MTH standard gauge and O gauge Tinplate 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. Whilst their most detailed O gauge products are in their Premier catalog they have not forgotten those that favor the charm and rugged strength of tinplate. Those in Britain of a certain age may well remember Hornby O gauge or perhaps even Bing and Basset-Lowke whilst in America it was the Likes of Lionel, Ives and American Flyer that were the main brands in the shops. MTH produces exacting replicas of the traditional tinplate designs using a number of traditional and modern manufacturing techniques and with modern paint finishes.

Each locomotive model is available in two versions, firstly there is the traditional model which will duplicate the original control mechanism and will operate with the controllers traditionally used with original models. Secondly there is the version equipped with a Protosound 2 controller. The Protosound electronics can operate either under traditional variable voltage, which will enable a default set of sound effects and smoke, or under DCS digital control which will enable simultaneous individual control of all Protosound locomotives.

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 ]

2014 Lionel catalogue
2014 Tinplate parts guide

News Update

October 2021

The situation with MTH seems to be stabilising. As mentioned on other pages the Ho and S gauge ranges have been sold to Scale Trains, along with a licence to use Protosound 3. A portion of more modern era O gauge rolling stock was sold to Atlas and more recently some other O gauge items have been sold to Lionel (I'm not sure which). Whilst I would prefer that the MTH designs not be watered in to the Lionel range I do understand that this is one of the ways that Mr. Wolf can convert his financial interest in MTH to cash. From what MTH has mentioned recently some 80% of the total historic MTH O gauge product designs and tooling now remains with MTH. The gauge 1 product line has apparently not been shelved, for which I am grateful, but there were no hints as to new products. I have heard precious little regarding the tinplate ranges, it might make sense if Lionel picked those up. The development of DCS is with the originators of the system in their enclave in Michigan. The spares department has been given a complete overhaul and spare parts can be ordered from, Mike Reagan has been powering through a massive task to rationalise the ordering system by determining which parts (such as motors) are common between several models and updating the code numbers on the exploded diagrams. The spares department should only be contacted by email. The heavyweight paper catalog(ue)s are probably a thing of the past, there will be new offerings made via the various email newsletters that you can subscribe to and the quantity per year will probably be halved from the six hundred or so new items that was the usual crop.

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 gauge 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 either gauge 1 or tinplate

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.

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 all 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.    

June 2011

The O gauge Hiawatha has now been produced in both Milwaukee and Lionel paint schemes.

March 2011

The O gauge Lionel 255E 2-4-2 locomotive has started to ship.

December 2010

After some effort this site will start to list the MTH tinplate models and accesories. Where prices are mentioned please regard them as indicative, if there is something of interest please enquire for likely shipping date and pricing.

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 North American O Gauge (MTH Premier range)

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
Fax: 44 (0)1534 742046 

or of course you can always try Homepage