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As my friends know, I am now in Dallas, TX after spending 50+ years in NYC.

While I do enjoy running my multiple sets of NYCTA Subway cars, I am sort of curious to see about getting a set of Dallas Area Rapid Transit light rail cars for my layout.

Does anybody have first hand experience in convincing a O scale manufacturing company in making an entirely new product?  They're Kinki Sharyo SLRV (you can see photos on Wikipedia) and operate in 2-and-a-half car married units.  A normal consist is usually three (or sometimes two) of these units per train.  The manufacturer even makes the specifications available to anybody who is curious!

Maybe we can stir up some love for a transit system that had absolutely nothing to do with the shooting of J.R. Ewing back in the 1980's? 

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Consulting to a O scale manufacturer part time I can only say that it is worth suggesting it to the manufacturer of your choice.  In today's O scale marketplace, most new models are built to order.  This protects the manufacturer from making a large investment in a product that may not sell well.  The days of deep discounts on poorly researched market demand for models is over.

For a LRV a small run would likely have to be done in brass.  Brass is hand built and does not require tooling.  As a result, it can be built in smaller numbers and still allow the manufacturer to turn a small profit.  The result is an expensive product to the consumer.  A plastic model requires an injection tool and then the required minimum number of units goes up exponentially.  In short it would take a lot of people interested in the same model to make it happen.  If one person were to guarantee the entire run financially though, anything is possible in this scale.  If I were in a position to do that, I have a few models I'd love to see done too!  

As I recall, there are several LRV models available in HO.  O scale?  I have not seen any to date.  Perhaps you could look at modifying an existing O scale model.  The powered Corgi or MTH PCCs come to mind as a starting point.  It wouldn't be exact, but the chassis could provide a base to build your model off of.  The angular shape of the cars could be an interesting yet reasonably achievable build.

As an aside, the Valley Metro LRVs in the Phoenix, AZ area are interesting to me.  They however are a little more difficult to scratch build.  Too many compound curves! 

There are a couple of floor-toy LRV's (at least one is a model of a Bombadier Flexity that is approximately O scale) that could be heavily modified to host low-profile power trucks (I've seen it done, but only in 2-rail).

The big stumbling block is getting power trucks. None are available commercially, you'd be dependent on someone basically designing them from scratch around existing motors+gears and then putting the resulting design through a 3D printer. There have been a couple of such attempts discussed here that resulted in a limited number of kits for the Corgi PCC if I recall correctly. Adapting these to the "City Liner" floor-toy tram would require advance knowledge of how you're going to hack apart the toy chassis (it has fake trucks that don't rotate) to accommodate working trucks. 

A couple of threads I started for discussing this:

City Liner - new source

Yet another reason to develop a low-floor power truck

---PCJ

@Homey B posted:

Does anybody have first hand experience in convincing a O scale manufacturing company in making an entirely new product?

Jeff,

It's all based on how many will sell.  Do you have friends that think like you do?  If so, how many?

   Is it 30?, or 300?, or 3,000?, or 30,000?

If it's 30 or less then it will very difficult.

If they're not hand assembled brass then the cost of substantial tooling to build them will have to be spread across the whole run, no matter what the number.  For a detailed model that's going to be around $300,000 minimum, or $10,000 a piece if only a quantity of 30.

It comes down to $1,000 a piece if 300 are sold.

You see where we're headed with this.

And it doesn't include the cost of assembling them, and then packaging and shipping, and then overhead, etc., etc.

Don't forget a little profit on top to the manufacturer for taking the risk, and for the hard work.

Our hobby is an expensive one.

Find some friends to help out by committing to buy.  Many friends.

Mike

Last edited by Mellow Hudson Mike
@Homey B posted:

As my friends know, I am now in Dallas, TX after spending 50+ years in NYC.

While I do enjoy running my multiple sets of NYCTA Subway cars, I am sort of curious to see about getting a set of Dallas Area Rapid Transit light rail cars for my layout.

Does anybody have first hand experience in convincing a O scale manufacturing company in making an entirely new product?  They're Kinki Sharyo SLRV (you can see photos on Wikipedia) and operate in 2-and-a-half car married units.  A normal consist is usually three (or sometimes two) of these units per train.  The manufacturer even makes the specifications available to anybody who is curious!

Maybe we can stir up some love for a transit system that had absolutely nothing to do with the shooting of J.R. Ewing back in the 1980's? 

Make friends with someone with a high-end 3D printer, that's about the only way you're going to get an oddball unit made.

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