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News: Company Announcements

This page lists announcements related to company-level information, such as new companies that have been formed, existing companies that are closing-up shop, ownership transfers of companies, or any other such information. Click photos to visit the web sites.

July 28, 2021

New M.T.H. Parts Site Update by MTH Electric Trains

The company makes this announcement:

M.T.H. Parts and Sales LLC is one of M.T.H.'s three new spinoffs and will promote and process all parts sales exclusively through an all-new parts site. M.T.H. Electric Trains' R&D Division will continue developing DCS and other electronic products on its own in the satellite location it has occupied in Western Michigan for the past 24 years, while M.T.H. Electric Trains will be operating alongside the parts company in the smaller Elkridge, Maryland facility. The train company will continue to market and produce new model train products, including select RailKing and Premier O gauge models and occasional production of RailKing One Gauge G Scale models.

Initially, we had hoped that the new parts site would be live in July to coincide with the conclusion of the monumental task of the inventorying and stocking of parts in more than 38,000 locations in the new facility. Unfortunately, that work continues even now alongside the continued testing of the new website, forcing us to push back a formal rollout until later this Summer.

While we understand the disruption of parts sales is a frustrating interruption for many of our Authorized Service Centers, M.T.H. Authorized Retailers, and consumers (and for us too!), we are asking for continued patience in awaiting the rollout. The good news is that the new site will allow you access to our entire parts inventory, with a powerful search engine to drill down to the parts you need. We're including new exploded view diagrams for a wide array of products alongside access to operator manuals, sound files, and more! This effort has been in motion for the last year in preparation for this summer's launch.

The previous "face" of M.T.H. parts, Midge Wilburn, has officially retired and is now spending some well-deserved time with her family after decades of valued service at M.T.H. Electric Trains. The new parts site has been designed to allow everyone complete access to all of our service parts, so with just a tiny bit of effort, you can find the parts you need with just a few keystrokes! We'll even have some short tutorial videos to help guide your experience as there are no M.T.H. Sales or Parts customer service agents available at M.T.H. Parts and Sales or at M.T.H. Electric Trains.

Finally, as a reminder, M.T.H. implemented a new warranty policy in May 2021 directing ALL warranty repairs, exchanges and refunds to be processed through the M.T.H. Authorized Retailer from which the product was purchased or by any M.T.H. Authorized Service Center. M.T.H. Electric Trains will NOT accept any repairs at its Elkridge, MD facility. Any products that do arrive for service will be returned unrepaired.

July 22, 2021

North Yard Ownership Change

North Yard Model Railway Parts, the New Zealand-based company that produces a number of key parts for our modeling efforts, has changed ownership. The change was effective July 9th, 2021, as posted by, now former, owners Rodger & Christina Cullen. The couple will continue to operate their other company, South Dock Models, which produces, among others, Sn42 kits. The name of the new owner(s) is not mentioned on the company's web site.

July 07, 2021

Updates by Port Lines Hobby Supply

Doug Peck reports that he will be closed from August 23 through 31, 2021. He only mans the phone on Thursdays between 2pm and 5pm (Eastern U.S. time).

He no longer offers direct online sales using PayPal, but rather he will invoice you after you place your order, so that you can pay that invoice using your PayPal account.

He continues to encourage people to NOT send him repair work until at least September, as he is still backlogged.

Port Lines now has re-production A.F. parts in stock (see the photos).

Here's a listing of other new items Doug has in stock:
a) Tom Barker's book "Roundhouse" A Collection of all his S-Gaugian Repair Columns, revisited and updated.
b) Knuckle Coupler Extension bracket for EP-5 diesels
c) Motor-Mount Bracket for Rocket Sled & Trk Mntnce Car
d) Lamp Socket & Bracket for Billboard Whistle lights
e) Northern cast steamchests, painted black
f) 951 AFL / REA dry-transfer white lettering
g) 332 & 336 white cab number decals.
h) AF, AFL, NYC, & PENNSYLVANIA white tender decals.
i) Socket with bulb (or LED) for SAM the Semaphore Man
j) Bulb clip for 21004-21005, & HO, boiler fronts.
k) Plunger & Rod for 969 & 25045 Rocket Launchers
l) GABE mounted on ladder bracket.
m) Single-axle Quartering tool with optional 0-8-0 plates.
n) Leather wrap for prewar Chugger plunger.
o) NEW 690 and 707 Track Clips !
p) 596 Water Tower springs, and operating mechanism. (no coil).
q) Plated drawbars for Gilbert 3/16 Prewar engines.
r) The internal Activating Wires for all AF Crossing Gates.
s) The 761 Semaphore arm , mounting screw, and guide-pin.
t) The S-283 mounting screw for the 761 Semaphore arm.
u) 3/16 O-gauge pickup shoe on fiber strap for tenders and action cars.
v) Silver castings clip to sheet-metal link-coupler truck sides, to resemble roller-bearing trucks.

June 19, 2021

MTH's Transition Plans

MTH moved to Elkridge, MD, into a smaller facility. The linked-to page explains more of the details of how the company is changing, and who bought out parts of their product line. Remember ScaleTrains.com bought out their S-scale product line (the former S-Helper Service product line) and tooling.

May 22, 2021

Price Increases by B.T.S.

Bill Wade announced that the raw materials he has to buy to produce his kits have been steadily going up in price. He is giving us a couple of weeks' notice before he has to apply price increases to his products. If you have been eyeing something, now is the time.

April 20, 2021

Non-S News

MTH announces that Atlas has bought their O-scale tooling, as well as the RailKing O accessories (presumably that includes the figures collection that many of us are using in S as a cheap option to populate our layouts and passenger cars with affordable figures), and the Proto-Sound 3 system, with the right to sell the DCS components.

April 06, 2021

Etched-brass Kits, Parts, Details by Mark's Model Works

Recently-discovered New Zealand manufacturer makes a variety of unique etched-brass kits and parts that can be used by those not necessarily modeling the New Zealand Railways. Most of the products listed on their web site are available in S. Be sure to check out their web site's Gallery page for some very impressive modeling.

April 06, 2021

ZYX Creative

This company manufactures a wide variety of products. They primarily focus on HO-scale, but they state that they can produce anything you see in S-scale.

March 30, 2021

Updates by Port Lines Hobby Supply

He also mentioned that he will no longer allow direct purchases via PayPal, but rather he will send you a PayPal invoice, if you so request, for the final total when your order is ready to be shipped. Therefore, note that there may be some time between when you request a PayPal invoice and Doug actually gets around to processing your order and invoicing you. When you do receive your PayPal invoice, you can then pay as you would normally do when using PayPal.

He requests that you hold off on sending him any more repair work, as he has quite a backlog as of now.

Doug notifies us that American Models has re-run their NH and NYC heavyweight passenger car sets and these are available to order or purchase now (see the first two photos).

He mentioned that all of the promised diesel locomotives that MTH was going to manufacture from their 2019 catalog have now been delivered. Doug is currently shipping the pre-orders he has received (some may be delayed until after his vacation). MTH informed Doug that they have delivered all the S-scale products they were going to deliver (the EVC cabooses had previously already been canceled, and the S-TRAX system speculated re-run was never started). This means that no more MTH/SHS track components are available for the time-being, other than what retailers such as Doug have on hand.

Doug announces the availability of the following AF reproduction items:
- the leather piston rim for the chugger mechanism in some prewar O-gauge tenders
- brass handrail sets for the Franklin and Washington engines
- the smoke worm gear and smoke piston lever for the Franklin and Washington engines
- the Single-Axle Quartering Tool for any standard S-gauge steam engine, plus optional substitute plates for 0-8-0 use (see third photo)
- plated drawbars for all prewar Gilbert engines
- water-decals for most AF "S" tenders, for use instead of dry-transfers
- "332" and "336" cab number water-decals for those Northerns.

March 22, 2021

Have Your Parts Printed by Smoky Mountain Model Works

Jim King offered to print anyone's .stl or .obj CAD-designed files on his Form3 SLA printer, if possible. Contact him to start the conversation. Click to send an e-mail.

March 13, 2021

John Wickham Turnouts

John Wickham hand-makes S-scale turnouts using the Fast Tracks jigs. John does this on a part-time basis, so expect delays, although he does carry an inventory. He also makes HO-scale turnouts, so be sure to ask for S-scale ones. Contact him for current pricing. No web site. Click to send an e-mail.

March 01, 2021

Caboose Hobbies Closed

From Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine:
Caboose Hobbies, the one-time model railroad retail giant in Denver, Colorado, has permanently shut its doors. Caboose Hobbies was established in Denver in 1938 by Glen Brazelton. His son Duane Miller took over in 1969 and built the family business into a world famous model railroad hobby store. After efforts to renew their lease at 500 S. Broadway failed, family members decided in 2016 that it was time to sell the business and retire. Kevin Ruble purchased Caboose Hobbies and reopened at 10800 W. Alameda Avenue in nearby Lakewood in February 2017 as Caboose. The new operation in Lakewood struggled to regain the service level and sales momentum of the original. Government lockdowns pretty much put the final nail in the coffin.

Their web site has been down for at least about 6 months.

February 25, 2021

CatzPaw Innovations on Vacation

CatzPaw Innovations announced that they will be on vacation from March 3, 2021 until April 16, 2021. Orders can be placed while they are out, but they won't be shipped until they return.

February 18, 2021

Former Grandt Line Update by San Juan Model Co.

Someone who works with the San Juan Model company mentioned that the company now has all of the former Grandt Line products in production. They may not all be listed on their web site, but you can contact them if you know what you are looking for. They are not allowed to use the Grandt Line name anymore, so the division is now called "San Juan Details". The link here takes you to their S-scale parts page.

February 13, 2021

ScaleTrains.com Q&A Video by ScaleTrains.com

Shane Wilson, President of ScaleTrains.com, answered a number of customer questions on a live video that is now available on YouTube. Send your request for your favorite engine or car to ideas@scaletrains.com (be sure to mention S-scale). Shane mentioned that they are planning on first doing an S-scale freight car, then later maybe an engine, and only if things go well, later a new product.

January 31, 2021

ScaleTrains.com Buys MTH Tooling

ScaleTrains.com, Inc., a leading manufacturer of HO- and N-scale model trains, announced the acquisition of M.T.H. Electric Trains HO-scale and S-scale tooling assets. From their press report:

"MTH is recognized as a leading manufacturer of HO scale steam locomotives. The purchase of MTH's HO products also allows us to broaden our product line into passenger cars, track, and more. We believe there is an opportunity to grow the S market as well." said Shane Wilson, President of ScaleTrains.com.

The acquisition includes steam and diesel locomotives, freight cars, and track in both scales. The HO tooling also includes turbine and electric locomotives, subway sets, passenger cars, and more. Engineering schematics for several all-new steam era HO projects were also received as part of the agreement.

"ScaleTrains.com has a great reputation in the industry and the M.T.H. HO tooling will make a great addition to their already impressive HO lineup." Stated Mike Wolf, President of M.T.H. Electric Trains. "S Gauge fans will find the ScaleTrains.com team loaded with talent and model railroading experience."

Both scales are being melded into ScaleTrains.com umbrella of brands including Rivet Counter. Several molds have been transferred to the ScaleTrains.com factory and testing is already underway. Over the next few months design will begin to convert the models to accept the ScaleTrains.com motor and change to ESU-LokSound electronics including DCC and sound. The first models are expected to be available in 2022.

ScaleTrains.com is making significant investments in infrastructure to better service more brick-and-mortar retailers in the future. Although ScaleTrains.com is currently not accepting new retailers, dealers are welcome to send their contact information to retailers@scaletrains.com in anticipation of opening new brick-and-mortar accounts within the next year.

M.T.H. Electric Trains will fulfill all outstanding customer HO and S Scale preorders. In addition, service and support for products sold by M.T.H. Electric Trains will be serviced by the current M.T.H. Authorized Service Center network. This includes part sales.

Products manufactured by ScaleTrains.com will be serviced by Product Support in Benton, TN.

For additional information, please contact Hollie Smith at Hollie@ScaleTrains.com.

Update: ScaleTrains president Shane Wilson posted that they have no plans to extensively rework the MTH tooling. However, if errors are detected and they require major rework, they have learned through experience that is it cheaper and faster to start from scratch rather than rework the tooling.

Update: From the MTH weekly newsletter:

"M.T.H. Electric Trains has announced that it has sold its S Gauge tooling and molds to Scale Trains.com as part of its divestiture of tooling assets as the company prepares to shut down operations later in 2021 on the heels of M.T.H. President Mike Wolf's retirement.

Wolf and ScaleTrains.com president Shane Wilson negotiated the deal over the course of the Fall of 2020, cementing the final points in late December. "I've known Shane for years from his time at Horizon Hobby and I'm confident he and his team will be great stewards of the tooling moving forward", Wolf said. He added, "Shane and his team were great to work with throughout the negotiations. ScaleTrains.com has a great reputation in the industry and S Gauge fans will find the ScaleTrains team loaded with talent and model railroading experience and I'm sure they're excited about moving into such a historical segment of the model railroading hobby."

The tooling sale includes no inventory or parts sales to ScaleTrains and any promoted but not yet delivered M.T.H. S Gauge items featured in the 2019-2020 S Gauge catalogs still need to be released over the course of the next few months. Product support and parts sales for M.T.H. S Gauge items will continue to be handled by the M.T.H. Authorized Service Center network.

The remaining S-scale inventory is still available to order from your local M.T.H. Authorized Retailer. They can also be ordered directly from M.T.H. by calling the M.T.H. Sales Department at 410-381-2580 or by visiting the M.T.H. website."

January 21, 2021

The Model Dockyard Closes

The company closed on January 5, 2021. They manufactured several S-scale boat-related parts.

January 10, 2021

Updates by Port Lines Hobby Supply

Doug Peck reports that MTH estimates that their 2019-catalog locomotives are scheduled to arrive in February and March, and their cabooses in April. Their track components are also going to be shipped, but they offered no dates.

Doug has received the new Lionel ES44AC Legacy locomotives, and that their new heavyweight passengers cars are due to arrive soon.

January 05, 2021

Fishbelly Hopper Detailing Parts by Dave's Twacks & Twains

Clay Buckage announces that the following parts for the new MTH fishbelly hoppers are in stock:

1278-05-01 Plate, Top Corner, Hopper, Unpainted each 1.00
1278-05-03 Platform, Brake each 1.00
1278-05-04 Support, Brake Platform each 0.50
1278-05-05 Housing, Brake, Ajax, w/Chain each 2.00
1278-05-09 Divider, Bay, Rib Side each 1.50
1278-05-11 Latch, Door, Left, Hopper, Unpainted each 0.50
1278-05-12 Latch, Door, Right, Hopper, Unpainted each 0.50
1278-06-07 Divider, Bay Offset each 1.50
1278-06-11 Support, Brake Lever each 1.00
1278-06-12 Brakewheel, Ajax, Hopper each 2.50
1278-08-06 Hanger, Brake Line, Hopper, Unpainted each 0.50

December 27, 2020

PE Design & Manufacturing

This company offers tools for use with restoring engines, cars, and track.

December 09, 2020

Speira Miniatures

Speira Miniatures is a company based in Helsingborg, Sweden. They offer 3D-printed figures in various scales. After communication with the owners, they are happy to produce figures in S-scale. All you have to do is indicate that with your order. Take a look at their "28mm" version of figures to get an idea of how much the S-scale version costs. Important: Europe has a value-added tax (similar to sales taxes in the U.S.) of 25%. The prices that you see on their web site already include that 25% tax. So, when considering ordering and you live outside of Europe, use roughly the 75% price of what is quoted, but also realize that they quote in Euros, so account for the exchange rate. While this makes ordering from them more complex, their choice of figures is quite large. Also note that they are able to do custom work for you, so if you are looking for a very specific figure, they will be able to work with you, and quote you their fee. You can learn more about the figures that they produce via this blog posting (1:48 and 1:72).

December 06, 2020

Products in Retail Stores by M2

M2 announced that they will have some of their models exclusively available at your local O'Reilly Auto Parts stores starting in the fourth quarter of 2020. These will include the 1965 Ford Econoline Truck, 1967 Chevrolet Nova Gasser, 1968 Ford Mustang, 1968 Plymouth Barracuda, 1973 Chevrolet Truck, and 1970 Nissan Fairlady Z.

December 03, 2020

New Catalog Available by Dallee Electronics

Dallee Electronics announce that they have catalog #71 available. It is 40 pages long with color. The printed catalog is $10 with orders, or $15 without. Of course, their entire product line is listed on their web site, with lots of high-quality product photos, for free.

December 03, 2020

New Etch-metal Kits by KV Models

Scott Lupia started KV Models in 1998, and he is now expanding into S-scale. His initial offering is two different sets of steam locomotive tool sets. Scott has indicated that he is willing to design his existing line of products from the other scales he manufactures, into S-scale. So, if there is a particular part or set that you would like to see in S-scale, be sure to drop him a note.

December 03, 2020

Updates by Port Lines Hobby Supply

Doug Peck reports that he has these new American Flyer parts in stock:
- late-style axle wipers for passenger cars with eyelet-mounted 4-wheel trucks (listed under "Trucks" in their AF PARTS Inventory catalog).
- the S-283 shoulder screw, black, for the 761 Semaphore flag mounting (listed under both "Semaphores" and "Screws").
- the XA10941A black pin for the 761 Semaphore flag (listed under "Semaphores").
- the striker/plunger for the solenoid relay to ring the bell in the 759 Bell Danger Signal (listed under "Crossing Signals").
- the bracket that holds the bell in the 759 Bell Danger Signal (listed under "Crossing Signals").
- the black & white "Train Schedule" for the Baggage Smasher and the Suburban Station; available as either peel&stick, or printed card-stock (listed under "Stations" or "Stickers").
- TIMKO flywheel can motors are back in stock (listed under "Motor Parts").
- red large-globe blinking bulbs (listed under "Bulbs").

Port Lines has the "Miracle Chair Company" kit, formerly from Scenery Unlimited, in stock at $135 (listed under "Structure Kits").

December 02, 2020

Metal Ruler by Trainlife.com

Trainlife.com carries the Mascot Precision Tools multi-scale ruler, which includes S-scale.


October 30, 2020

Greenlight Collectibles by Greenlight

From the company's web site, they announced in February 2020 that their 1:64 vehicles will now be available at Target stores. In May 2020 they announced that their RV-related 1:64 models will be stocked by Camping World stores.

October 26, 2020

Updates by Port Lines Hobby Supply

Port Lines Hobby Supply announces that they are still behind on processing orders, so please be patient if you are waiting on something. The Lionel Berkshires are in. They have not heard anything from MTH about their products nor any potential sale of the company. These are the expected delivery dates for upcoming Lionel products:

Lionel, 4th quarter, 2020:
- Polar Express cars
- 2020 Christmas car
- Legacy ES44ac diesels
- Flyerchief Northerns
- Flyerchief EP5 diesels
- Heavyweight Pass cars
- Flyerchief sets
- Stock cars
- Side-Dump cars
- PRR Walking Brakeman car

Lionel, 2nd quarter, 2021:
- Polar Express cars
- Baldwin switchers
- USAF cars and set
- Depressed Center cars
- Wood-sided reefers
- Gondolas

Port Lines has the actuator wire to operate the 591 Xng Gate in stock.

They also have the solenoid coil for the 759 Bell Danger Signal. It is mounted on the fiber base, and ready to replace your burned-out coil. This coil is probably the coil most-often to be overheat and needing replacement, due to trains being stopped or stalled on the BDS track trip. They also have replacement plungers ("dingers") for those coils.

Finally, they also have the "plunger pins" for the 716 red side-dump hoppers in stock.

October 25, 2020

Rio Grande Models Closing Down

Back in January 2020, Rio Grande Models showed a large "CLOSED" image on their web site, leading to all sorts of speculation. They clarified what happened on their Facebook page:

"Some of you may have noticed the large "CLOSED" sign on the RGM website. The website will be closing in 2020, but Rio Grande Models is still operating for now and will eventually be winding down as it is in its current form. Due to the amount of orders coming in, we're limiting fulfillment to what we have on hand, or, kits we can assemble with the components on hand. This might result in some orders that are less than you requested, but you will only be asked for payment on what we can ship."

The update to this announcement is that on October 24, 2020, they posted this on their Facebook page:

"A deal has been made and Rio Grande Models will continue to operate, produce kits, and ship to customers all over the world. We're in the process of getting all the essentials packed up and ready for transfer to the new owner and operator so that narrow gauge enthusiasts can continue to enjoy the model kits created by NMRA Master Model Railroader #23 for years to come. This process may take several months given the 50+ year span of RGM, so stay tuned to this space."

No mention was made of who the new owner is.

October 04, 2020

Discounts at Dave's by Dave's Twacks & Twains

Dave's Twacks & Twains offers a 10% discount on orders when you indicate that you are an NASG member, involved in a particular S-scale club, or are or have been in the military! Visit their web site for a listing of S-Helper Service parts that they have in stock such as 18-wheeler trailers (unlettered), building materials loads, electronics parts, mechanical parts, switcher bodies (NW2, SW9, SW1), detailing parts, etc.

September 04, 2020

Trolley Items by Jason's Brass Poles

The owner, Brian Weisman, has sent us a document listing his trolley-modeling-related items for sale. The company does not have a web site. Follow the link for a listing of products, and additional contact information. Note that most products are HO- or O-scale, but a creative modeler should be able to adapt them for S-scale. Also, it won't hurt to ask Brian if he can produce an item you want specifically in S-scale. Manufacturers are often motivated by demand, so if you are modeling trolleys in S-scale, consider asking him.

September 03, 2020

Lehigh Valley Models Has a Web Site! by Lehigh Valley Models

Phil Kerr, owner of Lehigh Valley Models, has announced that he has created a web site for this product line. Prior to this, the former Frank Titman product line was only available through mail-order or at local train shows. Please note that as of this writing, each kit is listed at $1, which, I am sure, is a side-effect of a new web site that isn't quite finished yet. Please contact the company for the real price of a particular kit.

August 26, 2020

Catalog by CatzPaw Innovations, LLC

CatzPaw Innovations, LLC has been revising how they operate, because they have found that having their items printed by Shapeways was getting more expensive, and Shapeways' quality has not been consistent. The company has purchased several resin printers and are now moving most of their production back in-house. Their S-scale product line continues to grow, so they have made available an S-scale-only catalog.

August 26, 2020

Catalog by CatzPaw Innovations, LLC

Since they make products in various scales, they have provided us with a price list for the S-scale only products.

August 26, 2020

Updates by Port Lines Hobby Supply

Port Lines Hobby Supply announces that they have these new products in stock:
- the PA8961 early cast metal box car brake wheels with the larger hole for the pin. Listed under "BOXCARS" parts on their web site.
- Greenberg's 2021 AF Price Guide; ($16 MSRP); $12.95
- Greenberg's 2021 Lionel Price Guide; $23 MSRP; $18.95
- reproduction 14.5" red & white passenger car boxes; $5
- the SHS/MTH connector which joins the turnout cable to the extension cable.
- reproduction plated axles for pre-war cars and tenders both 1-7/8" and 2" lengths.
- actuator wires to operate the 592, 592A, and 600 Crossing Gates (these are not for the 591; those are still in the design stage).

They also announced that GarGraves has increased their prices for track.

Tru-Color Paints has announced plans to begin offering their paint line in 4-1/2oz aerosol cans, retailing for under $10.

Motrak Models has released a new laser-cut model of the Alton Bay, NH Fire House circa 1894.

August 12, 2020

Closing eBay Store by Wiseman Model Services

Keith Wiseman announced that due to the continuously increasing costs of doing business on eBay, he has closed his eBay store. You can continue to purchase items directly from the company's web site, or through his new store on eBid.net.

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