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Re: [Z_Scale] MTL Production Numbers

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  • John Duino
    MTL probably just hasn t been bold/brave enough to increase the production to match the increase in both the number of resellers that have appeared in the last
    Message 1 of 28 , Jun 2, 2007
      MTL probably just hasn't been bold/brave enough to increase the
      production to match the increase in both the number of resellers that
      have appeared in the last couple years, and the even bigger increase in
      demand by all of us. I don't blame them...they need to be careful and
      not overextend themselves.

      On Fri, 2007-06-01 at 21:36 -0700, Zane H. Healy wrote:
      > Is anyone else having problems with their FLHS (favorite local hobby
      > store) having problems getting enough of the MTL trains? I'm told
      > that the SP Hoppers sold out in 2 hours in May (and they couldn't get
      > more), and that within 30 minutes MTL was sold out of the SP&S
      > Boxcar. My FLHS will apparently get 12 of the SP&S boxcar in next
      > week, one of them should be reserved for me.
      >
      > Now I'm guessing that not every item is selling out like these two,
      > and I don't know if it is possible to accurately predict what the
      > "hot" items will be, but it would sure be nice to see cars remain
      > available longer.
      >
      > Is this a new problem, or is it common? I've only been back into
      > trains and actively collecting Z Scale since the Portland WGH show a
      > few months ago. I do know that right after the show my FLHS had a
      > full rotating display counter case full of MTL trains, now it is
      > mostly the Marklin trains that had been in another case, as they
      > can't keep the MTL products in.
      >
      > Zane
      >
      >
      >
    • Uwe Liermann
      Hello John, ... I can understand that MTL (as any other manufacturer) won t produce to much of an item in a run, so it doesn t sit on the shelf to long. But
      Message 2 of 28 , Jun 2, 2007
        Hello John,

        > MTL probably just hasn't been bold/brave enough to increase the
        > production [...] they need to be careful and not overextend
        > themselves.

        I can understand that MTL (as any other manufacturer) won't produce to
        much of an item in a run, so it doesn't sit on the shelf to long. But
        how about a second or third run when the item is almost sold out?
        Currently I got the impression that there are one run were a certain
        number gets produced. Am I wrong when I think that it can't be so
        expensive just to start a second run? Or does it take to long in
        scheduling at the factorys involved? Besides, this would also mean a
        reduction in costs for construction and research for any item, since
        those fixed costs are divided to more items, or with the selling price
        the same, a bit more stays at the manufacturer for developing new
        items...

        --
        GreetingZ
        Uwe
      • Allan Miller
        I would tend to agree with John. I think MTL is wise to be conservative in regard to quantities they produce. It seems to me that the model railroading hobby
        Message 3 of 28 , Jun 2, 2007
          I would tend to agree with John. I think MTL is wise to be
          conservative in regard to quantities they produce. It seems to me
          that the model railroading hobby has, in recent years, become a bit of
          a minefield for the manufacturers, with increasingly demanding and
          finnicky consumers making it rather difficult for the manufacturers to
          get a handle on what may or may not sell well, and in what numbers.
          Far better to have empty shelves in the warehouse than to have stacks
          of unsold product--some thing that applies at both the manufacturing
          and retail level.

          I know I had to shop around a bit to locate an MTL Chehalis set
          because I tend not to preorder train items (a lesson learned through
          my involvement in O gauge). I just take my chances, and like to wait
          until an item is actually available. If I'm able to get a particular
          item, that's fine; if not, I just wait for something else to come
          along. I've found that there's always a whole lot more out there that
          I want and like, and have never had a problem--in any scale--finding
          far more train items than my budget will allow.



          --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, John Duino <jduino@...> wrote:
          >
          > MTL probably just hasn't been bold/brave enough to increase the
          > production to match the increase in both the number of resellers
          that have appeared in the last couple years, and the even bigger
          increase in demand by all of us. I don't blame them...they need to be
          careful and not overextend themselves.
          >
        • Gwyl B.
          I m not sure about MTL, but I do know about other companies that produce items like these. Their production is usually out more than 6 months or so and to do
          Message 4 of 28 , Jun 2, 2007
            I'm not sure about MTL, but I do know about other companies that produce items like these.
            Their production is usually out more than 6 months or so and to do 2nd or 3rd run would be
            way done the pike and would need to be scheduled into the regular schedule which in most
            cases doesn't happen or is not pratical from a financial or production stand point. It's good
            to keep in mind that the products we are buying today were most likely produced more than
            a half a year ago.

            In a perfect world MTL would sell their last item to the last person wanting one and then
            move on to another product but until the perfect world gets here I would think MTL wise to
            under produce than over produce and have warehouse full of unsold product.

            Just my 2 cents. :-)

            Gwyl B.
          • non
            From what I under stand about MTL items being sold out within days. The stores have to place their orders before knowing what coming out. I know I have a store
            Message 5 of 28 , Jun 2, 2007
              From what I under stand about MTL items being sold out within days.
              The stores have to place their orders before knowing what coming out.
              I know I have a store and purchase from MTL for the past five years.
              The store owners signup to get so many box cars, cab, tanks per
              month. A small store like myself would have 4 to 6 of each on order.
              Now the new releases come out. And the store owner sees that a road
              name in his area sell fast. He might or migh NOT get the extra cars.
              MTL looks at their production needs per standing orders, not roads.
              So if MTL know they need 3,000 of each box that is what they run. If
              the road is a HOT road they "might" run a few extra.
              So, as a store owner you have to have a large standing order and hope
              the road names sell within a few months.
              Aaron Poscovsky
              >
              > I'm not sure about MTL, but I do know about other companies that
              produce items like these.
              > Their production is usually out more than 6 months or so and to do
              2nd or 3rd run would be
              > way done the pike and would need to be scheduled into the regular
              schedule which in most
              > cases doesn't happen or is not pratical from a financial or
              production stand point. It's good
              > to keep in mind that the products we are buying today were most
              likely produced more than
              > a half a year ago.
              >
              > In a perfect world MTL would sell their last item to the last
              person wanting one and then
              > move on to another product but until the perfect world gets here I
              would think MTL wise to
              > under produce than over produce and have warehouse full of unsold
              product.
              >
              > Just my 2 cents. :-)
              >
              > Gwyl B.
              >
            • Zane H. Healy
              ... Okay, this brings up another question, why all the secrecy on what is coming out? Perhaps they need to at least make a change to their ordering methods
              Message 6 of 28 , Jun 2, 2007
                At 2:51 PM +0000 6/2/07, non wrote:
                >From what I under stand about MTL items being sold out within days.
                >The stores have to place their orders before knowing what coming out.
                >I know I have a store and purchase from MTL for the past five years.
                >The store owners signup to get so many box cars, cab, tanks per
                >month. A small store like myself would have 4 to 6 of each on order.
                >Now the new releases come out. And the store owner sees that a road
                >name in his area sell fast. He might or migh NOT get the extra cars.
                >MTL looks at their production needs per standing orders, not roads.
                >So if MTL know they need 3,000 of each box that is what they run. If
                >the road is a HOT road they "might" run a few extra.
                >So, as a store owner you have to have a large standing order and hope
                >the road names sell within a few months.
                >Aaron Poscovsky

                Okay, this brings up another question, why all the secrecy on what is
                coming out? Perhaps they need to at least make a change to their
                ordering methods and allow stores to designate certain road names
                that they will automatically get extra of. As someone who prefers to
                buy stuff from their FLHS, rather than online, the current state of
                things is less than optimal.

                Having said this, I can understand that MTL and the Hobby Stores
                can't afford to have stock sitting around unsold for long periods of
                time.

                Zane


                --
                | Zane H. Healy | UNIX Systems Administrator |
                | healyzh@... (primary) | OpenVMS Enthusiast |
                | MONK::HEALYZH (DECnet) | Classic Computer Collector |
                +----------------------------------+----------------------------+
                | Empire of the Petal Throne and Traveller Role Playing, |
                | PDP-10 Emulation and Zane's Computer Museum. |
                | http://www.aracnet.com/~healyzh/ |
              • Don Avila
                [snip] ... Ummmmmm, Joe has been pretty open with us. We have known about the GP9 for a LOOOOONG time. Finished production photos of the the first version
                Message 7 of 28 , Jun 2, 2007
                  [snip]
                  >
                  > Okay, this brings up another question, why all the secrecy on what is
                  > coming out?
                  > Zane

                  Ummmmmm,

                  Joe has been pretty open with us. We have known about the GP9 for a
                  LOOOOONG time. Finished production photos of the the first version
                  are on Trainboard and they are spectacular He told us about the
                  turnouts and new track more than half a year before they came out.
                  The other day he told us the turnout motors will be available
                  separately in a few months and of course they are now available with
                  track. Many months before the Digitrax drop in DCC came out Joe told
                  us about it. He has been telling us about the passenger cars coming.
                  He has been telling us about some of the new engines with 6 wheel
                  trucks.

                  I hardly call it secrecy ESPECIALLY where it really truly comes out
                  and is not Vapor-Ware.

                  ...don
                • Mike D.
                  Don Buddy your smoking DOPE and obviously it s the good stuff!!! Vapor Ware... some items didn t even materialize on the retail market much less have a chance
                  Message 8 of 28 , Jun 2, 2007
                    Don Buddy your smoking DOPE and obviously it's the good stuff!!! Vapor
                    Ware... some items didn't even materialize on the retail market much less
                    have a chance to vapor... Good to know obviously your on the inside. It
                    would be nice if MTL came up with a form on their website for the rest of us
                    to order from making sure ALL of us had a fair share. All I've been hearing
                    so far is "It's coming, It's coming, We're working on it, You'll get it.
                    Then on the supposedly day of release try to order, THEN you hear... It's
                    sold out... that's B*** S*** All I can say to MTL is Enjoy while you can
                    boy's your day's a coming...

                    Mike D.


                    >From: "Don Avila" <d.f.avila@...>
                    >Reply-To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                    >To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                    >Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: MTL Production Numbers
                    >Date: Sat, 02 Jun 2007 19:04:12 -0000
                    >
                    >[snip]
                    > >
                    > > Okay, this brings up another question, why all the secrecy on what is
                    > > coming out?
                    > > Zane
                    >
                    >Ummmmmm,
                    >
                    >Joe has been pretty open with us. We have known about the GP9 for a
                    >LOOOOONG time. Finished production photos of the the first version
                    >are on Trainboard and they are spectacular He told us about the
                    >turnouts and new track more than half a year before they came out.
                    >The other day he told us the turnout motors will be available
                    >separately in a few months and of course they are now available with
                    >track. Many months before the Digitrax drop in DCC came out Joe told
                    >us about it. He has been telling us about the passenger cars coming.
                    > He has been telling us about some of the new engines with 6 wheel
                    >trucks.
                    >
                    >I hardly call it secrecy ESPECIALLY where it really truly comes out
                    >and is not Vapor-Ware.
                    >
                    >...don
                    >
                    >

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                  • non
                    Atlas has a six month pre-order for store owners. What the mfg what is for store owners to order more, so that the mfg doesn t have to stock them the store do.
                    Message 9 of 28 , Jun 2, 2007
                      Atlas has a six month pre-order for store owners.
                      What the mfg what is for store owners to order more, so that the mfg
                      doesn't have to stock them the store do.
                      Aaron
                      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Zane H. Healy" <healyzh@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > At 2:51 PM +0000 6/2/07, non wrote:
                      > >From what I under stand about MTL items being sold out within days.
                      > >The stores have to place their orders before knowing what coming
                      out.
                      > >I know I have a store and purchase from MTL for the past five
                      years.
                      > >The store owners signup to get so many box cars, cab, tanks per
                      > >month. A small store like myself would have 4 to 6 of each on
                      order.
                      > >Now the new releases come out. And the store owner sees that a road
                      > >name in his area sell fast. He might or migh NOT get the extra
                      cars.
                      > >MTL looks at their production needs per standing orders, not roads.
                      > >So if MTL know they need 3,000 of each box that is what they run.
                      If
                      > >the road is a HOT road they "might" run a few extra.
                      > >So, as a store owner you have to have a large standing order and
                      hope
                      > >the road names sell within a few months.
                      > >Aaron Poscovsky
                      >
                      > Okay, this brings up another question, why all the secrecy on what
                      is
                      > coming out? Perhaps they need to at least make a change to their
                      > ordering methods and allow stores to designate certain road names
                      > that they will automatically get extra of. As someone who prefers
                      to
                      > buy stuff from their FLHS, rather than online, the current state of
                      > things is less than optimal.
                      >
                      > Having said this, I can understand that MTL and the Hobby Stores
                      > can't afford to have stock sitting around unsold for long periods
                      of
                      > time.
                      >
                      > Zane
                      >
                      >
                      > --
                      > | Zane H. Healy | UNIX Systems Administrator |
                      > | healyzh@... (primary) | OpenVMS Enthusiast |
                      > | MONK::HEALYZH (DECnet) | Classic Computer Collector |
                      > +----------------------------------+----------------------------+
                      > | Empire of the Petal Throne and Traveller Role Playing, |
                      > | PDP-10 Emulation and Zane's Computer Museum. |
                      > | http://www.aracnet.com/~healyzh/ |
                      >
                    • Edward Scullin
                      Don I think what was meant about giving notice as to what is coming out refered to road names Joe D has been great about what he knows is coming, but still
                      Message 10 of 28 , Jun 2, 2007
                        Don
                        I think what was meant about giving notice as to what is coming out refered to road names Joe D
                        has been great about what he knows is coming, but still kind of quiet about specific road names.
                        I think if what was stated here earlier about a 6 month lead time, It would make sense if MTL
                        would announce the road names and then see what additional orders appear. Granted a lot of
                        dealers aare signed up to take X of what ever MTL produces. If I read the post from Aaron
                        correctly dealers can be fairly selective (IE this month I want X tank cars, Y box cars etc).
                        Ed Scullin

                        --- Don Avila <d.f.avila@...> wrote:

                        > [snip]
                        > >
                        > > Okay, this brings up another question, why all the secrecy on what is
                        > > coming out?
                        > > Zane
                        >
                        > Ummmmmm,
                        >
                        > Joe has been pretty open with us. We have known about the GP9 for a
                        > LOOOOONG time. Finished production photos of the the first version
                        > are on Trainboard and they are spectacular He told us about the
                        > turnouts and new track more than half a year before they came out.
                        > The other day he told us the turnout motors will be available
                        > separately in a few months and of course they are now available with
                        > track. Many months before the Digitrax drop in DCC came out Joe told
                        > us about it. He has been telling us about the passenger cars coming.
                        > He has been telling us about some of the new engines with 6 wheel
                        > trucks.
                        >
                        > I hardly call it secrecy ESPECIALLY where it really truly comes out
                        > and is not Vapor-Ware.
                        >
                        > ...don
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • Don Avila
                        Good Point. Joe and I traded a few emails about a year ago regarding announcements of items to come. Even though MTL is small, I think they have some thick
                        Message 11 of 28 , Jun 2, 2007
                          Good Point.

                          Joe and I traded a few emails about a year ago regarding announcements
                          of items to come. Even though MTL is small, I think they have some
                          thick walls with no windows and Joe himself is not always "in the
                          know" As Z begins to make some serious dollars for the owners, I
                          think we may see some changes as to how things are done.

                          ...don

                          --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Edward Scullin <sculline@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Don
                          > I think what was meant about giving notice as to what is coming out
                          refered to road names Joe D
                          > has been great about what he knows is coming, but still kind of
                          quiet about specific road names.
                          > I think if what was stated here earlier about a 6 month lead time,
                          It would make sense if MTL
                          > would announce the road names and then see what additional orders
                          appear. Granted a lot of
                          > dealers aare signed up to take X of what ever MTL produces. If I
                          read the post from Aaron
                          > correctly dealers can be fairly selective (IE this month I want X
                          tank cars, Y box cars etc).
                          > Ed Scullin
                          >
                          > --- Don Avila <d.f.avila@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > > [snip]
                          > > >
                          > > > Okay, this brings up another question, why all the secrecy on
                          what is
                          > > > coming out?
                          > > > Zane
                          > >
                          > > Ummmmmm,
                          > >
                          > > Joe has been pretty open with us.
                        • non
                          A good way to help out any hobby store owner that wants your business is let him/her know what you are looking for. Should it might be a dream item, but guest
                          Message 12 of 28 , Jun 2, 2007
                            A good way to help out any hobby store owner that wants your business
                            is let him/her know what you are looking for.
                            Should it might be a dream item, but guest what if you mention an item
                            and he/she hears it a few times from other, The owner will help push
                            for the item from the mfg.
                            And you know how that happens, he/she start mentioning it to the mfg
                            when the orders are place.
                            Ex. The owner emails Mark at MTL on the sales desk. And say "Hey, think
                            we might see a XXXX item coming out one day?"
                            M ark will say he does know. But, if a few owner ask, he will get upset
                            with the question and mention it to someone over him.
                            Please, just drop a note once in awhile to your hobby store owner,
                            asking about items you are looking for. Perhaps, if he/his wants your
                            business they will start stocking it.
                            Aaron Poscovsky
                          • John Duino
                            Hi! To reword what someone else said (sorry I forgot to register WHO said it before I hit delete), MTL does make 2nd/3rd runs eventually, but you have to fit
                            Message 13 of 28 , Jun 2, 2007
                              Hi!

                              To reword what someone else said (sorry I forgot to register WHO said it
                              before I hit delete), MTL does make 2nd/3rd runs eventually, but you
                              have to fit it into the production schedule. MTL only has so many
                              painters, so many assemblers, so many testers...and if they are
                              producing that then something else 'new' can't come out. This crowd is a
                              fickle one...if they re-run then people complain that nothing new is
                              coming out. If it's all new stuff then people want reissues. Short of
                              staffing up, going 24/7, and expanding the facilities (all costly)
                              there's no way of pleasing everyone.

                              Having been around Z for awhile (first 'taste' in 77, more seriously
                              since ~98) I can't be more pleased with the variety of goodies available
                              in Z nowadays.

                              On Sat, 2007-06-02 at 11:22 +0200, Uwe Liermann wrote:
                              > Hello John,
                              >
                              > > MTL probably just hasn't been bold/brave enough to increase the
                              > > production [...] they need to be careful and not overextend
                              > > themselves.
                              >
                              > I can understand that MTL (as any other manufacturer) won't produce to
                              > much of an item in a run, so it doesn't sit on the shelf to long. But
                              > how about a second or third run when the item is almost sold out?
                              > Currently I got the impression that there are one run were a certain
                              > number gets produced. Am I wrong when I think that it can't be so
                              > expensive just to start a second run? Or does it take to long in
                              > scheduling at the factorys involved? Besides, this would also mean a
                              > reduction in costs for construction and research for any item, since
                              > those fixed costs are divided to more items, or with the selling price
                              > the same, a bit more stays at the manufacturer for developing new
                              > items...
                              >
                              --
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                            • Allan Miller
                              ... of staffing up, going 24/7, and expanding the facilities (all costly) ... I could not agree more! There s a wealth of stuff available in Z these days, and
                              Message 14 of 28 , Jun 3, 2007
                                --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, John Duino <jduino@...> wrote:
                                >This crowd is a
                                > fickle one...if they re-run then people complain that nothing new is
                                > coming out. If it's all new stuff then people want reissues. Short
                                of staffing up, going 24/7, and expanding the facilities (all costly)
                                > there's no way of pleasing everyone.
                                > Having been around Z for awhile (first 'taste' in 77, more seriously
                                > since ~98) I can't be more pleased with the variety of goodies
                                >available in Z nowadays.
                                >

                                I could not agree more! There's a wealth of stuff available in Z
                                these days, and I can't imagine folks in this segment of the hobby
                                being anything less than thrilled. It was many years in coming.

                                I'm not sure what the problem is with today's consumer-hobbyists.
                                They seem to want everything that THEY want, and they want it NOW! I
                                see this in the other scales I model, and in some or most cases it is
                                doing more harm to the hobby than good. As I've said so often in
                                recent years: We hobbyists are our own worst enemies. We've gotten
                                to the point where too many of us see "things" as the be-all and
                                end-all, and too few, apparently, are willing to enjoy and make good
                                use of what is already available (in variety and quantity never seen
                                before) or what they already have. As I see it, the hobby is about
                                far more than simply acquiring "things." It's about putting what we
                                do have (and can afford) to good use. It's about creating, imagining,
                                dreaming, acquiring new skills, learning about the history and
                                heritage of railroading, relaxing in those all-too-rare leisure hours,
                                and sharing in the spirit of good fellowship.

                                If MTL or someone else announces something you want to buy, establish
                                a good, regular relationship with a dealer and get your order placed
                                on their list. Otherwise, take your chances when the item is
                                eventually released and find a dealer who has it available or shop the
                                secondary market.

                                My feeling is that MTL, in particular, has done a very good job in
                                giving folks a heads-up about what they are planning, and estimating
                                when it may be available. They try to be realistic in meeting the
                                expectations of the many diverse individuals in the hobby, but they
                                are, I'm sure, fully aware that they can't be all things to all
                                people. Nor should they try to be! Z scale is still a small niche in
                                a much larger hobby, and any business in this hobby has to be very
                                careful about the approaches they follow to assure their reasonable
                                growth and profitability.
                              • Uwe Liermann
                                Hello Allan, I fully agree with this from your mail (I quote it first, even if it ... You re right that the I want it ALL NOW feeling is doing harm, even if
                                Message 15 of 28 , Jun 3, 2007
                                  Hello Allan,

                                  I fully agree with this from your mail (I quote it first, even if it
                                  was in your mail later on):

                                  > My feeling is that MTL, in particular, has done a very good job

                                  and I also agree with this:

                                  > I could not agree more! There's a wealth of stuff available in Z
                                  > these days, and I can't imagine folks in this segment of the hobby
                                  > being anything less than thrilled. It was many years in coming.

                                  and I also agree with this:

                                  > I'm not sure what the problem is with today's consumer-hobbyists.
                                  > They seem to want everything that THEY want, and they want it NOW! I
                                  > see this in the other scales I model, and in some or most cases it is
                                  > doing more harm to the hobby than good.

                                  You're right that the "I want it ALL NOW" feeling is doing harm, even
                                  if it seems to be the usual feeling for many things nowadays. But
                                  there are also people who doesn't want it ALL NOW. And for them this:

                                  > If MTL or someone else announces something you want to buy, establish
                                  > a good, regular relationship with a dealer and get your order placed
                                  > on their list. Otherwise, take your chances when the item is
                                  > eventually released and find a dealer who has it available or shop the
                                  > secondary market.

                                  is not the perfect solution. I see a lot of items that I would like to
                                  have or use sometimes, but I can't afford all of them right now.
                                  Partly because of my budget, and also partly because I'm not that far
                                  in my development yet. I have a relatively long wish list about items
                                  I want to have, and also for some that I would like to see, but that
                                  are not available yet. A lot of items that were produced earlier are
                                  only available via the secondary market. I think for the manufacturers
                                  it would be a lot better if the consumer could buy new, instead of
                                  hoping that an item will show up on EBay sometimes. Besides buying
                                  something on EBay won't bring any money to the original manufacturer.

                                  The same is true, I believe, for the growth of the Z customer numbers.
                                  If they see something, and want to knew where they can get it, now
                                  often you have to tell them "XYZ made this, but you will have to see
                                  if you find it at EBay...". This isn't a good argument for getting
                                  into Z.

                                  I knew the solution for this problem isn't easy, maybe especially for
                                  the small producer of things.

                                  --
                                  GreetingZ
                                  Uwe
                                • Zane H. Healy
                                  ... I d just like to point out that I m not saying I want everything I want for my trains NOW! Quite the opposite, I m happy to wait, and add an item here and
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Jun 3, 2007
                                    At 9:56 AM +0000 6/3/07, Allan Miller wrote:
                                    >I'm not sure what the problem is with today's consumer-hobbyists.
                                    >They seem to want everything that THEY want, and they want it NOW! I
                                    >see this in the other scales I model, and in some or most cases it is
                                    >doing more harm to the hobby than good. As I've said so often in

                                    I'd just like to point out that I'm not saying I want everything I
                                    want for my trains NOW! Quite the opposite, I'm happy to wait, and
                                    add an item here and there. It helps to keep things affordable.

                                    What I am saying is that when I walk into a train store a couple days
                                    after a new car, or cars are announced and am informed that I can't
                                    buy them, because the store is sold out and can't get any more from
                                    MTL, I consider this to be a problem.

                                    Call me strange, but I for one would rather pay more to support a
                                    store in my own community, I don't want to have to order online from
                                    another state. In fact this is one reason that I really like buying
                                    MTL products, I'm an Oregonian, and by buying MTL I'm helping to
                                    support an Oregon business.

                                    >If MTL or someone else announces something you want to buy, establish
                                    >a good, regular relationship with a dealer and get your order placed
                                    >on their list. Otherwise, take your chances when the item is
                                    >eventually released and find a dealer who has it available or shop the
                                    >secondary market.

                                    >My feeling is that MTL, in particular, has done a very good job in
                                    >giving folks a heads-up about what they are planning, and estimating
                                    >when it may be available. They try to be realistic in meeting the

                                    OK, I'm curious, am I missing something here? We know that the Army
                                    train is coming around the bend, and that the GP9's are on the way.
                                    We actually know what the first GP9 will be. We also know about the
                                    passenger cars and F8's (or is it E8). I'd like the Army train, but
                                    will probably pass on it, unless I happen to get lucky and spot it in
                                    my FLHS and decide on a whim to buy it. The rest I'll be wanting to
                                    buy if I can get the roads I'm collecting.

                                    All of the above info is very vague though, and it's hard to place
                                    orders on vague. Can you tell me what the July cars are? This is
                                    what I'm talking about. How are we to know if any of the July cars
                                    are anything we want to get? By the time we do find out if they are
                                    something we want, we run the risk of them being sold out before we
                                    can get them.

                                    Zane


                                    --
                                    | Zane H. Healy | UNIX Systems Administrator |
                                    | healyzh@... (primary) | OpenVMS Enthusiast |
                                    | MONK::HEALYZH (DECnet) | Classic Computer Collector |
                                    +----------------------------------+----------------------------+
                                    | Empire of the Petal Throne and Traveller Role Playing, |
                                    | PDP-10 Emulation and Zane's Computer Museum. |
                                    | http://www.aracnet.com/~healyzh/ |
                                  • Mike D.
                                    Uwe I have never seen a response so eloquently worded, you are truly the politician! I vote for you for Mayor of Zville, will someone second the nomination?
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Jun 3, 2007
                                      Uwe I have never seen a response so eloquently worded, you are truly the
                                      politician! I vote for you for Mayor of Zville, will someone second the
                                      nomination? I�ve never seen such a swift �reverse 180� are you into racing
                                      too?

                                      In regards to second runs being cheaper for MTL to do that�s simply
                                      ridiculous even with existing molds, labor has gone up and so is every other
                                      aspect of manufacturing. Tooling could have even changed requiring mold
                                      modifications or complete rework of the molds/new molds altogether. So no it
                                      won�t be cheaper even with the very same production house.

                                      Another question that comes to mind, why are they beating to death the same
                                      old lines? Why aren�t they doing anything in the Fallen Flags lines? Those
                                      lines are still being modeled in fairly large numbers and most of the stuff
                                      is coming from the cottage industry side of MRR, thank the almighty for
                                      those guy�s if it weren�t for them we�d all be running BNSF, CSX, UP, and
                                      SP.

                                      Just take a look at what Chad did recently, with only some help from Uncle
                                      Will, he brought in the Bill K. car, On Time, At Cost. He didn�t sit in a
                                      conference room bickering with the N Scale team and he didn�t have to
                                      connive management for a budget, AND he didn�t leave a Single modeler
                                      hanging in the lurch.

                                      All this makes one Really Appreciate all the efforts of Robert, Tim, Rob,
                                      Loren, Uncle Will, Trainnut and now Chad. Thanks Guys you are truly the
                                      Gucci�s and Armani�s of small scale model railroading today!

                                      Aaron, I can always expect to see some responsible and pertinent to the
                                      subject at hand when I read your posts. Hopefully someone at MTL will take
                                      heed of your suggestion?

                                      To take that a step further they should also have regional reps to include
                                      Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Denmark or at the very least an
                                      order/pre-order form on the MTL website where they could then offer the reps
                                      exclusive access to projected sales in their areas. MTL should also come to
                                      terms with the fact that they aren�t a little company any more. Trust me
                                      there is nothing sitting on the shelves of my LHS for more than a day or two
                                      excepting the standard stock of Micro-Track. If I�m not there by Friday of
                                      the week it�s released, well shame on me.

                                      Right now they are the largest supplier of mass produced Z scale items, this
                                      won�t always be the case. Other manufacturers are bound to see the revenue
                                      potential and squeeze their way in as well. The stunt with the N Scale Pan
                                      Am car won you more than a few disgruntled fans (not the best marketing
                                      approach ever deployed). Also why didn�t we even see this car in Z scale?
                                      Hmmm?

                                      /s/ Another HAVE TO HAVE IT RIGHT NOW, hurting the Hobby, Z Scale enthusiast



                                      >From: "Zane H. Healy" <healyzh@...>
                                      >Reply-To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                                      >To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                                      >Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: MTL Production Numbers
                                      >Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2007 12:54:03 -0700
                                      >
                                      >At 9:56 AM +0000 6/3/07, Allan Miller wrote:
                                      > >I'm not sure what the problem is with today's consumer-hobbyists.
                                      > >They seem to want everything that THEY want, and they want it NOW! I
                                      > >see this in the other scales I model, and in some or most cases it is
                                      > >doing more harm to the hobby than good. As I've said so often in
                                      >
                                      >I'd just like to point out that I'm not saying I want everything I
                                      >want for my trains NOW! Quite the opposite, I'm happy to wait, and
                                      >add an item here and there. It helps to keep things affordable.
                                      >
                                      >What I am saying is that when I walk into a train store a couple days
                                      >after a new car, or cars are announced and am informed that I can't
                                      >buy them, because the store is sold out and can't get any more from
                                      >MTL, I consider this to be a problem.
                                      >
                                      >Call me strange, but I for one would rather pay more to support a
                                      >store in my own community, I don't want to have to order online from
                                      >another state. In fact this is one reason that I really like buying
                                      >MTL products, I'm an Oregonian, and by buying MTL I'm helping to
                                      >support an Oregon business.
                                      >
                                      > >If MTL or someone else announces something you want to buy, establish
                                      > >a good, regular relationship with a dealer and get your order placed
                                      > >on their list. Otherwise, take your chances when the item is
                                      > >eventually released and find a dealer who has it available or shop the
                                      > >secondary market.
                                      >
                                      > >My feeling is that MTL, in particular, has done a very good job in
                                      > >giving folks a heads-up about what they are planning, and estimating
                                      > >when it may be available. They try to be realistic in meeting the
                                      >
                                      >OK, I'm curious, am I missing something here? We know that the Army
                                      >train is coming around the bend, and that the GP9's are on the way.
                                      >We actually know what the first GP9 will be. We also know about the
                                      >passenger cars and F8's (or is it E8). I'd like the Army train, but
                                      >will probably pass on it, unless I happen to get lucky and spot it in
                                      >my FLHS and decide on a whim to buy it. The rest I'll be wanting to
                                      >buy if I can get the roads I'm collecting.
                                      >
                                      >All of the above info is very vague though, and it's hard to place
                                      >orders on vague. Can you tell me what the July cars are? This is
                                      >what I'm talking about. How are we to know if any of the July cars
                                      >are anything we want to get? By the time we do find out if they are
                                      >something we want, we run the risk of them being sold out before we
                                      >can get them.
                                      >
                                      > Zane
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >--
                                      >| Zane H. Healy | UNIX Systems Administrator |
                                      >| healyzh@... (primary) | OpenVMS Enthusiast |
                                      >| MONK::HEALYZH (DECnet) | Classic Computer Collector |
                                      >+----------------------------------+----------------------------+
                                      >| Empire of the Petal Throne and Traveller Role Playing, |
                                      >| PDP-10 Emulation and Zane's Computer Museum. |
                                      >| http://www.aracnet.com/~healyzh/ |

                                      _________________________________________________________________
                                      Get a preview of Live Earth, the hottest event this summer - only on MSN
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                                    • Don Avila
                                      We can talk to ourselves until we are blue in the face. It is the two sisters at MTL that have to be convinces there is money in Z. ... the
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Jun 3, 2007
                                        We can talk to ourselves until we are blue in the face.

                                        It is the two sisters at MTL that have to be convinces there is money
                                        in Z.

                                        ...don

                                        --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Mike D." <zscaletrains@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Uwe I have never seen a response so eloquently worded, you are truly
                                        the
                                        > politician!
                                      • Karin Svenson
                                        ... money ... Don, just don t turn into one of those Blue Guys that play with plastic pipe! My 2 bits worth is this... if MTL s leadership doesn t step up to
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Jun 3, 2007
                                          --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Don Avila" <d.f.avila@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > We can talk to ourselves until we are blue in the face.
                                          >
                                          > It is the two sisters at MTL that have to be convinces there is
                                          money
                                          > in Z.

                                          Don, just don't turn into one of those "Blue Guys" that play with
                                          plastic pipe!

                                          My 2 bits worth is this... if MTL's leadership doesn't step up to the
                                          plate and if AZL remains too expensive for many then I hope Athearn,
                                          Atlas, Bachmann, or similar companies to put their toes in the
                                          water. Remember, they didn't go into N scale right away and now you
                                          can get some very nice prototypical motive power and rolling stock in
                                          just about all of the major road names, even in Alaska! Granted some
                                          are cheaper than others but they offer affordable high end N scale.
                                          Competition is what gets us more, and better, in every product known
                                          to man. I'm glad old man Henry Ford wasn't the only producer of
                                          automobiles, who knows what few styles and low efficieny cars we'd be
                                          driving now.

                                          I cannot believe that these other companies are not rubbing their
                                          chins as they contemplate the Z scale market. They have to be at
                                          least THINKING about it, no?

                                          Karin
                                        • Don Avila
                                          My worthless guess is that some of these manufacturers will take a GOOD look around Detroit this summer, and then begin to consider spending some tooling
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Jun 3, 2007
                                            My worthless guess is that some of these manufacturers will take a
                                            GOOD look around Detroit this summer, and then begin to consider
                                            spending some tooling money. Detroit is only 8 weeks away -- Isn't
                                            that 7+1 or 6+2? It's a big commitment to start off on another scale.
                                            And there is a BIG chicken/egg world out there that has to pay the
                                            bills. I see Loren was helping promote the product in San Jose
                                            yesterday/today] ...don

                                            - - -

                                            > Don, just don't turn into one of those "Blue Guys" that play with
                                            > plastic pipe!
                                            >
                                            > My 2 bits worth is this... if MTL's leadership doesn't step up to the
                                            > plate and if AZL remains too expensive for many then I hope Athearn,
                                            > Atlas, Bachmann, or similar companies to put their toes in the
                                            > water. Remember, they didn't go into N scale right away and now you
                                            > can get some very nice prototypical motive power and rolling stock in
                                            > just about all of the major road names, even in Alaska! Granted some
                                            > are cheaper than others but they offer affordable high end N scale.
                                            > Competition is what gets us more, and better, in every product known
                                            > to man. I'm glad old man Henry Ford wasn't the only producer of
                                            > automobiles, who knows what few styles and low efficieny cars we'd be
                                            > driving now.
                                            >
                                            > I cannot believe that these other companies are not rubbing their
                                            > chins as they contemplate the Z scale market. They have to be at
                                            > least THINKING about it, no?
                                            >
                                            > Karin
                                            >
                                          • Mike D.
                                            Say It Ain t So, Don... MTL is operated by two women? Well that explains that. My dealer called them in inquire about a car for me and something called runner
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Jun 3, 2007
                                              Say It Ain't So, Don...

                                              MTL is operated by two women? Well that explains that.

                                              My dealer called them in inquire about a car for me and something called
                                              'runner set's #4 and #5 it think it was, the woman who answered the phone
                                              not knowing she was on speaker phone didn't just get nasty real quick, she
                                              got ultra-NASTY. Now my dealer (who looks exactly like Wolfman Jack did)
                                              looked at me with the widest eyes I've ever seen on a Human in all my life.
                                              No no receptionist in the world would dare to speak to a customer like that
                                              for fear of her job, so it had to be one of these women.

                                              I'm not taking anything away from women in business I hope all will
                                              understand. But from this attitude it's clearly evident nothing will change
                                              and those personnel at MTL must have their hands full in dealing with that
                                              kind of mentality. They must of had to walk to school (uphill, both ways).

                                              Karin, I sure hope your assessment is right, for them to not take advantage
                                              while they 'Owned' the market and had the chance to establish themselves as
                                              the leader. To just give the opportunity away, well that just seems to be
                                              the American way these days. I realize all to well that if it was easy then
                                              boy scouts and girl scouts would be doing it. Whats going on here is just a
                                              shame, a plain ole shame.

                                              /s/ Not Really a GOT TO HAVE IT NOW, disgruntled, Hurting the Hobby, MTL
                                              fan.


                                              >From: "Karin Svenson" <karin@...>
                                              >Reply-To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                                              >To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                                              >Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: MTL Production Numbers
                                              >Date: Sun, 03 Jun 2007 23:21:27 -0000
                                              >
                                              >--- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Don Avila" <d.f.avila@...> wrote:
                                              > >
                                              > > We can talk to ourselves until we are blue in the face.
                                              > >
                                              > > It is the two sisters at MTL that have to be convinces there is
                                              >money
                                              > > in Z.
                                              >
                                              >Don, just don't turn into one of those "Blue Guys" that play with
                                              >plastic pipe!
                                              >
                                              >My 2 bits worth is this... if MTL's leadership doesn't step up to the
                                              >plate and if AZL remains too expensive for many then I hope Athearn,
                                              >Atlas, Bachmann, or similar companies to put their toes in the
                                              >water. Remember, they didn't go into N scale right away and now you
                                              >can get some very nice prototypical motive power and rolling stock in
                                              >just about all of the major road names, even in Alaska! Granted some
                                              >are cheaper than others but they offer affordable high end N scale.
                                              >Competition is what gets us more, and better, in every product known
                                              >to man. I'm glad old man Henry Ford wasn't the only producer of
                                              >automobiles, who knows what few styles and low efficieny cars we'd be
                                              >driving now.
                                              >
                                              >I cannot believe that these other companies are not rubbing their
                                              >chins as they contemplate the Z scale market. They have to be at
                                              >least THINKING about it, no?
                                              >
                                              >Karin
                                              >

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                                            • Don Avila
                                              Give Loren a couple of days to get his feet back on the ground and drop him an Email. He s been at a train show with Joe with at least two of the new GP9 s
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Jun 3, 2007
                                                Give Loren a couple of days to get his feet back on the ground and
                                                drop him an Email. He's been at a train show with Joe with at least
                                                two of the new GP9's fully decorated. Check out TRAINBOARD for the
                                                colors. Loren is in at MTL regularly and can can fill you in on
                                                details, even the names of who to write to or whatever. I didn't
                                                think the sisters answered the phones, but who knows. MTL has quite a
                                                few employees.

                                                ...don


                                                > Say It Ain't So, Don...
                                                >
                                                > MTL is operated by two women? Well that explains that.
                                                >
                                                > My dealer called them in inquire about a car for me and something
                                                called
                                                > 'runner set's #4 and #5 it think it was, the woman who answered the
                                                phone
                                                > not knowing she was on speaker phone didn't just get nasty real
                                                quick, she
                                                > got ultra-NASTY. Now my dealer (who looks exactly like Wolfman Jack
                                                did)
                                                > looked at me with the widest eyes I've ever seen on a Human in all
                                                my life.
                                                > No no receptionist in the world would dare to speak to a customer
                                                like that
                                                > for fear of her job, so it had to be one of these women.
                                                >
                                                > I'm not taking anything away from women in business I hope all will
                                                > understand. But from this attitude it's clearly evident nothing will
                                                change
                                                > and those personnel at MTL must have their hands full in dealing
                                                with that
                                                > kind of mentality. They must of had to walk to school (uphill, both
                                                ways).
                                                >
                                                > Karin, I sure hope your assessment is right, for them to not take
                                                advantage
                                                > while they 'Owned' the market and had the chance to establish
                                                themselves as
                                                > the leader. To just give the opportunity away, well that just seems
                                                to be
                                                > the American way these days. I realize all to well that if it was
                                                easy then
                                                > boy scouts and girl scouts would be doing it. Whats going on here is
                                                just a
                                                > shame, a plain ole shame.
                                              • Joe DAmato
                                                Boy, I go to San Francisco for a day of train runnin and come back to this!! :o) Hey, I d love to tell you all what s coming in the way of road names, but
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Jun 3, 2007
                                                  Boy, I go to San Francisco for a day of train runnin' and come back
                                                  to this!! :o)

                                                  Hey, I'd love to tell you all what's coming in the way of road names,
                                                  but that's a lot more complicated than talking about new product
                                                  development. It's also something done by a different part of the
                                                  company and I think there's someting to do with letting dealers know
                                                  what and when and when to let customers know, and what and
                                                  when...oye..my head hurts. We've come a long way in the past 4 years
                                                  and I wouldn't be surprised if we continue to move and change in the
                                                  comming months and years...and as we do I announce what I can.

                                                  Cheers

                                                  Joe



                                                  --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Edward Scullin <sculline@...> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > Don
                                                  > I think what was meant about giving notice as to what is coming out
                                                  refered to road names Joe D
                                                  > has been great about what he knows is coming, but still kind of
                                                  quiet about specific road names.
                                                  > I think if what was stated here earlier about a 6 month lead time,
                                                  It would make sense if MTL
                                                  > would announce the road names and then see what additional orders
                                                  appear. Granted a lot of
                                                  > dealers aare signed up to take X of what ever MTL produces. If I
                                                  read the post from Aaron
                                                  > correctly dealers can be fairly selective (IE this month I want X
                                                  tank cars, Y box cars etc).
                                                  > Ed Scullin
                                                  >
                                                  > --- Don Avila <d.f.avila@...> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > > [snip]
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > > Okay, this brings up another question, why all the secrecy on
                                                  what is
                                                  > > > coming out?
                                                  > > > Zane
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Ummmmmm,
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Joe has been pretty open with us. We have known about the GP9
                                                  for a
                                                  > > LOOOOONG time. Finished production photos of the the first
                                                  version
                                                  > > are on Trainboard and they are spectacular He told us about the
                                                  > > turnouts and new track more than half a year before they came
                                                  out.
                                                  > > The other day he told us the turnout motors will be available
                                                  > > separately in a few months and of course they are now available
                                                  with
                                                  > > track. Many months before the Digitrax drop in DCC came out Joe
                                                  told
                                                  > > us about it. He has been telling us about the passenger cars
                                                  coming.
                                                  > > He has been telling us about some of the new engines with 6 wheel
                                                  > > trucks.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > I hardly call it secrecy ESPECIALLY where it really truly comes
                                                  out
                                                  > > and is not Vapor-Ware.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > ...don
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  >
                                                • Alan Cox
                                                  ... So get her name and get her fired. And tell me you ve never had a man do the same...
                                                  Message 24 of 28 , Jun 4, 2007
                                                    > got ultra-NASTY. Now my dealer (who looks exactly like Wolfman Jack did)
                                                    > looked at me with the widest eyes I've ever seen on a Human in all my life.
                                                    > No no receptionist in the world would dare to speak to a customer like that
                                                    > for fear of her job, so it had to be one of these women.

                                                    So get her name and get her fired. And tell me you've never had a man do
                                                    the same...
                                                  • Garth Hamilton
                                                    Guys if you are so sure you can do a better job then go get a job at MTL or better yet make an offer the current owners can not turn down and show us what you
                                                    Message 25 of 28 , Jun 4, 2007
                                                      Guys if you are so sure you can do a better job then go get a job at
                                                      MTL or better yet make an offer the current owners can not turn down
                                                      and show us what you can do. Otherwise you are a lay preacher
                                                      preaching to the already converted and it a rehash of what we have
                                                      all heard. MTL management is not listening here. Joe is that is a
                                                      truly bright light so don't blow it out.

                                                      Garth Hamilton
                                                      one of the converted
                                                    • Edward Scullin
                                                      Joe We can t really ask for any more than that. BUT Ed Scullin Thanks for filling us in when you can.
                                                      Message 26 of 28 , Jun 4, 2007
                                                        Joe
                                                        We can't really ask for any more than that. BUT
                                                        Ed Scullin
                                                        Thanks for filling us in when you can.

                                                        --- Joe DAmato <shipsure2003@...> wrote:

                                                        > Boy, I go to San Francisco for a day of train runnin' and come back
                                                        > to this!! :o)
                                                        >
                                                        > Hey, I'd love to tell you all what's coming in the way of road names,
                                                        > but that's a lot more complicated than talking about new product

                                                        ...and as we do I announce what I can.
                                                        >
                                                        > Cheers
                                                        >
                                                        > Joe
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Edward Scullin <sculline@...> wrote:
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Don
                                                        > > I think what was meant about giving notice as to what is coming out
                                                        > refered to road names Joe D
                                                        > > has been great about what he knows is coming, but still kind of
                                                        > quiet about specific road names.
                                                        > > I think if what was stated here earlier about a 6 month lead time,
                                                        > It would make sense if MTL
                                                        > > would announce the road names and then see what additional orders
                                                        > appear. Granted a lot of
                                                        > > dealers aare signed up to take X of what ever MTL produces. If I
                                                        > read the post from Aaron
                                                        > > correctly dealers can be fairly selective (IE this month I want X
                                                        > tank cars, Y box cars etc).
                                                        > > Ed Scullin
                                                        > >
                                                        > > --- Don Avila <d.f.avila@...> wrote:
                                                        > >
                                                        > > > [snip]
                                                        > > > >
                                                        > > > > Okay, this brings up another question, why all the secrecy on
                                                        > what is
                                                        > > > > coming out?
                                                        > > > > Zane
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > Ummmmmm,
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > Joe has been pretty open with us. We have known about the GP9
                                                        > for a
                                                        > > > LOOOOONG time. Finished production photos of the the first
                                                        > version
                                                        > > > are on Trainboard and they are spectacular He told us about the
                                                        > > > turnouts and new track more than half a year before they came
                                                        > out.
                                                        > > > The other day he told us the turnout motors will be available
                                                        > > > separately in a few months and of course they are now available
                                                        > with
                                                        > > > track. Many months before the Digitrax drop in DCC came out Joe
                                                        > told
                                                        > > > us about it. He has been telling us about the passenger cars
                                                        > coming.
                                                        > > > He has been telling us about some of the new engines with 6 wheel
                                                        > > > trucks.
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > I hardly call it secrecy ESPECIALLY where it really truly comes
                                                        > out
                                                        > > > and is not Vapor-Ware.
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > > ...don
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > >
                                                        > > >
                                                        > >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
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