After four decades in business, M.T.H. Electric Trains is closing.
President Mike Wolf announced Monday that he is retiring, shuttering the business in May 2021 but leaving the door open to prospective buyers to form a new company. In a letter to customers, Wolf said the last products the company will offer are those associated with its latest catalogs.
Wolf thanked retailers for supporting the company from its “humble beginnings” and employees for their hard work. At one point, M.T.H. Electric Trains employed 57. The dealer network extends beyond the U.S.
“M.T.H. Electric Trains would not have enjoyed success without the support of the M.T.H. Authorized Retailer network,” he said in a statement. “While traditional retail has changed significantly over the past decade, the independent hobby shop has been and continues to be the most important cog in our distribution chain. I truly appreciate the support and friendship these shops have shown M.T.H. I wish all of them good luck and prosperity in the years to come.”
Wolf said he will consider offers for the company’s assets, including any by employees.
“With thousands of tools and molds and a wealth of intellectual property, a new model railroading company may arise from my former company as I entertain various options and buyers,” he said. “One scenario is a new company organized and owned by members of my current staff.”
New items featured in the 2020 Volume 2 O Gauge and 2020 HO catalogs and all undelivered items for the 2020 Volume 1 O Gauge catalog − plus those in the 2020 Ready-to-Run Train Set catalog, 2019-2020 S Gauge catalog, and 2019-2020 G Gauge catalog − will be available in the summer and through April 2021.
Warranty coverage will be available through April 2022.
Wolf began tinkering with trains at age 12 and started the company eight years later in the bedroom of his parents’ home. Since then M.T.H. Electric Trains has been a major player in the two-rail and three-rail O-gauge, One-gauge, S-gauge and HO-scale model train markets.
In addition to its M.T.H. Electric Trains line, the company also manufactures under the RailKing brand. RailKing, which produces smaller models that run on O-gauge track for modelers who have limited space, is the company’s best-selling brand, according to M.T.H.’s website.
Until May 2019, M.T.H. Trains had a licensing arrangement with Lionel, LLC, to produce Lionel’s Tinplate products.
Wolf said the remainder of his time will be spent clearing inventory and other items accumulated over 40 years.
“As that process evolves, we’ll be offering consumer and retailer purchase opportunities,” he said.
The company is based in Columbia, MD.