Dave North wrote:
"There are a number of items in the line that are out of stock, and based on discussions we have had, I doubt that will change."
I also take that little, if any, upgrading of tooling has been done unless you can confirm otherwise. I'm also curious if the PRR Class X29B model will ever see the light of day. If offered in an Accurail-quality kit (i.e., no terrible detail parts or warped underframes) with quality paint schemes, it should sell well, even as a one-road car (especially as the Merchandise Service MS1 paint scheme is correct for Class X29B).
"The bodies, doors etc are OK, as long as you don’t mind the cast on ladders etc.
The walks are usually terrible, but Plano has etched ones available, and A-line make nice stirrups.
Kit wheels are also worthy of replacement.
That said they can be build into a reasonable car and with some moderate upgrading, can hold their own with Accurail and Atlas Trainman."
I balk at burning a Plano running board on a Tan-Dot car, but the availability of better quality trucks and wheelsets and Accurail and Branchline parts provide good fodder to replace the underframe and detail parts.
"I have a few that I use on our portable club layout. They certainly are not on a par with the highly detailed Tangent, Exactrail etc etc offerings available today - and neither is their price."
We made a sizable investment in these cars when they first came out in the 1980s (including a run custom-decorated in NEB&W). I'm working out some upgrades for these cars in an effort to recoup sunk costs (and sell off those we no longer need or are superceded by later models on hand.)