• TLT Mp36PH-3C's on sale!

  • Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.
Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.

Moderators: 3rdrail, Otto Vondrak, stilson4283

  by fl9m2026
Anyone looking for DCC or DC versions of the MPXpress MP36PH-3C's in either Metrolink or RailRunner colors, M.B. Klein currently has them in stock and on sale. DCC versions are selling for $179.00 (significantly less than the MSRP and Klein's regular price) and DC versions for $99.00 (again, significant savings over MSRP and Klein's regular price). I ordered a Metrolink unit. According to TLT, Northstar and MBTA should be available by the end of the year. When Klein gets them, lets hope the sale prices apply to them too! Follow the link for more info....

http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by fl9m2026
Just received Metrolink #899. These models were WELL worth the delays and wait. These are OUTSTANDING!! True Line Trains hit this one out of the park!! Detail is fantastic; all the intricate grills, fans, hinges, windshield wipers, grab-irons, trucks, fuel tank, battery boxes, underframe piping etc. is brass-quality. Fit and finish, lines of color demarcation and tampos are superb. At M.B. Klein's sale prices, either DCC or DC are a steal!

I for one was beginning to think these would never come to fruition. I'm glad I didn't lose faith. I can't wait for my Northstar and MBTA versions.
  by ApproachMedium
I just saw this now, too bad they dont have the Metra ones yet.
  by dedm30junk
MARC and VRE are being sent out to stores on Friday and this is from TLT web site.
  by fl9m2026
After doing some diligent scrutiny and then comparing the model with the volume of photos of Metrolink MP36's I have, I did notice one detail discrepancy..... not particularly a bad thing from my standpoint, but it might have rivet-counters gnashing their teeth:

The TLT Metrolink unit sports large end markers on either side if the rear bulkhead of the carbody. The actual units do NOT have dual rear markers. The model sports high mounted markers, then the road number below, then beneath that the sandbox fill hatches. The actual units have the road number applied high on the bulkhead (and in larger numerals), then the sandbox fill hatches.

The rear details on my Metrolink are consistent with those found on VRE units. The nose details are correct for Metrolink i.e. sans number boards flanking the headlights, but with the lower central mounted unit/train number indicator. I'm wondering if to hasten delivery of the units after the delays, if all of the versions will show up with rear markers. Like I said, it doesn't bother me, I like the look. As long as the nose details on my next units include the upper number boards flanking the headlight and central, lower mounted unit/train number indicator, I'm good. Should be interesting though to see what my Northstar and MBTA unit have for details.

Based upon my photo collection, the following actual locomotives do NOT have rear markers:
Metrolink, Northstar, MBTA, UTA, CalTrain, Rail Runner, Metra (MP36PH-3S).

The following actual locomotives DO have rear markers:
VRE, MARC, GO Transit (MP40PH-3C)
Last edited by fl9m2026 on Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.
  by ApproachMedium
Do any of the markers come with working leds?
  by fl9m2026
ApproachMedium wrote:Do any of the markers come with working leds?
  by ns3010
I never really considered it before, but with those prices, I might have to pick up one (or both!) of the MBTA units when they come out.
  by ST214
I have been waiting for the MBTA units to come out for a LONG time now.
  by fl9m2026
ST214 wrote:I have been waiting for the MBTA units to come out for a LONG time now.
You and me both! BTW, we're neighbors... I'm in Sterling.
  by fl9m2026
CalTrain, MARC, VRE and Northstar are in stock at M.B. Klein. Just ordered my Northstar MP36. Unknown when MBTA, UTA, GO, WCE or METRA will be released, but hopefully they'll continue the releases so they're all available by the end of the year.

For the "rivet counters" amongst us, from the pics posted on M.B. Klein's site, they got the details right on the Northstar version regarding rear markers (they do not have them), and underbody equipment location is correct, with the fuel tanks, air tanks and battery boxes forward on the frame creating a noticeable gap between the fuel tank and rear truck. However, the rear bulkhead door is improperly placed in the center, instead of to the right on the angled portion. It also looks like they used the wrong pilot plow (smaller version as found on Metrolink and certain other MP36's ) as opposed to the larger plow seen on the real Northstar loco (and it's also missing the red/white chevrons on the plow). I'm hoping that the pic was a pre-production photo and the actual model has the proper plow and chevrons. Once my Northstar arrives, I'll let everyone know how it checks out "in the flesh". If they did put the small, unstriped plow on it, I could see if the large striped plow from the Athearn Northstar F59PHI could be adapted to fit the TLT model.

I also noticed that on the CalTrain version, it looks like battery boxes and fuel tank position might be incorrect (located too far forward on the frame, just aft of the front truck, as seen on later MP36 variants) based on photos of the real thing.
Last edited by fl9m2026 on Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by dedm30junk
Also notice the price went up on the MPI locomotives from MB Klein From 99.99 yesterday to 149.99 today for all the DC units.
  by ApproachMedium
Crap another 50 bucks. now its almost not worth it
  by fl9m2026
ApproachMedium wrote:Crap another 50 bucks. now its almost not worth it
Yeah, that had me a little grumbly too.... but they're still worth it at that price. I mean, what was the last current plastic commuter loco model we've had done in HO (even with some minor detail glitches)? Maybe if they don't sell out fast, M.B. Klein will drop the price down to what they originally had on the Metrolink and Rail Runner versions.

Also... did some research on the real Northstar MP36's. When they initially went into service, they had the red/white chevrons on the plow. 501 (lead locomotive) had the stripes running from bottom to top of the pilot. 502-505 had a modified stripe scheme with a band of red/white striping only covering the middle of the plow, with the top and bottom being gloss black. 512 (leased from UTA in 2011 and repainted into Northstar colors) had a totally gloss black plow. It appears that in 2013, some, if not all, of the original 5 MP36's had the striping removed from the plow. I have recent pics of 503 and 501 with black plows. As the TLT models are of 501 and 503, then the lack of striping would be correct - albeit on an incorrect pilot plow.
  by fl9m2026
OK, todays update:

My Northstar units (501 and 503) arrived today, and they are IMPRESSIVE! This variant has different details than the Metrolink, including number boards on either side of the headlight housing and NO rear markers (correct for Northstar. as mentioned before, the rear markers are NOT correct for Metrolink....). Trucks, air tanks, piping, cooling fans, intakes, and fuel tank size/location are all correct to the prototype.

The paint job is outstanding! For those who are familiar, the Northstar MP36's have a complex blue/yellow/white/red scheme in a series of overlapping "swooshes" along the carbody. TLT replicated this perfectly, with sharp lines of demarcation between the colors with no noticeable overspray. The overall fit and finish is excellent. The lettering/numbering/striping, Northstar and Metro Transit logos and other tampos are crisp and legible, right down to the miniscule builders plates.

Now the discrepancies for the rivet counters:

As I mentioned in the previous post, they used the same small "weed-cutter" plow as found on the Metrolink model as opposed to the much larger full-sized plow as used on real Northstar locos, but, it DOES have the red/white safety chevrons on it (unlike the photos I saw on various sites).

The door on the rear bulkhead is improperly located in the center (instead of off-set to the right) and has a round porthole as opposed to a square window as on the real Northstar units.

These discrepancies are minor, and in no way detract from the overall look of the model. For those who have to have the right plow, I'd bet the aftermarket producers like Details West et al, have something close to what is found on the prototype. As far as the rear door... well, that would be a more difficult fix, and probably not worth it considering the rear bulkhead is a deep blue, and most people would not even notice.

Both my Metrolink and Northstar locos look great with the respective roads Athearn Bombardier multi-level cars. I can now retire that Athearn Northstar F59PHI now that the correct power is on the property!

All in all, another big "thumbs up" to TLT. These MP36's are an outstanding model of current commuter motive power. While there are some detail glitches, they should not keep anyone from buying them for the commuter rail operations on their layout.