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ME Models is making a fully functional model railway system that can compliment the current LEGO® Gauge railway offering.
ME Models is making a fully functional model railway system that can compliment the current LEGO® Gauge railway offering.
260 backers pledged $87,357 to help bring this project to life.

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Metal Rails For Sale

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 Dear fellow “L-Gauge” Hobbyists,

Happy Holidays from ME Models! This is the update that all of you have been waiting for! ME Models Metal Rails are now available for you to purchase at www.me-models.com.

 After six years of product development and additional support from a KickStarter campaign, we are now delivering the additional 9-volt geometries. Please take a few moments to read through this announcement as it contains a lot of information that should address all of your concerns and needs. There will be future updates post-project as we field questions from the community. 

 We are sure that there are questions as to why it has taken a few additional months to deliver since our last update in late August. Our last 12 months of work has been spent re-configuring, testing, and re-testing design and functionality of our new 9-volt track. Our success in delivering a reliable product was a direct result of several costly mold re-configurations, live electrical testing, material resourcing, and endless hours of scrutinizing electrical connectivity. The new track configuration we are producing is the most economical, efficient and reliable design that will allow for ease of “L-gauge” system expansion. We wanted to come as close as we could to replicating the old 9-volt track configuration and to make sure that it would be affordable so that everyone could continue to enjoy the hobby at a reasonable cost. 

 We know that the current “L-gauge” hobbyist is going to continue to use existing “L-gauge” track to run 9-volt power. ME Models is committed to extending the life of the “L-gauge” system by helping to make “L-gauge” a mainstream model railway scale. 

 The ME Models Metal Rail System will be able to connect directly into your entire existing “L-gauge” 9-volt track by using the ME “Conversion Section.” This section replicates the existing 9-volt connection on one end and allows you to convert into our new design from the other. We have eliminated any possible failures of electrical connectivity issues by using rail joiners as a way to connect the metal rail. The rail joiner that you see is not new. It has been around for nearly 60 years and is used by just about every other model railway system in all gauges. The introduction of the rail joiner to the current system brings the “L-gauge” hobby in line with all the other main line model railroad systems. When fully assembled, the ME Models metal rail system is aesthetically the same as what you are used to seeing.

ME Models Metal Rail Assembly Guide
ME Models Metal Rail Assembly Guide

 

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We also want to make clear that our current plastic power function compatible “L-gauge” track will not have any change. Color options for metal rail ballast include Blue-Gray or Dark Brown. Please refer to our website www.me-models.com for additional product specifications and use.

We know there are many of you waiting on your rewards. This includes KickStarter, KickBacker and July 2016 Extension period supporters. All rewards for supporters will be sent within the next 4 weeks and throughout the Holiday and New Year period. WE WILL BE ADDING ONE CONVERSION PACK PER LOOP ORDERED AT NO EXTRA COST.

We appreciate your continued support and patience. We will be adding a wide range of additional track geometries in 2017.

Merry Christmas,

ME Models

Metal Rail Update

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Hello all KickStarter and Extension Rewards Supporters,

A large part of our summer and early fall has been dedicated to shipping remaining KickStarter orders for all ABS rails. This is why no stock has been available for public sale until recently, as we are finishing up large ABS rewards backers with the run from our manufacturer in October. 

Our other focus had been streamlining production of our metal rail line. The anticipated August launch for our metal rail system extended into September as we underestimated the amount of time for packaging and assembly. We’ve taken the necessary steps to increase work efficiency and add man-hours, especially since part of our product is hand crafted. In late September we sent a few samples geometries to one of our well-respected backers and they found a connection issue with the power getting to a specific point. Rather than send out rewards only to find out this issue would persist, we decided quality control and product functionality is more important for the consumer.

We took these results back to manufacturing in early October to make an alteration to our mould that guarantees our metal product will not incur any shorting. Moulds typically take 15-30 days to retool. We will have it back shortly and from then we need a couple of weeks for production runs and packaging. 

  We know everyone is frustrated and we share in that frustration, especially when we invested so much time and labor and still had a minor tweak after a year of consistent focused attention on design and development. The very good news is that our modification actually cuts our overall production time in half. This will allow our products to be made and kept in stock at significantly higher levels. It will get you your rewards sooner and you will have a 100% working product with every connection.  

We also know there is a growing frustration for the lack of an update and communication. For this we apologize and will get back to individual email correspondence. We do receive many emails and communicate to as many as we can. We are a small company and sometimes our communications can pile up, as we are the same people creating the products daily. We do not mean to miss anyone who writes, if we do or if we see a post online, we will reach out to them in the background.

If you personally know us for the last decade at events and shows, and many of the backers do, you know we are 100% committed to the success of our products. All backers receiving their rewards have had some type of extras based on your pledge levels sent from us to you with your backer rewards as a thank you for your patience. While many of you hear the frustration from others on social media, what you do not see are many follow up comments from supporters who have received their rewards expressing happiness with the quality and extra rails. We know that our actions speak louder than words and you’ll be happy with your rewards. You’ll receive another update once our mould is ready and production runs occur.

Sincerely,

ME Models

Update - March 2016

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Dear ME Rail Fans and Supporters,


We hope everyone is doing well. We know that there are quite a few people out there wondering when we are going to deliver metal rails to the hobby. The following is a pretty good update for everyone that will show you what we have been working on for the past couple of months. It has not been easy. The good news is that we are poised to help move our L Gauge hobby another step forward.

BRING YOU UP TO SPEED

We would like to restate what has happened since the 2015 holidays. On Christmas Day, our ABS manufacturer had a major health ailment/event occur, which required a lengthy hospital stay and recovery period. Our manufacturer shut down operations to allow for recovery and stabilization of their personal health. We did not feel it was appropriate to air our personal ‘ME family’ situation, but some of you may have already known or may have found out about this from a discussion in February on Eurobricks, and some of you may have known if you contacted us individually. Having said that, if you placed an online order from mid-December until now, you now have the specific reason for our delay of delivery to you.

We did receive a portion of a very large order in December from our manufacturer, right before the shutdown, some of which was used to fill our remaining 2015 orders and some additional KickStarter rewards. With our manufacturer resuming production as of March 1, we have started to receive the remaining parts of our December order. We will be filling online orders from the end of 2015 up through the present and will continue to send KickStarter rewards until we have delivered ALL of our outstanding obligations. 

We have also started to stock some new inventory on our home site www.me-models.com that is now available for purchase.

METAL RAILS

As of March 8, the metal rail system is almost ready for production. We are continuing our test trials to make sure that everything will be in working order as we get ready to release our metal rail product.

Going back to 2010, we conducted research and development on applying in-laid metal strips to our ABS rail system and also worked on developing a full metal rail configurations. As you know we made the full metal rail configuration part of our KickStarter campaign. We have spent the past year and a half of trying to create a process that keeps the tolerances between the mating of metal and plastic into one functioning unit. After having limited success, we have decided to go back and review a few of our original ideas, as well as, take under advisement additional ideas to deliver a viable metal rail system. We would like to thank Steve Barlie for his assistance and technical insight in helping us deliver on what we feel is a sustainable system. We have included some pictures of one of our new molds so everyone can see the progress and the direction we decided to pursue. With the conclusion of testing, the ME Models’ Metal Rail System will be ready for sale through our website very soon.

We now have the capability of delivering the R56 curve, ½ straights, standard straights and double length straights that we promised as a reward via our Kickstarter campaign. As an added bonus and as an additional reward for everyone’s patience, we would like to announce that we will also be making the R72, R88 and R104 9-volt electric curves.

The final update on tap is in regards the German E-44 engine that was also part of the KickStarter campaign. For the 9 backers at this level, we have included pictures of the NEWLY DESIGNED and upgraded model.

MOVING FORWARD

Our goal is to finish shipping all pledges from KickStarter as soon as we have enough metal track inventory built.

We are at the finish line. We know it has taken some extra time. We truly appreciate the flexibility and patience from everyone involved. We cannot thank you enough for allowing us to continue to be the ‘go to’ track manufacturer for the “L” Gauge Train Hobby.

Sincerely,
ME Models

Rail Mold
Rail Mold
 
ABS Rails without insert
ABS Rails without insert
ABS Rails without inserts
ABS Rails without inserts
Sample Metal Rail
Sample Metal Rail
Sample Metal Rail
Sample Metal Rail
Metal Rail Ends
Metal Rail Ends
E44
E44
E44
E44
E44
E44

Holiday Update

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Happy Holidays from ME Models! With that said, we thought we would drop a few lines with an update of where we are at with the project.

First of all, we would like to thank everyone again for their tremendous patience and understanding. As we have said throughout the year, we will be completing our project. Everyone who supported the project will receive their reward per pledge level. Unfortunately, our timeline has been stretched and has taken us a lot longer to product a product that we know everyone wants and expects.

As of December 17, 2015 we are now completing the remaining orders for the ABS plastic rail system. We are picking up a very large parts order from our manufacturer on Tuesday December 22. We have the Holidays and the New Year upon us. We will be working throughout those vacation days to package and ship the plastic reward pledges that we owe.

For those of you that have pledged for metal rewards, we want to let you know that we have been diligently working on our metal rail production. As stated earlier, holding the tolerances has been the biggest issue. As we were testing and re-testing the tolerances, another concept emerged and our ME engineering team developed a second metal rail system in tandem over the past six months. We now have a 9-volt rail system.

As of December 17, 2015 we are going forward with the procurement of the materials needed to manufacture the system. Manufacturing will begin shortly and we will update you with expected shipping dates as we build inventory.

Thank you once again for all your patience. We sincerely appreciate the loyal support from all our hobbyist friends in the building community.

Kind Regards, ME Models

It's been awhile...

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I've started getting inquiries again, so here is your short-and-sweet update.

We delivered a sizable check to the plastics manufacturer today which will take care of ALL plastic orders.  They will start production and we should have everything (plastic only) taken care of within a month.  As there are quite a few orders, we just ask for your continued patience while we pack and ship.

As far as metal goes, our goal is to have ALL orders shipped in time for Christmas.