Whatever happened to Industrial Rail?

Absorbed into the Atlas product line....never to be seen again.....apparently.

They show a couple pieces of quasi-FasTrack under the "Industrial Rail" moniker on their website.  Other than that....??????

This topic was OGR'd back about 5 years ago.  Plug pulled.

We can always have Luigi 'ask' one of da Atlas boyz at the October York Meat Meet.....maybe.

I know, I know......Industrial Rail: Now called "Menards"........?

 

Industrial Rail was started by United  Model Distributors.  Great product other than the roller bearing trucks on all the cars. Weakest of the line was the caboose....more S scale and smaller than the smallest Lionel unit. 

I have a ton of them.....back in the day I was buying them wholesale when I worked at a hobby shop for about $11 each! 

The reefers and tanks were my favorite. When UMD was sold the IR line was sold......but soon after the line was sold to Atlas. I was buying the Atlas/IR cars at Hobby Lobby for a while at about $13 after 40% off coupon. But then HL stopped carrying them....then Atlas kinda let the line die off. 

Weathered IR cars....REEFER00reefer01

This shows size of IR reefers. First car is IR, second is Williams(Menards like) and Weaver 3rd.

boxes2

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Purchased a number of the tank cars,  they came with chemical platforms, they fit in quite well with O Scale cars because the older full sill tank cars varied in gallon capacity and size. Another plus they were reasonably priced and available at local hardware stores. 

AMCDave posted:

Industrial Rail was started by United  Model Distributors.  Great product other than the roller bearing trucks on all the cars. Weakest of the line was the caboose....more S scale and smaller than the smallest Lionel unit. 


 

The IR caboose wasn't just more S Scale, it was S Scale.

rSFC 042714 06a

Rusty

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If you don't require scale cars, these were a terrific value. They roll extremely well, the couplers work perfectly and they go smoothly through switches. They are great runners. I bought a bunch for $12 each at a Greenberg show many years ago. I run them often and have never had an issue. I have about 20 of the Virginian hoppers and they make a nice train behind my K-Line Allegheny or Williams rectifier.

A few years back somebody posted on here that he was creating a definitive photo record of every IR car and I sent him a few photos. I don't know what happened to his registry, but if it is around it would be a good reference.

 

 

DaveP posted:

I think Atlas acquired the IR line as it was starting it’s Trainman product line. I think they were waiting to see which was more popular 

IMHO Only.....Atlas got caught in the perfect storm.  A slight downturn in folks buying O scale trains and a move toward scale items.  Atlas is known for it's scale products so it was not the best match. I could see Menard's leasing or buying the reefers, 2 bay hoppers and tanks.....they would fit well in their line. 

 

NOT LionelLLC posted:
Trainfun posted:

A few years back somebody posted on here that he was creating a definitive photo record of every IR car and I sent him a few photos. I don't know what happened to his registry, but if it is around it would be a good reference. 

Check out:

http://www.blueboxtrains.com/

Stu

Cool link!  All my stuff is in boxes right now, but looking at those pics I realize I have a lot more than I thought!

Rusty Traque posted:
AMCDave posted:

Industrial Rail was started by United  Model Distributors.  Great product other than the roller bearing trucks on all the cars. Weakest of the line was the caboose....more S scale and smaller than the smallest Lionel unit. 


 

The IR caboose wasn't just more S Scale, it was S Scale.

rSFC 042714 06a

Rusty

So far as I know - I never put a ruler on it - the little IR PRR 4-4-2 and tender were also 1:64. I bought a couple for the mechanisms and noted the AF-size look about the boilers as I took them apart. I wonder if any S-scaler ever re-mechanism-ed and re-trucked one for his S layout?

The IR tank cars were actually 1:48, so far as I know. They were models of the small/moderate-sized cars found all over the place pre-1970's.

I have a bunch of the "reefers" (they are not reefers and have no ice hatches; they are plug-door insulated boxcars; Atlas did produce a changed true 027 "reefer" in the line later, I think). The trucks are too modern for most ice-reefers, and they are too narrow (length is fine for some reefers) - yet they look convincing and are built at a high-quality level. A bunch look great behind my Lima AC-9.

AMCDAVE shows just how nice these "little 027" cars can look. 

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The Industrial Rail track with a tan colored roadbed Similar to Fastrack but with a rail shaped track was included in the WBB set I purchased last year.  It looks okay but only came 36" Diameter track (12 to a circle) and 10" Straight.  This set also included the ATLAS 80 Watt transformer.   This was before WBB came out with their own version of Fastrack with the HO type connector on each end.

Larry3railtrains in Calgary, AB, Canada

As Sheldon says"  There is ONLY "O" Gauge"

At one point Paul Graf of Atlas, either on this forum or elsewhere, talked about Sanda Kan dropped many train companies as their manufacturing contractor. Paul said that much of the Atlas tooling/dies were damaged in that time frame and had to be repaired and or refurbished.

At the time he did not specify the Industrial Rail dies, but one could reasonably assume that if other Atlas dies were damaged, it is not out of the question that the IR tooling/dies were also damaged.

So then comes the question, does Atlas want to invest the dollars to repair or refurbish the IR product dies? Can they make back that investment without having to raise the list prices?

If anyone remembers, when United Model Distributors - the creators of the Industrial Rail line - announced they were retiring, HobbyCo picked up the Industrial Rail line and said they were going to continue manufacturing it. What happened was HobbyCo blew out the remaining inventory, which is when the Industrial Rail cars were on sale to the public at $10-15 each.

Also if anyone remembers, there was also a lot grumbling at the time when Atlas purchased the IR dies, about how they had jacked up the prices, which was a totally unfair complaint. The Atlas list price on the IR cars was not out of line with the list prices from UMD. But people were comparing LIST prices to BLOW OUT prices from HobbyCo.

Also remember that when this happened, Jim Weaver was at the helm of Atlas O. And he had big dreams for the product line. It was during his time with the company that Atlas O brought out many new products. His passing along with the production problems that ensued after Atlas (and some 60 other companies) were dropped by Sanda Kan, probably caused some reassessment on the part of Atlas.

Again, I'm just speculating. But if other Atlas dies and tooling were damaged during the Sanda Kan move, it's not unlikely that the IR dies were also affected. So it may very well be that Atlas has deemed it's not financially worthwhile to pursue any more IR investment. But Atlas has made no statement publicly or to me personally concerning the future of the IR line. Given that what little that remains at Atlas proper, is on sale on their website, I'd say the future doesn't look too promising.

brianel027

 

John Ochab posted:

Purchased a number of the tank cars,  they came with chemical platforms, they fit in quite well with O Scale cars because the older full sill tank cars varied in gallon capacity and size. 

In fact, the IR 8000 gallon tank cars, which are exactly the same as the Lionel "traditional" versions, are full scale in size. (Certain "traditional" Lionel items, Geeps and F-3s included, as well as the 8000 gallon tanks, are scale-sized.) Hold them next to an Atlas O Master Line 8000 gallon tank car - same size.

 

There must be a huge untold story on the 'mold damage' explanation.  During the same time period a good number of molds used by the model car hobby were mysteriously 'damaged' beyond use and had to be re-tooled. Pure speculation but did someone or a group go on a rampage?? Sabotage??? Industrial accident??? We'll more likely never know....but more than what's on the surface.

AMCDave posted:

There must be a huge untold story on the 'mold damage' explanation.  During the same time period a good number of molds used by the model car hobby were mysteriously 'damaged' beyond use and had to be re-tooled. Pure speculation but did someone or a group go on a rampage?? Sabotage??? Industrial accident??? We'll more likely never know....but more than what's on the surface.

Sanda Kan was mismanaged to the point that the other large contract manufacturer, Kader Industrial, acquired them.  Kader owns Bachmann who bought Williams.  Kader did not want to cannibalize their own line so they were less than cooperative in helping Sanda Kan's customers acquire their tooling.  

At one time SDK had 200 customers, mostly trains and a lot of European slot car customers.  Their electronic shop run by Sam Chan was second to none.  Their customer service rep Linda was on top of everything.  At dinner with Sam and the Managing Director Ken Wong I was told that they had 11 facilities in China with 10,000 employees.  

Lou N

You know Charles Ro owner of USA Trains has recently reported the same problem with Kader Holdings...That is USA got dropped a few years back and so they found another manufacturer. But to this day when USA T makes an appointment to pick up their tooling they send a truck to Kader and nobody ever knows anything about tooling...kinda sad really.

 

 

C. Jones

Lou N posted:

  Kader did not want to cannibalize their own line so they were less than cooperative in helping Sanda Kan's customers acquire their tooling.  

Thanks.....so is that the 'polite' answer???  One of the issues you accept doing biz in China. NOT China bashing....we make our kits there....and work well with them....but there is a lack of control to a degree.

Train Nut posted:
RoyBoy posted:
Trainfun posted:

A few years back somebody posted on here that he was creating a definitive photo record of every IR car and I sent him a few photos. I don't know what happened to his registry, but if it is around it would be a good reference.

 

 

Is this it?

http://www.blueboxtrains.com/

Yes thats the same link NOT LIONELLLC listed earlier in this post....

Thanks to RoyBoy and NOT LIONELLLC for locating the link. 

I have IR's neat little B&O Atlantic steamer and tender and it goes absolutely great with my Marx O gauge collection, much of which is 3/16's scale (or 1/64 "S"). It even fits well with the earlier smaller Marx 6" cars as the IR loco's smaller and lower than even the little Lionel #1656 0-4-0 switcher I also have. Right now I'm keeping my eye out for IR's derrick car as it's (IMO anyway) way cooler looking than other derrick cars, and especially nicer than those strange crane cars with the too-small cabins and big toy wheel cranks on their sides...


There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is...
-Albert Einstein-

brianel_k-lineguy posted:

At one point Paul Graf of Atlas, either on this forum or elsewhere, talked about Sanda Kan dropped many train companies as their manufacturing contractor. Paul said that much of the Atlas tooling/dies were damaged in that time frame and had to be repaired and or refurbished.

At the time he did not specify the Industrial Rail dies, but one could reasonably assume that if other Atlas dies were damaged, it is not out of the question that the IR tooling/dies were also damaged.

So then comes the question, does Atlas want to invest the dollars to repair or refurbish the IR product dies? Can they make back that investment without having to raise the list prices?

If anyone remembers, when United Model Distributors - the creators of the Industrial Rail line - announced they were retiring, HobbyCo picked up the Industrial Rail line and said they were going to continue manufacturing it. What happened was HobbyCo blew out the remaining inventory, which is when the Industrial Rail cars were on sale to the public at $10-15 each.

Also if anyone remembers, there was also a lot grumbling at the time when Atlas purchased the IR dies, about how they had jacked up the prices, which was a totally unfair complaint. The Atlas list price on the IR cars was not out of line with the list prices from UMD. But people were comparing LIST prices to BLOW OUT prices from HobbyCo.

Also remember that when this happened, Jim Weaver was at the helm of Atlas O. And he had big dreams for the product line. It was during his time with the company that Atlas O brought out many new products. His passing along with the production problems that ensued after Atlas (and some 60 other companies) were dropped by Sanda Kan, probably caused some reassessment on the part of Atlas.

Again, I'm just speculating. But if other Atlas dies and tooling were damaged during the Sanda Kan move, it's not unlikely that the IR dies were also affected. So it may very well be that Atlas has deemed it's not financially worthwhile to pursue any more IR investment. But Atlas has made no statement publicly or to me personally concerning the future of the IR line. Given that what little that remains at Atlas proper, is on sale on their website, I'd say the future doesn't look too promising.

Thanks, Brian. Nice succinct summation. This is good enough for me, even if it isn't right from Atlas.

At one time Bill, I emailed Atlas but never heard back. But Paul Graf has mentioned some of the problems they've had including having to repair dies on other products. So if they had to invest tens of thousands of dollars to repair the IR dies, well one could speculate how they might not feel it is worth that money for the price point they could sell them at. But unless Atlas actually says something, it is all speculation, other than the reality there is virtually no IR product on their own website.

Atlas also recently purchased the Walther's N scale dies and is incorporating those items into the Atlas line. By the amount of new HO and N scale monthly announcements, you can see where their real market is.

There are places that still have stock of Atlas IR cars. Forum sponsor Public Delivery Truck for example:

http://www.publicdeliverytrack...ial-rail-027-trains/

http://www.publicdeliverytrack.com/train-sets/

brianel027

 

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