I couldn’t agree more.  Given a choice between a RK scale and a Premier of the same loco, I would generally go for the RK Scale.   When I was first building my roster, I went exclusively with Railking, because, as you say, they are the best bang for your buck.  Lately I’ve been gravitating to Premier.  At this point I have about equal numbers of each.  After getting the Premier version of a loco (for example the Alco PA-1) that I also have in regular (less than scale) Railking, the Railking version just doesn’t cut it anymore.  But my Railking Scale locos still get plenty of run time.  I especially like the RK Scale BLW AS-616, Alco RS-3, FM H10-44 and EMD SW-1.  In some cases (the AS-616 for example), the Railking Scale loco is made from a die that was previously used for premier locos, but doesn’t have all the details (like see thru grills) that are currently seen in the Premier line.


Relevant photo I took yesterday of my new Railking Scale Metra F40PH next to a Premier PS2 Amtrak F40PH:

The shells are sized almost identically but there's a number of add-on details on the premier version that the Railking version is lacking (as expected) - notably:

- See-through radiator screens and spinning fans
- Windshield wipers
- Marker Lights
- Add-on steps
- Nose ladder hand rails

As noted in posts above, the value for money is pretty great and with a bit of careful paint work, the Railking Scale F40 can be brought pretty close to the premier version

I agree, when I was still actively modeling, I had one of their Southern Pacific MP-15AC switchers  (PS2 version) and was quite impressed with the Premier-level of add-on details, especially paying attention to prototype-specific features. 

The only cosmetic quibble I have with it is using anachronistic (1938- mid-1940s era Blomberg-B trucks (same as those used harking back to Lionel postwar F3s and Geeps) when MTH already had appropriate modern-era B trucks in the Premier line.  But other than that, it's a terrific model

While not "RK Scale" I have also found, among frameless tank cars, that the RK "modern" tank car (in appropriate private-owner paint schemes) blends in pretty well with its Premier siblings. In real life, one can frequently see 1:1 tank cars of wildly varying size next to one another, and the RK/Premier relationship works well to re-create that effect.

For that matter, the RK Airslide hoppers are nearly indistinguishable from the Premier versions. Like the tankers, the challenge is finding them in non-fanciful paint schemes.


The best example I've found of the merging of the two levels is the bobber cabooses.  I have an assortment of RK and Premier bobber caboose models, and if I didn't know from the box, I wouldn't be able to tell you which one was Premier and which one was RK.

I have several RK scale diesels.  Only one Premier diesel.  The RKs are certainly a great value! 

Cheers and Happy Railroading,

Patrick W  

CEO - The Free State Junction Railway 

" Where the music is sweet and the trains always run on time"

Home Office - Patsburg, Maryland 

Just a comment to the earlier poster who mentioned "1:48 Scale Proportions" on the side of a Rail King loco box.  There might be a difference between 1:48 Scale and 1:48 Scale Proportions.  If a loco were 10% shorter, 10% narrower and 10% lower in height, but in all other respects a scale model, would it still be "1:48 Scale Proportions"?


The RailKing Scale Alco RS-1 is an almost Premier level model.  It has smoke, separate grab irons, deck tread, and cut levers.  The only Premier features it's missing are see through step tread, and hole drilled for Kadee couplers on the pilots.



The light at the end of the tunnel is the headlight of an on coming train!

A used RailKing Proto Sound PRR steam passenger set was my first O gauge buy when I got back into the hobby 11 years ago after a 25 year hiatus from model railroading. The crew talk and impressive smoke as well as other features are what got me hooked back into this hobby and I haven't looked back since 




When they say "Rail King Scale" or proportional 1/4" scale, you can count on a full size model for 1.177" gauge.  Of course they do not come in that gauge, but that is the gauge for 1/4" scale.  We 2-railed a series of SD9 Diesels a while back, and the only difference we could find from Premier was the plating on the whistle. 

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