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February 28, 2007

Model Railroading In The News #19

OGW NewspaperThis installment of Model Railroading in the News includes stories about an O gauge locomotive in the UK that sold for £12,000; a private layout 40 years in the making depicting the town of Pulaski, VA that has been donated to the town but they can't afford a space to display it;  a Minnesota hobby shop going out of business after 40 years because of the usual suspects - competition from Internet retailers and fewer young people showing an interest in model building.  Click on the link below to read these and other stories.

Continue reading "Model Railroading In The News #19" »

February 27, 2007

Lionel's Jerry Calabrese Interviewed by The Star Ledger (NJ)

The Star Ledger, a Northern New Jersey newspaper, ran a story about Lionel's CEO, Jerry Calabrese.  The story's focus is on how the New Jersey native is turning around Lionel.  The most interesting news gleaned from the article is that Lionel is in negotiations with the owners of the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ with hopes of opening a Lionel Museum or exhibit there.  Rumors had been circulating around the O Gauge community that Lionel was looking to establish a presence in New Jersey.  Maybe the museum is that presence.  There were a few other interesting quotes from Calabrese in the article.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Lionel's Jerry Calabrese Interviewed by The Star Ledger (NJ)" »

February 23, 2007

Court Grants Lionel's Motion; Mediation Begins by Erol Gurcan

Lionel and MTH's attorneys were back in bankruptcy court the morning of February 22nd for both a motion and status conference. Lionel CEO/President Jerry Calabrese and MTH owner Mike Wolf were not in court today. It was not necessary for them to be present. Both attended the last bankruptcy court conference on January 9 when both sides agreed to mediation. I attended today's court proceedings.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Court Grants Lionel's Motion; Mediation Begins by Erol Gurcan" »

February 21, 2007

Lionel's Acela, a year later

Last year around this time Lionel released what is arguably the most technologically advanced O Gauge model train, the Amtrak Acela.  Lionel successfully reproduced every little detail of the real Acela right down to the operating tilting mechanisms on each car.   It's an absolutely beautiful piece.  With the release of the Acela, Lionel, the company that made O Gauge popular in the mid 20th century, made a statement that it can produce a train packed with the latest 21st century technology and gadgetry.  Only 2000 sets of Acela were made by Lionel each with an MSRP of $1,999.99.  With a limited production I'm sure some collectors speculated that Lionel's Acela would increase in value over time.  It's may be too soon to tell if the speculators were right but an examination of recent Acela listings on eBay gives an indication of what has happened to the price over the past year.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Lionel's Acela, a year later" »

February 18, 2007

It's All in the Name

If you're familiar the MTH v. Lionel trade secrets case or the Lionel v. K-Line technology theft case the name Robert Grubba should ring a bell.  In the Lionel v. K-Line case, Lionel alleged that Mr. Grubba, its former Director of Engineering, played an important role in illegally passing Lionel's technology to K-Line while employed by K-Line.  In the MTH v. Lionel case, Mr. Grubba held the post of Director of Engineering at Lionel when MTH alleged that Lionel stole trade secrets from MTH.

While paging through MTH's latest 2007 Ready to Run catalog on-line, I had to laugh when,  in the Accessories section (page 61), I saw that MTH is offering a 3 Story City Building housing the offices of Grubba & Co. Paper Shredders.

February 15, 2007

MTH to Build All Premier Steam Locos in 2007 Volume 1 Catalog

MthlogoYou may remember my post from a few weeks ago announcing that several MTH Premier line steam locomotives in the MTH 2007 Volume 1 catalog where in danger of not being produced due to low early order sales.  Well, MTH reported yesterday that all the Premier steam locos in question will be produced.  MTH made the decision to add a new "wireless drawbar" to the locos in question plus other enhancements not documented in the catalog that I'm sure helped boost sales for these pieces. 

Related Posts:

MTH Announces Addition of "Wireless Drawbar" to some Premier Steam Locomotives

February 14, 2007

Lionel Files Request to Extend Deadline for Chapter 11 Reorg Plan by Erol Gurcan

On February 9, 2007, Lionel filed a motion (an application for a court order) with the bankruptcy court seeking an extension to file a chapter 11 reorganization plan. The motion seeks an exclusive 75 day period in which it be allowed a to file a plan after the appeals court either denies, or issues a final decision regarding MTH's petition for a rehearing of the trade secrets case appeal. On December 14, 2006, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the trial court jury's $40.7 million dollar verdict ($38.6 million directly against Lionel) rendered in June 2004, and remanded the case to the trial court for another trial.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Lionel Files Request to Extend Deadline for Chapter 11 Reorg Plan by Erol Gurcan" »

February 13, 2007

Lionel Seeks Extension for Chapter 11 Plan

Lionel has asked the bankruptcy court to extend the deadline for filing a reorganinzaion plan.  Read the story here.

Golden Gate Depot Coaling Tower

GgdGolden Gate Depot is producing a fully assembled O Gauge coaling tower which, based on the pre-production sample picture, looks like a great piece.  The tower is an intricately detailed plastic model of a 1930's wooden framed coaling tower complete with a light kit and movable chutes with working pulleys and cables.  It is available in black, brown or redwood.  The tower's footprint is only 9" x 6" and it stands 22" tall.   The piece has an MSRP of $199.95 but you can get it for a pre-production discounted price of $169.95.  The coaling tower will be available in April 2007.  See the Golden Gate Depot website for more details.

February 09, 2007

Good Discussion About Small O Gauge Layouts on OGR Forum

If you're like me you just don't have the room for a large O Gauge layout.  There's a good thread on the OGR Forum about small O Gauge layouts with some great photos of small layouts and some cool track plans.  Check it out here.

February 08, 2007

Add some spice to your layout

Check out this article in the German magazine Der Spiegel about the new model railroad items displayed at the Toy Fair in Nuremberg Germany.  Warning, the pictures after the jump are not suitable for youngsters.

Toy Fair Takes an Adult Turn

Atlas O February '07 Announcements

Atlaso_1Atlas O's "mini-catalog" for February 2007 was released this week.  The catalog offers up new road numbers and new road names for Atlas O's 50 ton war emergency hopper and 60' auto parts box car, new paint schemes for 3 & 6 bay cylindrical hoppers, new paint schemes for the Atlas O Trainman Extended Vision Caboose, and a new RS-3 locomotive added to the Trainman series.   The new RS-3 is a nice piece, especially in the Delaware & Hudson paint scheme.

The deadline for placing guaranteed orders for the above products is 2/28/07.  See the Atlas O website for more details.

February 07, 2007

MTH 2007 Ready to Run Catalog Available On-Line

MTH announced today that "counter copies" of their 2007  Ready to Run train set and accessory catalog will be available at train shops this week.  MTH mailing list subscribers won't receive their copies until the 2007 Volume 2 catalog ships in April.  The catalog is available on-line here.

Be sure to check out the Norfolk and Western Bantam J and Daylight Bantam J passenger sets.

February 06, 2007

Lionel and MTH Sign Agreement for Mediation by Erol Gurcan

On January 30, 2007, the attorneys for both Lionel and MTH signed a stipulation (legalese for agreement) agreeing to mediate MTH's separate trade secrets and patent infringement claims against Lionel. Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland "so-ordered" (approved) the stipulation on February 1, 2007. When the parties were last in the bankruptcy court on January 9, 2007, Lionel's attorney suggested mediation, MTH's lawyer agreed, and Judge Lifland directed the parties to do it.

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Lionel and MTH Sign Agreement for Mediation by Erol Gurcan" »

February 04, 2007

Bruce J. Walthers 1919-2007

Bruce J. Walthers, chairman of Wm. K. Walthers, Inc, passed away on January 28th.  Bruce Walthers was the son of Wm. K. Walthers, the founder of the W. K. Walthers company which first produced a model railroad catalog in 1932.   In the beginning, Walthers catered to the O Gauge community but was instrumental in making HO popular.   Bruce Walthers is credited with taking the company his father founded and making it the leading distributor of model railroading products that it is today.  The majority of the pages of the now infamous Walthers catalog are dedicated to HO scale products.  J. Phillip Walthers, son of Bruce Walthers, is the current president of W. K. Walthers.

Read more about Bruce Walthers on the Walthers website.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also has a piece about Mr. Walthers found here.  Read more about the history of W. K. Walthers here.

February 03, 2007

Lionel and K-Line by Lionel 2007 Volume 1 catalog corrections

Lionel has released a list of corrections for their 2007 Volume 1 Lionel and K-Line by Lionel catalogs. 

Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Lionel and K-Line by Lionel 2007 Volume 1 catalog corrections" »

New K-Line by Lionel Website

I'm not sure when this happened but Lionel launched a new website dedicated to their K-Line by Lionel product line.  The site probably launched in conjunction with the inaugural K-Line by Lionel 2007 Volume 1 catalog but I missed it.   Check out the site here.  Hey Lionel, you may want to redirect traffic heading for to the new site.

February 01, 2007

Model Railroading In The News #18

OGW NewspaperThe holidays have past and so the number of stories about model railroading is starting to drop off but there are still some good ones out there.


Click on the link below to read on

Continue reading "Model Railroading In The News #18" »

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