American Outline 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 for Protosound-2 and adding DCC decoding with Protosound-3. Under analog control the locomotives will provide directional lighting plus smoke and sound effects with manual volume control to each. Further 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 pick up.

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

[ If you are interested in any of the Hornby Hobbies brands, our french companion site can supply

Hornby, Rivarossi, Jouef, Lima, Arnold, Electroten along with Scalextric, Airfix and Corgi ]

2015 vol 1 O gauge catalogue [Premier and Railking ranges]

News Update

March 2021

With the retirement of Mike Wolf only weeks away now a little more information has come out regarding the MTH product lines. As has been known for a couple of months Scale Trains has aquired the tooling for the Ho and S ranges but I now see that Atlas has bought some (but not all) of the Premier O gauge diesel locomotive, passenger and freight car tooling plus some of the O gaugue accessories and the rights to include DCS protosound-3. The tooling that they have opted for is mainly of the more modern era ( but that leaves the steam locomotives plus the remaining bulk of the american rolling stock and accessories plus all the premier european products. I am happier for the hobby in general that Atlas took them over. From what I understand Atlas do not have sole rights to DCS and from what I hear a rump form of MTH may continue on with the remaining O gauge items. I have heard nothing regarding gauge 1.

June 2020

Having just heard about Mr. Wolf's planned May 2021 retirement I am am not any wiser than the rest of you. I do know that there are plenty of best wishes and other comment within the usual forums so please get on to your favourite search engine if you want to scan through these.

March 2019
Ok, not much to say other than I am implementing a category for electric locomotives as I think that the combined diesel and electric locomotive totals were becoming rather large. I may soon start adding some french text for those that prefer to read that rather than translate.

November 2016

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 certainly 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.

June 2015

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.    

September 2014

WARNING WARNING! Right up until the end of September MTH's descriptive text for their "scale wheel" locomotives mentioned that they had operating proto-couplers and front and rear coupler operation was listed as DCC functions that would work through the Protosound 3 decoder. In fact the locomotives did not get couplers and since I have pointed this out to them MTH have "corrected" the descriptions. MTH assumes that you will be happy to source your own coupler, the scale wheel models have a relatively narrow coupler "cut-out" designed to accept Kadee products rather than the proto-coupler. I regard this as rather weird, given that the proto-coupler looks like a wide shank knuckle coupler. So if you are in the position where you fancy both scale wheels and operating couplers there is a decision to be made. For diesel and electric locomotives you might like to consider getting the Hi-rail version then converting to scale flanges either by carefully trimming the coarse flanges or buying a set of fine scale wheels as spares. For steam locomotives it might be an easier job to buy the fine scale wheeled model and then adapting the locomotive and/or tender frame to accept the protocouplers, which would also have to be obtained as spares. Most of the scale wheel locomotives have the 2-3 rail conversion ability (Proto-scale in MTH terminology) and the equivalent Hi-rail models would be expected to be 2-rail convertible as well, but please do check the MTH website pages for the features you need on a particular model.

News Update April 2011

MTH is now starting to install the Protosound 3 decoder in their new additions to their Premier range of O gauge model locomotives. Initially developed for MTH's Ho range the decoder has two major advantages. Firstly it is capable of decoding the major DCC commands as well as all the DCS signals and secondly it can receive commands on either rail. If you take your locomotives on visits to other layouts the ability to power up under either DCS, DCC or plain old analog may be a real benefit.

After some effort this site will start to list the MTH american outline products and specifically their more accurate Premier range rather than the RailKing line. Because there is no formula that can determine whether an item number refers to a European or american prototype it is possible that items will appear on the wrong list from time to time. Please also regard the prices as indicative, if there is something of interest please enquire for likely shipping date and pricing. 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. If you want a much cheaper DCS control of a single locomotive then an option is the DCS Remote Commander which comes with a short-range i/r handset. The handset is compact and consequently does not have all the individual control buttons but the major controls are there and it also has a 5 amp rating which will cover any current MTH locomotive including the gauge 1 triplex.

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 European O Gauge (British, French, German and Swiss prototypes)

MTH (and other) Gauge 1 Yes Gauge 1 is stocked.

Phone: 44 (0)1534 485113 

or of course you can always try Homepage