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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Years ago, when I got back into O gauge trains, I decided to stick with MTH almost exclusively because they were by far the best bang for the buck.

Every year when the Lionel catalog comes out, I am reminded that Lionel prices are a good bit higher than the competition.

Two reviews in the October/November issue of OGR mag (one right after the other) drove home the point that MTH, while not what it used to be, is still the best bang for the buck.

The first review is for an MTH Premier GP9 (MSRP $520).

The next review is for a Lionel LC+2.0 Genesis (made with Railking tooling that Lionel bought from MTH). The article mentioned the downside of high-end models is the high price and that Railking and LC+2.0 are more affordable options. I had to chuckle when I read the $550 MSRP for the “more affordable” LC+2.0 Genesis. By the way, when MTH made the Railking Genesis in 2017, it was PS3 and MSRP was $330.
 

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I like both and have a lot of MTH Premier and Legacy/Vision locos - probably roughly an equal number of both. Generally, I think MTH locos and rolling stock are better bargains, but I will often pay the extra for Lionel if they make a model of the same loco. The MTH European series is an exception - as good as it gets, but then generally quite pricey. But particularly since I've been able to operate new Legacy locos with the Universal controller, I try to stick with Lionel. It is like anything else, at the high end you pay a lot more for just a little bit of additional features/quality. Same with just about anything you buy.
 

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I have close to an equal amount of MTH command locos and Lionel command locos, approx 50 or so of each. Both companies have their pluses and minuses in their product line. My layout is equipped with the MTH DCS system and the Lionel TMCC system. Have not spent the bucks on the Lionel Legacy system, doubt that I will since I don't purchase many Lionel command locomotives these days due to the inflated prices.

IMO, I prefer the MTH DCS system over the Lionel TMCC system and at times will operate the Lionel TMCC locos with the MTH DCS system. So far my experience with Lionel's Bluetooth technology has been less than acceptable. Most times I will operate my Lionel Bluetooth locos with the Lionel TMCC controller not with my tablet or phone.

Bill
 

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As I have learned more about the battery issues, and knowing I have a lot of MTH PS 1.0 and PS 2.0, and Mike's back and forth on his latest business model, I am not as interested in being a big MTH booster.

I have now received my 2 items ordered from last years Lionel catalog, purchased through Hobby Haven to support their small O Scale section. One was the Milwaukee Road Legacy SD45, which is detailed to the nines and at my 10% pre order price came to about $540 if I recall. I then just received an 86 foot Western Pacific box car for I think $115. A lot yes, but it's a large model.

My last "new" MTH purchases were 2 special runs for Berwyns Trains in Chicagoland for $500 each, GP9's. So that's apples to apples with Lionel price wise. I run conventional, so not that interested in the alphabet related to running systems, but I understand those features are neat.

I'll continue to buy MTH if they have the right items in my road names, but my focus is more on Atlas. And with over 50 locomotives, I am mostly a rolling stock buyer anyway.
 

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Well since a lot of MTH tooling is now in the hands of Lionel and Atlas. It's not likely you will see any new engine tooling from MTH, so you are kind of limiting yourself to what's already out there.

I do like how well built MTH are but not a fan of the DCS system. Hence the reason I'm having the remaining of my MTH fleet converted to legacy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
MTH made many different loco models so, even after selling some of their tooling, what’s already out there is a lot more than what I already have. For example, I just got my first SD-9 and I have my first 2-10-4 on order.

But the point I was trying to make is that the “high-end / premier” MTH model costs less than the “low-end / more affordable” Lionel model.
 

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Always thought MTH made nice, attractive, reasonably priced locos, but did not like PS1 nor PS2, and found DCS much quirkier and thus more frustrating than TMCC. In conventional mode, MTH locos were pretty rock solid. Not so in command mode in my experience. I strongly prefer the LionChief Universal Remote Control to the MTH DCS Remote Commander or Explorer (no physical remote). Right now, the future of DCS and MTH as company seem more uncertain, so that reinforces my preferences. Fortunately, pricing (at least within a few tens of dollars, maybe a hundred) is not a big issue for me. Everyone's priorities are different :).
 

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MTH made many different loco models so, even after selling some of their tooling, what’s already out there is a lot more than what I already have. For example, I just got my first SD-9 and I have my first 2-10-4 on order.

But the point I was trying to make is that the “high-end / premier” MTH model costs less than the “low-end / more affordable” Lionel model.
I agree on all points, but there are a handful of locomotives I wish MTH would at least retool with additional detail and nicer trucks (Premier style), the SD9 being one of them.

I'd also like to see the Alco C628/630, RS-27, and RSD-4/5, as well as the Baldwin AS-616 get similar treatment.
 

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Bought new Dcs system in 2002 recently had that old tiu repaired having a bad capacitor have the same remote and a spare bought at the same time .
The Dcs system never gave any problems sure a blown fuse outside the tiu here and there but that is it.
Still have and run mth the diesel engine from 2002 5 volt board along with 8 other various mth engines.
As for Lionel have many prewar and postwar engines that are run on that old 4x8 layout and they are a joy to run.
There is no desire to buy any new lionel nor mth happy with what is here at home which is quite a few and there are no so called shelf queens they all get the time on layout .
 
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