Current State of TT in North America

Current State of TT in North America

Postby Hammy » Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:36 pm

Hi,

I'm from (East) Germany and love the TT scale. Well, for us it is no problem getting the latest and greatest (rolling) stock, e.g. from Tillig or Kuehn. But I'm sure that you Americans rather want to have your own models on the trail and not our German ones. Hence my first question: what is the TT-state in the USA? Are there any companies offering locos, coaches or whatever in TT scale?

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Re: Current State of TT in the USA

Postby ConducTTor » Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:54 pm

Current state? I'm not sure there is anything that can even be called a state at this moment. Rolling stock is limited to whatever one can find on ebay - mostly BTTB stuff, some HP Products and Gandy Dancer (original TT scale from the late 50s?). Only one place that I know of that imports from Germany - http://www.eurotrainhobby.com and one manufacturer of US stock http://www.goldcoastrailway.com limited to a few box cars (which are very nice by the way). Everything else is done by conversions or scratch building.

I'm not terribly affected by this because my modeling interests are very diverse so I have no problem with German or Russian (Peresvet, TT-model, TT-Club) prototypes. However, it would be fantastic to have at least a small line of US protos available. It would also be nice to have rolling stock readily available in the US - the shipping charges from Europe and Dollar to Euro conversion rate are killing me!
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How big is TT scale in America?

Postby Markus » Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:59 pm

Hi!

Nice idea with a TT scale forum in English (all of them seem to be in German...)!

How big is the TT scale in the U.S? I live in the Czech Republic (a small country in central Europe, for those who slept in geography class :) ), where the TT scale is the biggest model railroading scale by far (H0 is growing, while N is marginal at most). But since I´m currently building on a Danish TT-layout I think I have similar problems as American TT modellers might have... almost no Danish models means lots of scratch building (which is on the other hand one of the best things with the scale; small enough to allow big layouts and big enough to make it possible to build your own models without too big problems).

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Re: Current State of TT in the USA

Postby ConducTTor » Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:12 pm

I'm actually curious to know how many of the FP7s Tillig sold when it produced them I bet they sold all of them. I would think it would be relatively easy to produce another batch, partner with Gold Coast Railway Co for box cars and stick all that into one of their starter sets with rail and a power pack. Do a small run, see how well it sells and if it's good, repeat the process. Then maybe come out with a new wagon (something that would be cheap like a flatbed), repaint the loco and sell again. Given the economy, everything these days is cheap. Get all that set up now and have it ready to go next year when the economy is in a rise.
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Re: Current State of TT in the USA

Postby jmass » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:48 pm

hello, i think that all it would take is for one of the major manufacturers to produce a limited run, maybe two loco types and three or four freight cars and some track and the scale would take off. jmass
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Re: Current State of TT in the USA

Postby ConducTTor » Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:12 pm

jmass wrote:hello, i think that all it would take is for one of the major manufacturers to produce a limited run, maybe two loco types and three or four freight cars and some track and the scale would take off. jmass



Welcome jmass, ^^^ that's exactly what I'm thinking. I'd be interested to know what manufacturing costs are for locos/wagons? Nowadays, they should be cheap.
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Re: Current State of TT in the USA

Postby member13 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:24 am

I dunno about manufacturing costs BUT I bet there are plenty of european transplants here to make tt possible.
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Re: Current State of TT in the USA

Postby ConducTTor » Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:31 pm

So here is a question for everyone. What in your opinion will it take for TT scale to become successful in the US? I believe first we'll need more US prototypes (there are none to begin with so 'more' can mean 3 locos and 5 wagons) - target your audience. Second, - and ultimately the most important - find the audience. I believe if there is a decent product offering, a small (in a country of over 300 million, small is big) group of people will go for it. From there, word of mouth and intelligent advertising/promotion will do the actual growing of the consumer base. I realize I'm simplifying things dramatically but you have to start simple.....

Your thoughts?
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Re: Current State of TT in the USA

Postby ConducTTor » Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:09 am

It seems that we have guests from Germany and Russia so I will ask them this question:

If a manufacturer made US prototype locomotives and wagons, would you buy them or are you only interested in your own country's rolling stock?
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Re: Current State of TT in the USA

Postby jpachl » Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:22 am

I would definitely buy them since I have a US layout. However, the main target of a manufacturer of US prototype models should be the US market. It would be nice to get one of the European TT manufacturers to start with US models. For a company like Tillig, it should be no real problem to start with making some US rolling stock. They already did with the small batch series they made for members of the German TT Association. The problem is how to sell these models on the US market. European manufacturers have no experience on the US market. From my opinion, the only chance to get a big European manufacturer to start with US TT is to find a business partner in the USA who is willing to take part of the commercial risk, e.g. by importing a significant batch on his own risk and trying to establish a market for TT in the USA. Once having re-vitalized TT scale this way in the USA, North American manufacturers will probably join the TT market. In some way, it is strange that today TT is so popular in many parts of the world (in Russia it is even the leading scale with a market share of 40%) but not in the USA where that scale was invented.

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