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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.

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