Home Page Column from February 2000

Welcome aboard our fourth issue. It's funny how big news in the hobby seems to break at about the same time we post a new issue. Our first issue came out at the same time Lionel signed on Dick Maddox. We were there with his first interview.

With this issue, the big news is the MTH Dealer Preview. MTH unveiled a new train control system, a new sound system, and a bunch of new trains. We have the first full report in this issue.

February is a busy month for toy trains. Lionel's new catalog will soon be out and a huge train show took place in West Springfield, Massachusetts on Feb. 5th and 6th. Attendance was estimated at 18,000 that's more than attend York. What's unusual about this show is that it includes both real and model railroading.

Coming up is Toy Fair in New York City (February 13-17). Tom McComas will be there (Booth 5523) and will be sending in reports.

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A final note about rumors. We hear lots of them but we don't print them. We are not in the rumor business. Our purpose is to provide our readers with facts and opinions. Not rumors.

The Korea Situation At the beginning of March, a story broke concerning corporate trade secrets stolen from Samhongsa, the company that builds MTH Electric Trains. These plans were allegedly used by Korea Brass, a contract manufacturer for Lionel, to build the Class A locomotive for Lionel. Here are the press releases issued by MTH and Lionel from March 6, 2000 and March 10, 2000.

Other Lionel News At the Toy Fair this year, Lionel announced two new developments in the hobby. The first is a licensing deal making TrainMaster Command Control and RailSounds technology available to four other manufacturers of O gauge trains. The second concerns their new Yard Boss component for controlling trains.

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