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I am flabergastered at the price markup on the 64' woodsided coaches....

MTH MSRP for a single coach was $100.

Lionel MSRP for two coaches is $400. (or $200 per car).

Seriously??? A 100% price increase??? Outrageous in my opinion. Wish the molds had stayed in MTH's hands.

Glad I got my SRC cars during the last MTH run of them.

This is definitely not a game changer at all!  I just got off the phone with one of the biggest MTH dealers in the country.  He told me that Lionel purchased the Railking Bantam tooling, some Railking buildings and accessories, and a few other Premier/Railking pieces to compliment their line.  The balance of the stuff remains with MTH and will be made as MTH moving forward.

Last edited by MichRR714
@Prr7688 posted:

I am flabergastered at the price markup on the 64' woodsided coaches....

MTH MSRP for a single coach was $100.

Lionel MSRP for two coaches is $400. (or $200 per car).

Seriously??? A 100% price increase??? Outrageous in my opinion. Wish the molds had stayed in MTH's hands.

Glad I got my SRC cars during the last MTH run of them.

Charles Ro has them for $287.95

Given this hyperinflationary period, purchasing/retrofitting the tooling and the shipping container issues. +$87.95 doesn't seem that bad.

I guess I don't know what shops were selling them for but nick smiths has a set of 5 of the MTH older paint scheme for $449.99

So thats $90ea if you buy 5 MTH or $143/ea if you buy 2 new Lionel. Really doesn't seem THAT bad under the circumstances.



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Last edited by SeptaTony
@MichRR714 posted:

This is definitely not a game changer at all!  I just got off the phone with one of the biggest MTH dealers in the country.  He told me that Lionel purchased the Railking Bantam tooling, some Railking buildings and accessories, and a few other Premier/Railking pieces to compliment their line.  The balance of the stuff remains with MTH and will be made as MTH moving forward.

First clue: “one of the biggest MTH dealers in the country.” I take the first hand account from Lionel about what MTH tooling Lionel purchased. Thank you very much.

First clue: “one of the biggest MTH dealers in the country.” I take the first hand account from Lionel about what MTH tooling Lionel purchased. Thank you very much.

Just finished looking through the new Lionel catalog, and yes it reaffirms no game changer. Some cool stuff did move from one catalog to another but not much excitement here.

The only group of people this is "revolutionary" or a "game changer" for is folks that were too stubborn or pennywise and pound foolish to buy these locos when MTH was making them.

Yes, you would have had to buy a DCS system to run them in command mode but they still would have functioned beautifully in conventional mode, which is fully supported by the Legacy Remote and a PowerMaster.

Now with MTH restructured and Lionel in possession of some subset of MTHs back catalog of tooling, you might get a chance to buy a former MTH locomotive with Legacy, IF Lionel bought the tooling and IF they decide to release it (in a road name and paint scheme you want) for a much higher price.

What's the saying that 3rd Rail always uses in their announcements?  OH, I remember!

         "You can sit on the fence, but all you'll have is a sore behind!"

While I don't own a Legacy command base or remote, I do own the original TMCC and several Legacy and TMCC engines.  I also own DCS and several MTH engines.  Having both systems allows me to run any locomotive how I see fit, and best of all - take advantage of the used market.  Much of my collection has been bought second hand.

Personally, I feel markets are best served when there is good competition between at least two big players.  Chevy/Ford/Dodge, Intel/AMD, Canon/Nikon, the list goes on.  This drives innovation and differentiation and everyone wins.

The only difference I see is that what was once MTH tooling is now Lionel tooling.  Items manufactured with this tooling will contain all Lionel electronics and hardware.  This is no different then K Line tooling or any other tooling sold over the years.

When this is all said and done MTH will be just a memory like K Line and all the others.

I hope Lionel purchased the tin plate tooling as well.

@NYC 428 posted:

When this is all said and done MTH will be just a memory like K Line and all the others.

I hope Lionel purchased the tin plate tooling as well.

Mike retained all of the tinplate as far as I know.. Also since MTH is still in business and making trains with a whole bunch of tooling that they retained it might be a while before they are a memory

@NYC 428 posted:


When this is all said and done MTH will be just a memory like K Line and all the others.

I hope Lionel purchased the tin plate tooling as well.

How does anyone get to this conclusion from the discussion at hand and on this board the last few months?  MTH has been churning out product almost more so now that when they had a catalog.  Several dealers have reinforced that they are here for the foreseeable future.   

Oh, don't get me wrong I have a lot of MTH equipment , DCS as well as Legacy.  If MTH can stay in business in some way, that would be good for competition and the hobby.

But at some point Mike would have to hand over what's left to the people who are trying to keep MTH alive and reverent.  Special runs are OK for now but long term survival will require some new innovative items for sale.

Last edited by NYC 428
@MichRR714 posted:

Mike retained all of the tinplate as far as I know.. Also since MTH is still in business and making trains with a whole bunch of tooling that they retained it might be a while before they are a memory

A company that calls itself MTH is still in business, but it is a far different and smaller company than it was two years ago. Every latest news release is another announcement of MTH getting smaller.

If there is an analogy here it may be this: Robert E Lee surrender at Appomattox in April 1865 did not mean the immediate end of the Civil War. The war dragged on a few more months before all the remaining Confederate Armies surrendered.  However, everyone who was there at Appomattox knew exactly what Lee's surrender represented and that the war was essentially over. MTH selling a broad selection of it's tooling to Lionel is MTH's Appomattox.

@MartyE posted:

How does anyone get to this conclusion from the discussion at hand and on this board the last few months?  MTH has been churning out product almost more so now that when they had a catalog.  Several dealers have reinforced that they are here for the foreseeable future.   

I'm sure it seems that way if that is what you want to believe but every news release from MTH is about another piece of the company being sold off or closed down.  MTH is on a slow path downward. 

We will know in a year or two.

If there is an analogy here it may be this: Robert E Lee surrender at Appomattox in April 1865 did not mean the immediate end of the Civil War. The war dragged on a few more months before all the remaining Confederate Armies surrendered.  However, everyone who was there at Appomattox knew exactly what Lee's surrender represented and that the war was essentially over. MTH selling a broad selection of it's tooling to Lionel is MTH's Appomattox.

More analogies to war...  I thought this was supposed to be a "happy day" where everyone get's what they wanted (Legacy MTH engines, continued production of DCS).  Incessantly rubbing peoples noses in it is the tack some people take I suppose.

I'm sure it seems that way if that is what you want to believe but every news release from MTH is about another piece of the company being sold off or closed down.  MTH is on a slow path downward.

We will know in a year or two.

Apparently you aren't subscribed to their newsletter.  They've probably made 100 announcements since the one announcing Mike's retirement, all about new road names and special runs.  There have been two "downsizing" announcements, the original about the planned retirement and potential sale of the company and then the one about the selling of a subset of tooling to Atlas. 

We'll know what exactly in a year or two?

I, for one, am sorry that I jumped to the wrong conclusion based on the speculation here.  We can guess all we want about MTH's future.  But what is in front of us are new releases and special runs by special MTH dealers and that continues to excite MTH fans.  Plus Atlas O is the new MTH brother in PS 3 that will be here tomorrow and their stuff is awesome.   I am grateful for Mr. Muffins Trains, Pat's trains and and Public Delivery Track who aren't afraid to share direct facts with us regarding MTH news.

A company that calls itself MTH is still in business, but it is a far different and smaller company than it was two years ago. Every latest news release is another announcement of MTH getting smaller.

If there is an analogy here it may be this: Robert E Lee surrender at Appomattox in April 1865 did not mean the immediate end of the Civil War. The war dragged on a few more months before all the remaining Confederate Armies surrendered.  However, everyone who was there at Appomattox knew exactly what Lee's surrender represented and that the war was essentially over. MTH selling a broad selection of it's tooling to Lionel is MTH's Appomattox.

Do you use scented smoke fluid?  If so I'd like to know what kind.

I'm still confused how a locomotive, that's already been made, is "revolutionary" because it comes with a different electronics package then it did before. Is it because it comes in a different color box? Does owning a MTH locomotive I installed TMCC into make me a "revolutionary"?

Let's be serious and cut the hyperbole here: Lionel bought some tooling from MTH. They will make the same item that's been made before but with different electronics inside. It's nothing "new". It's been done by people at home, on their workbench, for years. I've done it myself dozens of times. If you expand your horizons to other scales you'll see that people put different brand DCC decoders in any locomotive available and no one bats an eye. Why everyone is freaking out because a FM C-Liner now has Legacy from the factory instead of PS3 is beyond me.

Lionel is the only "full line" manufacture of 3 rail trains with starter sets etc. You know what in other scales (HO) there are a couple manufactures who make starter sets (basically Bachman and Piko) and a whole line of trains and plenty who cater to the hobbyist who is just interested in purchasing a locomotive or cars for their already established layouts (Athearn, BLI, Scaletrains). This whole manufacture worship in 3 rail O is ridiculous. I wish it was more like other scales, where people bought what they like regardless of who the manufacture is.

It is my understanding that MTH and Lionel struck the agreement a year ago.  Lionel engineering has been working on these products since that time.  In my past corporate experience it was common to delay announcing agreements of this sort for the benefit of the selling party and may have been a condition of the sale.  If Lionel had announced this prior to now then, MTH would have been stuck with devalued inventory as customers may have made the decision to wait for the new stuff instead of buying the old.  As far as remote systems go, I expect DCS to be around for no more than five years as a stand-alone organization.  The volume of business necessary to support a separate organization may not be there in the coming years.  

@Lou1985 posted:

I'm still confused how a locomotive, that's already been made, is "revolutionary" because it comes with a different electronics package then it did before. Is it because it comes in a different color box? Does owning a MTH locomotive I installed TMCC into make me a "revolutionary"?

Let's be serious and cut the hyperbole here: Lionel bought some tooling from MTH. They will make the same item that's been made before but with different electronics inside. It's nothing "new". It's been done by people at home, on their workbench, for years. I've done it myself dozens of times. If you expand your horizons to other scales you'll see that people put different brand DCC decoders in any locomotive available and no one bats an eye. Why everyone is freaking out because a FM C-Liner now has Legacy from the factory instead of PS3 is beyond me.

Lionel is the only "full line" manufacture of 3 rail trains with starter sets etc. You know what in other scales (HO) there are a couple manufactures who make starter sets (basically Bachman and Piko) and a whole line of trains and plenty who cater to the hobbyist who is just interested in purchasing a locomotive or cars for their already established layouts (Athearn, BLI, Scaletrains). This whole manufacture worship in 3 rail O is ridiculous. I wish it was more like other scales, where people bought what they like regardless of who the manufacture is.

I never bought any MTH motive power. I didn’t want to invest in a second remote system.  I had Lionel and was quite satisfied with it.  MTH had some interesting locomotives that would ruin on any size layout and I hope they will be produced with LionChief Plus or Legacy.  I just ordered the Pennsylvania C-Liner from Charles Ro for $499.95.  

@IRON HORSE posted:

I am grateful for Mr. Muffins Trains, Pat's trains and and Public Delivery Track who aren't afraid to share direct FACTS with us regarding MTH news.

I got an email from Pat’s which explained everything to me concisely. I am so happy I bought something from Pat’s which put me on their mailing list. The email explained exactly what tooling Lionel got which I am sure everyone here knows by now.

I agree with the guys who said this is interesting news but in my opinion it is not revolutionary or game changing. I am so happy to hear MTH will stay in business. Of course they will be smaller than they were but I would rather have a smaller MTH than none at all. I still miss Weaver.

@RixTrack posted:

I never bought any MTH motive power. I didn’t want to invest in a second remote system.  I had Lionel and was quite satisfied with it.  MTH had some interesting locomotives that would ruin on any size layout and I hope they will be produced with LionChief Plus or Legacy.  I just ordered the Pennsylvania C-Liner from Charles Ro for $499.95.  

You could have bought a MTH locomotive and run it under TMCC control. It's pretty simple really. Remove the MTH electronics, install TMCC/RS from ERR, run under TMCC with full TMCC features. Simple, and done all the time. Before the last 12 months or so it was possible to buy a PS1 MTH locomotive and electronics from ERR for less than half the cost of a brand new Legacy locomotive.

@Lou1985 posted:

You could have bought a MTH locomotive and run it under TMCC control. It's pretty simple really. Remove the MTH electronics, install TMCC/RS from ERR, run under TMCC with full TMCC features. Simple, and done all the time. Before the last 12 months or so it was possible to buy a PS1 MTH locomotive and electronics from ERR for less than half the cost of a brand new Legacy locomotive.

Yeah, but I’m not going to do any of that.  I’m not much of a tinkerer.  I changed out the lighting in 24 passenger cars to John’s led system and that’s as far as I will go.  Everyone has their own path in this hobby.  

Last edited by RixTrack
@Lou1985 posted:


Lionel is the only "full line" manufacture of 3 rail trains with starter sets etc. You know what in other scales (HO) there are a couple manufactures who make starter sets (basically Bachman and Piko) and a whole line of trains and plenty who cater to the hobbyist who is just interested in purchasing a locomotive or cars for their already established layouts (Athearn, BLI, Scaletrains). This whole manufacture worship in 3 rail O is ridiculous. I wish it was more like other scales, where people bought what they like regardless of who the manufacture is.

I totally agree with this. While I am an MTH fan I do not have any dislike for Lionel or any other company. I didn’t buy my MTH trains based on the color of the box. MTH made trains that we’re to my interest (scale wheels—fixed pilots, etc) and had Lionel done the same I know I would have bought more Lionel. I do have some Lionel which are beautiful trains. No plans on selling them. I just don’t see the rivalry between manufacturers. I would never want anything bad to happen to any train manufacturer. I want them all to be successful and compete with each to build great products for the hobby.

It is similar to the cars I like. I love my Mopars but do not dislike Ford or Chevy.

@G3750 posted:

I would absolutely LOVE a Decapod from Lionel.  Another brute for the Panhandle?  Yeah, baby! 

George

I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Who knows what Lionel got at this point. My 3rd Rails are holding up pretty well but it would be nice to give them a break. An MTH-tooled Dec with Legacy would be kinda dreamy with Kadee mounts and some selectable PRR whistles. Maybe MTH in whatever form they will be taking on will want to retain some of their better tools. Seems like they are taking their time selling off their tooling to maximize what they can get for them.

I'm late to the "announcement" party, as usual. This may be mentioned above, or not.

Rambling: I wonder if Lionel went after the MTH scale Mohawk tooling? If so that would give Lionel tooling for the L2, L3 and L4 Mohawks. The L3a Lionel already did (and needs to do it again - right this time); the L3b and L4 were done by MTH. I have an MTH L3b and L4. Beautiful - but no more so than the Lionel L2a. And the L2b through L2d look very different from the L2a.

Also, an L3a (3001) and an L2d still exist - odd for big NYC steam. Lionel should offer the 3001.

Alas, no L1 Mohawks. Early and interesting. May I suggest those (and the L2d) for the Hybrid method, much as they did the SP GS-1?

So - Lionel could corner the market on Mohawks!

Competition is good for the consumer.  MTH made Lionel raise their game.  Lionel was all but dead and in bankruptcy.  I heard for years that Lionel didn't listen to customers who wanted scale and highly detailed offerings.  Without MTH, Would Lionel have ever changed or maybe even survived?

Now, instead of competition, we and people in the future are going to experience CONFUSION.

Atlas locos will have TMCC, Legacy and DCS electronics.  You won't know by looking at the exterior.  When you go to a future train show, how will you know which is which?

I know its business.  I know Mike doesn't care because he got his money.  But, I sure wish his company would have continued to survive in tact--including DCS--of which many of us have a SIGNIFICANT investment.

I'm still wondering why Atlas is now going to install DCS instead of Legacy?  The answer of course is:  MONEY.  But, I'd still like to know what the real reason is.  I will never know.

I have a dream.  I've had it since I stepped into the O scale world years ago.  One day there would be a UNIVERSAL command system in O scale that would control EVERYTHING.  Because as I wrote earlier, you are going to have to be darn careful what you are buying in the future because you can't be sure what electronics (TMCC/LEGACY/DCS) are going to included in your purchase without testing and/or hopefully the right information on the box, IF there is a box.

As if there wasn't enough confusion already in the O scale world, here is yet another wrinkle.

@John C. posted:

Competition is good for the consumer.  MTH made Lionel raise their game.  Lionel was all but dead and in bankruptcy.  I heard for years that Lionel didn't listen to customers who wanted scale and highly detailed offerings.  Without MTH, Would Lionel have ever changed or maybe even survived?

Now, instead of competition, we and people in the future are going to experience CONFUSION.

Atlas locos will have TMCC, Legacy and DCS electronics.  You won't know by looking at the exterior.  When you go to a future train show, how will you know which is which?

I know its business.  I know Mike doesn't care because he got his money.  But, I sure wish his company would have continued to survive in tact--including DCS--of which many of us have a SIGNIFICANT investment.

I'm still wondering why Atlas is now going to install DCS instead of Legacy?  The answer of course is:  MONEY.  But, I'd still like to know what the real reason is.  I will never know.

I have a dream.  I've had it since I stepped into the O scale world years ago.  One day there would be a UNIVERSAL command system in O scale that would control EVERYTHING.  Because as I wrote earlier, you are going to have to be darn careful what you are buying in the future because you can't be sure what electronics (TMCC/LEGACY/DCS) are going to included in your purchase without testing and/or hopefully the right information on the box, IF there is a box.

As if there wasn't enough confusion already in the O scale world, here is yet another wrinkle.

I completely agree with you on competition. We need it. Scale steam needs someone other than Lionel, 3rd rail isn’t large enough.

But atlas doesn’t have legacy, Lionel has forced them to use the old generic TMCC boards and sounds. So if you were atlas and you acquired tooling that was set up for DCS, wouldn’t you use it and get a collaborative agreement with MTH and who will continue to improve DCS? I believe Atlas did the right thing for the consumer.

@Lou1985 posted:

You could have bought a MTH locomotive and run it under TMCC control. It's pretty simple really. Remove the MTH electronics, install TMCC/RS from ERR, run under TMCC with full TMCC features. Simple, and done all the time. Before the last 12 months or so it was possible to buy a PS1 MTH locomotive and electronics from ERR for less than half the cost of a brand new Legacy locomotive.

While I agree with the cost effectiveness of refitting a PS1 loco, this isn't a viable solution at the price of a PS2 or PS3 - IMO, it's unreasonable to pay the cost of a fully functional loco and then turn around and yank out the expensive electronics.

I have both systems and I will buy from Lionel, MTH or Atlas if they produce what I want. In this case, I'll be buying a C-Liner in my favorite road name from MTH tooling.

Today I read a post from Scott Mann, that really says a lot about all the complainers here. Mind you, I'm sure most of his complainers are 2 railers, but regardless why so much negativity.

We all knew a year ago that MTH was closing shop or downsizing.

I was delighted that Atlas procured MTH tooling with DCS control. Others were not and declared their disdain.

Now, we have Lionel buying other MTH tooling and of course, they will install Legacy or Lion Chief.

I'm happy to have all these choices.

@John C. posted:

Competition is good for the consumer.  MTH made Lionel raise their game.  Lionel was all but dead and in bankruptcy.  I heard for years that Lionel didn't listen to customers who wanted scale and highly detailed offerings.  Without MTH, Would Lionel have ever changed or maybe even survived?

I agree.  Competition is what keeps markets healthy, and I doubt Lionel would still exist without Mike Wolf in the picture.

Atlas locos will have TMCC, Legacy and DCS electronics.  You won't know by looking at the exterior.  When you go to a future train show, how will you know which is which?

I'm still wondering why Atlas is now going to install DCS instead of Legacy?  The answer of course is:  MONEY.  But, I'd still like to know what the real reason is.  I will never know.

Atlas has never had any Legacy electronics to my knowledge, and the reason they went with DCS is because it supports DCC and this will likely simplify their manufacturing since only one type of electronics will be needed.

I have a dream.  I've had it since I stepped into the O scale world years ago.  One day there would be a UNIVERSAL command system in O scale that would control EVERYTHING.

This already exists and it’s called DCC.  Manufacturers and O-gauge consumers are just too stubborn to take advantage of it.  It is the one thing that has frustrated me about my switch to O-scale from HO.

@rplst8 posted:

I agree.  Competition is what keeps markets healthy, and I doubt Lionel would still exist without Mike Wolf in the picture.

Atlas has never had any Legacy electronics to my knowledge, and the reason they went with DCS is because it supports DCC and this will likely simplify their manufacturing since only one type of electronics will be needed.

This already exists and it’s called DCC.  Manufacturers and O-gauge consumers are just too stubborn to take advantage of it.  It is the one thing that has frustrated me about my switch to O-scale from HO.

So true, but was it stubbornness or greed/profits that led to creating the proprietary systems?

@rplst8 posted:

I agree.  Competition is what keeps markets healthy, and I doubt Lionel would still exist without Mike Wolf in the picture.

Atlas has never had any Legacy electronics to my knowledge, and the reason they went with DCS is because it supports DCC and this will likely simplify their manufacturing since only one type of electronics will be needed.

This already exists and it’s called DCC.  Manufacturers and O-gauge consumers are just too stubborn to take advantage of it.  It is the one thing that has frustrated me about my switch to O-scale from HO.

As far as I know, Legacy still has limited its DCC capability.  Lionel may not be advertising it in O but they certainly are in the Legacy equipped American Flyer locomotives.

Rusty

@D500 posted:

I'm late to the "announcement" party, as usual. This may be mentioned above, or not.

Rambling: I wonder if Lionel went after the MTH scale Mohawk tooling? If so that would give Lionel tooling for the L2, L3 and L4 Mohawks. The L3a Lionel already did (and needs to do it again - right this time); the L3b and L4 were done by MTH. I have an MTH L3b and L4. Beautiful - but no more so than the Lionel L2a. And the L2b through L2d look very different from the L2a.

Also, an L3a (3001) and an L2d still exist - odd for big NYC steam. Lionel should offer the 3001.

Alas, no L1 Mohawks. Early and interesting. May I suggest those (and the L2d) for the Hybrid method, much as they did the SP GS-1?

So - Lionel could corner the market on Mohawks!

This would be nice D500,…imagine a page full of Mohawks to pick from,….guess we’ll have to wait & see who got the Premier Mohawk tools,…in the meantime, the recipe for a class L2d Mohawk isn’t that awful to bake,….1 L3a shell, and 1 L2a chassis, mix well, garnish, and serve,…..😉

Pat54F118D3-4BF9-4609-9566-BFB31F601DFC

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As far as I know, Legacy still has limited its DCC capability.  Lionel may not be advertising it in O but they certainly are in the Legacy equipped American Flyer locomotives.

Rusty

Interesting.  That I did not know.  I went back to the 2017 Flyer catalog and it does indeed mention DCC compatibility.  Oddly though, the manual for the Santa Fe PAs in that catalog (6-47998) makes no mention of it!

https://www.lionelsupport.com/...193748162250PAAA.pdf

@Lou1985 posted:

This whole manufacture worship in 3 rail O is ridiculous. I wish it was more like other scales, where people bought what they like regardless of who the manufacture is.

Since O Gauge manufacturers chose to make competing operating systems, a lot of us non-electronics techs were forced to make a choice.  Like my LHS advised me on the question of DCS or Lionel's command control, "Pick one, and stick to it".  I did and happened to choose DCS.  Part of the reason was I liked all of MTH's stuff I had purchased.  Early on Lionel's length in business actually chased me away because I bought cheap cars with plastic trucks because I was buying new and used and didn't understand the variety of its products at the time.   The "worship" for me is mostly with engines. K-Line, Lionel, Atlas O, Weaver all blend well with MTH stuff as I think most would agree.  But, as was stated earlier, a lot of us have sizeable investments in MTH products and clearly their survival or tooling means a lot to us.

@Richie C. posted:

Ironically, the fact that it was even necessary to start a thread like that only makes one wonder even more what is going on at MTH. Can you imagine if someone started a serious  thread with: “Hey everybody! I just talked to Charles Ro and guess what? Lionel is STILL in business!”

A post like that would only lead to more speculating and questions on what the heck is really going on with Lionel.

Ironically, the fact that it was even necessary to start a thread like that only makes one wonder even more what is going on at MTH. Can you imagine if someone started a serious  thread with: “Hey everybody! I just talked to Charles Ro and guess what? Lionel is STILL in business!”

A post like that would only lead to more speculating and questions on what the heck is really going on with Lionel.

A thread like that wasn’t necessary, but given Lionel’s ambiguous announcement, no one knows who has which tooling.  There seems to be two big categories of tooling that folks want to know about 1) MTH’s excellent Korean made steam tooling and 2) RailKing and RailKing Imperial tooling.

According to this announcement below, MTH still retains 80% of their tooling assets.

https://mthtrains.com/news/706

@Hudson J1e posted:

I totally agree with this. While I am an MTH fan I do not have any dislike for Lionel or any other company. I didn’t buy my MTH trains based on the color of the box. MTH made trains that we’re to my interest (scale wheels—fixed pilots, etc) and had Lionel done the same I know I would have bought more Lionel. I do have some Lionel which are beautiful trains. No plans on selling them. I just don’t see the rivalry between manufacturers. I would never want anything bad to happen to any train manufacturer. I want them all to be successful and compete with each to build great products for the hobby.

It is similar to the cars I like. I love my Mopars but do not dislike Ford or Chevy.

What you & Lou said makes a lot of sense,…..which is kinda refreshing, given the amount of nonsense on here,…🙄

Pat

@IRON HORSE posted:

Since O Gauge manufacturers chose to make competing operating systems, a lot of us non-electronics techs were forced to make a choice.  Like my LHS advised me on the question of DCS or Lionel's command control, "Pick one, and stick to it".  I did and happened to choose DCS.  Part of the reason was I liked all of MTH's stuff I had purchased.  Early on Lionel's length in business actually chased me away because I bought cheap cars with plastic trucks because I was buying new and used and didn't understand the variety of its products at the time.   The "worship" for me is mostly with engines. K-Line, Lionel, Atlas O, Weaver all blend well with MTH stuff as I think most would agree.  But, as was stated earlier, a lot of us have sizeable investments in MTH products and clearly their survival or tooling means a lot to us.

“Forced to choose”…..???……why??….as much as some of y’all are willing to pay for locomotives, but you guys cringe at the thought of buying a second remote?…I guess if that’s the way ya feel, so be it,…just seems silly given the fact the two systems work pretty well side by side,….I’m the farthest thing from an electronics expert, and I have both systems, and with the help with some of the fellas on this forum, my stuff runs great……your LHS saying pick one system and stick with it kinda limits you from a lot of the possibilities,…..I’d think….again, the fellas that clamor about having to buy a second remote system, but will gladly buy thousands and thousands of dollars of locomotives don’t hold a whole lot a weight,…seems a silly argument,…

Pat

Doesn't sound like Lionel bought much of the Railking engine tooling. Bantam items for lionchief sets mostly.

The game changer hype was way overplayed. Lionel buying tooling and using it is nothing new, they have done this before and didn't change much of anything in the past except make competion smaller and prices higher.

It's nice too know that the tooling will see more use but those who already own this stuff it's going to be a hard sell, especially with the higher prices. Looking at the price tags in that latest catalog made very happy that I bought what I wanted when it was affordable.

I think the other nice thing is how all of this makes just about anything in an MTH box worth a lot more on the 2nd hand market. About 3 months ago I sold a used Railking starter set on eBay for just under $400. It was any early model with the less reliable ps2 5v board. I paid $265 for it new in 2003. I wanted to slip a note in the box that said "You really don't have to pay this much for an old starter set. MTH is still making trains, and will for a long time."

Last edited by H1000

For completeness, here is MTH’s official announcement concerning this relatively small purchase of tooling (80% of the company is intact)-

Elkridge, Maryland, July 15, 2021 --- M.T.H. Electric Trains has announced that it sold a selection of its O Gauge molds to Lionel L.L.C. earlier this year as part of its continued divestiture of tooling assets in light of M.T.H. owner Mike Wolf's retirement this year.

Lionel will begin revealing the first of the specific models it has purchased in their 2021 Signature 2 Catalog slated for release on July16th. Overall, the models include a range of products produced by M.T.H. throughout its many years in the industry.

Since the Spring 2020 announcement that M.T.H. President Mike Wolf would be retiring, Lionel has joined model railroading companies Scale Trains and Atlas to purchase some of the vast tooling assets M.T.H. developed over the past 41 years. According to Wolf, "after years of competing head to head, it was delightful to sit down and negotiate the sale of these tools with Lionel's Howard Hitchcock. The Lionel team did a great job selecting models that will fit in nicely within their lineup.”

The specific list of all the models Lionel purchased isn't being revealed in the upcoming Lionel catalog release and the purchase did not include any inventory or parts. The combined sale of the Atlas, Scale Trains and now Lionel purchases still leaves approximately 80% of the M.T.H. tooling portfolio in the hands of M.T.H. Many of those remaining products will continue to be marketed by M.T.H. via their e-newsletter promotions and as custom run releases via the M.T.H. Authorized Retail network

https://mthtrains.com/news/706

According to Wolf, "after years of competing head to head, it was delightful to sit down and negotiate the sale of these tools with Lionel's Howard Hitchcock. The Lionel team did a great job selecting models that will fit in nicely within their lineup.”

And to think that back in the early 90s all Mike wanted to do was build & sell trains for Lionel. They shot down his initial idea of making a new engine (which would have been marketed as a Lionel product) that spawned him to developing his own train line up. I wonder if Lionel bought the tooling to that first Locomotive?

@harmonyards posted:

“Forced to choose”…..???……why??….as much as some of y’all are willing to pay for locomotives, but you guys cringe at the thought of buying a second remote?…

Pat

Pat,

You make a valid point.  "Forced to choose" was an overstatement.  I'm not speaking for all MTH fans--just my own journey.  For 20+ years I've been getting both MTH and Lionel catalogs and, quite frankly, there was such an extensive selection from MTH that I've had no need to choose engines from the Lionel catalogs.  As it was, I could barely scratch the surface of buying from my want list from just MTH's catalogs.  When I decided to get into the command environment, I wasn't going to just jump into both MTH and Lionel at the same time so I could have even more choices.  And I already had PS2 engines.  Today, however, both remotes perhaps makes a lot of sense, given the downsizing and no catalogs from MTH. You are right in that, today, why limit your choices?

@IRON HORSE posted:

Pat,

You make a valid point.  "Forced to choose" was an overstatement.  I'm not speaking for all MTH fans--just my own journey.  For 20+ years I've been getting both MTH and Lionel catalogs and, quite frankly, there was such an extensive selection from MTH that I've had no need to choose engines from the Lionel catalogs.  As it was, I could barely scratch the surface of buying from my want list from just MTH's catalogs.  When I decided to get into the command environment, I wasn't going to just jump into both MTH and Lionel at the same time so I could have even more choices.  And I already had PS2 engines.  Today, however, both remotes perhaps makes a lot of sense, given the downsizing and no catalogs from MTH. You are right in that, today, why limit your choices?

Yep,..and that’s the point I was trying to convey,….I totally agree MTH did venture into a grand plethora of models vs. the “other guys” ……the other point I’ll make is given the current cost of new equipment, taking older MTH PS1 or dead PS2 equipment and making it TMCC is another viable option,….

Pat

@harmonyards posted:

Yep,..and that’s the point I was trying to convey,….I totally agree MTH did venture into a grand plethora of models vs. the “other guys” ……the other point I’ll make is given the current cost of new equipment, taking older MTH PS1 or dead PS2 equipment and making it TMCC is another viable option,….

Pat

I agree Pat. There is a way to have a great engine that "you"(meaning any one person), have it worked on to your liking. It has been suggested to me by Pat, Pete, GRJ and a few others that if I want a good engine, by something that is a good solid model(older MTH stuff or KLine, anything really) and have it upgraded. I have a KLine Hudson that I should be getting ready to go out the door in a week or two and a very nice Weaver Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson as well. I haven't had a chance to get myself to a point to get things packed up and worked out with whom I'm sending stuff to, but that will be coming.

People sometimes forget that you don't always have to buy new. My current car was a very good deal, hardly used, low miles and I love it. My 83 year old recently bought a used pickup that is very much in the same category as my car, and she was very lucky too.

Anyway you look at the purchase of the toolings, there will be something for someone and hopefully with no bugs.

I am cornfoozed.  Who is on first?  As this retirement/ downsizing was still thrashing out, nothing was sure, and so that continues.  l think all will take take years to become firm, if ever, with new players entered, and possibly entering.  If DCS, as an industry standard, comes of this, l might try other than conventional.  I don't buy brand, l buy prototypes, those desired, of the steam era, so mostly none lately in locos, (That may be looking up!). Too much planned obsolescence in this.  I still want somebody to use the McKeen tooling, and the Weaver 2-8-0 tooling.

Keep in mind that Lionel doesn't have to use the tooling it has bought, and that might be why a list has not been published. Lionel can just stockpile the tooling and roll it out when its time to add something "new" to their product offerings or they can sit on it as long as they want.   If they own the tooling, a competitor can't buy it and use it to produce a product that might steal market share from Lionel. This tooling purchase could be a good way to keep competitors in line in the marketplace.  It's not hard to think of example companies that have swallowed up their competitor and then shut down their competitor's offerings.

Example:  Testors bought Floquil years ago.  How's that going today?

The euphoria surrounding Lionel purchasing MTH tooling may be premature. Let's see what Lionel says (and doesn't say) in the coming months.  I hope I'm wrong about this, by the way.

Dale

I agree Pat. There is a way to have a great engine that "you"(meaning any one person), have it worked on to your liking. It has been suggested to me by Pat, Pete, GRJ and a few others that if I want a good engine, by something that is a good solid model(older MTH stuff or KLine, anything really) and have it upgraded.

I have upgraded twice because I fried the boards.  In both cases I upgraded to PS2 and PS3.  As I recall, the cost ran between $250-300 each time with labor.  Is TMCC an easier, less expensive upgrade?  Can a non tech guy like me do it myself?  Cost matters, of course, because in some cases you might as well buy a new engine versus upgrading an older, used one, right?  I have PS1 engines that I like but not sure I would want to put money into them to upgrade.  I appreciate your insight.

@IRON HORSE posted:

I have upgraded twice because I fried the boards.  In both cases I upgraded to PS2 and PS3.  As I recall, the cost ran between $250-300 each time with labor.  Is TMCC an easier, less expensive upgrade?  Can a non tech guy like me do it myself?  Cost matters, of course, because in some cases you might as well buy a new engine versus upgrading an older, used one, right?  I have PS1 engines that I like but not sure I would want to put money into them to upgrade.  I appreciate your insight.

For some of us ( quite a few)  some of the thrill is breathing new life into a derelict, dead, or otherwise non-feature full locomotive or whatever,…..it’s kinda our cup of tea, …naturally we scope out the right price and try to keep a budget in mind,….doesn’t always work out, but most times it can still be way cheaper than buying new,….even with having it outsourced……the features you want in doing a TMCC or even a legacy swap, will determine final costs,….there’s no real set cost in upgrading or modding a locomotive, it’s a case by case study,……..if you find it a burden, then naturally it’s not for you,…of course if you dive into the wonderful world of DIY, then the savings come back to you,…..I find the Hudsons I build have all but whistle steam, can spit out wooden nickels, and still half the cost of a comparable new one at 1100-1200 bucks ,….

Pat

@harmonyards posted:
I find the Hudsons I build have all but whistle steam, can spit out wooden nickels, and still half the cost of a comparable new one at 1100-1200 bucks ,….

Pat

Good info, Pat. Thanks.  My PS3 upgrade was a Premier Hudson and well worth it.  My other was a Railking Big Boy and actually worth it, too.  It's nice to know that you can do TMCC as an upgrade instead of PS3 -- if, at some point, they are no longer available.

@harmonyards posted:

Yep,..and that’s the point I was trying to convey,….I totally agree MTH did venture into a grand plethora of models vs. the “other guys” ……the other point I’ll make is given the current cost of new equipment, taking older MTH PS1 or dead PS2 equipment and making it TMCC is another viable option,….

Pat

I agree but the cost of used equipment has gone up as well. Still, I think it is worth it to upgrade older equipment. In the last 2 years I bought 3 locomotives. None of them have electronics. MTH Premier Berkshire, Premier Atlantic and a Weaver Consolidation. Total cost $1,100. If the electronics cost me $600 (I can install them myself) for all three locomotives I am still cheaper than the new Lionel 2-10-0. I am very happy I bought those locomotives when the prices were down.

I also agree there is a certain satisfaction from bringing a locomotive back from the dead.

@Hudson J1e posted:

I agree but the cost of used equipment has gone up as well. Still, I think it is worth it to upgrade older equipment. In the last 2 years I bought 3 locomotives. None of them have electronics. MTH Premier Berkshire, Premier Atlantic and a Weaver Consolidation. Total cost $1,100. If the electronics cost me $600 (I can install them myself) for all three locomotives I am still cheaper than the new Lionel 2-10-0. I am very happy I bought those locomotives when the prices were down.

I also agree there is a certain satisfaction from bringing a locomotive back from the dead.

The used market certainly seen a good size uptick. No question,…there’s still deals to be found, it just takes a little hunting,….😉….I for one hope when swap meets and train shows become more numerous again, the secondary market will settle back down to at least a more acceptable level,…

Pat

Here’s proof of the pudding, Harmonyards, the Harmon Shops, took my K-Line J1e NYC  Hudson and did an amazing rebuild making it my favorite steamer. He took an MTH chassis, Pittman motor, Gunrunner Johns chuff stuff, new smoking system, new engineers, detailed deck plate, realistic coal on-atop of the tender, a new formed headlight, ERR and it runs Fantastic. So, if you want a great performing locomotive at an affordable price, do not be apprehensive about checking with Pat or possibly others here on the forum, as an older locomotive can be Reborn.  I am not saying not to buy the new offerings, it’s a matter of family economics. I am glad to see Lionel purchase some of the MTH tooling, it shows good business. Happy Railroading Everyone 56914AEB-43A2-4241-AFB8-D8DA46C4623511A290B8-3603-4235-86EC-2E992E06B733C28A2178-A28A-409C-AC37-3BF47D20C7F6127DA07D-0963-4650-B841-E528EF32A0EFCCD5D23A-924C-48ED-9591-27408302BEBBB0FD81DD-43AF-40F1-AE1E-8B173EEF1117C21FEDA6-B9E3-4EF8-A1ED-B2A75CCE57E5

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Market cycles are turning back to favor new product now that secondary market prices have stiffened over the past year. Also, scarcity of desired items in good condition/working order have lessened the desire to chase them at the prices offered. Some of these products are pushing 20 years old now and can be found in almost basket case condition. Parts are getting harder to find too.

The Hudson is Lionel #6-82965 Santa Fe 3450 Lion Chief. The Northern is MTH #30-1140-1 Santa Fe 2926 Rail King. The Hudson pulled 24 cars easily. The Northern was spinning the wheels with 10 and 12 cars. I purchased the Northern from a guy in Albuquerque, but it was new in the box and had never been run. The traction tires are on it. He used it for a display during the presentation of the real 2926 that has been restored in Albuquerque. The Hudson, being a remote controlled engine, doesn’t get the voltage “jolt” at the beginning of movement like the Northern being run directly off of the ZW transformer. I purchased the Northern more for it’s likeness to the real 2926 anyway, even though it is a smaller “O” scale than my Legacy 3751 Northern. 72C2CED9-BB26-42C0-BDD3-2B06033A38F1Top to bottom: Legacy 3751, Rail King 2926, Hudson 3450. You can see the size difference between the two Northerns. I realize they have the smaller “O” scale for the .031 curves, but seems like it would pull as many cars as the smaller Hudson. I don’t know, like I said I am new to the hobby.

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@Curt Henion posted:

The Hudson is Lionel #6-82965 Santa Fe 3450 Lion Chief. The Northern is MTH #30-1140-1 Santa Fe 2926 Rail King. The Hudson pulled 24 cars easily. The Northern was spinning the wheels with 10 and 12 cars. I purchased the Northern from a guy in Albuquerque, but it was new in the box and had never been run. The traction tires are on it. He used it for a display during the presentation of the real 2926 that has been restored in Albuquerque. The Hudson, being a remote controlled engine, doesn’t get the voltage “jolt” at the beginning of movement like the Northern being run directly off of the ZW transformer. I purchased the Northern more for it’s likeness to the real 2926 anyway, even though it is a smaller “O” scale than my Legacy 3751 Northern.

I realize they have the smaller “O” scale for the .031 curves, but seems like it would pull as many cars as the smaller Hudson. I don’t know, like I said I am new to the hobby.

A couple of ideas...

The RailKing is a 23 year model.  You said it was displayed, so maybe the traction tires are dried out.  Also, with the Hudson being LionChief produced in the last 5 years, it's motor control technology is much more advanced.  Also, the LionChief get's to start out with full voltage available where as the RailKing Proto is starting at 5-7 volts.

I don't think the comparison is all that fair.  If the problem is the wheels are slipping, I would try new traction tires and/or adding weight inside the boiler.  Lead sheeting is the best for this IMHO.  If the problem is that it can't get the train started, or it bogs down on hills, then I'd say the lack of advanced motor control is the problem.

There is a YouTube channel called Eric's Trains where he regularly does pulling power tests on the locomotives he reviews.  I don't recall there being a significant difference between the pulling power between Lionel and MTH locomotives.  That said, he mostly buys Legacy and MTH Premier models which have bigger motors, better electronics all around, and bigger, heavier boilers.

Last edited by rplst8
@leapinlarry posted:

Here’s proof of the pudding, Harmonyards, the Harmon Shops, took my K-Line J1e NYC  Hudson and did an amazing rebuild making it my favorite steamer. He took an MTH chassis, Pittman motor, Gunrunner Johns chuff stuff, new smoking system, new engineers, detailed deck plate, realistic coal on-atop of the tender, a new formed headlight, ERR and it runs Fantastic. So, if you want a great performing locomotive at an affordable price, do not be apprehensive about checking with Pat or possibly others here on the forum, as an older locomotive can be Reborn.  I am not saying not to buy the new offerings, it’s a matter of family economics. I am glad to see Lionel purchase some of the MTH tooling, it shows good business. Happy Railroading Everyone 56914AEB-43A2-4241-AFB8-D8DA46C4623511A290B8-3603-4235-86EC-2E992E06B733C28A2178-A28A-409C-AC37-3BF47D20C7F6127DA07D-0963-4650-B841-E528EF32A0EFCCD5D23A-924C-48ED-9591-27408302BEBBB0FD81DD-43AF-40F1-AE1E-8B173EEF1117C21FEDA6-B9E3-4EF8-A1ED-B2A75CCE57E5

Larry, every time you post this locomotive with all it's upgrades, I get that tingling sensation. I still have to get with Pat on the one I bought and my old Lionel one with the Vandy tender.

@IRON HORSE posted:

Good info, Pat. Thanks.  My PS3 upgrade was a Premier Hudson and well worth it.  My other was a Railking Big Boy and actually worth it, too.  It's nice to know that you can do TMCC as an upgrade instead of PS3 -- if, at some point, they are no longer available.

The cost like Pat says varies. This is mainly because each engine is different and what you want done could range from just a simple upgrade to other detailing that isn't on the model currently.

Pat has taken a lot of reading, studying and other things to know what an engine should look like. He has made proper headlights like seen on Larry's model if I remember correctly, added coal loads with real coal, and I think some other detailing besides a proper engine crew where there has been no figures or silly looking ones.

One of the other amazing things that Pat told me is how the Lionel #3000 L3a Mohawk could be converter into a L2d Mohawk. That I found very interesting. To take something so plain and make it into something so new and dynamic.

I'm sorry I didn't get on here yesterday after my initial reply. Yesterday was a busy day, my cousin had a grad party for his youngest son, spent most of the day there socializing. Came home late and the back road had power lines and trees down. Wanted to get on here after coming home, but was way too tired.

Hey rplst8, thanks for the information. The rail king was on display one Saturday morning for the event. After that it was kept in the original box. It was only a year old when I purchased it in 2018. I haven’ run it since 2019, because it was such a poor performer. The Proto 1 series, which this one is, has very small drive wheels compared to my 3751. There, again, .031 curves compared to .054 curves, but for almost $100 more new, you would think the heavier MTH Northern would out pull the little Hudson. My friend has a NYC Hudson like my 3450 and he pulled 33 cars with it. Pretty impressive for a $269.00 engine.

@Curt Henion posted:

Hey rplst8, thanks for the information. The rail king was on display one Saturday morning for the event. After that it was kept in the original box. It was only a year old when I purchased it in 2018. I haven’ run it since 2019, because it was such a poor performer. The Proto 1 series, which this one is, has very small drive wheels compared to my 3751. There, again, .031 curves compared to .054 curves, but for almost $100 more new, you would think the heavier MTH Northern would out pull the little Hudson. My friend has a NYC Hudson like my 3450 and he pulled 33 cars with it. Pretty impressive for a $269.00 engine.

Your 2926 is Rail King, not Premier (which is scale size). PS, PS2, PS3 has nothing to do with size, it's the type of operating system.

Here's the size difference between my friends Rail King 2916 and my Premier 2903. I've also got a Legacy ATSF 3751 class Northern (#3759) and 2903 is bigger than it as well. The 2900 class was significantly larger than the 3751 class.

20201014_22161020201014_22175720201014_221706

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@harmonyards posted:

This would be nice D500,…imagine a page full of Mohawks to pick from,….guess we’ll have to wait & see who got the Premier Mohawk tools,…in the meantime, the recipe for a class L2d Mohawk isn’t that awful to bake,….1 L3a shell, and 1 L2a chassis, mix well, garnish, and serve,…..😉

Pat54F118D3-4BF9-4609-9566-BFB31F601DFC

Yeah - and I have a chassis. Maybe I'll find the boiler one day. I need that like I need another hole in my head.

Looks really nice.

@Curt Henion posted:

The Hudson is Lionel #6-82965 Santa Fe 3450 Lion Chief. The Northern is MTH #30-1140-1 Santa Fe 2926 Rail King. The Hudson pulled 24 cars easily. The Northern was spinning the wheels with 10 and 12 cars.

There's something definitely out-of-kilter with that locomotive. With a die-cast boiler, there's no way it should be spinning with only a dozen cars. A plastic 2-4-2 will pull that kind of consist.

---PCJ

Hi, does anyone have a direct link to download a .pdf or another offline version of this new Lionel catalog? The Lionel web site's catalog page still isn't accessible with a screen reader. Well that is one thing MTH had right that Lionel didn't.

To download it, you must load the web version of the catalog and then hit the download pdf button.

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@rplst8 posted:

Oh wow, I didn't know there was a direct link.  Good to know in the future.  I thought the only way was through the web version.

Glad you got it though!

It's the same download link the online viewer gives you if you want to download the catalog for offline viewing, so do note that it'll be different depending upon the catalog. Next year's catalogs will have a different URL. If you need to download any others, feel free to holler at me.

@RixTrack posted:

Why would Lionel discontinue Lionmaster?  They sell everyone they make…every single one of them.

In case you haven't noticed, Lionel has made very few LionMaster engines in quite a few years now. Lots of fans of LionMaster here on the Forum have voiced their wishes that Lionel start again regularly producing the line with Legacy. Noone knows why they have almost discontinued LionMaster, although there was some talk that some of them sold more slowly than hoped. Note that it's not only whether they all eventually sell, but also how quickly they sell that matters to Lionel and to dealers. Only a Big Boy and a Challenger have been made with Legacy in quite a few years.

@breezinup posted:

In case you haven't noticed, Lionel has made very few LionMaster engines in quite a few years now. Lots of fans of LionMaster here on the Forum have voiced their wishes that Lionel start again regularly producing the line with Legacy. Noone knows why they have almost discontinued LionMaster, although there was some talk that some of them sold more slowly than hoped. Note that it's not only whether they all eventually sell, but also how quickly they sell that matters to Lionel and to dealers. Only a Big Boy and a Challenger have been made with Legacy in quite a few years.

Given the prices the of the LC2 version of the Big Boy, how much will the legacy electronics add to the cost?

Back in in 2018 I bought an Imperial Big Boy with 4 reefer cars and a caboose for $719 from my LHS. The LC2 Big Boy (alone) at his shop is priced at $1099 right now. It looks nice but at that price point it's a big pass for me.

Lionel did an excellent job with those Lionmaster engines, they really should be brought back.

Last edited by H1000

In 2025 we will look back on 2022 pricing and think it was pretty reasonable is my guess. They are pricing these products for delivery in 2022, so they need to figure in possible further increases in the costs of raw materials, labor and shipping, none of which are likely to go down, as opposed to up.  The last thing they want to do is produce products that are sold at a loss.  Better to be conservative, price them at the worst possible case increase, and have reduced orders. There are plenty of reasonably priced locos and rolling stock in the new catalog (the C-Liners for example), and I'm sure Lionel has reasons for their various pricing of the different MTH tooling as well as their own tooling. 

Comparing MTH prices for delivery in 2021 of a set of limited runs with sunk tooling costs with Lionel prices for 2022 delivery with new tooling or newly purchased tooling is not a realistic vision of what's coming.

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