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Given the immense interest in Lionel's rendition of Strasburg 90 and how rare the previous runs of M Class are...

Would it be an appropriate time for 3rd Rail to revisit these locomotives? (In a few years of course once we've all recovered from the financial hit of paying for 90 )

The high price on Lionel's 90 isn't preventing the orders from coming in and the N&W M class would appeal to Strasburg fans and N&W fans (both 3 and 2-rail modelers too).

What's everyone's thoughts?

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@prrjim posted:

This engine and 90 are modern fan trip locos.  I am not interested.    My interest is modeling a specific road with the appropriate models.     So neither appeal to me.

Don't forget the M Class was first made (semi-) famous by O. Winston Link's photography on the N&W's Abingdon Branch.

It's okay to not be interested - I could fill books with the products I am not interested in.

I was interested in this loco, for the reasons that the wheel arrangement was unusual, and that it ran in similar territory as the C&O, coal country.  But, it didn't fit my theme.  While #90's original owner definitely does, and #90 on its home road was one of last passenger haulers behind steam, in cabooses and towing that combine that is at Golden in the Colorado RR Museum.  Apparently, the N&W 4-8-0 also had some interesting branch line assignments, so l can see the interest.  When these gems are offered, you have to look and then leap, and not just front 3rd Rail.

I have the Strasburg 2 rail offering and have often wondered how many people bought that particular version?  I would venture to say less than 30 worldwide?  I love the locomotive but really do not need another Mollie.   I was down for the Sunset P&LE Mike a dozen years ago but the project was scrapped and then resurrected a couple of years ago but is still not in production.  In the meantime I bought a great US Hobbies NYC H-10 for $425 from a dealer that just wanted it out of his store.  I am not sure their return on investment would be there for brass steamers.  I would like to see the Sunset Russian Decapods from 1994 re-issued but know that will never happen.  The MTH models are nice but they are all Western MD prototypes whereas Sunset did a bang up job and used the proper railroad specific appliances.

When these gems are offered, you have to look and then leap, and not just front 3rd Rail.

Agreed - unfortunately, I am a recent college grad who has disposable income for the first time.

Getting into the scale-side of the hobby is hard because there are a lot of great models out there that are either hard to find or only made once. It not only about taking the leap, but being in there at the right time to jump.

I imagine that I am not the only person in this boat... and (in spirit of Shark Week) "[we're] going to need a bigger boat" in years to come!

Last edited by Prr7688

I mentioned this directly to Scott Mann at York about 2 years ago. I suggested it would be a good candidate based on the prices they were selling for on eBay.

He was interested then but also said the molds were gone and it would basically be a new project versus a rerun - he would have to get sufficient orders to carry a new project. I suspect Lionel’s Strasburg 90 will be a big seller, and lots of folks will inevitably seek a companion piece so maybe the market is now there for Scott.

The only issue I foresee is that like the 90, the 475 and M class are actually very small locomotives when it comes to fitting modern electronic components in them.  I often thought the 475 would be a good candidate for someone to test out 3D printing capabilities.

@Prr7688 posted:

Agreed - unfortunately, I am a recent college grad who has disposable income for the first time.

Getting into the scale-side of the hobby is hard because there are a lot of great models out there that are either hard to find or only made once. It not only about taking the leap, but being in there at the right time to jump.

I imagine that I am not the only person in this boat... and (in spirit of Shark Week) "[we're] going to need a bigger boat" in years to come!

You're not alone. I too was in school when they were offered and was not in any position to plunk down that kind of cash. Part of this hobby's fun is the thrill of the hunt; however, I'd just like the hunting to be a little bit easier every now and then!

@M J Breen posted:

I mentioned this directly to Scott Mann at York about 2 years ago. I suggested it would be a good candidate based on the prices they were selling for on eBay.

He was interested then but also said the molds were gone and it would basically be a new project versus a rerun - he would have to get sufficient orders to carry a new project. I suspect Lionel’s Strasburg 90 will be a big seller, and lots of folks will inevitably seek a companion piece so maybe the market is now there for Scott.

The only issue I foresee is that like the 90, the 475 and M class are actually very small locomotives when it comes to fitting modern electronic components in them.  I often thought the 475 would be a good candidate for someone to test out 3D printing capabilities.

Interesting that they ditched the molds!

I wonder what the reasoning behind this was? Storage space?

I figure that the creating molds is the most expensive/ time consuming part of the production process and that they would want to keep them.

@Prr7688 posted:

Interesting that they ditched the molds!

I wonder what the reasoning behind this was? Storage space?

I figure that the creating molds is the most expensive/ time consuming part of the production process and that they would want to keep them.

To be clear, there really are no "molds" involved with brass locomotive model construction. There are however many, many investment castings (lost-wax highly detailed fittings & appliances). involved. The boilers, frames, tenders, etc. are all hand crafted using jigs & fixtures to hold the major components together while soldering takes place.

The term "molds" is more applicable to die cast models.

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