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New Metal Rails from ME Models

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New Metal Rails from ME Models

Post  Cale on Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:14 am

This is no April Fools Joke. ME Models is introducing a new line of LEGO compatible metal rails. After years of fans talking about it and wishing some one would make a third party track solution ME Models has actually done it.

RailBricks Blog Post



On a recent trip out to Brickworld Indy I was fortunate enough to be given a sample of the new rails to play around with. Being on the RailBricks staff has it's bonuses.

I'm actually quite impressed with them so far. The first thing you notice is how they look. The look of the shiny metal in contrast with the ties is far nicer than the all gray everything of the current LEGO track. The custom molded end piece snaps onto the older 9v, and the newer Plastic LEGO track perfectly. The entire underside of the rail piece has holes milled out at one stud intervals so you can attach them to LEGO bricks and plates.

Even though almost all of my locomotive builds over the past two years have been Power Functions based I'm still really excited by these new rails. Last year PennLUG switched one of the two main loops of track we run on our train layouts over to plastic track. We found that as the size of our layouts was expanding we didn't have enough old 9v rail to keep up and buyong more to keep up with our rapid expansion was far to costly. Since both myself and Nate already had a growing stable of PF locomotives this wasn't a problem though it limits running our older 9v stuff to just one loop of track. But these new rails from ME will give us the option of expanding our 9v operations if desired (though most of my new builds will still be PF) as well as just looking great. And the prospect of larger radius curves and other new track geometry options makes me feel all tingly inside.

So I naturally had to build a test section with them in PennLUG's Ballast Style. I eliminated the custom molded end piece that ME Models provides and used Technic 1x1 Bricks and pins for connection between sections. It simplifies the build a little and cuts down on some parts usage. I'm not sure if it will make set up at shows any easier as I haven't had a chance to test that yet. With full ballast and ties these new rails look great.



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Re: New Metal Rails from ME Models

Post  Brickadier General on Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:16 pm

This is really cool news, though I'm wondering what the cost will be. I'm assuming that, while it won't be cheap, it'll be cheaper than buying old 9V track. If it weren't, then I don't know if there would have been much incentive to follow through with this.

Edit: Never mind, I saw they had the prices listed on railbricks. :-)

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Re: New Metal Rails from ME Models

Post  legolover530 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:37 pm

super sweet and very exciting! they should offer just the rails themselves to which we could add our own 1x8 plates and have a field day! i've been working on the railroad:D

i also like your mockup as it's nearly identical to the modular system i builtfor my old christmas layout based on 16x16 sections, some with track and some with snotted roadway of 1x bricks. it's mainly for 4wide vehicles (i'm a classic addict) thought 6 wides look ok also. just wanted to have more flexibility with roadways on just a 30x60 module and the roadplates just don't provide enough building surface. mine have the track 4 plates over the baseplate to allow for sidewalk over the roadway or a plate of ballast over the technic beams.

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Re: New Metal Rails from ME Models

Post  Shuppiluliumas on Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:08 pm

The rails are nice, but I don't see much point in the rest of it. I especially like that there are long rails. We could just build the ballasted sections without the rails attached and then lay down some 64 stud long rails or whatever.

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Re: New Metal Rails from ME Models

Post  Cale on Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:25 pm

Shuppiluliumas wrote:The rails are nice, but I don't see much point in the rest of it. I especially like that there are long rails. We could just build the ballasted sections without the rails attached and then lay down some 64 stud long rails or whatever.

I agree that the ties ME provides are not really useful for what our club does. They're meant more for those stock train building, 6 wide cultists who never build any real MOCs and just set up all their sets into one big jumbled up mess of a town in their attic. The person who whine and complains about the LEGO killing off 9v and how they've been abandoned instead of just maning up and building their own stuff. The kind of train fan you will probably run into on Eurobricks. Wink

But there may be more here than just a new source of 9v straight rails. The wider curves (coming in May I'm told) had my attention from the start and there is talk of new track geometry beyond the already announced straights and curves as well as a few other surprises. But this will all depend on if this new line truly takes off as they are hopping.

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Re: New Metal Rails from ME Models

Post  Shuppiluliumas on Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:35 pm

Cale wrote:
Shuppiluliumas wrote:The rails are nice, but I don't see much point in the rest of it. I especially like that there are long rails. We could just build the ballasted sections without the rails attached and then lay down some 64 stud long rails or whatever.

I agree that the ties ME provides are not really useful for what our club does. They're meant more for those stock train building, 6 wide cultists who never build any real MOCs and just set up all their sets into one big jumbled up mess of a town in their attic. The person who whine and complains about the LEGO killing off 9v and how they've been abandoned instead of just maning up and building their own stuff. The kind of train fan you will probably run into on Eurobricks. Wink

But there may be more here than just a new source of 9v straight rails. The wider curves (coming in May I'm told) had my attention from the start and there is talk of new track geometry beyond the already announced straights and curves as well as a few other surprises. But this will all depend on if this new line truly takes off as they are hopping.

Cale

It seems like even those guys could dredge up their own 2x8 plates, though. I would seriously look into the longer lengths they say they will be selling. I don't see them up on the website yet, but they were mentioned on Railbricks. Different curve geometry would be very useful as well. Maybe we should invest in enough of the curve kits when they come out to do our main lines.

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Re: New Metal Rails from ME Models

Post  Cale on Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:55 pm

Shuppiluliumas wrote:
Cale wrote:
Shuppiluliumas wrote:The rails are nice, but I don't see much point in the rest of it. I especially like that there are long rails. We could just build the ballasted sections without the rails attached and then lay down some 64 stud long rails or whatever.

I agree that the ties ME provides are not really useful for what our club does. They're meant more for those stock train building, 6 wide cultists who never build any real MOCs and just set up all their sets into one big jumbled up mess of a town in their attic. The person who whine and complains about the LEGO killing off 9v and how they've been abandoned instead of just maning up and building their own stuff. The kind of train fan you will probably run into on Eurobricks. Wink

But there may be more here than just a new source of 9v straight rails. The wider curves (coming in May I'm told) had my attention from the start and there is talk of new track geometry beyond the already announced straights and curves as well as a few other surprises. But this will all depend on if this new line truly takes off as they are hopping.

Cale

It seems like even those guys could dredge up their own 2x8 plates, though. I would seriously look into the longer lengths they say they will be selling. I don't see them up on the website yet, but they were mentioned on Railbricks. Different curve geometry would be very useful as well. Maybe we should invest in enough of the curve kits when they come out to do our main lines.

After some heavy investment in straight plastic track I don't think we'll be switching over completely any time soon. I'm totally on board with you on the curves though and I'm eagerly awaiting their release so we can start playing with them.

Cale
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Re: New Metal Rails from ME Models

Post  Kreativ Snail on Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:31 am

Just a thought.. maybe if we contacted them, they would be willing to sell just the rails to us, without the ties or packaging, for a better price. They sure do look nice when done in PennLUG style. :00o>:
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Re: New Metal Rails from ME Models

Post  Brickadier General on Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:21 am

Cale wrote:
Shuppiluliumas wrote:
Cale wrote:
Shuppiluliumas wrote:The rails are nice, but I don't see much point in the rest of it. I especially like that there are long rails. We could just build the ballasted sections without the rails attached and then lay down some 64 stud long rails or whatever.

I agree that the ties ME provides are not really useful for what our club does. They're meant more for those stock train building, 6 wide cultists who never build any real MOCs and just set up all their sets into one big jumbled up mess of a town in their attic. The person who whine and complains about the LEGO killing off 9v and how they've been abandoned instead of just maning up and building their own stuff. The kind of train fan you will probably run into on Eurobricks. Wink

But there may be more here than just a new source of 9v straight rails. The wider curves (coming in May I'm told) had my attention from the start and there is talk of new track geometry beyond the already announced straights and curves as well as a few other surprises. But this will all depend on if this new line truly takes off as they are hopping.

Cale

It seems like even those guys could dredge up their own 2x8 plates, though. I would seriously look into the longer lengths they say they will be selling. I don't see them up on the website yet, but they were mentioned on Railbricks. Different curve geometry would be very useful as well. Maybe we should invest in enough of the curve kits when they come out to do our main lines.

After some heavy investment in straight plastic track I don't think we'll be switching over completely any time soon. I'm totally on board with you on the curves though and I'm eagerly awaiting their release so we can start playing with them.

Cale
I have an idea...What if we started things off with doing the trolley line with this track (after curves come out)? It would be a manageable way of starting out and would free up official metal rails for the rest of the layout.

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Re: New Metal Rails from ME Models

Post  Cale on Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:37 pm

Kreativ Snail wrote:Just a thought.. maybe if we contacted them, they would be willing to sell just the rails to us, without the ties or packaging, for a better price. They sure do look nice when done in PennLUG style. :00o>:

ME Models is going to be at Brickmagic. I plan on grilling the guys there with several questions, that being one of them.

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Re: New Metal Rails from ME Models

Post  Cale on Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:44 pm

Brickadier General wrote:
I have an idea...What if we started things off with doing the trolley line with this track (after curves come out)? It would be a manageable way of starting out and would free up official metal rails for the rest of the layout.

These rails would probably simplify our current street design and provide for some additional detail opportunities. But I'd rather not go to the expense and effort of changing all our current streets over right now. Once I have a few sets of rails in my possession though I do want to come with a street design that uses them so we have it for future use.

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