Matt Dawson

Return of 9V?

52 posts in this topic

traintech1.jpg

With everyone complaining about the lack of train parts (mainly 9V motor, old style buffers, and of course: track), might I suggest something?

If we could (and it's a massive COULD) raise enough money, perhaps we could, as a group, ask Lego to do a special run of parts; or failing that, how about buying the moulds and/or the rights to produce 9V parts?

It would certainly benefit 9V users (let's face it, who doesn't like nice long trains?). But there reamins several stumbling blocks:

> It would be best if a special group was formed to specifically tackle the problem

> Lego might not want a seperate supply/track system to be available - so may cause problems

> while not expensive now (it really is only about 3 years since Lego stopped 9V production) it may become way more expensive in future - if a ex-shop condition box of 9V straight track is over $45 on Bricklink from $13 in just over 3 years, it will become rarer still and some of it will deteriorate in quality - again, pushing prices up.

Any thoughts/comments?

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With everyone complaining about the lack of train parts (mainly 9V motor, old style buffers, and of course: track), might I suggest something?

If we could (and it's a massive COULD) raise enough money, perhaps we could, as a group, ask Lego to do a special run of parts; or failing that, how about buying the moulds and/or the rights to produce 9V parts?

It would certainly benefit 9V users (let's face it, who doesn't like nice long trains?). But there reamins several stumbling blocks:

> It would be best if a special group was formed to specifically tackle the problem

> Lego might not want a seperate supply/track system to be available - so may cause problems

> while not expensive now (it really is only about 3 years since Lego stopped 9V production) it may become way more expensive in future - if a ex-shop condition box of 9V straight track is over $45 on Bricklink from $13 in just over 3 years, it will become rarer still and some of it will deteriorate in quality - again, pushing prices up.

Any thoughts/comments?

Well, there was a save 9V trains initiative, that didn't work, so why should it work now. B.t.w. 9V never came as far as 12V :)

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Interesting topic. While Lego train fans tried to save the 9V system, we were unsuccessful. At the same time, it's never to late to give up. I'd be interested in seeing what other train fans say to this topic.

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I have an old train which is supported by 9V system, that's awesome. But i never got into these new systems i dont know how they work tbh. If they bring back the 9V system it would definitely get me back into trains. I would buy all the sets thats for sure!

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I NEED 9V TRACK!!!!1!!11!!!

Yes, It would be nice if LEGO would bring back 9v.

They could do it as a built to order special run type deal, or just have it as a "hobby" section for just parts like track and motors, etc.

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Well, I do not think we need any more 9v. I think the new PF trains will bring us the same and more possibilities. Also the new RC track has more flexibility then the 9volt.

I am not against your iniative, but we also have to move on ...

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but we also have to move on ...

Some of us dont want to! :wink:

Its a good idea and I personally would love to see the return of 9v tracks but I can see a number of issues ahead of any one that would try to reproduce the 9v track.

As well as a mould for the injection plastic machines to use you also need to have the metal rails machined and applied to the track. I am pretty sure I read some where that this is what was driving up the cost of production and resulted it the 9v system being discontinued.

If say some how we could get a hold of the moulds used for the track or make our own and possibly find a manufacture to make and apply the rails you would also need to ensure that the cost of the track is going to be less than the current brick link or ebay value otherwise you wouldn't have a viable product.

Another alternative is to use rc track and fabricate a conductive rail that can be applied to the track.

I have seen a few examples of people doing this with a self sticky foil that i used to shields pc's against radio interference but I honestly dont know how durable this would be.

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Lego could always produce the 9V track again and just offer it at a premium price -something like $20 (USD) for 8 pieces (or perhaps on PAB at a high cost).

There's many of us that still love 9V.

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Lego could always produce the 9V track again and just offer it at a premium price -something like $20 (USD) for 8 pieces (or perhaps on PAB at a high cost).

I think the initial costs for a re-release would be too high to make 9V-track price attractive, so 9V fans will prefer to buy used tracks on BL/eBay rather ran buying more expensive new tracks on S@H... :/

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fans will prefer to buy used tracks on BL/eBay rather ran buying more expensive new tracks on S@H... :/

The thing is it all comes down to cost and the good old supply and demand rule.

As more people buy track on brick link etc then the price goes up due to limited supply and increased demand. If the tlg or any one else can find a way to increase supply then costs would come down.

another issue is that we may not even have any reasonable or realistic idea of what the track costs to produce. I bet that for a long time tlg were subsidising the cost of track as the age of the moulds aged. What we need to know is if the base manufacturing price per piece of track before any one could even look in to taking this further.

Would any one know where to get those details?.

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The thing is it all comes down to cost and the good old supply and demand rule.

As more people buy track on brick link etc then the price goes up due to limited supply and increased demand. If the tlg or any one else can find a way to increase supply then costs would come down.

another issue is that we may not even have any reasonable or realistic idea of what the track costs to produce. I bet that for a long time tlg were subsidising the cost of track as the age of the moulds aged. What we need to know is if the base manufacturing price per piece of track before any one could even look in to taking this further.

Would any one know where to get those details?.

I don't know any details, but one of the main issues if no track is to be produced is that it's overall quality will decrease - afterall, we do like to RUN our trains, wouldn't we? Afterall, Lego collectors aren't like other collectors...

Maybe Lego should consider a revised track design - afterall, wouldn't it be easier to reinvent the wheel track instead of making old ones? If the design is too costly, (lets face it - the design was the same as from when it was introduced) then surely a simpler design would be better? Or maybe the track should be like the RC track with the top section removed and a metal top piece glued on instead? (it may also give the oppertunity to re-design the power feed - to make it smaller?)

Edited by Matt Dawson

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Indeed I can remember the main reason for discontinueing 9V was the track production. It is fairly simple to make the plastic rails like they have now, but you require a second step in applying the metal conduit on it. This connection is quite something to work on, since it needs to be reliable and strong.

When the metal prices went steeply up, this way of working must have eroded the margins on the tracks and train sets.

For Lego it will not be very sensible to run 2 systems parallel, because probably the 9V demand will not be high enough to sustain this and the PF will compete with it directly. Especially for the little public price is a major issue when buying a train.

I think Lego will rather work on miniturizing and optimizing the PF system then going back to the 9V age.

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Well I dont your idea would happen because lego didnt accept my offer which was about adding bricks i need to pick a brick

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I think that if Lego to ever was do a re-run of the 9v supplies, they would do something similar to that LUGBULK that's being offered on the front page, where you would have to submit an order months in advance. Not to mention they would probably only offer it like.. once. Actually, I doubt they would ever do something like this without a HUGE fan push, but this would probably make the most sense economically if they WERE to do it.

Edited by Yeow

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I doubt that LEGO will produce any more of the 9v for any reason, but if they did it would be awesome. It would benefit the LEGO train community a huge amount, although not me personally. I have upwards of 150 straight rails, but I have paid a LOT of money for them in small cheap lots. Cheap mening minimum of $40 AUD per box... :sceptic:

I do think though, that if we could convince them to reproduce some of the parts, even for only for a short time, it would be a wonderful opportunity for the LEGO train community to stock up on parts, seeing as we didn't really get fair warning when they discontinued the stuff.

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traintech1.jpg

With everyone complaining about the lack of train parts (mainly 9V motor, old style buffers, and of course: track), might I suggest something?

If we could (and it's a massive COULD) raise enough money, perhaps we could, as a group, ask Lego to do a special run of parts; or failing that, how about buying the moulds and/or the rights to produce 9V parts?

It would certainly benefit 9V users (let's face it, who doesn't like nice long trains?). But there reamins several stumbling blocks:

> It would be best if a special group was formed to specifically tackle the problem

> Lego might not want a seperate supply/track system to be available - so may cause problems

> while not expensive now (it really is only about 3 years since Lego stopped 9V production) it may become way more expensive in future - if a ex-shop condition box of 9V straight track is over $45 on Bricklink from $13 in just over 3 years, it will become rarer still and some of it will deteriorate in quality - again, pushing prices up.

Any thoughts/comments?

I have a little inside insight into this and I can categorically (or at least very close to) state that this will never happen. Ever. If you want to continue with powered track then stock up on what you can while you still can. PFS is all you will be able to buy.

Tim

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For those that do not know Tim is an Ambassador. Perhaps the mods could put him in the Ambassadorrs group if that's appropriate. It would add a bit of weight and veracity to his inside insight.

I have a little inside insight into this and I can categorically (or at least very close to) state that this will never happen. Ever. If you want to continue with powered track then stock up on what you can while you still can. PFS is all you will be able to buy.

Tim

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For those that do not know Tim is an Ambassador. Perhaps the mods could put him in the Ambassadorrs group if that's appropriate. It would add a bit of weight and veracity to his inside insight.

Hmmm... I'm not sure I really want that sort of official hat. The information was actually gained before I was an Ambassador and I won't go into the details but it is very trustworthy.

Tim

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Hmmm... I'm not sure I really want that sort of official hat. The information was actually gained before I was an Ambassador and I won't go into the details but it is very trustworthy.

Tim

Fair Enough.

Given the campaign to save 9V I would be very surprised if we ever saw the track produced again by the Lego Group. They have already considered and rejected the idea. They even said the cost of the track was one of the reasons which led them to discontinue 9V. If the community wants to do this I fear they will have to finance it themselves, and I doubt they are likely to be able to break even if TLG didn't think they could.

I for one welcome our new PF overlords.

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if a ex-shop condition box of 9V straight track is over $45 on Bricklink from $13 in just over 3 years, it will become rarer still and some of it will deteriorate in quality - again, pushing prices up.

$45?!?! That's 10 times as much as i spent on it last year! All right! This is why I bought extra!

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I think TLG would in principle agree to reproduce the 9V tracks, but they would only sell them in mass quantities that would be unrealistic for any individual buyers. This is how the exclusive sets designed for various companies (like the Vestas turbine) work. The company places an order for, say, $2 million worth of the sets before TLG starts production.

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I think TLG would in principle agree to reproduce the 9V tracks, but they would only sell them in mass quantities

You think wrong. They will not make the track again [1].

Tim

[1] OK so if you made them a ridiculously good offer they might but then they would be much, much too expensive.

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You think wrong. They will not make the track again [1].

Tim

[1] OK so if you made them a ridiculously good offer they might but then they would be much, much too expensive.

Which was exactly my point. :tongue:

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OK so if you made them a ridiculously good offer they might but then they would be much, much too expensive.

My point exactly. If manufacturing costs became to high to justify the cost of production then it is doubtful that the tlg would resume make any more unless it was gong to be profitable. Unfortunately we don’t know what that magic number is and I doubt we will ever find out.

If any one is looking for more track once the current supply dries up then I think that person has one of two options.

A. Acquire / make a mould for 9v track and have this produced then fabricate the rails and have them attached to the track.

B. Use or modify RC track with conductive material to allow electric motors to run.

Personally I think A would be too expensive even for a cooperative effort and could infringe on copyright restrictions. :angry: .

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If any one is looking for more track once the current supply dries up then I think that person has one of two options.

A. Acquire / make a mould for 9v track and have this produced then fabricate the rails and have them attached to the track.

B. Use or modify RC track with conductive material to allow electric motors to run.

Personally I think A would be too expensive even for a cooperative effort and could infringe on copyright restrictions. :angry: .

What I don't understand is that the RC tracks are a (sortof) new design (basically the 9V tracks with all the holes filled in ) so why not simply design the mould to have a replaceable 'head' :look: ? It doesn't have to be removable, but it'd make the track easier to be made for 9V. That way, either a platic or metal top-piece can be simply 'glued' on. Unless Lego wanted to make the track like the 12V era...seperate plastic sleepers & metal rail....

P.S. If we were to make a new mould, surely we'd make it a bigger radius as a '2 fingers' to lego... :wink: (no insult intended, but lego hardly put the effort into the train line as years passed as they did with the city/town ranges...at least trains don't have to be pushed along...)

Edited by Matt Dawson

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