I have to agree, am much as I love the Phase IVb equipment, I feel that I'd rather take the chance and hold out wih fingers crossed for a re-tooling or hopefully totally re-worked Amfleet I and II model, re-tooled Viewliners, etc, then purchase these cars. They pale in comparison to their recently released and future passenger car releases (i.e. Walthers PRR Broadway Limited and Santa Fe El Capitan cars.)
Also is it just me, or does it seem like KATO has stepped up to the plate and have taken over Walthers' "model Amtrak equipment" status? Granted it's in N Scale, but their single level equipment looks absolutely fantastic (Amfleet II's and Viewliners.)
I almost want to go "Hey Walthers, if you are not going to do anything with the exclusive Amtrak Phase IVb scheme, then release it so other manufacturers can produce high quality accurate models we want."
I sure would LOVE to see an HO Scale Atlas Amfleet II car, or a Rapido Viewliner
Everyone seems to know my take on this; so here is a e-mail sent off to Walthers from a fellow modeler I have met and became friends with in Pennsylvania. He shared this with me, and it is posted here with his permission:
I have read on Railroad.net that Walthers and Amtrak have teamed up to produce Amfleet I, II, Viewliner, Heritage Diner, various baggage cars in the new Phase IVb scheme.
While this initially sparked GREAT excitement, I eventually learned that these will be just repaints, and not re-tooled versions.
This comes as quite a shock, as many modelers who model HO scale Amtrak operations (or feature an Amtrak train on their layout) were expecting re-tooled versions with the metal-plated finish, window gaskets, tinted windows, correct diaphrams, interiors, etc. This seems like a step in the back direction.
Your metal plated finish is a fantastic hit, I myself have quite a fleet of Superliners, and would have single level equipment to compliment it. It seems that on your Facebook page, there are numerous requests for updated Amfleet models.
The metal plating, re-tooling and especially the current Amtrak Phase IVb scheme is in HIGH demand, and would greatly justify the price increase.
A new Amfleet I and II model is badly needed, as these cars have been the backbone of Amtrak's fleet for over 30 years now, a completely new model with an accurate carbody and cross section, better diaphrams and rolling inside-bearing trucks with metal plating and interiors would be most welcome.
Your commitment to passenger trains is amazing. I am extremely excited to see that the Santa Fe El Capitan train will be your next name train. Glad to see window gaskets will be finally modeled! You guys and girls have done extremely well, and I look forward to more passenger equipment that is highly detailed from Walthers....you did great!
Please pass this along to your New Products team, we modern Amtrak modelers feel left in the dark for a number of years now (especially us East Coast modelers, where Superliner-equipped trains do not run, such as...
The Silver Meteor
The Silver Star
The Lake Shore Limited
Northeast Corridor and Regional trains
Anywhere Amfleet cars run (which are many places.)
This is a win-win situation for Walthers, updated and re-tooled versions of Amfleet I, Amfleet II, Viewliner, Heritage Baggage and Dining cars with all your bells and whistles with interiors and metal plated finish would certainly justify paying $60+ per car, MANY modelers feel the same way. There is also considerable "buzz" on other forums such as Atlas HO Scale forum, Trainorders, Model Railroader, ModelRailroadForums, etc.
Please don't forget about us modern Amtrak modelers Walthers, give us single-level Amtrak modelers a treat.
Thank you so much for all your products in the past as far as passenger equipment, your Broadway Limited models are truly breathtaking for a famed streamliner. I look forward to more passenger equipment in the future, and hopefully these re-tooled metal plated Amtrak Phase IVb models with interiors!
Thank you for taking the time to read this, please keep up the good work in Milwaukee!
So I am glad to see other modelers are e-mailing Walthers about this as well.