Just got these today to my surprise:
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Those Brookside and Riverside cars were quite the project! So thankful that most customers hung in there. Also glad that we were able to work Renken's into the production schedule and have them arrive in the USA before we even announced them. That's one way to make sure there's not much time between preordering and delivery!
See everything METCA has available HERE. Just today posted production sample photos of the Atlas O 8000 gallon Pennsylvania Railroad tank cars.
Just a warning on these milk cars. DO NOT open the doors. Lots of reports of the paint chipping off the hinges. Including mine
Gary, which cars are you referring to? Brookside, Riverside, or Renken's? So far there's been no reports of paint chipping off these cars which were made in 2021. Are you referring to other cars made in 2020? Yes, paint coming off the hinges is typical of other cars made in 2020. But I worked with Lionel and those issues were supposed to be corrected when the Brookside, Riverside, and Renken's were made just recently in 2021. These 3 cars were not part of the same production run as those other cars from last year to which I think you're referring.
I've opened the doors on several Brookside, Riverside, and Renken's cars and none have had the paint come off the hinges like the cars made last year in 2020.
I didn’t know that but I still wouldn’t try it. How are the couplers?
Can’t wait to receive my Renken’s car. Growing up in Brooklyn in the late 50’s, we had a milk box on the front stoop (it had wooden walls for some insulation with a galvanized silver metal outside) for Renken’s milk. There was no lock on the box, and the glass bottles had rather flimsy cardboard stoppers. Can you imagine anyone today drinking milk that was just left on your doorstep??? 😂😂😂
Paul, I also grew up in Brooklyn but in the late ‘60s and into the ‘70s. We had an aluminum box lined with styrofoam on our porch. I remember the milk man coming in the early morning. Brooklyn was really great back then. I can only imagine how great it was in the ‘50s. I always wished I could have seen Ebbits Field.
Back to the topic. Sorry about that. Those are really nice cars. I didn’t order them but Just yesterday I did order the Bethlehem hopper. Looking forward to adding that one to my collection.
I didn’t know that but I still wouldn’t try it. How are the couplers?
I’m eager to see if the couplers have horizontal movement like versions from the 2000s. I’ll post a YouTube review of these 3 vs 2020 cars vs 00s as soon as USPS drops these off.
Hoping couplers are great and Lionel will use these for the corrected versions they promised on 2020 cars.
Stu, thank you for offering these and relentlessly pushing for quality product here
Waiting on the 3 milk cars. The shipping provided by USPS seem a little weird with several delay notices. Hopefully they will arrive this week.
I have a number of the METCA cars and engines. I was thinking about something last night (I really need to get a life!) and that was I don't believe METCA has offered a caboose to go along with the cars and engines. Maybe you could think about two different ones, say an LIRR and a Jersey Central? I'm pretty sure they would be well received.
Just got my 3 cars today and thought I’d share initial thoughts. I will post a YouTube comparison this weekend.
Paint is fantastic and crisp. Lionel kept the same trucks which roll great. The paint on the door hinges does not flake, I must have opened and shut them all 20 times to be sure. The coupler is fixed (no side to side movement) just like the 2020 cars and unlike the older versions, I was hoping they’d fix this but they did not. The coupler itself IS different from 2020 versions in that it’s narrower, has a small piece on the end almost like a spacer, and DOES couple with older Lionel milk cars. It’s not a perfect fix as these 2021 cars won’t couple on my 0-72 curves and sometimes takes several tries even on straight sections. They don’t appear to derail as easily but I need to run them through some curved switches. Ironically, they don’t couple with the 2020 cars but it sounds like new couplers will be issued for those. Overall not perfect but much much better.
The Renken's, Brookside, and Riverside cars arrived today. They really look great. Here is a short video in consist with the METCA 60th Anniversary car and earlier release Budweiser cars. All pulled by the METCA Jeremiah O'Brien GP7. I haven't dissected them (nor will I) to evaluate the trucks and couplers. They seem to couple and run quite well.
I'll try for a better video tomorrow. This looks a bit out of focus.
Have to assume it's all about cost cutting, the old milk car trucks also had white lettering on them, better looking along with better operating.
Don't forget all the old tooling was lost and the trucks are of a new design/tooling but yes I wouldn't be surprised if there is some cost cutting in the design. The lack of lettering on the trucks could of just been an oversight but who knows for sure.
The new easy to convert truck design was brought out the same time Lionel introduced the Lionscale product line in 2016. The intent of these new truck designs was to make the cars easier to convert to scale couplers or 2 rail O scale. That said all good intentions but doesn't excuse the new mediocre at best half metal half plastic trucks and couplers currently being used. Hope Lionel goes back to installing the articulating metal couplers.
Have no fear, try it. Couplers are better on these 2021 produced cars than on the 2020 produced cars.
Stu, these were the ones that were delayed that you had talked about on Gary's topic about the bad couplers, correct?
Coming from you, I am certain that's the case, my friend. But the fact remains that fixed couplers are still significantly inferior to articulated couplers, which Lionel always used until very recently, and are unacceptable. There is no escaping that. Lionel needs to immediately discontinue the use of fixed couplers and start manufacturing again all of their freight cars with articulated couplers. This is not rocket science. MTH and ATLAS O freight cars are all made with articulated couplers.
Speaking to someone from Lionel at York is the BEST thing to do. Get the info straight from them. As you know, all I do is design the paint schemes and graphics. I have no input on the mechanical aspects of the cars.
Good review but the new and improved couplers IMO are not good enough. Sad the tooling for the 2000’s cars was lost. Guess if I want any in the future it’s kadee conversion for sure.
@Peter B posted:
Correct, but as the old saying goes: "The road to h**l is paved with good intentions." Weak excuse anyway. Both MTH and ATLAS were able to figure out the "easy conversion" issue without downgrading their 3-rail trucks and couplers, but not Lionel.
I know. You do a terrific job!
My Renken’s car arrived the other day and METCA did a beautiful job on them. Brings back memories of having Renken’s milk delivered to our home as a kid. The trucks are an improvement over some of the recent milk cars (articulation not withstanding). The decoration is crisp and the car has the internal tanks (I looked through the doors... not comfortable trying to pry off the roof).