Well, after a lengthy absence, we are back online.
There may be still a few bugs to work out, and I've taken down the photo submission section until I can figure out why it's not working, but all the data is back online.
Enjoy, and please consider a small donation using the Paypal buttons to the right.
Thanks very much, and sorry for the inconvenience
Fixing a few bugs
I've fixed the issues with adding content to the sites with Internet Explorer 6.0. Thanks to all who helped identify the issue.
If you experience any further issues with providing comments, suggested metadata updates, potential inaccuracies, or photo uploads, please use the Contact page.
Press Release - Lionel Partners With Atlas O, K-Line & Weaver Models
I was browsing the Internet Archive (a.k.a the Wayback Machine) to try and get K-Line catalog data prior to 1999 and ran across this "Major Technology Announcement" on the K-Line site from 1998. It's harkens back to the early days when the model train companies played nice together, and a far cry to the never-ending litagation that is crippling the industry.
February 14, 2000
Lionel Partners With Atlas O, K-Line & Weaver ModelsLionel to license TrainMaster® Command Control and RailSounds® technology.
CHESTERFIELD, MI -- Richard N. Maddox, President and COO of Lionel LLC, announced at Toy Fair 2000 that Atlas O, K-Line Electric Trains and Weaver Models have formed a partnership to license the Lionel TrainMaster® Command Control (TMCC) and RailSounds® technology.
"We are extremely pleased to form this alliance with Atlas, K-Line and Weaver Models," said Maddox. "This partnership is one more acknowledgement that TMCC and RailSounds is recognized by the toy train industry as the most realistic, highest quality sound system on the market. This joint venture will benefit the consumer by bringing compatibility of product from these industry leading manufacturers."
Tom Haedrich, Atlas O, LLC President said, "We're pleased to be working with Lionel in this mutually beneficial endeavor that includes multiple manufacturers. Lionel's new open approach with RailSounds and the TMCC system demonstrates that positive developments can quickly occur for the entire O scale industry, and especially consumers, when manufacturers are willing to work together."
"K-Line is excited to partner with Lionel and utilize their industry-leading sound and control system and technology," said Maury D. Klein, President, MDK, Inc. "We applaud Richard Maddox for his forward-thinking approach to the electronics compatibility issue in the "O" Gauge market and welcome this standardization of model railroading operation for the new Millennium."
"We feel RailSounds and the TrainMaster Command Control digital operating control system are well known to be the best in the industry," said Joseph Hayter, President and CEO of Weaver Models. "Weaver Models is very excited to be able to offer both in our products. Our number one concern is customer satisfaction, and we feel all modelers will benefit from this union as it will enable the customer to run a multitude of compatible products regardless of the manufacturer."
The first locomotive with this licensed technology will begin shipping later in 2000.
While I think that licensing TMCC was certainly a boon for Atlas and K-Line's sales figures, in some peoples opinion, it was a decision that Lionel would come to regret.
Roll Out of "Special Features"
Tonight I've rolled some changes into the site. Most of it is back end stuff that you probably won't notice, but one of the things you will is the new link at the top right of the page : Special Features.
The intent of this link is to publish special feature articles on topics that are directly related to K-Line products. The first article is a discussion of the American Freedom Train products that K-Line first introduced in 2001. The genesis of the article was a link I came across on OGR pointing to the real Freedom Train website that described in detail K-Line's products.
If you have an idea for other special articles, please Contact Us and we will coordinate getting the article online. I have several items already from a few folks, but please feel free to contribute, or comment on the article itself.
Updated Navigation for Future Expansion
Thanks for all the great response to this site, and especially to those who dropped a few coins in my Paypal donation bucket. It's obvious to me that this resource was missing from the community. I look forward to everybody's suggestions to improving the site.
With that in mind, we applied a small change to the upper navigation options. This is in anticipation of some new functionality that we'll be rolling out in the next week or so. Here is a description of the changes:
- Created a new image at the top of the screen that gives an additional brand linkage to the old K-Line site.
- Moved the non-catalog links for News, About and Contact above the masthead
- Added a Welcome link that will show the "Welcome" message.
- Added a "Go" link to the right of the search box. The enter button on your keyboard works the same, but adding the link will clear up some initial confusion.
We are working on launching the ability to contribute feature articles to the site. These articles can be submitted by anybody, and will be subject to our publication guidelines.
We also received lots of feedback about trying to create product information prior to the 1999 catalogs we currently offer. I've had several people volunteer their old catalogs to start adding to the database. So to do this we'll be creating some data entry processes so that we can spread the data entry effort to those who would like to help. Watch here for an announcement of the new functionality.