The Kato Metra F40PH looks nice. I hope they do a release in the "KOBO" version.
That was a big omission with Kato not during a release of the Pullman Bilevels in Metra colors but I suspect it had to be a licensing problem. Better late than never!
Those Kato bilevel cars should look nice behind a TLT Metra MP36PH
If Walthers newer version of the Pullman Bilevels (just announced this month for Rock Island, C&NW & SP) sell well, I suspect Walthers will do a new release of the Pullman or NS Bilevels, with a stainless finish.
These are more like re-releases. Nothing new...
It's interesting how these prices have doubled since their initial release almost 10 years ago AND they don't necessarily require the metal plating. In fact, it's not even listed as a feature on these model as it should not be. I don't believe the prototypes were manufactured with stainless steel. They had more of a platinum mist finish. I like to think that I've been pretty fair about model railroad product prices and I think it's fair to call This one
out. The only "improvements" are factory-installed grab irons. Perhaps the price increase and the resulting profit will cross-subsidize other product development (Like the NS cars :D). If that's the case, that is perfectly understandable.
Walthers did just about every road in their earlier runs. I'm even skeptical that they'll do the NS cars based on the performance of these cars. If anything I thought their sales of the METRA F40s (more modern and appropriate) would have influenced their decision to produce the NS cars.
Additionally NONE of the PS DD commuter cars are appropriate for the MP36. Although one or two would be found mixed in with a string of stainless steel cars, I can't recall if an MP36 EVER pulled a full compliment of PS DD Commuter cars with the smooth sides.
I'm hoping that Walthers is waiting for the MP36 to finally hit the market before announcing any plans to produce the NS cars. If not, KATO already has their F40 in METRA colors which would justify them producing NS cars in HO to compliment their own product which will be more prototypically accurate for METRA than anything produced prior.
I like to say that I like how the two manufacturers appear to be "talking" as there doesn't seem to be an overlap between the two in terms of offerings. It seems Walthers is letting KATO have "METRA" this go-around (for whatever that is worth). I hope this run works out for KATO, making enough of a justification for them to produce an HO NS car.
What would be a very nice compliment is if Walthers did the older Budd cars while KATO did the NS cars.
I think the key for manufacturers surviving isn't one beating the other but communicating and one not taking advantage of the other through that communication. I know of one in particular that did something like that and lost a bit of respect for them as a result.