I saw a great looking Shay at one of the hobby shops I go to !    it was over a $1000 dollars !  It was a Legacy version !!   Way out of my price range !  I am Very sad !  

Lionel please make a LIONCHIEF Plus Shay in the $400-$500 price range !  



Original Post

Well, to put this in perspective, since this model is from the K-Line tooling, in 2005 the K-Line Shay's were $700.00 (whistle and bell only) or $850.00 for the TMCC - Railsounds version.

And K-Line was undercutting prices to entice consumers into buying their products, and ended up with a 3.8 million dollar debt to their Chinese vendor: A lesson probably well noted by both the remaining train companies as well as the Chinese facilities making these trains.

Given the increases in production costs over 15 years, it's not likely you would currently see a complex assembly locomotive like this one for less.


If I was you, and I’m not, and had $500 in my larder itching to get a shay, I would get one of the TMCC ones spoken about. Seems to be a good fit.  Legacy can be a tad overkill anyway.  Just my 2c.  Now there’s an outdated saying.  2c doesn’t buy a lot of model railroad stuff, but $500 could.

Cheers,       W1

A friend just got a K-Line shay with TMCC Cruise for less than 300 bucks. Externally they are identical to the Lionel shay which uses K-Line tooling.  I bought a Lionel TMCC Westside 3 truck shay with 3 log cars for 400 bucks. Be patient, it will pay off.


Price is always a measure of supply and demand. That's what controls the market.  If the price seems expensive its only because enough enthusiasts can afford pay it. If price and simplicity is the requirement the vast used market, the train meets, and Bachmann Williams product may be suitable. Finding a  used K-Line Shay (look online) may be your solution.

Builder of the Hill Lines ( New Delta Lines). Recreating history for the model RR community.

HMS2035 posted:

I have a new TMCC one (only examined for cosmetic defects- there were none). Then re-boxed. If you are interested, please shoot me an email.


He's not buying any way just Bi&ch1n#. Nick

No such thing as over kill-do it RIGHT.                                                                                                                             

For what it's worth...

Legacy is overrated. I still use my classic TMCC setup. I want to relax and enjoy running my trains, the added bells and whistles of Legacy would make me more stressed out trying to figure everything out.

TMCC1 is easy to use and satisfies my needs. I have the Century Club 2 Empire State Express set and a K-Line J1-e Hudson. Am I jealous of the whistle steam the Legacy versions of both have to offer? Yes! But aside from that and the 4-chuffs per rev, which a cherry switch mod can fix (My Older 6-28084 20th Century Limited Hudson has an upgraded cherry switch and hits 4 chuffs per rev.)

So, long story short. If you have the money to grab yourself an older TMCC version, I would get it as soon as possible!

Trains are like wives, if they ain't yours don't touch 'em.


Just to set the record straight, K-line went of business because they infringed on one of Lionel's patients regarding Lionel's smoke unit used in Lionel locomotives. Following that law suit hearing early in 2005 the K-line lawyer at the settlement said something stupid regarding the law suit that the Lionel lawyers took exception to and Lionel's lawyers reopened the law suit asking for the full amount of the original amount that Lionel wanted. I was employed in the model train industry at the time and saw the details the law suit. 

By the way I purchased on of the K-line Shays with TMCC as listed in the 2004 volume 1 K-line catalog when the catalog price was $650.00. 

There was as interesting result of K-line going out of business because of the law suit. There were former K-line product that sat in the warehouse of the Chinese manufacture waiting for someone to purchase the products. Lionel did just that in 2008.  After the shipments arrived here at Lionel they were sold to several of their dealers. I purchased two set of 18" passenger cars that were included in these shipments. They were the four car sets of Metro-Link and Caltrains cars. It was probably the only time that cartons of one company in this case marked from K-line had Lionel shipping labels on them. I purchased them for 40% off of the catalog price which came to $300.00 per set.

Ed, no argument with what you wrote. But it doesn't change the fact K-Line had a massive debt that was actually over 5 million dollars in total. At that time, there was much debate as to whether K-Line, even if the lawsuit hadn't gone the way it did, could have refinanced and survived.

You probably know it had gotten to the point that K-Line couldn't receive product from China until it was fully paid for in advance. Which probably helps explain why some of the later cataloged K-Line products are the hardest now to find: The quantities that came over from overseas were smaller.

I don't have all my K-Line catalogs anymore. I took the price of the Shay from the K-Line Legacy site. Although a search on Google, brought up a Shay made for exclusively for Western Depot in 2004 that were at the same list prices I mentioned.

Often forgotten now, but there were HUGE blowouts on many of the high end K-Line steam engines. Many people got their first taste of K-Line's improved scale products with these blowouts, which are great for the consumer, but no so much for the manufacturer, especially with new products from recently made expensive tooling.

During the last years of K-line 2004-05 the dealer that I was with had gotten many of the 40ft. scale wood reefer cars that retailed for 60.00 and I purchased many of them for $30.00 each. These cars came with various extras such as ice cubes, crates, meat racks, animal bodies, and billboards. These cars were in the K742-5000 and K742-8000 series. I have the original K-line order forms from 2003 and 2004.

I also have a letter from K-line dated 12/30/05 stating "K-line continues limited operations" and they hope that the new owners of K-line will keep most of the employees and will continue to make trains. There was no mention of any massive debt made to our dealership and none was mentioned to us by our wholesale distributor. We were just glad to be able to get the last of the K-line product at 40% to 50% off the catalog prices.

During the following years both Lionel and Atlas who both had there products produced by the same manufacture as K-line (Sanda Kan) have re-issued some of the previous product that were K-line originally.

I had also purchased several of the scale steam locomotives when they were first announced in the early 2000s such as the Berkshire, the Shay, the 4-6-4T New York Central, and the New York Central Hudson.

Thank you for your additional information regarding the demise of K-line.


Somehow those Bachmann G Gauge Shays from the late 90's sold for around $400 street price back then. (a quick search shows a few on eBay asking anywhere from maybe $500 to $1000, so I have no idea what may be realistic today, nor if there were different versions with different features or MSRPs over the years).  A YouTube video I saw may have indicated they were made later as well, maybe 2006 or so?

I am not a G Gauge person, so I never had one, but I recall seeing them and wondering how they did a Shay for that price.  Would be interesting to hear from anyone who may have had one of those.  Were they any good?  Maybe the larger size makes the mechanical elements easier to manufacture? 


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