Re: the future of HON3


Dave Trimble
 



On Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 6:42 PM duncan <train3guy@...> wrote:

Bob,

    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!

                                                                                                                                                            Duncan Harvey


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