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@Landsteiner posted:

While I agree there is nothing in the history of Atlas O since Jim Weaver's untimely death to suggest they are going to be a force in this segment of model railroading, the future could be different. I think a lot depends on market forces. If some combination of more people entering the hobby and pandemic induced more time at home leads to more purchases by those who are committed to DCS locomotives, Atlas O could become a significant maker of locomotives, in contrast to their recent history.  We'll see what happens.  On balance, I suspect they will be bigger than the almost nothing they've been doing, but more a niche role that Weaver had rather than a major force, as MTH was.  But I've been wrong before .

You're right, we don't really know but it's fun to speculate. One thing I do know is that in in the long run, supply and demand will come into balance. At the moment, and I stress AT THE MOMENT, the Rail King line appears in jeopardy. If that's truly due to lack of demand, it will naturally disappear; if it's not due to lack of demand, I'm confident something will appear on the market to take its place.

You're right, we don't really know but it's fun to speculate. One thing I do know is that in in the long run, supply and demand will come into balance. At the moment, and I stress AT THE MOMENT, the Rail King line appears in jeopardy. If that's truly due to lack of demand, it will naturally disappear; if it's not due to lack of demand, I'm confident something will appear on the market to take its place.

I wonder if your hunch is correct about RailKing since I think many new entrants into O are more enamored with scale or very close to scale sized items.

The only items from the RailKing line that interest me are the scale diesels with 4-wheel trucks that aren’t also offered in Premier. I think this is limited to the ALCo RS-1, RS-27, EMD SW-1, SW-8/9, SW1500, NW-2, and MP15DC.

I also enjoy collecting the RailKing ore cars and 3-dome tank cars, and single dome (not modern) tank cars, again as these are mostly scale sized for the early 20th century and look great mixed in with 36’ woodside reefers and 2-bay hoppers.

Sadly, I think Lionel has all but abandoned the line of traditional rolling stock with prototypical (ie non-Disney, non-Star Trek, non-baby pictures) paint schemes.  Looking at it logically, its understandable with untold thousands of Lionel postwar, Lionel MPC and Lionel LTI traditional freight cars out there that can be purchased for under $20 a piece. Check out the 6464 remakes prices on auction sites. On top of that, there is Menards with their $17.00 freight cars.  Those same market pressures apply to Railking cars as well.

I would love it if Lionel would re-enter this market (or other companies) but I don't think so.

You can use a phone handset cord to tether a remote off of the new TIU 50-1039. The only issue is, that remote will only then communicate with that TIU. Obviously, with four outputs you can support up to four tracks. I have jumpered two smaller loops off of the same TIU port with success - we ran that way today. So if you can operate with a single TIU you are all set. For someone that operates more than one TIU, each one would need to have its own remote tethered to it.

At our layout, the big layout runs trains via our iPads across four TIUs; we have an additional layout on the east side of the building that's operated with a remote tethered to a TIU and they don't interfere with the big layout. In back, is another TIU with a tethered remote we use for our test track in the workshop. I am getting ready to add a fourth independent loop and will tether a remote once again.

I don't like using the DCS app on my iPhone, but on an iPad, even the iPad mini it works really good. It is much easier to change between trains; execute the various commands; and not nearly the delay I experience with the remote. Today, we were running over twenty trains at the same time off of one iPad.

The 50-1039 was in test last week at MTH in Michigan, assuming everything is okay, they will give the go ahead for the production. I am thinking probably another 90-120 days before they get here. I am not clear on when the new remotes will ship.

You might recall Mike announced originally, last year, that DCS would continue on in a new entity, and most recently, Atlas licensed DCS for not only the MTH tooling they took over, but for Atlas tooling as well. Last I heard, their engineers were already fitting DCS components into their products.

Bottom line, rest easy. DCS isn't going away.

Thanks for this information and update! I’m not a fan of the tethered remote approach but I am happy the production of 50-1039 will be an option for DCS in the future. If my 2002 model of the TIU ever fails (and can’t be repaired) I guess I’ll just have to buy the 50-1039 and get used to using an iPad mini. However, I really like using the untethered remote so hopefully I’ll get many more years out of my current remote/TIU combination. Also, as I understand it Atlas will produce diesels with DCS, so hopefully the MTH steam tooling w/DCS market will somehow also continue in the future as well.

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