The first TrainBoard special run (Missouri-Illinois boxcar) launched our new site SpecialRuns.com. All model railroaders have a common interest in seeing new products released into the marketplace. An example of this is our first special run. The Missouri-Illinois boxcar is from a short line and there is little chance that it would have ever been brought into existence without the interest that was generated here. Some manufacturers take pre-orders for announced releases and if the interest in the product does not exist, the product run is cancelled. This project will essentially allow us to do the same thing. Please read the following FAQ for information on how this will work: How do I suggest a special run? In the Special Runs Forum, you may start a new topic suggesting your idea for a special run. While there is no prohibition on posting multiple threads (suggestions), please refrain from posting multiple threads on a whim. You may have several ideas for a special run and it is fine to post them, but each idea should be well thought out and should be presented as a solid proposal. In other words, don't just throw suggestions out without doing some research. The more complete your proposal, the better chance you will have of people paying attention to it. What scale(s) can the special run(s) be? All model scales in which products are commercially manufactured are possible. What should I put in a post if I make a proposal? You will begin by using a dropdown menu to choose the scale. Scales G through Z will be available. The thread title should give an accurate description of your proposal. Example: New York Central 40' Boxcar You may (in your proposal) suggest colors, road numbers, details, etc. Please do not suggest manufacturers or prices (see below). If you have comments or suggestions of this nature, please contact us privately to discuss any thoughts you may have. You should include as much information as possible regarding your proposal. Links to a prototype photo are allowed. Do not upload or embed the actual photo unless you have permission to do so. If you do not have permission to use the photo(s) post only a link to another web site where the photo(s) is/are posted. What happens after I suggest a special run? Others will read your proposal and if they are interested will claim a number; for example, “I’m number 47.” If the numbers reach appropriate levels your suggestion will be promoted to project status and will be given a number (i.e. Special Run #005). Once a project reaches this level, it will be posted on SpecialRuns.com and we will start taking pre-orders. For example, a member proposes a Z Scale Boston, Bugtustle and Beyond boxcar. A photo of the prototype is available on another web site and a link is posted to that site so that people can see it. Members like the idea and 75 people post that they would purchase one. We will get quotes (probably) from a manufacturer (or manufacturers) and post a price. If interest in the project continues, we would begin taking orders. Likewise, a member proposes an HO Scale Washington, Wichita and Western caboose. Only 8 people show any interest and in a few months the thread is deleted for lack of interest. If I have a suggestion, do I suggest the manufacturer or price? No. If it appears that there is sufficient interest in your proposal to bring it to fruition, TrainBoard will work either work with a single manufacturer, or get quotes from multiple manufacturers in regard to the project. We will work with high-quality manufacturers only and will not offer any junk. Do I have to pay anything? No. TrainBoard.com/SpecialRuns.com will finance, sell, and ship all products. This system is designed to gauge interest in potential projects that will appeal to the masses. Your only job is to brew ideas. How may special runs can be going at a time? There is no limit. If people are interested in purchasing products, we will do everything possible to provide them. We can have special runs in multiple scales going and more than one in any given scale. At times we might have three or four projects going at once, and at other times we may not be selling any products. How do I let people outside of TrainBoard know about my proposed special run(s)? Please don’t post on any forums which would consider it spam. However, you may post on other forums if they allow it. As well, you should contact any historical society or modeling group that might be interested in the run you proposed. If you proposed a Frisco boxcar then Frisco modelers would likely be interested. What kind of pricing will items have? Each special run will be evaluated for pricing in order to offer a fair price. A price will be announced, as well as shipping charges, and orders will be accepted at that time. Prices will be reasonable compared to production cost. International customers will be charged additional postage. We will reserve the right to refuse any order(s). What if an announced run is cancelled? If a special run is announced and is at the point where orders/payments are being received, it is highly unlikely that it would be cancelled. If it appeared that there was sufficient support for a project but orders simply don't come in after being announced, the run could be cancelled. Or, if a manufacturer became unable to fulfill the order for some reason, then it could be cancelled. If any run is cancelled after being announced, all payments received would immediately be refunded. We will never use payments received to finance a project. All projects will be financed with funds on hand, meaing that we would always have the funds available to refund orders which could not be delivered. What if I have questions or comments not addressed here? These guidelines are intended to give an overview of this project. We will not be greatly different than any of the people who regularly offer special run products. The major difference is that you folks will have great input in deciding what products will be offered. For many people this will be exciting because if you can round up support for your idea, you will have been responsible for the introduction of a product into the marketplace. If you have additional questions, do not understand something, or are unsure if you should post a proposal, please contact us for guidance. Manufacturers. We hope that manufacturers will take interest in the posts here. If any manufacturer would like to work with us on any project(s), we welcome their participation. The people who participate in this process (on TrainBoard) are a known customer base for manufacturers and we welcome the partnership between customers, TrainBoard, and manufacturers in this endeavor.