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  • Topic: Another one bites the dust

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    • June 7, 2020 1:45 PM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      My two cents...

       

      I am going to err on the side of hope with this one.  HLW rolling stock hit a nice niche.  They look to young eyes every bit like LGB or PIKO products that cost two to three times the price. As a case in point, in the picture below, a PIKO loco pulls a string of HLW tippers and and LGB flat.  

      To boot, the HLW products have the durability to survive a good sacking by Pharaoh's army:

       

      As we are transitioning from running trains to modeling railroads, that price took the fear out applying the knife and brush to a model in a way that I cannot yet justify on pricier brands.  However fanciful the consist, the picture below, with the HLW working caboose bringing up  the rear,  was the one that got me thinking:

      My stimulus went elsewhere, and CINCHOUSE levied a moratorium on train purchases, but, when (again, erring on the side of hope!) HLW returns to production, I sense the Triple O will get its box cars.  

       

      Whatever decision the company must make for their broader customers and for their employees, I wish them well, and I thank them for adding to our joy participating in this hobby.

       

      Eric

       

    • June 7, 2020 5:53 PM EDT
      • Denver, Colorado
         
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         I don't have a window into their situation or intentions, but I know from personally knowing a lot of galleries and frame shops that have closed recently that it kind of softens the blow when you're suspending work indefinitely, compared to "closed for good." In the gallery business, lots of owners use the less-final-sounding phrase, "We're going to online sales." It's really tough to give up on a personal or family business you love, really tough.

       

       

       

      ____________________________________

    • June 8, 2020 9:17 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      And just announced by Robbie at RLD, MTH is closing in 2021. Mike is retiring and entertaining options for the business to continue. But the current MTH will be no more in a year.

      ____________________________________

      www.cvsry.com www.cvsry.com

    • June 8, 2020 9:18 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      R.L.D. Hobbies said (on Facebook)

      Just got this from MTH

      Dear Loyal M.T.H. Customers,
      June 8, 2020 - First, on behalf of M.T.H. Electric Trains, I want to thank you for the support and encouragement you have shown my company over our 40-year journey. From humble beginnings and a lot of hard work, we were able to build one of the world's largest model train manufacturers - one unquestionably buoyed by your unwavering support.

      In particular, I am proud that M.T.H. has released more models than any train manufacturer in the history of our hobby. The variety, quality, and infusion of technology throughout our offerings allowed M.T.H. Electric Trains to help bring enjoyment to all who share our wonderful hobby.

      It is, therefore, with mixed emotions that I tell you I have decided to retire in 2021 and close the business. The last two M.T.H. catalogs, our 2020 Volume 2 O Gauge catalog, and our 2020 HO catalog and all non-delivered items from our 2020 Volume 1 O Gauge catalog, 2020 Ready-to-Run Train Set catalog, 2019-2020 S Gauge catalog, and 2019-2020 G Gauge catalog will feature the last products produced by M.T.H. Electric Trains.

      The new items featured in all these catalogs will be available beginning Summer 2020 through April 2021 and will carry our limited one-year warranty supported by our Authorized Service Center network and the M.T.H. Service Department. Upon our closing in May 2021, our ASC network will provide warranty coverage through April 2022. A list of M.T.H. Authorized Service Centers is available on the M.T.H. website and will be updated as M.T.H. Authorized Retailers join the program over the coming months.

      M.T.H. Electric Trains would not have enjoyed success without the support of the M.T.H. Authorized Retailer network. While traditional retail has changed significantly over the past decade, the independent hobby shop has been and continues to be the most important cog in our distribution chain. I truly appreciate the support and friendship these shops have shown M.T.H. I wish all of them good luck and prosperity in the years to come.

      Finally, I want to thank all of my employees for their hard work over the years. Most of them have been with me for decades and their loyalty and talents were paramount to our success.

      With thousands of tools and molds and a wealth of intellectual property, a new model railroading company may arise from my former company as I entertain various options and buyers. One scenario is a new company organized and owned by members of my current staff. Their decades of experience, work ethic, and creative talent will ensure success regardless of who owns the assets while providing a welcome bridge between the past 40 years and the future.

      The remainder of my time will be busy as we clear out inventory and other miscellaneous items accumulated over the past 40 years. As that process evolves, we’ll be offering consumer and retailer purchase opportunities

      Again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your loyal support for all these years.

      Mike Wolf, President
      M.T.H. Electric Trains

       

      ____________________________________

      www.cvsry.com www.cvsry.com

    • June 8, 2020 9:27 PM EDT
      • Kansas City, US-KS
         
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      Man,  I hope someone picks up that ruck. 

      ____________________________________

      The Rock Creek Railway runs mostly D&RGW steam era engines and rolling stock outside on 332 track.  I use NCE 10A DCC with Zimo decoders. 

    • June 15, 2020 12:11 PM EDT
      • Easton , Massachusetts
         
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      ____________________________________

       My u-tube  My Vimeo

      The light in the tunnel might not be an engine , but a light in the caboose of my own train on my Roundy Round Rail Road !    My empire is complete...I think...

    • April 25, 2021 7:18 PM EDT
      • Denton, Maryland
         
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      Well, doubt that they will be back

      Vincent D'Agostino said:

      Very sad news from H-L-W

      http://www.h-l-w.com/

       

      Looks like they either did not pay their domain renewal or just let it expire.

       

       

      ____________________________________

      Owner / Operator SilverFox Railroad

    • April 25, 2021 8:46 PM EDT
      • Roanoke, VA
         
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      Hate to see them go.  HLW were not the most detailed items among Large Scale, but detail can always be added.  As runners, they were pretty much "bullet proof."  The Big John Dunkirk geared locomotive could pull stumps.

       

       

       

       

      The shorty car kits were a bargain.  Below is my B'ar Car coupled to the Tin Cup car.

       

       

      Regards, David Meashey

    • April 26, 2021 3:28 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      David,

       

      I cannot agree with you more.  Their shorties were bargains.  They survived everything we threw at them (barbarians, pirates, banditos, Romans, etc.) and looked good doing it!  HLW went under just as I was steering the crew and myself towards more complex projects and, at the price, I didn't feel the trepidation about modifying - possibly poorly - their rolling stock. I've dabbled in E-bay can fill the gap, but the quality and price range is enormous and, with shipping, often not worth the savings.

       

      Eric 

    • April 26, 2021 7:30 AM EDT
      • Eastern Massachusetts
         
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      I really liked the shorty cars and I believe I have over 30 of them, plus 4 macks.   All HLW cars have body mounted Kadees and metal wheels, plus run on my 29 inch diameter circle.  I store these in LGB 4 foot rail boxes, easy carrying!!

       

    • April 26, 2021 9:50 AM EDT
      • Missouri, It's like Floodsburg, man
         
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      David Meashey said:

      Hate to see them go.  HLW were not the most detailed items among Large Scale, but detail can always be added.  As runners, they were pretty much "bullet proof."

      Was hoping to buy a couple of their larger electric traction items with some of the stimulus money.

      Oh well, so much for that.

      I am the kind of person where that adding detail bit is a primary attraction to the hobby.
      I am physically less able to do so than I used to be in smaller scales & HLW's products pushed a whole bunch of the right buttons for me.

    • April 26, 2021 9:53 AM EDT
      • Missouri, It's like Floodsburg, man
         
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      Dan Pierce said:

      I really liked the shorty cars and I believe I have over 30 of them, plus 4 macks.  

       

      Way back when, I had considered having the forum screen name of, The Mad Mack basher.

    • April 26, 2021 11:43 AM EDT
      • Smoggy L.A., Left Coast
         
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      The loss of the web domain is a bad sign. I hate to think it but I fear they simply let it die and will simply fade out as a large scale train maker. I hope somebody picks up the molds, but I simply don't know anymore where large scale exists in the hobby hierarchy. It seems to be alive and kicking and more alive than ever in Britain, based on the plethora of items for sale at shows, pandemic aside, if the videos posted to Youtube are anything to go by. But here we seam to be on life support. We've lost so much since 2008 it was frightening. but in the last couple years, Piko is doing well, LGB appears healthy, Bachmann is starting to open up a little. I have hope that once shows open up again we can start regenerating wider interest in the hobby.

      This post was edited by Vic Smith at April 26, 2021 11:45 AM EDT
      ____________________________________
      Have fun with your trains
    • April 26, 2021 1:19 PM EDT
      • Your Host in Littleton, MA
         
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      One of my first locomotives was a Big John Dunkirk.  That thing ran like a watch and could pull a ton of cars. I'm sort of sorry I sold it.

      ____________________________________

      Bob, your Site Host and Benevolent Dictator.

    • April 29, 2021 3:23 PM EDT
      • Warwick, RI
         
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      Win joy said:
      Vincent D'Agostino said:

      Very sad news from H-L-W

      http://www.h-l-w.com/

       

      Looks like they either did not pay their domain renewal or just let it expire.

       

      Ha, what do you know... Guess I was reading the initial statement correctly, they were done.  But what do I know.......

       

    • April 29, 2021 8:29 PM EDT
      • Maryland, USA
         
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      I've got a 4-4-0 and Big John from them, also lots of shorties and flats. Oh, and 2 doodlebugs, a drover's caboose, and a C-16 (under the Aristo name, but designed by Phil Jensen while at Delton). Delton ore and log cars... probably other stock in that whole family tree that I'm just not remembering.

       

      Gonna miss Phil at future ECLSTS's! He was always there, very friendly in a quiet kind of way. I'd ask, "Will you ever bring back the Dutchess?" He'd smile and said, "Well, maybe." It's the only old-timer 2-4-0 I've seen on the market, and the V&T had a couple of those, so I always had to ask. 

       

      Here's a great write-up of Phil's work, from Delton to Hartland. The article also sheds light on the connections between Delton, Kalamazoo, Hartland and Aristocraft.

      http://www.npcrr.com/Articles/PhilJensenStory/ThePhilJensenStory.pdf

       

       

      This post was edited by Cliff Jennings at April 29, 2021 8:36 PM EDT
    • April 30, 2021 1:54 PM EDT
      • Denton, Maryland
         
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      Cliff Jennings said:

      I've got a 4-4-0 and Big John from them, also lots of shorties and flats. Oh, and 2 doodlebugs, a drover's caboose, and a C-16 (under the Aristo name, but designed by Phil Jensen while at Delton). Delton ore and log cars... probably other stock in that whole family tree that I'm just not remembering.

       

      Gonna miss Phil at future ECLSTS's! He was always there, very friendly in a quiet kind of way. I'd ask, "Will you ever bring back the Dutchess?" He'd smile and said, "Well, maybe." It's the only old-timer 2-4-0 I've seen on the market, and the V&T had a couple of those, so I always had to ask. 

       

      Here's a great write-up of Phil's work, from Delton to Hartland. The article also sheds light on the connections between Delton, Kalamazoo, Hartland and Aristocraft.

      http://www.npcrr.com/Articles/PhilJensenStory/ThePhilJensenStory.pdf

       

       

      I enjoyed talking to Phil and Becky at the various ECLSTS that I attended.  Most of my locos are from Hartland and I had decided on several years ago that I would standardize on their offerings, as I have 3 wood burning steam locos that they offered, "The General;" "LaPort" and their Anniversary issue along with some rolling stock.  I also have a circa 1990 Aristo C-16 that came in a box marked "Delton Classics".  Becky had a great memory for remembering people at shows.  Great people.  I hope they are weathering this storm, even if H-L-W is a victim I hope their main business survives.

      ____________________________________

      Owner / Operator SilverFox Railroad

    • April 30, 2021 2:48 PM EDT
      • Shut up Rooster
         
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      I'm glad I have acquired a few HLW pieces over the years.  The Big John, Birney Trolley Mack and rolling stock.  As soon,as they went out of business I wished I had gotten the 440.  After asking around on FB I was able to acquire the General from the Atlanta show.  If course it got lost in the mail but I got my money back from insurance. 4 months later it showed up in,perfect condition.  

    • May 2, 2021 12:00 AM EDT
      • Streamwood, IL
         
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      I still have 2 black Macks, in unopened boxes sitting on the shelf, never ran.

    • May 11, 2021 10:26 PM EDT

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      I have one of their made for Disney, Lilly Belle's.  It is a joy to look at.  The paint, coal load are really nice.  Only ran it a couple times but it sits in my office and I see it every day.  

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