In a message dated 8/1/09 10:14:41 AM, garth.a.hamilton@...
> The problem as I see it we want to push the product beyond what it was
> intended for.
While I understand your points, I can't get past the ladder track issue.
Here again, Marklin set the bar rather high in 1972. I don't think any of us
appreciated exactly what Marklin accomplish with turnouts. The Marklin design
incorporated those 'ugly' black boxes. These boxes just so happened to be
designed to perfectly fit the track geometry which allowed for very easy yard
and siding assembly. Just plug and play. The marklin turnouts routed
power every which way. Also, though completely unprototypical, locomotives could
push through turnouts set the wrong way. This is a very important fact for
beginners and those using manual turnouts at the end of yards and siding. No
need to set the points, the trains would go through them. Ease of use...
functionality at it's best.
But MTL changed the rules. The turnouts do route power. There are dead
spots and engines can push through turnouts. This forces operators to set points
on both sides of a siding. You can do this manually, but remotely is more
ideal since you can wire both turnouts to function in unison. But hear lies
the problem. The turnout boxes do not match the track geometry. You can't fit
them between two pieces of ballasted track. The design does not work.
Ladder tracks are basic. This is not pushing a product, but a very
simplistic track configuration. MTL had a huge benefit when they created their track
system. They had the Marklin system to work against and make their product
better than. They also had 30+ years of feedback from the Z community who
wanted options to those ugly black boxes. Did this happen? I would say yes on
the track, no on the turnouts. We now have large ugly gray boxes that don't
work in the geometry. I also think we are all wondering if MTL could have
hidden the mechanism under the track. Now that would have been a real game
So how should we teach and coach new Z scalers? It is okay to use MTL track
if you want a loop with a single siding. If you want yards, then switch to
Marklin or learn to make you own turnouts? This is not going to move Z
Sorry Garth to put it out there as such, but I need to see the big picture.
Sometimes we need to remove the rose colored glasses to see the real
pictures. I have been humbled more than once by critiques and criticism. Once I am
willing to accept that that these reviews had merit, I was able to make
improvements and grow. I only hope the same for MTL's turnouts. I hope they are
willing to take another look at the product. If they do, and make a few
changes, we all will benefit for a much improved product. But, I don't think
giving them a pass on this one is going to move our scale forward.
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