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Well IMO,Atlas hit on a poor car to do,but what do I know?

I'd rather have seen more 4750s done,but I suppose they're trying to keep variety in their product line. As popular as the 5161s are,I'd think Atlas would make a "little brother" to the 5161 in the 3281. I see almost solid trains of these hoppers at times.

Al Hummel


Did you hear back from Jerry in any respect,meaning "yes," "no," "maybe?"

I emailed him pic's of the SCL&L&N/Family Lines System as well as Seaboard System 4750s & a 5161 hopper,MCEX I think was the car name,about 2 years ago & Jerry thanked me saying if Atlas did any of those he might contact me for more detailed photos,but never saw any models or heard anything from him.

I sent an email in 2016,but it was rejected by Atlas,so I don't know if the email address changed or what happened. What email address do you have?

Yes that'd be a great sand/cement car,indeed. Thanks for giving Atlas a "nudge."

Al Hummel

Yes, he emailed me back and said that he appreciated my suggestions and would pass them along to the appropriate parties for review. He did not comment on whether they would actually get done or if any of my recommendations were being developed due to the competitive nature of the business. I get that and wasn't expecting any kind of definitive reply. I just wanted to let him know that I would be interested in any of those projects if they were manufactured, namely Wheeling & Lake Erie gondolas and GP40-2's.

I sent him pictures of HO scale models, including the stock #s for Atlas' HO scale Thrall gondolas and GP40-2's. He thanked me for my detailed email and interest in their 2-rail products.

I have 4 MTH Wheeling & Lake Erie GP40's (actually they are -3's) and if Atlas ever did them they would offer them in the same cab #s but I would still get them anyway. I don't know why they opted to do a GP60 years ago when so few railroads owned them besides the Santa Fe. They are awesome locomotives and I would get both CSX GP60's if they were rerun but a GP40-2 seemed like it would have been a better seller since many railroads had them on their roster.

The Atlas business model consists primarily of repainted/reruns of existing tooling with the introduction of perhaps 1-2 new models a year, it costs them nothing to post an existing model for reservations, if it does not get enough it only gets pushed down the production list to a future date. Good example a few years back the 89' TTX flats failed to get enough interest to run at a fairly high price, last year they put them back up at an even higher price and they were made and sold out, go figure!

Prefer it if they went for GP38-2, but I'm not holding my breath for either that or GP40.  Just because there are other, inferior makes available, mainly in 3-rail, it seems Atlas won't bother. The manufacturers themselves seem to be strangling any potential growth in the 2-rail market!!

I'm sure I've also read somewhere that Atlas do not welcome emails or letters with suggestions for new models. Seems rather an arrogant stance, to me.


The Atlas business model consists primarily of repainted/reruns of existing tooling with the introduction of perhaps 1-2 new models a year, it costs them nothing to post an existing model for reservations,

Oh, I don't know about that....

There's always the customer-response cost ....


....which seems to bubble up in blogs & forums from time to time.



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Last edited by dkdkrd

Someone at Atlas O,made the statement years ago,that,and I quote, "Atlas is committed to O Scale!"  Well,I have to ask,"Committed exactly to 'what?' Possibly the demise of O Scale?

You have to make a profit even if you're only selling led pencils. to make that profit,you have to be in touch with your customers wants & needs. "Wants" and "needs," are not always possible to put together all at once,granted. The more in touch you are with your customers and the more you work with them,the more the customer will stay with you through good&bad times and the more success you'll both have & the better your reputation as a manufacturer will be. If the most of your customers want pens you can't do a good business selling #2 led pencils to the minority & stay on top. Like a good marriage,both partners have to work "together" at the relationship,1 partner can't do all the work. The more customer & manufacturer work together,the easier it is to overlook disappointments.

We heard from Lionel earlier,we know they're listening,how about it Atlas,we haven't heard from you for a long time now?

The Great & Powerfull "Wizard of Hummel" has spoken.

AL Hummel

Mike DeBerg,

I agree on the diesels! I'm about $1850 into MTH diesels but think I'd go back to Atlas. It's a toss up,MTH makes doors that open on their cabs and are 2/3rail capable on their Premier Line. Have cab chatter,realistic train effects,all around a nice diesel for the money. I have a CSX GP38-2 in the YN2 color scheme,an SD40-2 in the modern YN3 with the boxcar logo,plus a GP40 in the same scheme as well as a more modern 'road diesel,forgot the model design classification. The thing I don't like about DCS,is that if the diesel stops on the track for something like a bad joint,or a stall of some type,I've found I have to go back & reset the system which means going through the entire 'set up' mode again,which I don't like but maybe that's common to all DCC type systems.(?) I come from HO DC so am a beginner here.

I sure do like the GP15 models in CSX Atlas had advertised in their 2016 catalog,a pair of those would be hot on my local switch,see them as well as GP40-2's&GP38-2's working local switch service in Bremen,Indiana.

Again funds are a heavy issue. We're a "majority of 2," on the diesel subject and I know they're are many others that support these.

Al Hummel

Slight tangent, I hate to keep seeing talk about waffling between scales... because of lack of products.  Fact is all new highly detailed products are higher costs today in any scale.   We need to stop using "changing scales" as a motivation for manufacturers to release a product in O Scale.  After all if they don't reel you in here they will get your $$$ in that other scale.  Simply just stop buying their products, if enough of us do that, they will start to listen or go out of business.    Should be a good indication for them that the modelers do really want the products they've been asking for!


Model railroading as a hobby has been and will continue to shrink.  Many industry experts are predicting extinction in <20 years.  Lots of reasons given, everything from age of existing base, increasing cost of goods, other activities taking the place of trains, slowing rate of new prototypes, etc...  

Interesting though, that we continue to see new innovations, new manufacturers in smaller scales, why? After all an SD40-2 is an SD40-2? Right? Been produced over a dozen times.   Apparently not, there is always a better SD40-2 in one way or another which then fuels development of products like the Tier 4 GEVO with road, road number specific details trying to immerse the modeler into the full experience.  

Haven grown up in a railroad family, 3 generations working for a railroad where I had many opportunities to operate trains and been in N, HO and O scales, along with 1/8 scale trains, I believe the draw to trains is really about that immersion experience.   Whether it's memories of years gone by, or taking you away from current life situations making new memories, model railroading can offer many skill developing and life long rewarding memory making opportunities that other hobbies/activities do not.  

O scale has so much to offer not only for the existing base of modelers but attracting a whole new younger modeler just because of it's size, weight, and ability to immerse the modeler into a world like no other scale.  It's a perfect balance and although many argue with the larger size it's difficult to build a railroad at home without compressing the models. It's caught between so many paradigms, home layout limitations being one of them.  I would argue that the high quality layouts at home are being replaced with modular railroads at large gatherings, shows, events and smaller setups are more common at home because of other interests.  The next generation model railroaders aren't going to build high quality layouts at home like we have today. They will invest more in building community/group modular layouts.     Manufacturers please stop using that as justification for just building equipment that operates around 0-27 curves.  Wake up out of your delusional sleep and embrace the opportunities in front of you, not just those that have been there for decades.  Build products that have a high detail level, based on prototypes, scale models that can work either in 2R or 3RS.  

I'm not asking for separate SKU's, but build truck blocks that accept scale wheels or hirail wheels, allows truck sideframes to adjust, scale pilots and details not attached to the trucks, I even like what Lionel is doing with their new pilots, also a plug for Thor73 help literally helping fill those pilot gaps!   Take a look at prototypes once in a while and target popular models, like the new T4 GEVO and make that the new standard, what kind of freight traffic is being hauled?  Develop freight cars, structures, accessories that support those commodities.   What kind of passenger equipment is running today?  How many gaps are there just in Amtrak alone for scale equipment?     Think about those having smaller setups/layouts at home that might be switching layouts today, what locomotives, freight cars, structures, and accessories would they need?  For running at larger setups, what unit trains are out there today, what larger road power is being used?  How can they make products that would allow the modeler to really be immersed into either of those two situations?

Listen to those actually providing suggestions, feedback.  While not the only source for R&D, product development, this important feedback is a good barometer of the type of equipment you should be looking to develop.





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