D. P. Associates Ltd. - Supplier of M.T.H. RailKing O gauge, Gauge 1 and HO products
[customers are respectfully asked to check our "small print" before committing to a purchase, UK residents are specifically requested to view the option on prepaying VAT]
MTH (Mike's Train House) is an American company renowned for decades or their Premier and RailKing O Gauge ranges of American railroad models. Their full catalogue covers a wide range of railway eras, prototypes and types or styles of models, for instance they still offer tinplate. More recently they have taken on Gauge 1 and HO where their manufacturing techniques and patented electronic control systems have also been very well received. A new aspect of their O gauge products are British and European locomotives produced to 1:43 scale. All MTH european items produced to date have been in their "Premier" series, there is no equivalent european "Railking" range. These european Premier line products contain, and in certain respects improve on, the levels of detail found in their recent American prototype models. The sound systems reflect the 3 or 4 cylinders of the prototype and compounding where appropriate, smoke and sound levels and a fully quillable whistle or horn come as standard, remote uncoupling may also be included. The locomotives are powered by conventional dc motors however the controlling electronics will also accept an ac supply. If you currently have a conventional resistive or variable voltage controller then you will be able to operate the locomotives with manual control over sound and smoke levels but since they also incorporate "Protosound 2", one of the best digital sound systems currently available, it would probably make sense to use one of the modern "sound compatible" controllers, MTH's DCS system being the obvious choice. A further feature of recent "Protoscale" Premier locomotives that is of real utility to those that visit other tracks is that they can easily be set for either 2-rail or 3-rail systems.
"Scale wheels" or "Hi-rail"? MTH produces most of it's O gauge european locomotives in two versions.
Hi-rail has coarse flanges suited to traditional american 3-rail track though the locomotive may be readily convertible to 2-rail (Proto-scale in MTH terminology), couplers ordinarily would be the american knuckle type (possibly remotely operated Proto-couplers) with perhaps an alternate set. Hi-rail rolling stock is assumed to be 3-rail, power pick-up for lighting would use the centre rail and would cause a short circuit on a 2-rail layout.
Scale wheels would more likely suit the more realistic 2-rail track supplied by 3rd parties such as Peco. Scale wheel locos are usually convertible to 3 rail. It pays to check the details of the particular model as to what type of couplers (if any) are supplied, operating proto-couplers may not be a factory option. Scale wheel rolling stock is assumed to be 2-rail, it will not short on 3-rail layouts but interior lighting or similar would not receive power.
The more recent locomotives with the Protosound 3 decoder can operate on analog dc or ac or under DCS digital, as per Protosound 2 products, but with the added facility of the major functions of DCC digital control. Please check this sheet for the main supported DCC commands.
If you are used to model railway catalogues that change slowly but generally continue to offer each line for a number of years then a basic description of the production and ordering system for MTH's O gauge items may be helpful. MTH decides on which prototypes to manufacture and puts them in a catalogue along with an estimated release date, generally within the next twelve months (experience has shown however that these production dates are prone to slippage, with some delays being announced just a month before the prior expected delivery date, and to be realistic one should allow for as much as 3 months delay before expecting items to be shipped). Within a relatively short time of the catalogue being issued (say 3 months) the order book is closed. This permits MTH to build to order. The production quantities of any particular model are not limited to a pre-determined amount but some are obviously going to be produced in a smaller quantity than the actual demand. It is also possible that an item will be cancelled if insufficient orders are received. If MTH decides to re-run a model this would only be expected to occur after a two year gap and the new issue would be expected to have differences to distinguish it from the original run. One might predict that some items might not be so popular as others on initial issue and in overall terms those items will eventually become much rarer. As dealers we place orders with MTH against predicted demand, obviously it helps us considerably if we know what people want before the order book closes and therefore we are offering a pre-order system with lower prices.
Items on our lists can therefore fall into into several categories of availability:
IS - In stock, AO - Available to Order, PO - Pre Order, BC - Book Closed (enquire), BG - Been and Gone, RK - RailKing Club item
Given our location we do not expect that many visitors but, if you ever are in the vicinity, by prior arrangement we would be pleased to show you what we have. We are happy to mail-order to anywhere the usual carriers can reach. If you would like to place an order then we provide a printable mail-in form, or alternatively you may place your credit/debit card order on line at our web-shop.