RailKing.Co.UK MTH RailKing O gauge Overview

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.

Any O gauge modeller who values scale fidelity will naturally be drawn to the Premier range, those that collect and appreciate the charm of tinplate also have a natural home which leaves the Railking range. For the sake of a quick but trivial comment it could be said that Railking is there for those who like to play trains but doing so does not do justice to the range. For a start there are three sub-ranges within the Railking catalogue, plain "Railking" which provides a lot of locomotive for the money and is perhaps the most rugged if handling by younger children is likely. Next comes "Railking Imperial" which improves on the level of detailing and proportions whilst still allowing operation on O-31 curvature track. Finally there is "Railking Scale" for diesels, again with an improved level of detailing and with a correctly proportioned american O gauge (1:48) body.

The majority of RailKing locomotives have the Protosound 2 DCS decoder fitted which allows either analogue or digital control. With traditional variable voltage analogue controllers a default set of sound effects is provided with steam exhaust sounds, brakes, bell and whistle. Equal attention is paid to the sound effects on the electric and diesel locomotives with appropriate running and idling effects plus start up and shut down sequences. Under digital control individual control of each facet is possible, sound effects, smoke output, lights bell and whistle/horn and (on the more recent models) locomotive controlled Protocouplers. Many of the digital effects may be operated by sending "pulse commands" with an analogue a/c controller but operation may be much easier using the dedicated controls provided with DCS controllers. Most new models that have been announced being fitted with the Protosound 3 decoder which will decode the main DCC commands as well as having the ability to operate under analogue or DCS controllers.

If DCC operation is important to you then 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 very 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 a further year's 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, RKC - 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.


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