Tonight USA Trains officially announced they are releasing a die-cast FEF-3 Northern (4-8-4) into their Prestige Series as well as a new run of heavyweights into their Ultimare Series.

The FEFs are all Union Pacific and are numbered #8444 (Black/Silver), #835 (Greyhound w/ Silver Stripes), #844 (Black/Graphite), and #8444 (Greyhound w/ Yellow Stripes). MSRP for all units is listed at $3799.95 which puts it in the same price category as the USAT Big Boy.

The new heavyweights consist of a Baggage / Club car (similar to the Aristo combine), Coach, Diner, Sleeper, and Observation car. Announced road names are Pullman (Green w/ Black Roof), NYC 20th Centry Limited (Green w/ Black Roof), Pennsylvania Broadway Limited (Tuscan with Gold Stripes and Black Roof), Union Pacific Overland Route (Two Tone Gray with Silver Stripes and Black Roof), Santa Fe The Chief (Green with Black Roof), and Southern Pacific (Green with Black Roof). MSRP For all cars is $289.95 except for the Observation car which rings in at $299.95 and puts them in the same range as their extruded aluminum cars and the original heavyweights that Aristo produced. Absent from this line-up is the full baggage car (big mistake) and an RPO. Initial imagery release by USAT appears to show 3-axle trucks.

Expected delivery for the engines and cars is April 18th, 2018. Talk to your dealer soon to pre-order yours.

Link: USA Trains Announcement

A lot of progress has been made on the database, with dozens of new items being added weekly. Right now the most time-consuming part appears to be getting my hands on credit-free images in uniform sizes. Aristocraft continues to be the bulk of new items being added, and USA Trains will probably be next followed by LGB.

Also, I started offering free website hosting for clubs and personal train-related sites. Head on over to http://my.gscale.net/ to get started. Hosting is free, but domains cost me around $12/year so that cost will be passed on directly to you. Companies or for-profit organizations can still use this service, but it'll cost $24 per year.

- Tom

After a brief hiatus as a result of ongoing site maintenance, I should be able to start working on the site with the majority of my tinker time again. The site has been optimized to user fewer resources and I've simplified a lot of miscellaneous things to make it easier for users to find content.

The first thing I'm going to to is re-visit the Manuals database. The current database was thrown together one night in less than a few hours, so there's a lot that needs to be cleaned up and re-organized. I also want to start adding LGB and Bachmann manuals/parts diagrams where I can find them. That process should start this coming weekend, so stay tuned!

- Tom