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I would greatly appreciate any input/thoughts on this idea of mine.

For anyone who lived in the Northeast or likes modeling the NEC, Metroliners were an icon. How come they are not in O scale? Amtrak is popular seller, and I am sure this could be a hit

To my knowledge, only Eliot Welz and Willaims made them in a non-scale version. In the MTH 2001 Vol3 Catalog, they advertised for 2 4-car Metroliner sets: one in Amtrak, the other in PRR. If you are to believe the MTH website, they were delivered DEC 2001, but I have NEVER seen a picture of the set on the internet. MTH Website: 20-2344-1


Amtrak metroliner - Nate Murry


Concept
Basing it off how MTH sold their Railking RDC sets, I think 2-car Metroliners sets could be the way to sell them:
- Powered set: 1powered, 1 non-powered Metroliner
- Non-powered: 2 non-powered Metroliners

Who can make it?
- Atlas has purchased the MTH tooling for Amfleets and has already stated they want to take a large role in the O-scale market. They also 3D print accessories. Why not combine both and make a hybrid, subtractive & additive manufacturing Metroliner set. I assume that these probably would have the PS3 system.
- Sunset 3rd Rail always makes amazing products.  Perhaps they could do a run of them like the E60s, Genesis, viewliners, etc... These would most likely be equipped with TMCC.
- Lionel has tooling for the Amfleet Cab car (historically the Metroliners were converted into these cab cars) and could modify them to make Metroliners, I assume these would have Legacy or LC+2.0.

Paint schemes (click on links to see images)
- Pennsylvania Railroad (Before acceptance)
- Penn Central
- Amtrak Phase I
- Amtrak Phase II



Bryce

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  • MTH Metroliner screen capture
  • Amtrak Metroliner - Pic by Nate Murry
Last edited by Oscale_Trains_Lover_
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Since the Amfleet I cars are the same extrusion as the Metroliner cars, they are not too hard to with existing tooling.  If I were to get a set, I would want them to be scale length.  I have the Williams and the Welz sets and of the two, I prefer the Welz set.  However, a scale set would be something I'd be interested in.  Bachmann did a nice set of scale cars in HO in the 70's that I have a set of although they are not great runners.  I also have several N scale Bachmann Metroliners in Penn Central, but they are crude at best as the trucks and the wheels are way oversized.   

I saw the original Metroliners prior to rebuilding in Amtrak Phase I at Metropark, NJ around 1977 on my first Amtrak trip to Washington DC with my family.  The Amtrak Phase II cars are different as they got the "roof bump" added after rebuilding.  They served in Keystone service in that scheme into the 80's.  I saw them a few times along US 30 near Lancaster.  Finally, the Metroliners did not see regular service for the PRR.  By the time they were cleared for service Penn Central had arrived.  However, many cars stayed in the Penn Central livery well into Amtrak.

One of my favorite photos of the Metroliners is during the winter in Amtrak service where a GG1 was pulling the Metroliner set with all the pans up as the Metroliners motors had failed, but they needed the power for the heat.

Since only 3rd Rail will do them correctly, that is my preference.  There is also an opportunity to offer scale cab cars in Phase III, IV and VI.

@WRW I watched the Cabin Fever Auctions with great interest for the reason of getting the Metroliner prototype but didn't see them. Maybe they fell through my net or were not there

Bryce

MTH never made the Metroliner MU. The catalog photo was of a Welz Metroliner.

According to Eliot Welz, the tooling for his models still exists. At one of the last York meets he attended, I asked if he had any leftover Amfleet end caps (I have a five-car set in which the end caps are shrinking) he jokingly asked if I wanted the molds for them too as he still had them.

(PS: he did have some, molded in a different plastic that was more dimensionally stable, and I was able to get a set from him. I haven't installed them yet as they need painting.)

---PCJ

@RailRide posted:

According to Eliot Welz, the tooling for his models still exists. At one of the last York meets he attended, I asked if he had any leftover Amfleet end caps (I have a five-car set in which the end caps are shrinking) he jokingly asked if I wanted the molds for them too as he still had them.

(PS: he did have some, molded in a different plastic that was more dimensionally stable, and I was able to get a set from him. I haven't installed them yet as they need painting.)

---PCJ

That is very interesting news, I did not know the molds were still around!

That is very interesting news, I did not know the molds were still around!

Tooling for aluminum is fairly simple and can be done out of a garage or small workshop.  You have the extrusion tool for the body, typically a punch tool for the windows, and an injection tool for the end caps if plastic.  That is the appeal of doing cars in aluminum because it is malleable material. 

It would be interesting to acquire the tooling for the cars and make them scale proportion.  A punch tool for new windows is a few thousand dollars.  Not cheap but not like injection tooling.  Overall, they are about the same width and height of the Lionel cars so not scale.  I like the pantographs on the Welz cars a great deal for what they are.

@GG1 4877 posted:

Tooling for aluminum is fairly simple and can be done out of a garage or small workshop. 

It would be interesting to acquire the tooling for the cars and make them scale proportion.  A punch tool for new windows is a few thousand dollars.  Not cheap but not like injection tooling.  Overall, they are about the same width and height of the Lionel cars so not scale.  I like the pantographs on the Welz cars a great deal for what they are.

Things get lost over time, so I am just happy to hear that the molds are still around.

I would be very happy if Scott picked up this project but my one concern with the scale/semi-scale debate is if these get made in scale proportions, there are not as many people who have the larger layouts to run them. In my mind, the ideal scenario is Lionel utilizing their cab car (0-36 min) and rework it so the proverbial net can be cast to a larger group in an already niche hobby. Just my two cents

Bryce

Things get lost over time, so I am just happy to hear that the molds are still around.

I would be very happy if Scott picked up this project but my one concern with the scale/semi-scale debate is if these get made in scale proportions, there are not as many people who have the larger layouts to run them. In my mind, the ideal scenario is Lionel utilizing their cab car (0-36 min) and rework it so the proverbial net can be cast to a larger group in an already niche hobby. Just my two cents

Bryce

I would pass on that set, but as I always say, I am not the typical demographic is this gauge.  Having the GGD Amfleet cars, a scale Metroliner would be ideal for me personally. 

Honestly, I think Lionel will get to it sooner than 3rd Rail.  The market for electrics has not proven to be as desirable as it used to be.

@GG1 4877 posted:

No photos, but I have these videos of first the Williams models and then the Welz ones.

@GG1 4877 posted:

No photos, but I have these videos of first the Williams models and then the Welz ones.

I couldn't agree with you more with regard to the Welz set! I have a strong preference for it. Part of my bias is that it was my first Amtrak model. The pantographs are superior to the Williams set and I thought the "depth effect" on the silhouette was pretty cool.

Funny enough, I tried to find a photo of the set and all I could find was a shot from a year I also had it on Christmas Tree Duty. I guess it looks at home on tight curves.



I would love to pick up a scale set if it was made although I've never actually taken a ride in one.
I have used the metroliner's diesel cousin, the Budd SPV 2000.

13 SPV2000's were built between April and July 1980 by Budd. Intended to be a modern RDC, the name SPV stood for Self Propelled Ve… | Train, Amtrak, Railroad photos

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I’ve been called at times persistent if nothing else. I still believe that MTH made at least a couple of prototypes for set they advertised in 2001. Having purchased a few MTH prototypes and demonstration pieces from Cabin Fever and one MD dealer I took a careful look at the last couple of MTH Warehouse Auctions at Cabin Fever in late 2021. Lots # 215 & 580 from the 9/29/2021 auction jumped out.  I found some drawings that someone purchased for very little. One set appear to be from the Budd Company. I’m still searching for that elusive limited delivery or prototype. 5235DEAE-6FEB-4358-AC74-CD66799393F6F05AFBDD-A827-4E82-9E8D-77607AA74BAE2F5BD951-7350-453D-8582-014C3AF2EF6686ED3269-3EC8-4566-A5D3-43435B9051FC594E65F2-094F-40B0-BB3B-B6FBAA2A962EBu

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Last edited by WRW
@WRW posted:

I’ve been called at times persistent if nothing else. I still believe that MTH made at least a couple of prototypes for set they advertised in 2001. Having purchased a few MTH prototypes and demonstration pieces from Cabin Fever and one MD dealer I took a careful look at the last couple of MTH Warehouse Auctions at Cabin Fever in late 2021. Lots # 215 & 580 from the 9/29/2021 auction jumped out.  I found some drawings that someone purchased for very little. One set appear to be from the Budd Company. I’m still searching for that elusive limited delivery or prototype

Wow! I am quite mad at myself for missing this, I thought I went over the auction with a fine-toothed comb. I guess not....

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