The National Train Show was held in July 2010 in conjunction with the National Model Railroad Association's 75th annual convention. This year I was able to talk to many of the manufacturers at the show and got some audio for everyone to hear with their new announcements. Unlike the Trainfest episode last year, this episode has all of the audio in one long chunk. This episode is about 5 times longer than usual, but here it is.
This took a little longer than expected to get online (previous posts on The Rip Track home page have all the details), but here it is. In this part, we'll finish hearing from the manufacturers that were showing their products at Trainfest 2009. So, without further ado, let's get back to the show floor.
In part 1 of this episode we heard from a few manufacturers who were showing new products at Trainfest 2009. It's time to pick up where we left off, so let's jump right in and hear from some more manufacturers.
There are three major model railroad shows in North America that have become known in the hobby as shows where many manufacturers announce and debut new products: the National Train Show held in conjunction with the NMRA's national convention, the International Hobby Expo held every October in Chicago, and Trainfest held every November in Milwaukee. Last weekend, I went to Trainfest and recorded quick interviews with as many manufacturers as I could to find out what we can expect from them this model railroad year. I was able to talk to so many different companies that each had so much to say that Episode 11 is the first mulitpart episode of The Rip Track Podcast. We'll hear from several manufacturers in each part of this episode, and each part will have photos and links in the show notes that relate to the announcements that were mentioned therein.
Athearn sent a special announcement to their email list today with sad news for kitbashers and modelers with lower incomes. Rather than paraphrase, here's the important part of the notice:
Effective immediately, we here at Athearn have made the difficult decision to discontinue the production of our Blue Box line of kits. There were several factors that contributed to this extremely challenging decision however, the primary issue revolved around affordability and ensuring that our Blue Box kit pricing remain aligned with what the market can bear. Unfortunately, due to increased manufacturing and labor costs it has been determined that we are no longer able to continue offering kits at competitive price points as compared to our already assembled products.
That means that you won't be able to buy new kits from Athearn very soon, and will instead have to shell out more money for a fully assembled product. One consolation in this is that Athearn's line of assembled models is one of the better quality lines that I've seen in the industry, and their production runs aren't always quite as limited as some other manufacturers that I can think of.
For this episode of the podcast, we're going to focus on model railroading and save the prototype history and data for a later show. It's October, and now that the days are getting colder and the nights longer, that means that model railroad season is well under way in North America. Model railroaders are home from summer vacations and are getting together to build, operate and just talk about their layouts with each other. Also, model railroad shows are increasing in frequency as we head toward the end of the calendar year. Last week I spent some time asking exhibitors at the Green County Model Railroad Club's annual model railroad show here in Wisconsin for their favorite model railroading tips.
In this episode, we take a look through history for the bulk of the content. We start with a "biography" of one named steam locomotive that operated in the United States during the early days of railroading, and that you can still go see today. We follow that with a 1904 Edison recording called "Interrupted Courtship on the Elevated Railway", and then another excerpt from Randy Garnhardt's clinic "Interesting Junctions." In the Modeler's Moment, we review a few techniques to keep your model railroad locomotives operating well.
Just over the email wire today comes a notice of a product recall from Athearn. The recall centers around the new Genesis SD60M model factory painted for Norfolk Southern. The problem, as Athearn puts it, is "paint errors on the body." The affected Athearn part numbers are: ATHG67268, ATHG67269, ATHG67270, ATHG67368, ATHG67369 and ATHG67370. The email that I got (which Athearn put out on its email mailing list yesterday) says to take the models back to the location where you purchased them before May 8, 2009, for a refund and then to, hopefully, place an order for the corrected model. The corrected models are expected to ship in about 4 months.
I don't see anything about the recall on Athearn's website yet, so check with your local dealer for further information.
One question that I hear as my local NMRA division's Achievement Program chairman is what should be included in the paperwork for the conformity section. The answer is to include references or copies of the resources that you used for prototype information when you were building the model. In the case of this CP Rail locomotive that was entered into the contest at the 2004 national convention in Seattle, that meant a copy of a magazine article and a photograph of the exact locomotive that was being modeled. The judges compare your model against the documentation that you supply to see how closely the model represents the item in the photograph. The more details that are on your model that are in the photograph, the more important it is that you include the photograph in the documentation because the judges will see the details on both the model and the prototype and your score for conformity will go up.