Walthers SW9

johnh Jan 17, 2012

  1. johnh

    johnh TrainBoard Member

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  2. NIevo

    NIevo TrainBoard Member

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    Wow, talk about a PRE-release! I'm still mad they aren't doing a BN version so it wasn't going to be doing me any good anyways.
     
  3. MVW

    MVW E-Mail Bounces

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    I checked Walthers a week or two ago, saw the "January" and got excited. A day or two later I checked back and noticed it was January 2013.

    Oh well. Makes it easier to justify that gaggle of pre-owned locos I recently picked up from Nievo.:tb-biggrin:

    Incidentally, this was my first experience pre-ordering a loco. I'm aware delays are the norm, but this is precisely the type of ineptitude that will discourage me from pre-ordering again. The SW9 was originally scheduled for release Sept. 2011. Then May 2012. Now January 2013. I can understand missing a release date by a few months, maybe even six months. But when you can't deliver within a year, it reflects very poorly on the offending party, in my book.

    Either hit your deadlines, or drop the pre-ordering BS. Just tell us when you have the damn things ready for sale.

    I'm relatively new to N, so I don't have a huge loco roster, probably 10-12 engines. All but one were purchased used (always for less than half the price of a new engine.) Guess where my money is going in the future?

    Jim
     
  4. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Probably the bottom line is this is not a new loco. It is nothing more than the original Lifelike SW that is just getting new wheels to deal with code 55 and finally MT couplers rather than the old Rapidos that were in it prior to this. Oh and maybe in a different roadname or number that was released earlier. To bad that LL was eaten up by Walthers after the fire. They were starting to come out with some decent locos.
     
  5. MVW

    MVW E-Mail Bounces

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    That reminds me of another thing, John. This loco was originally billed as "DCC ready." Later (after I ordered, of course) the description was revised to "DCC friendly."

    Reminds me of the old "Get Smart" bit.

    "You're surrounded by a company of sharpshooters." (Bad guys don't duy it.) "Would you believe a hyperactive SWAT team.?" (Not buying that, either.) "How about Chuck Norris with a BB gun?"

    Jim
     
  6. johnh

    johnh TrainBoard Member

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    Guess I had better hold onto my old ones. The old ones are pretty nicely detailed, and if you replace the plastic worm with a brass worm from Kato it improves the running substantially. You can replace the wheelsets with Atlas and with a TCS Z2 decoder they are fantastic engines. It's just too bad you have to do all of that to get there.
     
  7. wig-wag-trains.com

    wig-wag-trains.com Advertiser

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    The delays are more likely beyond the scope of anything Walthers could control or predict. The major factory in China has raised the minimum orders to the point that most US companies are moving to new factories that will accept smaller orders. That puts the US company into the bottom slot on the totem pole of senority and they have to accept when their run will be produced. One company in particular is reporting that even though all other requests have been met the original factory has delayed transferring the tooling to the new factory for more than a year. Since it is in China you can't just hop a shuttle to that city and show up at the gate of the factory or file a suit with the court. Atlas has moved may products to TBD from original "fixed" delivery schedules and everybody has accepted them. The Shay was "guaranteed" to be in dealers hands by 10/15/2009 and now after continuous delays it has been cancelled. At least the SW9 is still coming. If only they would have announced them in road names that would actually sell in major quantities. Not meaning to offend any modeler out there but orders for ATSF or UP (if applicable to those roads and if they had been offerred) would have been larger than they have been for the 4 road names announced were in total.

    L-L was not eaten up! The owner was in his mid-80's and ready to retire. The company that bought LiFoam did not want the Model RR side. Walthers was ready/needed to compete with Horizon who had bought Athearn.
     
  8. johnh

    johnh TrainBoard Member

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    Time to move manufacturing back to the USA.
     
  9. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    It doesn't really matter to me as far as the wheels go since I will not be running code 55, unless it is Peco anyway. Way too much cost involved, not to mention work, to retro my small fleet of locos and cars to run on it. I nearly had to run a 2nd mortgage just to outfit most of my stock with MTs. As far as the original loco the conversion to a MT 1015 was just a simple remove and drop in, replace the retainer move. In my book it is a great running little switcher and has been the source of a few mechanisms for my critters. I would have liked to see some more roadnames though although CB&Q should be the seller.
     
  10. MVW

    MVW E-Mail Bounces

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    Thanks for your insight, Wig-Wag. All valid points, I'm sure. And I have no doubt that if Walthers had its druthers, it would have the product out on time.

    But the culpability of Walthers (and others) is in putting themselves in a position where their release dates have no validity. I doubt the current business model of relying on pre-orders will endure if release dates are missed by six months, a year or more.

    I understand the bottleneck is in the manufacturing. But it's also my belief that offshoring all production was short-sighted at best. From the research I've done, it's not a case of it being unprofitable to manufacture in the U.S. It's that profit margins could be inflated by doing business in China. It's not a question of making money or not making money, it's a question of how big that stack of money will be.

    I don't mind anyone chasing a profit. Unfortunately, it seems that too many companies are chasing short-term profits at the risk of long-term viability. When you have no idea when your products are going to make it to market, you've got big problems.

    Jim

    P.S. -- You can count me amongst those who ordered this product because of the road names chosen. If it hadn't been announced in C&NW colors, I would have passed.
     
  11. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well, I think this another good example of a model railroading product not receiving even a basic entry-level bit of marketing. Well that and many of us getting burned by Walthers definition of DCC friendly/ready/modifiable-with-major-hacking. Had they definitively stated if the loco would accept some form of drop-in, plug-in, or at least easily hard-wired decoder, well they might have had the attention of many. But because of their lack of truthfulness about this issue before, and generally the expectation that they won't put that kind of effort into an n-scale product....it's a no go until the first release hits the shelf.

    Had they done an undec I probably would have ordered one but again, didn't happen.

    Too many unknowns at this point. See you in 2013-14-15....
     
  12. timhar47

    timhar47 TrainBoard Member

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    AMEN to that one! Actually I am reminded of some talk I heard not too long ago, regarding the Cell Phone business, talk of moving productions back to the USA, because just in normal big business, it takes something like 4-6 months to go from an idea/design, of say a cell phone cover, to the China production/shipping. Meanwhile john doe tiny co competitor sneaks the idea, and has it made in the usa in two weeks! On top of that, like it was said earlier, the company brass in the US cant just 'hop in the limo' and run to China to complain
     
  13. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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    China, USA or Outer Mongolia, wherever it's made we're talking about an apparently not very much modified rerun of a several years old N scale diesel not a replacement for the space shuttle.

    As always my biggest beef is not the endless postponements to the release dates but the fact that the manufacturers never tell us why.
     
  14. Railroad Bill

    Railroad Bill TrainBoard Member

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    :pcool: I certainly understand the wanting of certain models, in certain levels of quality, and at acceptable prices. To a degree, so do I.

    :pbiggrin: I for one am glad that there are any new releases of N-scale products in any year. My roster includes Atlas, Athearn, Life-Like (Walthers,) and of course, Kato. These have been bought used, new, on-line, eBay, and LHS. Some buys were great for price and quality and some were losers. My choices, my results, my wallet.

    :plaugh: I could wish for an all-American conceived, designed, engineered, produced, marketed, and supported product like Lionel did years ago, but then, they didn't do N-scale. Guess I'll wait for someone to do that. But I have a list of must have board numbers in just the right marques that should be produced.

    :we2-jimlad: Reccomend that all whiners organize their own business with funding, talent, ideas, and methods to overcome these issues. When you do I'll send a list of the models, marques, and board numbers that I need and the price I'd pay. All three of them as a package deal, please. I'll wait for your offerings, holding my breath
     

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