Home and News

What's that? Something in a picture is wrong?  
A lot of the pictures are preproduction samples.
But h
ey, we'd love to hear from you if you spot something we need to correct. Especially before we finish the models!

Recent Releases
All models are limited run.
Check dealers for availability.

Future Releases
Schedule subject to change.

Suggested Prices
At TRUE LINE TRAINS, we use a MAP policy.  A MAP policy simply means "MINIMUM ADVERTISED PRICE".  

What does this really mean?

It means that the LOWEST price we allow to be advertised for our product is the pricing below (in most cases).  That doesn't mean that they can't sell it for less, they just can't advertise that they do.

Why would we do this? 

Because we feel strongly about supporting our dealers. All of them. This is the same reason we still offer the same standard dealer discount that we have for decades, while other companies short discount the dealers.

We want the dealers to be comfortable purchasing our product knowing that some big distributor can't just undercut all of their advertised pricing. You can still shop around and may find a better price. Dealers are, of course, happy to sell for whatever price they'd like. We just want to help where we can to ensure that the models are available from your preferred dealer, because they don't feel like they'll be stuck with unsold inventory.

Freight Cars
$54.99 (HO)
$34.99 (N)

Vans (Caboose)
$59.99 (HO)

Locomotives (HO Scale)
$229.99 (HO DC / DCC No Sound) 
$349.99 (HO DC / DCC Sound) 

Connect With Us

What's New?

Not Much!
True Line Trains is stuck in the great divide!
Unable to move forward, but we've gone too far to go back.

Basically, Darren is a guy that loves making model trains. His father did. He has since he was a kid. He's too stubborn to quit, and Randy's too loyal to leave. So we continue to work on finding a way to get these models produced and out to you.

When will that be? We have no idea right now. There are a number of things in the works to make the older models available again, and with luck we'll finish the newer projects as well. We're looking at a number of opportunities and approaches, some that have been SOOOO close to fruition, only for something unexpected to get in the way. So we continue continuing.

This could take years to get to that point, and most of the time we aren't at liberty to tell you just what's going on, so there will still be long periods without any real updates. 

So we're still here (in business), and we still don't know when we'll get there (shipping models). We appreciate all the support, and hope that we'll have some cool stuff for you sooner rather than later. 

We often feel like we live in a Douglas Adams book:

"Arthur started to say something, then stopped. He started again, and stopped. He then stopped starting and started..."

Happy modeling!

Caboose - Canadian Wood Vans

Thanks for your support!  All CN Wood Vans and Transfer vans are sold out.  Check with your local dealer for available stock.



(PN: TLT 999002)

(PN TLT 301211)

(shown is a previous run - and you will have to excuse the fisheye effect)

Antennae?  CHECK.
Correct Sideframes? CHECK
DC/DCC operation? CHECK
Kadee Couplers? CHECK (Really)
  • Quick Update
    PSC Cabooses
    Shipping now. The CN NOODLES, INTERNATIONAL SCHEME, UNDEC MODEL and KITS are available at stores now.

    Awaiting more decoders, so more will be shipping to dealers soon..

    Klasing Handbrakes
    Working on fitting a run into the production schedule ASAP. So we'll have more soon. Due to the process of getting these produced we may not be able to do another run in the near future, and almost half of this run is already sold. So order now!

    Warranty, non-warranty, parts requests
    I have a huge backlog (due in part to a technical error on my part). It will take a little while to just get back to everybody. So we appreciate your patience.

    Things are moving along at the factories very nicely. We've been very happy with the results we've been getting (some delays are still inevitable).
    Posted Aug 15, 2016, 2:11 PM by Darren Altbaum
  • Updates

    Pointe St Charles Caboose

    So the Year of the Monkey officially started February 8th (Happy New Year!). While the factory had given us assurances that the PSC Cabooses would ship before the Chinese New Year, once we (and you) had a chance to take a closer look at the pre-production model that we received, there were a few things that we just weren't happy with.

    For example, the lettering on the sample was not right, it was missing white handrails and the side sill was not painted black. All of these are relatively easy to fix, but these fixes alone impact 7 different schemes, if I recall.

    In addition, since we only received one sample, we are requesting that they don't run any other scheme until we can at least have photos of a sample shell. Ideally we'll get physical samples, but that would also delay things a bit more.

    It will be a couple of weeks due to the Chinese Holiday before we have an update. We know you've waited a long time for these, but we think that you'd rather wait just a little while longer so we can make sure they are correct.

    Klasing Handbrakes

    Yes, it's true. We sold out. Again, we have to wait until after the holiday to make more. We'll let you know when they are back in stock.

    Next Models
    The SW1200RS and wood and transfer cabooses are still on track. Delivery dates are unknown at this point, and will remain that way until the PSC cabooses ship, at the very least.

    The other models that we are working (feverishly) to ship this year are the plow, the NYC/Rutland Standard Caboose, and the first variation of the Fowler box and stock cars.

    We'll have updated (correct) drawings for the NYC/Rutland Standard caboose up in the near future. The current ones are simple mock-ups and have a lot of dimensional errors. The working plans are very accurate, and the Historical Societies are extremely pleased with how they look.

    Please Help

    If you see something that you think/know is a mistake, let us know. If you hop off to some other site or forum to complain about it there, we might not know about it. We collaborate with great folks that are among the most knowledgeable in the hobby, but that doesn't mean that we (or they) know everything. New photos, original plans, or new photos that prove the original plans are wrong, crop up again and again. So if you think you know something we don't, let us know.

    Remember it's just the two of us. (Ha! Now I've got that song stuck in your head). And we thank everybody for their support. It's much appreciated.

    Posted Feb 10, 2016, 9:42 AM by Randy Hammill
  • What's going on here?

    Ahh, the good old rumor mill. As there has been a lot of discussion about us and our models (generally a good thing), and folks have questions, I'll cover as much as I can here (again). Basically things haven't changed all that much from the usual, such as what I posted here last year:


    Wait, that's not entirely true - we actually have some models!

    As I'm sure you know now, the C-Liners (4-axle freight for MILW, PRR, NYC, CP and CN) are here. Due to the last few years being extremely tough for us, we're having to do some of the work ourselves. By ourselves, I mean Darren. He has the locomotives up north and is installing decoders and couplers, then testing each one before shipping out to dealers. So they are getting out there a little at a time.

    PSC cabooses are in production and should ship very soon. The plan is for the factory to ship to us before the Chinese New Year (starts Feb 8th if I recall, although production might continue a bit longer). However, we finally received our pre-production sample just before the Springfield show. We (and others) have noticed some minor issues, so we're working on correcting what we can. We're hoping this won't cause further delay, but we do want to get it right. There are a lot of dates that I've seen posted on the net, from 'they have already shipped' to the 4th, 7th, 8th, and I've probably seen more. I'll be clear, neither Darren nor I have given a specific date to anybody. The stock answer is "The factory has assured us they will ship before the Chinese New Year, but they also assured us they would ship before the end of December, so..."

    As there has been some confusion, SRP is $84.99 CAD in Canada, and $84.99 USD in the US. Your dealer may charge less (or more?), but that's our SRP.

    For the last several years, we've been challenged by a lot of business and personal issues. I'm the one responsible for communication, the website, etc. and have been largely failing spectacularly.

    As I've mentioned before, it's all about cash flow. No models to ship? No cash flow. Which impacts how quickly we can get models as well. So Darren and I are both working multiple jobs, just for the privilege of making models for you. Well, and us too. Me mostly, Darren doesn't have a layout. Most of our additional help do and they like models too.

    Combine that with the usual and some not so usual life events, sometimes (frequently) things go by the wayside. My day starts at 6:00am and usually doesn't end until 1:00 or 2:00 am. Midnight if I'm lucky. I'm usually a moderately disorganized procrastinator, so squeezing everything into a day can be a challenge.

    This weekend reminded both Darren and I why we keep doing this. We had a blast at the Springfield show, and especially hanging out with each other. It has been quite a while (two years?) since we've been able to actually get together in the same room. That also makes it difficult to do what we do, but we do the best we can.

    This year is starting strong, and if our factories continue to deliver it should be a very good year for us. In addition to the things on deck, we have a number of new announcements we'd like to make, but it's a bit too early for that.

    Right now we can say that after the PSC cabooses, we should be seeing the Canadian wood and transfer cabooses (including the GTW one) following shortly behind. The SW1200RS locomotives are also in the production queue for this year, along with the plow and the NYC/Rutland cabooses. It's an aggressive schedule, and we're looking at possibly working with another factory to make it work.

    I wouldn't expect any other announcements until later in the year. Those projects alone will take us through most of 2016.

    What you will not see us doing is providing specific dates. While things have improved immensely, delivery dates are still too fluid to say anything specific until it actually happens. We don't mind sharing what we do know, but most of the time it's very tentative and we're a bit wary (from past experience) to be specific when we're not confident that we'll meet a given date.

    You now know what's in the immediate production queue. If it's not in the list I mentioned above, then it's probably not shipping this year. We can't even guarantee that everything on that list will ship this year. But that's our current goal.

    Something I have heard from a number of people, and not just about our models, is that they are waiting to place an order until after they can see if a particular error is corrected. Hello! If you see an error in our drawings, or sample models, tell us. Maybe we missed it, maybe we didn't. But if you don't let us know until after it's made, then we probably can't fix it. You should do that for every manufacturer. Really.

    While we (I) have not been making regular updates, I always try to answer emails, even if it takes me a while. We try to be as open and transparent as we can be. I'm an avid New Haven prototype modeler, and I'm a stickler for detail on my own layout. I don't presume to think that my way is the right way for everybody, but when it comes to producing models being a 'rivet counter' helps. A lot.

    Another thing that is really important to understand is that we're not in this alone. While I'm sure it's not always obvious online, anybody who comes to see us at the show will tell you that we're here for you and because of you. We want to produce the models that you want, and do them right. But there are only two of us. We consult with a lot of experts in their fields, but we are also always interested in honest, but civil, feedback from you. Sure 'we should hire somebody else' you say. Well, OK. Perhaps we should hire ourselves first and start actually getting a paycheck too. Just not going to happen any time soon. Some companies have lots of cash, or a benefactor that likes to spend their cash. That's not us.

    We're a small company. We're often overwhelmed. That's life. Despite that, commentary along the lines that we're disappearing or closing is inaccurate and unhelpful. We've had more than enough reason and opportunity to close up shop over the last several years. Certainly neither Darren nor I need the headaches that come with it. This is what we do. You are the reason why we do it. If you're concerned and have a question, just ask. And be patient with us. We will continue to produce models that nobody else is...just for you!

    Posted Feb 3, 2016, 8:41 PM by Randy Hammill
  • What's New?
    Hey, we're back with more of the usual. That is, people want to know when models are coming, etc. etc.

    The answer is...So do we!

    Delays, delays, delays. The C-Liners are getting ever closer to shipment, and then we'll see what's next.

    Yes, the PSC caboose is coming. Yes, the 1200's, NYC caboose, well, pretty much everything is coming. Just don't know when.

    The answer will remain the same for some time. So please be patient with us (or not, I suppose it doesn't really make a difference). They'll get here when they get here.

    And for those of you who want more:
    We've had numerous issues and delays at the factory. Delays create more delays, for a lot of reasons. Because of the long delays, as well as issues with some of the prior models, cash-flow becomes an issue. This is an industry where we have to pay everything up front, and recoup our costs after the models ship.

    The best way to stay in this business is to have a number of projects at different stages of completion, with each release helping to fund future releases.

    The worst way to stay in this business is to have a number of projects in different stages of completion with no models shipping. There's money tied up in all of the projects, along with daily business expenses, with income far in the future. 

    So it takes a lot of time, money, and effort to get things moving at a fair pace again. And it doesn't happen quickly. In the meantime, we are working additional jobs to pay the bills, which has the tendency to delay other things (like responding to emails), since we only have so much time to do what we do between us.

    The bottom line:
    We're committed (maybe should BE committed for still doing this), to releasing the projects we have underway no matter how long it takes. In time, things will start shipping on a more regular schedule. It's not something that will happen this year. Yes, we'll complete some projects this year. How many? Don't know. When? Don't know.

    We've talked about, written about, and published this answer in many places, and in many different ways. We know you want your models. They're coming...eventually.

    Posted May 1, 2015, 6:52 AM by Randy Hammill
  • Couplers? We don't need no stinking couplers.

    Yes, we just found out that the run of 1937 AAR Box Cars that just shipped from the factory were assembled WITHOUT COUPLERS!?!?!

    The joys of being a manufacturer.

    So if these were our old couplers, you probably would have removed them anyway, and replaced them with Kadee's. Except we already did. We thought.

    Yep. We bought the Kadee couplers and they are supposed to be on these cars. Apparently they're still in China.

    So if you need a set of couplers, we'll be happy to send out a pair of genuine Kadee's, gratis.

    If you can manage without, that would be great. We are few, you are many (plus shipping).

    The usual address - modeltrains [at] truelinetrains.ca
    Posted Sep 11, 2014, 9:40 AM by Randy Hammill
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