many more Premier-level (or whatever Atlas calls them; maybe GOLD) engines in new paint. I am hoping for the P42 in the new schemes or the ES44’s in new Canadian National heritage paint. I am looking forward to March 24 for the first announcement.


As far as DCS, I am thinking that the group holding on to the DCS tech has a few secrets. With Atlas rumored to be making a big DCS push (I believe according the a Mr. Muffins message), it seems that DCS has a future. And I could see that whomever holds onto the Railking and Steam lines using DCS also. I can’t wait to see where the DCS group takes the system.

The next few weeks will be very interesting and exciting.

@MartyE posted:

There is no saying that even though you can download a new file for your Atlas engine, will you be able to for free?  Who will hold the library?  I assume the new DCS tech group would and will they still offer them for free?  Some unknowns yet.

Marty I scraped the MTH Website a while back and grabbed EVERYTHING. Manuals, schematics, and every single sound file. People talk about 100's of MTH sound files, it's more like 10's of thousands. The MTH sound Library is currently free and public, If you are worried, go get em now I say.

However, I don't see why they would stop offering them for free, think of the backlash this new company would get from the start. Plus it's not like MTH can stop the flow of information of theses files being shared on the internet from other sources.

@H1000 posted:

Marty I scraped the MTH Website a while back and grabbed EVERYTHING. Manuals, schematics, and every single sound file. People talk about 100's of MTH sound files, it's more like 10's of thousands. The MTH sound Library is currently free and public, If you are worried, go get em now I say.

However, I don't see why they would stop offering them for free, think of the backlash this new company would get from the start. Plus it's not like MTH can stop the flow of information of theses files being shared on the internet from other sources.

You just never know. I don’t think they will either but things change.

Definitely on the same boat as all you guys about the news. I have about a dozen or so Atlas products at the moment, and because of how much I love the variety of stuff they have and how well-detailed they are, I absolutely want to get more as time goes on. Hearing that they bought a reasonable amount of MTH's Premier toolings (and yes, I was hoping they would get the steam locomotives and electrics too), this makes me believe that they could only improve on what MTH has done already. I agree the prices may possibly go up for these new things compared to their MTH counterparts, but I think it might be worth it. Overall I think this is a major step in the right direction in terms of keeping MTH's legacy alive. Of course now we just got to see what happens with the rest of MTH's products, including Railking and One Gauge.

@H1000 posted:

Marty I scraped the MTH Website a while back and grabbed EVERYTHING. Manuals, schematics, and every single sound file. People talk about 100's of MTH sound files, it's more like 10's of thousands. The MTH sound Library is currently free and public, If you are worried, go get em now I say.

Great minds think alike!

I have downloaded all the sound files I wanted/needed for personal use, manuals for engines I have, and all the catalogs. It all comes to a cool 9.42GB. I have backed this up on two thumb drives and a 2TB solid-state external drive. I have one of the thumb drives at a relatives house heaven forbid there was a fire or some major catastrophe.

Bryce

Mike, I am one of the younger guys in the hobby and am not a fan of batteries. Both sides of the argument have pros and cons but at the end of the day, everyone has their personal preference.

Bryce

@MikeH posted:

Man, the hobby veterans do howl when the subject of battery power comes up!  I'd take battery power in a heartbeat.  No more fried circuit boards, no more wiring track, and no cleaning track.  If this wasn't such an old guy hobby, it would've happened long time ago.

39 here.  I'm in the camp who'd like to see a move towards Direct Radio Control (Railpro) where track power can continue to be used (cause batteries add extra issues) but where the signal is delivered direct to the locomotive(s) without having to deal with issues related to the track.  This eliminates the command base and communication with the base - as well as relying on clean track to communicate a signal.   Lionel has toyed with this with their Lionchief locos - but certainly not approaching the capabilities of Railpro.   I however- am not crazy about Bluetooth.  I think it's evolving too quickly for it to become the standard.   



Last edited by Jacobpaul81

DCS has always been MTH’s albatross. If Atlas could re engineer DCS to be as reliable as Legacy they could easily part ways with their TMCC/Lionel licensing agreement and become a real competitor. If Atlas could acquire the steam tooling I believe Lionel would be forced to step up their game and we’d all be elbow deep in quality trains again.

It's funny, but I always avoided full DCS because of what I perceived as it being complicated and and prone to problems. I've only had small, temporary layouts, sometimes with switches.

But the remote commander, and the new DCS explorer, have been completely and totally reliable for me. If MTH had simply unlocked a few features on the app, like subway sounds, for example, I would have gladly paid for those upgrades and been very happy to stick with the Explorer forever. As it is, I'll be running one or two MTH locos going forward as I always have--via Explorer, or most likely remote commander, and subways using the transformer commands in automode. Combined with LionChief and LC+, and sometimes conventional running, this makes for a perfectly workable layout.

My only concern is my DCS Explorer dying, or the transformer controller. The hardware. Which means, I suppose, I should buy backup hardware, like an extra Explore, transformer controller and remote commander.

Speaking of the Explorer, here are two suggestions to any possible future DCS company.  Firstly, include the power supply (wall wart) for the Explorer in the purchase, as was true for MTH sets, but not for the separate sale Explorer.  Or at least specify a few inexpensive power supplies in the 10-20 dollar range. Suggesting the Z1000 is a non-starter and borders on bizarre in terms of both overkill and expense.

Secondly, either include printed instructions with the device,  or the web address where you can download the .pdf instructions.  I've never previously purchased an electronic device that failed to include at least "quick start" type directions.  Don't cheap out or stay half-baked going forward.

@pdxtrains posted:

It's funny, but I always avoided full DCS because of what I perceived as it being complicated and and prone to problems. I've only had small, temporary layouts, sometimes with switches.

But the remote commander, and the new DCS explorer, have been completely and totally reliable for me. If MTH had simply unlocked a few features on the app, like subway sounds, for example, I would have gladly paid for those upgrades and been very happy to stick with the Explorer forever. As it is, I'll be running one or two MTH locos going forward as I always have--via Explorer, or most likely remote commander, and subways using the transformer commands in automode. Combined with LionChief and LC+, and sometimes conventional running, this makes for a perfectly workable layout.

My only concern is my DCS Explorer dying, or the transformer controller. The hardware. Which means, I suppose, I should buy backup hardware, like an extra Explore, transformer controller and remote commander.

Pdx, I also initially avoided dcs because of some of the comments I read here. But it’s like reading restaurant reviews on Yelp - some people love it, some hate it, and the only way to tell the truth is to try it out for yourself. I’m glad I finally did 15 years ago. I’ve never had any problems with it and all my command and conventional engines run superbly, and I’m far from an electrically proficient individual. My layout is in a 10x14 foot room, has four levels, over 20 blocks and sidings, and all are connected to the tiu with excellent results. I think dcs is even better for smaller layouts like ours. The explorer doesn’t give you nearly as many features as the full dcs for subways. As a fellow subway fan, I can tell you that you don’t know what you are missing, being able to control mixed consist subway trains, easily operating station stops, programming your own out and back loops, and all the other great subway features with dcs.  I regularly run seven or eight different engines at the same time on my subway themed layout and dcs really makes it work flawlessly. I have conventional tracks that run my conventional engines as well via dcs. It’s truly amazing. Ignore the noise and give it a try like I did. You’ll never look back and now that you can see that dcs has an afterlife, the decision should be even easier.

Last edited by Strap Hanger

Pretty sure Atlas won't be making dcs components like TIUs and remotes. MTH has spun off the DCS group into its own organization to continue the production of DCS  components. Atlas will be a reseller and licensed oem provider of these parts.

As for the eBay prices, that's all supply and demand. If you want a better price there are other more obscure sources that require some searching to find. I bought an unused TIU and remote set with an AIU last month for $375.... Not on eBay. While this price is rare and a real gem to find, they are out there.

eBay is the last place to look for a good deal on this stuff.

Last edited by H1000

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×