N Prices rising ?

Hans Nesbitt Aug 22, 2021

  1. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    Same here.

    I drove over the road from the mid 70's to the mid 90's. Point "A" to point "B"...Point "B" to point "C"...and so on through the alphabet. I got paid by mileage. If the truck wasnt moving the pay wasnt coming in. Then the feds changed the 'hours of service' rules and that killed it for me! I drove 28 day on and 3 days off and drove fewer miles. :mad::censored:

    THE WIFE was ok with me driving longhaul...until my boys became teenagers and thought they where going to be in charge....lol. So I quit over the road and drove 'local'...so I was home at nights. The boys straightened out and turned out fine.

    I miss seeing the USA from the seat of a truck :( But a guy has to do what a guy has to do.
    BNSF FAN likes this.
  2. sd90ns

    sd90ns TrainBoard Member

    I'm not a trucker but I drive I-40 a lot including early morning hours and you wouldn't believe the numbers of big-rigs parked along the shoulders of all the on and off ramps.
    Why are they there?
    Glad you asked; it is because of the new "Hours behind the wheel law" and the fact that these trucks are equipped with systems that will monitor whether a driver does or doesn't abide by that rule and if he/she doesn't, they get fined.
    So as a driver approaches his/her time limit they want to make the most of the remaining minutes or hours available, thus when they reach those final seconds there is most likely not going to be an available truck stop to stop at*.
    So he/she just pulls off at the first available off-ramp and crashes for the night.
    Now as a "Civilian" if I did that the Highway Patrol or County Mounties would order me to move along and if I didn't . . . it wouldn't go well.

    *According to one article I read, the number of rigs on the major interstates has increased by as much as 75% in just that past 10 years, meanwhile the number of new truck stops and places for them to pullover for the night has increased by apx 0.0%
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2021
    mtntrainman likes this.
  3. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

    I'm only buying Kato locomotives now, and those are generally produced for the worldwide market. I don't believe that DCC is as popular in many other countries as it is here in the USA, which is why the Kato DCC releases are all retrofits "manufactured" in one guy's shop in Illinois. Has anybody seen any evidence of Kato Japan shifting their position on this?
  4. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

    A lot more trucks on the layouts these days. On the road and on the tracks. That should keep 'm satisfied.
  5. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member


    I generally install my own decoders if they are drop in (that kinda rules out sound, but I'm generally not a big fan of the tinny sound of speakers that can fit into N scale locomotives.)

    I've been buying Kato and Atlas locomotives, since they seem to be the best quality with the selection for what I want, and have multiple options for drop in decoders. They're also what I started out with in N scale (DC) 20 years ago. Well, after an educating experience with Bachman anyway.
  6. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line TrainBoard Member

    Shouldn't this be "Model Railroad prices rising?" I seriously doubt N scale is being specifically singled out here.

    And the prices of other hobbies are rising as well, so this isn't even a model railroading-exclusive phenomenon.
  7. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

    Hi Norseman Jack, I'd say to some extent Kato has changed their stance on DCC. The very first Kato locomotives I purchased were pure hard wire if you wanted to install DCC decoders. But that was also back in the day when DCC was pretty new. From what I've seen lately from Kato, it seems all of their current releases have light boards that can be swapped out with DCC decoders.

    As for the popularity of DCC in Japan, I cannot answer that question, but I do know a few modelers in the UK. From what they've told me, DCC is very popular in the UK and Europe.

    For me personally, even though I have a small layout I'm about 95% DCC. I still have a MRC power pack and within a couple minutes I can switch over to DC operations so I can still run my older locomotives. I can fully understand the folks in the hobby that have a large home layout that is wired for DC block control and own a large number of locomotives. The cost of converting them all to DCC is over whelming. I doubt I'll ever convert my older locomotives to DCC. At this point we can only hope the manufacturers will still release DC locomotive allowing the consumer the choice of DC or the consumers choice of DCC or DCC + Sound decoders.
    mtntrainman likes this.
  8. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

    I agree Metro Red Line, like I said in a earlier post, nothing ever gets less expensive. It's just the way of the world. Back when I was in Jr. & Sr. High School my other hobby was building model kits from companies like AMT and ERTL. Back then the kits were in the $15 to $20 price range. The same kits today are selling in the $45 to $60 price range and the sad part is many of those kits are being re-popped with molds that were created in the 1970's.
    in2tech likes this.
  9. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

    That's probably more appropriate, but it wouldn't surprise me if N scale prices were rising more quickly than for the overall model railroading market.

    A few years ago, the then editor of MRR magazine opined in his column that, if the market for any scale in model railroading was growing, it was N scale. Funny how that does not appear to have altered the mix of their content much...

    And it makes some sense, because N scale fits in far more available spaces than other scales (except Z). But even if so, N has a ways to go before catching HO.
  10. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

    It's certainly good business for Kato to make "DCC ready" locomotives, which is what their factory has been doing for a long time. Even their non-sound DCC releases are retrofits after the units leave the factory. I don't doubt that DCC has popularity in some places outside of the US. My comment was not specific to Japan, just the rest of the world outside of the USA. That said, certainly Kato has close to a monopoly in the Japan market and likely many other worldwide markets, particularly those with more restrictive living quarters where small temporary layouts are the norm. After downsizing in 2019, I'm in that same basic situation. I no longer have a permanent layout, and even when I did it was pretty simple with little operational need for DCC. I did buy a nice wireless NCE system and convert a few locomotives just to experience it. Ultimately, I sold off the DCC system and used decoders and just reverted to DC.

    For temporary layouts, I use the Kato Sound Box:

    N + HO-Gauge UNITRACK - KATO USA : Precision Railroad Models

    and Smart Controller:

    N-Gauge UNITRACK - KATO USA : Precision Railroad Models

    which are truly impressive items from a technology perspective. They are rarely discussed here, as they are somewhat of the antithesis to the widely embraced DCC. For painless wireless control and sound, they're hard to beat. Unlike locomotive mounted DCC sound units, the Kato sound box sound can be easily routed through any sound system, including the nicest subwoofer you can find. Bass is non-directional, so it really doesn't matter if that throaty prime mover is coming from a sub-woofer in the corner or a micro-speaker in a DCC locomotive. I don't need to tell you which is more impressive. :cool:

    Also, wireless blue-tooth headphones are another option with the Kato Sound Box for operation without an audience (or when not wanting to bother the neighbor or, even more important, the DW in the next room).
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2021
  11. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

    Reminds me of JMRI's Virtual Sound Decoder, which can coordinate specific locomotive sounds with up to 4 different locomotives running simultaneously.
  12. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

    :LOL: That fits my situation to a tee. ;)
  13. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Agree on both above comments.

    OTOH- Prices for the common flat screen TV have fallen through the floor. Mass production helping to make them affordable to great numbers of potential buyers. I can only wonder if the hobby might expand if this were again possible.... I say again as this was how it ran just a few decades ago. As it is going, (higher prices and what is becoming extreme limited availability), leads simply to an eventual, fast approaching, point of collapse.

    I have not bought anything in N scale for a few years now. Prices for one reason. Not making anything I can use for another, the primary point. I have been concentrating on another scale which is actually a bit cheaper in some aspects. And actually enjoying it more.
  14. Bourkinafasso

    Bourkinafasso TrainBoard Member

    Well.... looking at this discussion from across the Atlantic, I have a slightly different perspective.

    If I base the price of models into my own currency (swiss franc) prices haven't changed that much.
    20 years ago, the price of the USD on the exchange market was much higher than these days.
    So yes a boxcar was 10-15 usd and it is now 25-30 usd. But the money I used to spend before and now hasn't doubled at all.

    On the other hand, the quality of the details, the different car numbers and variety of schemes and RR companies are reasonable reasons to pay "a bit more".

    Finally, when I compare the overall quality and price 20 years ago and today. I found it more pleasant to spend my money now than before.

    Take care folks


    Envoyé de mon SM-G970F en utilisant Tapatalk
    freddy_fo likes this.
  15. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    Folks might be able to pick something up from us 'de-accumulators'. Might have to replace the couplers or trucks.
    BigJake and mtntrainman like this.
  16. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

    Scale Trains had a discussion of prices in their newsletter this week. They mentioned that container shipping cost has tripled, when you can get one, and that prices they were originally quoted for items were raised after they placed the order. The net of it is that although they are absorbing some of the cost increases they can't take it all on-- so MSRPs are going up.

    I checked and this discussion is not on their website. Unfortunately, I already deleted the e-mail.
  17. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

    Here's a cut and paste from their email that George mentioned above.

    Since we started our company seven years ago, we’ve been open and honest about the inner workings of the model railroad business. In continuing with this effort, we’d like to share a few insights into unexpected market changes we’ve experienced over the past several months.

    Since March, international transportation costs for containers have tripled due to extremely limited vessel space. At the same time, transit times have increased from 5-weeks to 10-weeks and sometimes longer.

    We’ve also been experiencing product and component price increases after we have received customer preorders and placed purchase orders for several models. This is mainly due to raw material shortages.

    We’ve absorbed these costs and have no plans to increase prices for existing preorders.

    We’re continuing to experience larger than usual price changes for our monthly announcements. When this is coupled with higher inbound shipping and component costs, the percentage increase is into the double digits.

    To make the math easy, let’s say our total unit cost has increased by 10% over the past six months (it’s actually more). This means the selling price for a Rivet Counter Gunderson 5188 Covered Hopper should increase by $4.50 to $49.49. We know this is not welcome news so we’re sharing the cost by only increasing our selling price by $3.

    This will impact our selling price for locomotives as well. A 10% price increase for a Rivet Counter DCC & Sound locomotive currently selling for $274.99 would add $27.50. We will share a portion of the increase which will likely result in a $15 price change.

    Some companies would pass along the full amount and often more. In keeping with one of our guiding principles, we always strive to provide the best value possible while continually investing in all-new models, services, and more.

    No one enjoys price increases including us. Unfortunately, we expect higher than usual price changes for the next several months due to continued market challenges. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We truly appreciate your understanding, support, and business.
    umtrr-author likes this.

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