Guess I'm not going to buy any more Scaletrains

greatdrivermiles Aug 14, 2018

  1. bkloss

    bkloss TrainBoard Supporter

    I've been an active contributor to all of my loco manufactures of choice for 40+ years and my buying habits have never changed (in quantities ordered).
    I still have a boatload of ancient shelf queens which were purchased 30+ years ago in DC. I LOVE this hobby but I might have lost interest if it were not for DCC and the capabilities it has brought to me and my layout. I have a Midwest based, freelanced, layout that runs primarily BNSF, SF, BN, CNW, a (little)UP and others depending upon what era I feel like jumping into...… I primarily run 2-3 locos on the head end; it wouldn't change if I was DC guy.

    I'd never and have never bought dozens of locos at a time......I have a very sizeable fleet. My thoughts are that I can make my locos run so much better with the decoder capabilities. I have specific favorites of loco manufactures as well as dcc manufactures. With Scale Trains; I have purchased a DC loco and easily added DCC (with a plugin daughterboard) and I have also taken one of their DC locos and added the DCC and sound daughterboard along with adding a speaker to give me a fully DCC/sound loco. It doesn't get much easier but the point is that you can purchase what you want from a variety of manufacturers. I actually purchase more because the quality and details being offered is so much better than what I could get...say 20 years ago - DC or DCC+.

    I'm sure KATO does just fine with their DC locos that can easily be upgraded to DCC. They too offer a DCC option as well as the KOBO sound enhancement - probably to add additional $$$ that they thought they were losing out on.

    Finally, there are still many fantastic DC layouts that more than satisfy the needs of their owners/operators. I see all this as a win/win for everybody because their are many options. It is up to all of us, including the manufacturers, to get the younger population exposed to this great hobby so that we can increase the number of people engaged in this great hobby of ours.

    Atlas 080 and jpwisc like this.
  2. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

    Honestly, if it hadn’t been for DCC I would have never come back to the hobby. DC tech is obsolete in my eyes. Block control wiring kills the prototype feel for me. And DC isn’t selling as much anymore. A couple of manufacturers have pointed out they are selling out of DCC/Sound engines and the DC versions sit unsold (even though they make half as many DC as they do DCC/Sound.
    EMD F7A likes this.
  3. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    RAVENNA, Ky. — The three-day move of the 2-8-4 “Kanawha” from Kentucky Railway Museum in New Haven, Ky. to Kentucky Steam Heritage Corp.’s headquarters in Ravenna was completed Sunday afternoon ...… Kentucky Steam Heritage plans to restore the locomotive to running order and have it as its centerpiece for a large multi-purpose economic development and education project. <Snip>

    Model railroad manufacturer ScaleTrains presented Kentucky Steam with a check for $6,000, a donation from the proceeds for the sale of the company’s HO and N scale models of CSX 3440, which has been dubbed “The Spirit of Ravenna” and wears the Kentucky Steam logo. <Snip> [End]

    I have no knowledge about the issues discussed in this thread, but I think it's great that Scaletrains presented this significant gift to Kentucky Steam Heritage. Profits aren't fat in the model railroad business, making this donation even more meaningful.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
    Rich_S and BoxcabE50 like this.
  4. Jim Reising

    Jim Reising TrainBoard Member

    They also made a substantial donation to Illinois Railway Museum for sales of their GTEL turbine. IRM has #18 IIRC, and ST used it for measurement...And I'm in their corner. They produce an excellent product (except for those (^^#$*) couplers...).
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  5. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    To Scale Trains:
    An idea for you guys to throw around before deciding on a new mold to tool for. On your website put a forum or poll giving us modelers a choice or to allow us to inform you of our desires. I mainly model passenger rail... That being said I am very limited in where I can get my equipment (mainly Kato) and would like to have other options. I doubt I am the only one with this interest, but how will you guys (the manufacturers) know who is interested in what. Right now I would love to get my hands on a couple models an Amtrak Acela set (not the overpriced and under-performing Bachmann), I would love to have some Bombardier bi-level commuter cars (Sounder, New Mexico Rail Runner, Go, Metra, CalTrans and maybe a undecorated offering) and the MP36DC engines in the said schemes. Having some options for other eras as well would be great. When I modeled HO, I had plenty of different offerings from many manufacturers. I switched to N scale due to the scale's size and that meant that I could run more realistic looking trains with nice long drags of long cars. So, if you want to know what will sell, and what people want... just ask.
    Atlas 080 likes this.
  6. Atlas 080

    Atlas 080 TrainBoard Member

    I buy a lot more silent DCC because, to me, the sound is a distraction. One loco on the head end w/ sound is sufficient to get the idea of sound rather than 3 locos all sounding simultaneously. Too much sound at to high of a volume is just noise. Typically, the normal mechanical sound produced starts to overtake the reproduced loco sounds anyway. I too like sound to be more to scale, I do not like hearing a loco from 20 feet away like it is 2 feet away. It seems toyish to me.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
  7. jpf94

    jpf94 TrainBoard Member

    ScaleTrains brought out a neat car in the Carbon Black car and it was a needed model for those of us who knew and understood where they are used often. Most modelers don't know their primary market. The carbon black car is a specialty car and rarely travels in more then 1-3 cars at a time, how many did ScaleTrains expect to sell? The other issue for me personally is the cost versus details. Yes we can make superbly detailed models, yet I've found many of those details in the package after I took out the car. In many cases I don't see I missed it until I'm putting the car back. I can not justify the cost of the carbon black cars after seeing them at the St Louis RPM. The trucks were stiff, the details were amazing, but become lost on the 3 cars I do have. No one can really tell what's missing in ops sessions anyway, although because of the poor performance of the trucks, these cars are strictly run through mainline cars, they don't switch well at all. ScaleTrains performance in N scale is their own doing, clearly they have not listened to the market if their sales are disappointing, it could be THEIR decision on products to offer.
  8. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

    I don't think anyone would argue that DCC isn't more capable than DC. But consider the impact of this type of statement on the cost of entry for a newbie who is considering getting started in the hobby.
    A good used DC controller can be had on eBay for $20; a new Atlas/Kato loco will run around $80. Along with some track, wiring, maybe a turnout or two, and 5 $20 cars, he can get started on a small DC layout and have a train running for about $400.
    OTOH a power cab is $160 and a DCC loco is $200, adding a couple hundred to the cost, or $600 just to run a DCC train around in a loop. Ouch. One might also get the impression, given all the traffic that DCC issues get on these forums, that DCC is problem-prone. Surely this has convinced some to look elsewhere for entertainment.
    BoxcabE50 likes this.
  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Yours is an interesting thought, which I cannot find any way to disagree. The higher the cost of entry, let alone continued participation, cannot be dismissed.

    I am still operating strictly DC. I still greatly enjoy the old fashioned block systems. They are rock solid. That being said, I have participated in operations, using DCC. Several different systems, (including Lenz, Digitrax, NCE), N, On30 and HO scale layouts. It is nice, no doubt. But I simply do not need it, nor can I afford it.
  10. bman

    bman TrainBoard Member

    A DCC locomotive with sound is $200. DCC locos are usually around $100-140 depending on where you get them. But yes, DC is the cheapest and easiest way to get started into the hobby. And today's DC locomotives are easily converted to DCC(normally) with a $25-30 decoder. So when one is ready to take the next step in the hobby their existing equipment can be upgraded as well. Unless one is like me and has a fleet of DC locomotives. I'll most likely never get them all converted to DCC unless I hit the lottery.
  11. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    *Oppppssss...wrong thread...LOL *
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  12. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

    The carbon black car is a specialty car and rarely travels in more then 1-3 cars at a time, how many did ScaleTrains expect to sell?

    I must disagree with you. Just about 5 days ago, I was driving past the BNSF (ex-ATSF) North Yard in Wichita. There were, in real life, a half dozen carbon black cars. I have occasion to drive there several times a week, and it is not unusual to see a half dozen of these cars.

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