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Would like silver type passenger cars for my postwar 221. Would like New York Central. Baggage, pull am and observation. Of course the cars would be in sliver and lighted. Also the cars should have seats inside and the roof that can be removed easily. Menards could offer sitting figures for the cars as a addition option to purchase at a fair price for a quantity of figures. What is offered now from other vendors cost to much for only few figures.       The cars could be similar in length as the post war Lionel 2400 series. This would be a nice place for Menards to start.

Virginian65 has the right idea.  With the continued friction between the U.S. and China today, why don't the manufacturers, who have their trains made "Over Yonder Across the Pacific Ocean", set up shop in the U.S. or Canada?  It would not only elminate the trans-Pacific shipping problem, but would also put Americans and Canadians to work, many who lost their jobs when they were lost to the Asian community years ago. 

Respect is due to all of the dedicated manufacturers (large and small) in North America who believed that retaining their facilities at home in the U.S. and Canada, was, to qoute the onetime Central of Georgia slogan: The Right Way!  Their products aren't that expensive to begin with because they don't have to pay for overseas shipping.  It's a win-win situation as I see it! 

A Very Special Thank You to all of you!

Godspeed

 

 

 

 

I could definitely see Menards producing some sort of O27-sized passenger car, and I'm sure a lot of people would buy them (myself included). $40-45 would be a reasonable price. Most likely to keep the cost down there wouldn't be an interior but that isn't really a deal breaker for me. If you frost or tint the windows the right way it wouldn't matter.  Making some streamlined passenger cars would be the most versatile design I would think, you could use a multitude of different railroad names and they could represent the 1940's right up through the Amtrak era. They could offer baggage, coach, dome, sleeper, diner, and observation cars. I'd be all for it!

At first I thought using plastic extrusions could be an economical method of producing passenger carbodies, as I watched this: 

But then I thought, well then you'd have to source end caps, trucks, lighting, painting, fasteners, assembly and packaging. A company the size of Menards, you'd figure that they have at least some domestically-produced house-brand products of similar complexity which would serve as a start on a domestic supply chain for hypothetical passenger cars, but not living within their corporate footprint, I've never had an opportunity to comb through their offerings to see how much, if any of it was produced that way.

Ultimately if such a thing comes to be, the least disruptive thing (remember, the trains exist as long as they don't become a sticking point within the larger business) would be to let their existing overseas supplier (Golden Wheel) handle it, as so many of us are loathe to admit, the expertise and institutional knowledge needed to do this is already in-place "over there".

---PCJ

@jhz563 posted:

I know what the cartoon is, I watched it as a kid.  It's the context of how it relates to the possibility of Menard's making passenger cars that eludes me.

The MPC 9500 series passenger cars, the so called "baby Madisons".  These are similar to the non-scale Polar Express cars.  You can change the bulbs, but it is almost impossible to get the roof off the car to get to them.  There have been threads on here and on You Tube about getting the roof off.  Very frustrating experience.  Enough to make one to scream like George...

 

I find it funny how some are strongly hinting that they'd like to see scale or near-scale-length passenger cars from Menards.

Laughing Youreserious GIF - Laughing Youreserious Laughinghard GIFs

One needs to remember what the overwhelming majority of the lineup is, and the primary buyers that are keeping the line alive. If anything emerges from this, they'll most likely be of a length that's compatible with starter-set layouts, radius-wise. And that's assuming they clear the hurdle of passenger cars being less popular than freight since (from a kid's perspective) you can't do as much with them.  

---PCJ

I don't know. Passenger cars (IMHO) might have less appeal to the general Menards train consumer, and seem to have less "play value" than freight cars. (You can't put stuff in 'em.)  Secondly, they'd probably have to be from someone's existing molds. Perhaps a series of 2400-size cars, but scale-size stuff?  I doubt it. Commence rock throwing. 

@jay jay posted:

I don't know. Passenger cars (IMHO) might have less appeal to the general Menards train consumer, and seem to have less "play value" than freight cars. (You can't put stuff in 'em.)  Secondly, they'd probably have to be from someone's existing molds. Perhaps a series of 2400-size cars, but scale-size stuff?  I doubt it. Commence rock throwing. 

That's why I think the roofs should come off easily!

The MPC 9500 series passenger cars, the so called "baby Madisons".  These are similar to the non-scale Polar Express cars.  You can change the bulbs, but it is almost impossible to get the roof off the car to get to them.  There have been threads on here and on You Tube about getting the roof off.  Very frustrating experience.  Enough to make one to scream like George...

 

.....of the Jungle? 🤔

Make sure the roof comes off easy?  

 Not a bad idea really ...glad I thought of it 😐 

 

@scale rail posted:

I have a number of sets of the 15 inch heavyweight K-line cars. I think Menards would have to strip them down, no interior detail, frosted windows, simplified six wheel or four wheel trucks. That would be the only way you could make passenger cars at the price point you guys want. Don

Don, striped down would work for me.  I'll be repainting and stenciling to make an U.S. ARMY troop carrier train.  The windows were blacked out anyway so no need for interior detail.

Last edited by wild mary

You can pick up many 15" aluminum  passenger cars are by Lionel for about 30.00-$40.00 per car if you look for them. I have about 7 sets of them and all of them are like new. Most were made from the late 70's to mid to late 80's.

They all have window strips but for the price you can't go wrong. 

Better then what Menards could make in 12" or even 1 5" plastic. 

Dave

Passenger cars might fit the Menards model if existing tooling can be used.  I'd like to see it.  But part of the Menards model is to get it cheap - ain't gonna happen with the various conditions that people are asking for in some of the previous posts.  Doubt they can produce a mass-market, "trains for Christmas" item and make it in the USA.  Just look around at the items Menards sells - most of the American-made items are heavy and bulky, which doesn't describe trains.  In addition, trains are a small sideline outside of the core of their business.  I'd love to see more stuff made in this country, but let's be realistic - it won't be low-dollar toy trains.

There appears to be some interest on this board for traditional sized passenger cars from a few members, but the opinions are mixed overall, both as to the level of interest and what interested members would be willing to pay for such cars. I would have no such interest, as I run scale cars.

There will certainly be a gap in traditional sized passenger cars with MTH going out of business, and the resulting loss of the RailKing passenger cars. However, the question is whether there would be enough interest in the marketplace for this to be a worthwhile endeavor for Menards. Having worked with marketing and sales organizations my entire career, this is a complicated and multi-dimensional issue. Following are a few considerations. I am certain that Menards would want to conduct significant market research and make an overall assessment before potentially deciding to develop an entirely new product line. There is also a timing issue. Even if Menards potentially had some interest in making traditional sized passenger cars, I think it is likely that there will be considerable old/new MTH stock available well into the future. Also, as another member has already pointed out, there are plenty of traditional sized passenger cars from various manufacturers available in the marketplace. There is also a  competition component, as it is possible that Lionel and/or Bachmann/Williams will step into the breach. Finally, before moving forward, a determination would need to be made concerning pricing, which strikes the appropriate balance between profitability and anticipated sales volume.

It will be interesting to see how this works out.

Pat

@irish rifle posted:

There appears to be some interest on this board for traditional sized passenger cars from a few members, but the opinions are mixed overall, both as to the level of interest and what interested members would be willing to pay for such cars. I would have no such interest, as I run scale cars.

There will certainly be a gap in traditional sized passenger cars with MTH going out of business, and the resulting loss of the RailKing passenger cars. However, the question is whether there would be enough interest in the marketplace for this to be a worthwhile endeavor for Menards. Having worked with marketing and sales organizations my entire career, this is a complicated and multi-dimensional issue. Following are a few considerations. I am certain that Menards would want to conduct significant market research and make an overall assessment before potentially deciding to develop an entirely new product line. There is also a timing issue. Even if Menards potentially had some interest in making traditional sized passenger cars, I think it is likely that there will be considerable old/new MTH stock available well into the future. Also, as another member has already pointed out, there are plenty of traditional sized passenger cars from various manufacturers available in the marketplace. There is also a  competition component, as it is possible that Lionel and/or Bachmann/Williams will step into the breach. Finally, before moving forward, a determination would need to be made concerning pricing, which strikes the appropriate balance between profitability and anticipated sales volume.

It will be interesting to see how this works out.

Pat

As a general rule, the points about market research, etc., are spot-on.  However, I think the situation with Menards is different.  The privately-held business has been used to indulge the owner's personal passion for Indy car racing, and I suspect that the marketing of trains has been similar.  Trains are a tiny speck of their business, and my speculation is that the original conversation went something like "I'd like to sell trains, can we do it without losing money?" and they tried it.  If John Menard thinks they can find a low-cost source for passenger cars and drive more business to the stores, I bet he'll try it. 

Menards is my local source for most home-improvement and repair stuff.  You wouldn't believe some of the unrelated stuff that shows up in the stores - it's obvious that someone bought a few containers of some random product for pennies on the dollar.

Another thought re low-price passenger cars - for how many years has Trainworld been blowing out the old stock of Williams 2400-type and 60 and 70 foot passenger cars?  These are nice aluminum and plastic cars at low prices, and yet they still have them for sale.  There's a lot of supply out there already. 

I'd love to see a variety (let's be honest; I'd love to see any) of Menards passenger cars (even or especially single units) in Rio Grande Silver & Yellow, Missouri-Pacific Blue, Southern Green, or New Jersey's Blue Comet.  Of course, a Golden State car would match my dad's set, but they aren't blue.
They wouldn't need to be highly detailed, as I like the mid-70s Lionel "cheaper" stuff that can be found (when inexpensive) for $40 on various auction sites.

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