The Tower 55 / T55 Mess

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by riverotter, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    Here are a couple of pre-orders I placed (before my self-imposed ban on all futures pre-orders):

    Thank you for your deposit amount of $50.00 processed on July 11, 2007
    Current status: delivery date still unknown.

    T55-EA-9091-3 TOWER 55 - MONTANA RAIL LINK SD70ACe #4309
    The price for this model has not yet been announced.
    Thank you for your deposit amount of $50.00 processed on May 22, 2007
    Current status: delivery date/price still unknown.

    So I've had money tied up in deposits for a year in one case, and 14 months in another.

    Then there was this recent information from Tower 55: "At this time we do not have any updates to provide that are of any significance with regard to delivery dates on the next product" (Thursday, June 26th, 2008 at 5:55 pm ).

    I wasn't aware that the situation had deteriorated to this extent.

    I have emailed my request to the dealer I placed my orders with and gave my deposits to for a refund of my two deposits.

    I hope T55 survive because I really like their locomotives, but I'm not willing to bet even small - but precious - amounts of money on somebody else's situation.

    Now I'll just have to wait and see if the dealer will honor my request. (If not, they'll never get another dime of my business ever again.)
  2. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    From a discussion I saw on the Atlas forum it seems the first run of some units did not sell well and the owner needs the cash from those sales to proceed. I'd be reluctant to put down money up front as well.
  3. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    I have a Tower 55 SP ES44AC, an NP ES44DC, and a SF ES44DC, and they are some of my best performers, and best-looking locomotives on my layout. I have a standing "Favorite Search" on eBay for any of their locomotives that might be offered.
  4. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    Heck, its all those friggin' "Concept" locomotives, I dunno why they wasted so damn much on them, when the BNSF New Image units now sell upwards of $350 each on eBay!
  5. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Sadly, it's because while many model business owners are fantastic modellers or just rabid train fans, they may not always be the best business people. They tend to make decisions based on their likes and interests rather than market likes and interests.

    Although I was surprised to see T55 is a division of Overland models.... perhaps the limited-run brass production business model doesn't translate so well to plastic.
  6. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    I think Brian was trying to get his foot in the door. Plastic rivals brass now-a-days, and the price tag just does not compare, Would you rather buy a $1000 ES44, or 4 $250 ES44's?
  7. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    AND, looks wise, you cant tell the difference between the two:winki: , running wise, plastic usually beats brass, so i have herd:119: .

    My Tower55 ES44 is a first run, and it looks/sounds/runs FANTASTIC!:thumb:
  8. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

    I am sorry as heck to hear about your mess. I have had some Intermountain Models on order since last summer. They were supposed to be released Feb of 08. Then June. Now I hear it's Sept. Who knows when they will release...

    I found this Tower 55 engine...


    ... for $299.00. I really liked the look of the What If engine.

    But then I found this Bachmann Spectrum engine (UP) with decoder for $60 at the LHS and sent it to jbaakko and he turned the UP into this...


    I really like the Spectrum line. I don't know what engine/frame Tower uses, but mine creeps along or can get up and move around my layout.

    (When I get brave, I might try to install some ditch lights...)
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I went to a workshop at the NMRA Convention in Anaheim by Intermountain. They do not ask for a deposit, but do ask people to pre-order new models that they are considering producing. That does not mean that you won't get one if you don't pre-order, it just is their method of gauging the market. If they have a list of road names that they intend to bring out on a locomotive, for instance, and no one pre-orders one or more of the prospective list, the locomotive won't be offered in the road names that elicited no interest.

    The reason for delivery delays are numerous. If they keep the delivery schedule and find a problem with the production model after they have built and sold hundreds of models, the fix could be more expensive than the profit they made on the model. Production delays have been a part of model railroading for ever. I remember back before there was Intermountain, P2k, or Spectrum locomotives. The only decent running plastic readily available locomotives on the market were made by Athearn, Atlas, or Kato. I wanted a set of Athearn Alco Pa's. The model had been in production in previous years, and they announced that they were going to produce more, but they actually came out one year after the original delivery date was announced!
  10. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    This is one of the things I like about being part of GCLaser. We look for ideas that are a bit more generic, and not already produced in some other form. We also look at detail sets for existing products. Primarily, replacement bodies for various manufacturer's trucks. We are currently looking at "other add-on" possibilities.
  11. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    I talked to Brian by email earlier this year and inquired about T55. He replied that they were no longer producing them.

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