As you said, this has been discussed before. But, a couple
of new things have developed that weren't present back then.
Maybe they will make a difference.
About a year ago, at the Sacramento NNGC, Blackstone
announced they had broken off dealings with the manufacturer they
had been working with. I believe that is Kader (sp?) who are
owned by Bachmann, or who own Bachmann. At any rate my
understanding was that Kader would make the items (locos and cars)
for Blackstone, but Bachmann couldn't compete. So, Bachmann never
entered the HOn3 market.
They did use the drawings, etc. and produced both a K-27 and
a C-19 in G scale (Fn3) that were identical to the Blackstone
models in HOn3.
When Blackstone ended their manufacturing relationship with
Kader, that would seem to change things.
At the convention, when I found out about this change I
immediately went over to the Bachmann booth and asked if they knew
anything about it. They said they did not. I related what I had
read and been told at the Blackstone booth. I asked them to check
it out and if it was true, might they now consider entering the
HOn3 market? The gentleman I talked to said he'd check it out.
Notice that Blackstone has said they would keep us informed of
developments. It has been almost a year and we have heard nothing
new from them.
At the TCA show here in Denver in March I again went to the
Bachmann booth and asked them about the possibility of Bachmann
doing something in HOn3. That gentleman said they would not.
That the market was not nearly big enough.
I would dispute that claim, because Blackstone was able to
sell enough locos to meet the requirements for production. They
ran three releases of K-27's IIRC, and two releases of C-19's. I
know Blackstone had told us (at Caboose Hobbies where I worked at
the time) that they needed to sell as many models in a run as
Athern, Atlas, Intermountain, Bachmann, or any of the other
manufacturing companies had to sell. And that that number was
about 3500 copies. If that is true, then Blackstone was able to
sell something like 10,500 K-27's and 7,000 C-19's.
So, my thinking is the best bet for new HOn3 locos may yet be
Bachmann. They have the factory that has done that kind of thing
before. There is, now, no agreement existing that keeps them from
such a move. They just need to hear from enough of us that there
is a market that is not being met. And a C-16 would be an ideal
loco to produce. Because I think it is just about the only thing
that would have enough sales to warrant a run. It was the
iconic narrow gauge loco. (Despite Blackstone's claim that the
K-27 was the iconic narrow gauge loco!!!) The C-16 was used by
more roads than any other and in numbers exceeding any other
design. A K-28, or K-36 is nice. But they are large; only used
by one, or two roads; numbered about ten of each; were modern in
design. So, for old time, small layouts, of different roads, not
of much interest.
C-16's were used extensively by the D&RG(W), RGS,
DSP&P, DL&G, C&S, SRR, SN, SG&N, W&W, WP&Y
and many others. They were first built in the late 1800s, so fit
for early modelers. They were small, so better fit those with
small layouts. They were used in passenger, freight, logging
operations and as switchers, so fit many layouts in those areas.
They lasted into modern times and three still exist, so fit for
those modeling modern narrow gauge roads. I think no loco better
fits narrow gauge modeling. Yet, no one has made a r-t-r model.
Long answer to you question, but I hope it had some info and
ideas that are helpful!