Is there a market for US TT?

Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby Robert B » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:58 pm

railtwister wrote:Why is everyone so obsessed with the body shell for a new locomotive, when there is no decent quality drive system to put it on? The TT_IMS group over on Yahoo Groups produced a resin GP38 shell, whatever happened to plans for the drive for that?

What is needed first is a good set of trucks with quality wheels, gears, good electrical pickup system, correct wheelbase, & changeable sideframes. Until a decent drivetrain exists, beautiful body shells are of little use. Hacking up a currently available mediocre European drive to “sort of” fit a US profile body is not a realistic solution. Personally, I would love to see a Rapido built TT scale Budd RDC, but realistically, that is not the answer either, because it has such limited appeal (as if TT scale isn’t limited enough). An EMD F unit (plus F’s have the added advantage of not needing fragile & difficult to make handrails), GP, or SD would have more universal appeal, Alco, GE, FM & Baldwin, slightly less. Really, how many railroads actually had RDC’s?

Bill in FtL


I agree with Bill on the need of a quality drive system.

With the EMD F units, I am not so certain.
They don't seem to be as popular as they used to be.
I personally would not be interested in a F unit unless it came with some matching passenger cars.

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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby TinGoat » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:31 pm

railtwister wrote:Having things that are in short supply, not generally available, or possibly discontinued isn’t very useful. I’ve heard of the Bull Ant, but never seen one. Ordering something sight unseen on speculation, especially from another country, isn’t something I’m likely to do, nor are a lot of others likely to do it either.

Bill in FtL


That's why I suggest that it be made and distributed within North America.

However, the short supply issue is unavoidable unless someone is willing to warehouse a large supply against the future.



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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby TinGoat » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:43 pm

For a full chassis it makes more sense to stretch out and beef up N Scale than trying to mill down HO Scale.

Take a look at what the NZ120 guys have done. Matching N Scale locos to what they need.

Maybe put TT B-trucks on N Scale SD chassis?

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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby dileTTante » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:59 pm

It has been rightly pointed out that even the few modelers here on TTNut can't agree on what they want most to be produced. That is seen as making a small market even smaller and a no-go for any manufacturer.

I think that if TT had the choices available in almost all other scales, everyone here could have something close to heart's desire and new modelers would have better reason to try TT scale.

What bothers me about these discussions is that many TT people treat the scale as a special interest group. They know that they're orphans and take pride in making do with ancient HP products and spending hundreds of dollars on models to cannibalize for their own needs, or spending thousands of dollars on machine shop equipment to build what they want. They think TT is a special interest group like Sn2, HOm, On3, etc.

In my mind TT is a fully legitimate scale which has a rightful place in the range between Z and G. There are lots of European models which prove it. At national train shows I have been astounded by huge layouts in Z scale. There are five manufacturers making North American Z scale (wikipedia). I resent that there is no TT and that we are reduced to making do and being thankful for scraps. (Well, really I don't resent it much because I have European TT and am happy - except I can't afford to buy all I want.)

Whatever ends up being produced next in TT motive power will depend on the manufacturers. All the talk here is for nothing until a maker is persuaded to crank out some TT models. The thing to do is to approach as many sources as possible and twist some arms. I think it should be done in an informed way. Mark's (CSD's) comments about Rapido show the level where the action needs to be to get anything done. I'd like to see less talk about a favourite locomotive and more talk about how to get something made. This would be very helpful for any of us who intend to approach a manufacturer.

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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby ConducTTor » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:32 pm

The problem with this discussion is the following:

Everyone wants a particular model for a particular railroad.

Nothing will be made. Ever. Because the numbers simply do not exist.

If there is *any* chance of something being produced, it will be because every single person here accepts that they WILL buy at least one and possibly more of whatever is made.

That's it. End of story.

We've been through what models make most sense. Everyone agree (put your money where your mouth is) to buy whichever of those gets produced and we have a tiny chance of it actually happening.

Otherwise this discussion is beyond useless. Why? Because the answer to the title of this post is "no. There is no market".

Not trying to be a downer. But after so many years of going round and round on this issue, one must accept the facts.


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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby TinGoat » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:43 pm

It's a chicken or egg situation.

The big manufacturers aren't going to gèt into TT unless they see a market and the market isn't going to be recognized until it starts up a cottage industy of TT products.

The problem with trying to produce a really robust Kato/Atlas split frame chassis/mechanism is that it won't satisfy everyone because it won't fit every conceivable locomotive.

Bill makes a point that he wouldn't buy one sight unseen.... Unless the price was right, maybe?

My recommendation for a BullAnt type mechanism is that it is modular and could be made to fit a variety of locomotives and perhaps at a price point that wouldn't choak a horse.

Making a chassis isn't rocket science. Funtional and satisfying ones can be made with basic tools.

http://home.claranet.nl/users/summer/16 ... hassis.htm

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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby railtwister » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:31 am

Is there any demand for US profile TT in Europe, or is there even less demand there, than there is here in the US and Canada? Was there actually a production run of an F-unit from Berliner or Tillig, or were there only pre-production samples made? Does the tooling still exist for these or was it scrapped? If the tooling still exists, is there any possibility a new run could be made? For any of us who have actually seen one of these, what was the quality actually like?

I met Fran Grasso many years ago, and I believe he had a test shot of the Berliner F-unit body shell, but it may have only been photos. At the time, he was going to be the US distributor for Berliner, but I believe that deal fell through due to Berliner ultimately being taken over by Tillig. Too bad, Fran seemed like a really nice guy.

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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby krokodil » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:11 am

railtwister wrote:I didn’t mean to imply that an HO NWSL Stanton drive could fit a TT loco, but more was wondering if a smaller, TT version could be made, using similar construction & design? I’m not convinced that a motor-on-truck design is the best way to go. I’m still favoring a split frame design similar to Kato/Atlas N scale locos, maybe even designed to use the exact same DCC replacement boards they use, to avoid DCC development costs. I realize there are some on this list who object to such a design, because their preferred digital system doesn’t offer such a board, but the fact is, that type of system isn’t even available in the USA (I don’t know how commonly used it is, even in Europe). For a small loco like in TT or N scale, that type of board takes up far less space than a separate decoder and plug would, and designing a TT loco to use an already existing N scale board seems to be a good idea.

Bill in FtL


Bill I fully agree with you about the motor-on-truck design. Those trucks are designed for very small cars and trolleys, for the real two truck locomotive they create more troubles. The two trucks will not work very well in synchron and they eat up lot of space, what is very much needed for ballast and electronics. Especially the space under the long hoods is very critical because the whole motor needs to turn in curves.
About the internal electronics. This issue is easier to solve, if there is a real need and exact expectation what is needed even I can help you to design the board with the DCC electronics, however the cost for such dedicated board is higher as a separate universal DCC decoder.
Look at this decoderhttp://www.tran.at/Produkte/DCX75.shtml it can be easily embedded almost in any standard electronic board of modern locomotives. The whole board is thinner than the standard printed circuit board (1,4 mm vs 1,6mm).
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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby TinGoat » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:57 am

My Point about Hollywood Foundry BullAnt Mechanisms isn't that the motor is mounted on the truck.

My Point is that they are Modular and can be made to various sizes and configurations.

As you can see here, there's also full frames with center mounted motors:
Image

http://www.hollywoodfoundry.com/Aussie%20Locos.htm

Image

http://www.hollywoodfoundry.com/Gozunder.htm

A focus on inexpensive modular 12mm chassis/mechanisms would also draw in the HOm HOn42 guys like me...

And, once again, I reiterate that unless the big manufacturers see a robust TT cottage industry they're not likely to pick up the TT-torch.
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Re: Is there a market for US TT?

Postby railtwister » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:05 pm

The BullAnt looks like a great little drive, but like most things TT, it has been hard to get in the past and appears to be unobtainable at this time. Even if it were currently available, the difficulty and cost of overseas shipping adds significantly to its price for anyone in the USA or Canada.

Shipping costs brings up another point. I have bought on eBay a few items from China where the price of the order included shipping to the USA, and that overall price was less than just the cost would be for return shipping alone should the item prove to be defective. On the other hand, shipping from some countries to the USA seems quite high, not counting the customs costs.

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