romiller49 posted:

I really like the boxing. No more torn flaps. Something so simple yet a step ahead of the other guys. Come on with scale size rolling stock and I’ll be there. 

I'd love it if they'd come out with some scale rolling stock! Not sure they will do that, though, as it would likely require a big investment and higher prices. But we can hope!

-Eric

Most of Menards rolling stock falls in what is now called the traditional size. Works well with Postwar and starter set type of rolling stock. The manufacture that Menards is using seems to also be currently manufacturing rolling stock for RMT trains. I am guessing that the manufacture owns the tooling and Menards and RMT place orders for what the manufacture can produce.

Bill T.

Bill, below is a link to a set of pictures that compare the Menard's 40' boxcar to the Lionel Vision Line PFE 40' Reefer.  Most of us would consider the Vision Line Reefer scale sized, I know that Lionel certainly does.  You have to break out your micrometer to tell the difference in size between the Menard's and the Lionel cars.  I have to disagree, I think most of us consider the Menard's boxcars close enough to scale that the difference is insignificant.  Obviously, the rivet counters can disagree, but when they're rolling by, only a handful of people would notice the slight dimensional differences.  Other than a very slight difference in width, and an even smaller difference in height, they are the same size as the Lionel car.  When I think of semi-scale stuff, I think of stuff like the Lionel postwar boxcars.

Meanard's boxcar size vs. Lionel scale boxcar size

I agree John, the size of the 40 foot boxcars are close to scale size for that era. I was suggesting that the detail, such as ladders and handrails are molded into the body  and are not added on as true scale cars from the big three O gauge importers would have.

Bill T.

Yeah the cars are close to the reefers. It does look a lot better than normal simi- scale box cars compared to the reefers. Also, the weathered box cars looked rely nice and that billboard looked interesting as well. Over all, nice video with a lot of nice products. Great job!   

No argument that the detail is not there on the Menard's cars.  Actually, that's one of the reasons I like them.  When I pack up for a modular show, I can toss those in the boxes with much less padding and use them, and I don't have to worry about them getting all beat up and all the detail broken off.  I'd never put the delicate Vision Line Reefers in the same situation, there's WAY too much fragile detail to break and fall off.

On the flip side, the Menard's graphics are pretty good, and I've gotten many positive reviews of the cars at the shows.

Great choice of exit music on the video, Eric.  It adds to the whole video review experience. 

(I don't hardly pick up my banjo any more .  Too busy messing with trains, I guess ).

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high in either case.

I love the smell of fresh-brewed creosote first thing in the morning.

If the government knew how much fun O-gauge railroading was, they'd outlaw it!

Dave Zucal posted:

I'm a fan of the Menards flat cars. My only gripe is the axles bend during manufacturing when the wheels are pressed on, which creates a bad wobble when the cars are rolling. The axles need to be a harder steel.

And/or a little bigger diameter of steel, too.  I can bend the axles by hand, which I have had to do to get rid of wobbles on a few cars.

But then again, if the axles were harder and/or bigger diameter, they probably wouldn't get bent in the first place.

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high in either case.

I love the smell of fresh-brewed creosote first thing in the morning.

If the government knew how much fun O-gauge railroading was, they'd outlaw it!

Maybe I'm wrong, but in my mind I sort of see Menards entry into the market similar to the way overseas (and particularly Asian) automobile companies got themselves into the US market.

Think about Kia. When Kia first entered the American market they were ultra cheap cars that weren't perfect or anything close it it, but they worked well enough and were super affordable...so they sold well. Over the years their quality and prices have slowly increased and Kias are now seen as being quality cars on par with Honda, Toyota and others.

Menards has done a similar thing to get a foothold in the model train market. They arrived with dirt cheap trains that, while not perfect, were good enough to get the job done and they have sold well because of that. As time has moved on, we've seen Menards very slowly upping their game each year with better and better stuff...and of course the prices have crept up slightly as this has happened. Makes me wonder where they will be in 5-10 years.

Again, I could be wrong, but it's something that comes to mind when I think of Menards trains.

-Eric Siegel

ericstrains.com posted:

Maybe I'm wrong, but in my mind I sort of see Menards entry into the market similar to the way overseas (and particularly Asian) automobile companies got themselves into the US market.

Think about Kia. When Kia first entered the American market they were ultra cheap cars that weren't perfect or anything close it it, but they worked well enough and were super affordable...so they sold well. Over the years their quality and prices have slowly increased and Kias are now seen as being quality cars on par with Honda, Toyota and others.

Menards has done a similar thing to get a foothold in the model train market. They arrived with dirt cheap trains that, while not perfect, were good enough to get the job done and they have sold well because of that. As time has moved on, we've seen Menards very slowly upping their game each year with better and better stuff...and of course the prices have crept up slightly as this has happened. Makes me wonder where they will be in 5-10 years.

Again, I could be wrong, but it's something that comes to mind when I think of Menards trains.

-Eric Siegel

Thanks for the awesome review Eric! My wife and I are both big fans of your work - thank you for everything you do for the community! 

That's an awesome price point, and for the quality, they are excellent rolling stock, and loved the trucks and lit billboards sign too...

LOVE the weathered cars! And I totally agree about the Kia, Asian car assessment. Great price, and decent quality... I can see them being the next Genesis, Hyundai, Kia in the 2020s... 

David

 

Menards certainly has stepped in big time for the low end rolling stock department. The $20 rolling stock approach has to be a plus for young families getting into the hobby. The downside is getting the brand to the public where Menards is an unknown in large parts of the country.

It would be very cool if Menards could get a Beep type locomotive manufactured and create numerous low end sets for the Holiday train season.

Bill T.

It is time for Menards to do a small diesel of some sort, even a NW/SW or say a GP15.  It would probably be diesel seen in their C&NW home territory.  I just wish our local store stocked the trains on the sales floor year round.  Wont be long now till they reappear as the holidays are fast approaching!     Mike the Aspie

Silly NT's...I have Asperger's Syndrome! 

artfull dodger posted:

It is time for Menards to do a small diesel of some sort, even a NW/SW or say a GP15.  It would probably be diesel seen in their C&NW home territory.  I just wish our local store stocked the trains on the sales floor year round.  Wont be long now till they reappear as the holidays are fast approaching!     Mike the Aspie

Or possibly some kind of beep diesel. Maybe?

If Menards is going to have a diesel specially produced in O scale, what about getting a deal together where Bachmann has their factory apply the Chicago & North Western, Milwaukee Road, SOO LINE, and WISCONSIN CENTRAL paint schemes to their O Scale GP30 diesel-electric locomotive model. Otherwise the guys at Bachmann would avoid the CNW, MILW, SOO, and WC for the GP30.

Andrew

falconservice posted:

If Menards is going to have a diesel specially produced in O scale, what about getting a deal together where Bachmann has their factory apply the Chicago & North Western, Milwaukee Road, SOO LINE, and WISCONSIN CENTRAL paint schemes to their O Scale GP30 diesel-electric locomotive model. Otherwise the guys at Bachmann would avoid the CNW, MILW, SOO, and WC for the GP30.

Andrew

I don't think that Bachmann would want to assist another company that would be in direct competition in the conventional O Gauge market.

Bill T.

ericstrains.com posted:

Here's my latest video. I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful.   Thanks, Eric Siegel

Thanks for the video, Eric.   How did you find that Pennsy caboose?   It is not even on the Menards website.  They only have a Milwaukee Road version at the moment.

Also, Eric..   I watched the video of the Milwaukee Road boxcar on Menards.com -  when they darkened the lighting, it was apparent that the caboose's internal LED only illuminated the cupola.  Have you found that to be true with the two boxcars you just bought?  I think that is kind of a negative.    

Diverging Clear posted:

RADIORON: I noticed the Pennsy caboose the other night. I didn't say anything, wondering if it hasn't been released yet.

Rusty

That might be true because I have a feeling that some of the stuff that Mr. Siegel got was some stuff that will be coming out in the future. For example, the Pennsylvania caboose, y’all are talking about, and the weathered yellow Santa Fe box car. Any words thoughts Mr. Siegel?

Bachmann HO Scale train sets are already sold at MENARDS.

It would not be a conflict if Mark and everybody else at MENARDS had the people at BACHMANN make special runs of their O Scale/O Gauge 3-rail GP30 diesel locomotive in the regional paint schemes of Chicago & North Western, Milwaukee Road, Soo Line, and Wisconsin Central.

Andrew

The only way I see Menard's doing locomotives is a special run by one of the other manufacturers.  Getting into the locomotive business raises the bar as far as support, they're vastly more complicated!

falconservice posted:

Bachmann HO Scale train sets are already sold at MENARDS.

It would not be a conflict if Mark and everybody else at MENARDS had the people at BACHMANN make special runs of their O Scale/O Gauge 3-rail GP30 diesel locomotive in the regional paint schemes of Chicago & North Western, Milwaukee Road, Soo Line, and Wisconsin Central.

Andrew

Just don't see Kader Industries giving the green light to that business relationship.

Bill T.

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