European O gauge News
MTH has been well regarded for decades for its range of O gauge model railroad products and has been the leader in american O gauge for some time. Their finest O gauge products are in their Premier catalog and here they produce american items to the traditional 1/48 scale and european prototypes to the more correct 1/43 ratio. MTH locomotives have several features that facilitate their operation on almost any O gauge layout. Whilst the mechanical motive power is supplied by one or more dc electric motors these are connected to an internal electronic controller that will accept either ac or dc power supplied either from a traditional analog controller or via the MTH DCS digital control system. Under analog control the locomotives will provide directional lighting plus smoke and sound effects with manual volume control to each. Futher effects such as the bell or remote uncoupling may be possible by pulsing the power in coded sequences but if you want the simplest method of enjoying all the bells and whistles that are built in to the Protosound equipped locomotives you will no doubt find DCS to be the obvious choice. A further feature is that all recent premier models are readily switched between 2 or 3 rail Protoscale pick up system.
Because of the exceptionally wide range of MTH O gauge products a relatively small portion is illustrated on this site. As a full MTH dealership any item that is currently stocked at MTH or set for future production can be ordered up and, for those who chase the very limited edition "dealer" models, I am perfectly willing to order those up to the dealer limit. Please refer to the various parts of the MTH website and get in touch if you have any specific queries.
It is worth pointing out that the appearance of the production item can change (on a few occasions quite markedly) from the initial publicity and subsequent pre-production images. The most obvious examples have been with the european O gauge models, some examples of changes are given here.
UK customers please note : you now have the option of pre-paying VAT
The main news this time round is that the combination of recent large and rapid exchange rate movements, coupled to establishing an outpost in France has made me consider whether pricing everything in Sterling is sensible. Sterling certasinly seemed best when the majority of customers wanted to pay in that fashion and it was the currency that I used day to day but now I am faced with the possibility of two sets of foreign exchange conversion fees. Since MTH naturally wants to be paid in US dollars it just makes sense to sell their products in that currency, this should at least lead to numeric price stability with relatively minor exchange rate effects on postage (postage will continue to be added based on a best guess basis since I do not have the weight and volume data to automate this).
Customers in the UK (or indeed others outside the EC sales tax net) who prefer (or have) to do their own import clearance please contact me as I will still be spending time in Jersey and could post from there with pricing reduced to reflect the local sales tax.
If you see an item priced in dollars then please assume that it represents a price with VAT / TVA paid.
Following the re-jig of MTH's website and the temporary loss of links to the pages on their site this site has been altered slightly in that a "Common items" category has been added to the left hand frame. This is intended to be a repository of all those items which might be used by one or more of MTH's product ranges, such as the DCS and analogue controllers, tools and smoke oil, apparel, miscellaneous items, documents and spare parts. It has to be said that some spares are probably "product range specific" as are a number of the catalogues in the documents category. The intention from this end is that each MTH item should find a single suitable page to be listed on. I hope that you will find the rearrangement more of a blessing than a nuisance.
The first batch of Swiss Crocodiles arrived earlier this year and the second production run should now be imminent. The model is reviewed in the September issue of Continental Modeller. If you like Crocodiles then please be aware that MTH will follow on with the "teutonic" E94 in DB green and also blue versions plus Austrian OBB in Red or green. The French mikado has been announced with four green versions plus one in a black livery. If you like modern european then MTH has a modest amount of 4 wheeled and bogie rolling stock along with the Traxx and Taurus locomotives. I have a small quantity of the MTH 2013 European catalogues with german text if you prefer to browse paper rather than websites.
MTH have finally gone to print announcing the second run of LMS coaches in their 2013 catalog(ue) , the previous batch is being reissued with the addition of a "Coronation" blue livery (Phoenix Precision paints P31 if you were wondering). The second group of five Orient Express coaches has been out for a while (CM review) and they are to be joined by three sets of french coaches. The Swiss Croc is due out now.
Although I may shortly be proved wrong by any toy fair announcements I currently believe that a re-run of the LMS coaches is not imminent. As is not uncommon with MTH production schedules have over-run on several items but the second group of CIWL coaches (20-60020 , 20-60021) have now arrived and you get a brown/cream baggage, two brown/cream Pullman coaches and two blue dining cars, beware of colour schemes in previous publicity images.
A gentleman has also sent me a couple of photographs of Pullman coaches fresh out of the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon works, there was no covering letter but I think he wanted me to mention the Lion locomotive (1962 version) and gave the link http://www.birmingham-railway-carriage.com/ (which does not exist) however http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QW9-s_J53N8 may provide some coverage. I hope this mention is what he wanted, it was a bit difficult to be certain.
If you are interested in the LMS coaches then please be aware that stock is running down, the BR maroon fine scale wheel versions have now sold out (though MTH is apparently considering a re-run). The LMS maroon and the BR blood and custard scheme still being orderable, as are the coarse scale wheel versions of the BR maroon carriages (which will of course provide the body if you are prepared to replace the wheels). If you missed the first CIWL sets then please note that they have been re-run and should still be available for the moment.
Recent news on the european side is that both the Bavarian pacific and EST mountain (2-4-1 or 4-8-2 if you prefer) have started to ship as well as the LMS passenger and baggage cars that suit the Stanier LMS/BR Coronation class pacifics with a short video now provided.
Please do not take the gap in these announcements to mean that nothing has been happening with MTH's O gauge lines, rather there is so much in their american outline ranges that that there is too much to list hence I will concentrate on european aspects. The Traxx F140 electric should appear next year and it should be the first O gauge locomotive to feature the DCS/DCC compatible Protosound 3 decoder. In the meantime the various French and German steam locomotives should be nearing production, as should the initial coach sets of the Rheingold and Orient Express (though please note that the initial run of the fine scale wheel Orient set has already sold out). An extra string of passenger cars is now listed to add to the original Orient coach sets. The swiss Be 6/8 II crocodile has been announced in both green and brown, a suitable choice of prototype to enable direct comparison with other high-end brands. The GE Nohab AA16 diesel model has been cancelled. I will also mention the DCS Commander controller which has been available for some months. Although the Commander may have been aimed at those running MTH Ho equipment it has a 5 amp output capacity and thus is perfectly capable of running any individual MTH O gauge locomotive at full power (including the triplex) and can cope with two locomotive units if you can put up with either reduced smoke output or slightly less than maximum tractive effort. If you already have the TIU then the Commander provides no extra functions.
Following on from the Chapelon Pacific models produced earler this year and the already announced LMS / BR Stanier Duchess the new 2010 vol. 1 catalogue features three new european locomotives to 1/43 scale along with the expected Orient Express coaches that MTH had previously mentioned. A point that may be worth mentioning is that these locomotives will be convertible between 2 and 3-rail which will be of enormous benefit to any who have the option of running at exhibitions or when visiting clubs and friends.
If you have visited the railking.co.uk site prior to 2009 then you will be aware that the Ho and O gauge versions are based on the same format and pages as those for gauge 1. At the end of 2008 it was becoming obvious that the interest in MTH O gauge and Ho warranted sections of their own rather than just a supplementary page on the original site. It is possible that these new pages may either incorrectly refer to gauge 1 within the text or alternatively link to the corresponding page for a different scale. If so then mea culpa, please use your common sense, if you wish to point out the errors that I have made then by all means let me know and I will add them on to the list of corrections that are needed.
If you have an interest in other gauges
MTH Ho (all the benefits of MTH's electronic and production systems, just a smaller size)
MTH (and other) Gauge 1 Yes Gauge 1 is stocked.
Phone: 44 (0)1534 485113
Fax: 44 (0)1534 742046
or of course you can always try