K Line Trains

Chapel Hill, North Carolina based MDK Incorporated originally owned these products and eventually sold them to K-Line Trains which is in actuality a brand name for ‘S’ and ‘O’ gauge models of locomotives. At the early age of four, Maury Klein started manifesting utmost interest in toy trains watching intently battery powered trains make those endless loops on those toy train tracks. The most famous train sets during those days was the brand Lionel and he got one as a present at the age of six. Ho took it apart and tried to discern the ins and outs of a train and in1975, Maury Klein founded MDK Inc. which bore his initials.

Little did Maury realized that millions of people are fascinated with trains just like him and in 1974, while in school at the University of North Carolina, he was already earning through a small business selling train models via mail order. As his sales grew, he began to believe that there was enough opportunity for him to set up his own train company in the tinplate marketplace.

Claims for more shipments with the ever growing increase in orders of his model trains, Maury Klein built a building on a piece of land near Chapel Hill, North Carolina and this is where his mail order business started growing by leaps and bounds. His father entered the scene in 1979 to help Maury out in the making of new train models – the O27 and the ‘O’ gauge track now under the MDK K-Line, a brand and model of his own.

MDK sold many Lionel train brands and its closest competitor, MTH Electric Trains was likewise a huge dealer of these Lionel trains. While Maury’s mail order business grew, his ads appeared on well-known train magazines such as Model Railroader which was very famous towards the end of the decade 70’s.

Another competitor, Louis Marx and Company’s closed down finally in 1978 and this marked the ascent of Maury’s MDK K-Line of trains. Maury even bought the tooling and accessories formerly owned Marx and used it in his own production lines and he was able to buy all these heavy machineries and manufacturing paraphernalia at bankruptcy prices. He had a lot of the other tools Marx left behind by scavenging through the old warehouses and factories and eventually found the molds for the Marx 1947 model #333 pacific and #1829 4-6-2 Hudson locomotives in a run-down Fisher-Price warehouse a few meters away from Buffalo, New York. Part of the story was the warehouse was so dilapidated snow was falling off its roofing and the warehouse had no lights and no heating whatsoever and there they found the molds.

Maury again had some very fine acquisitions in the form of the Kusan rolling stock dies. These dies are design for building Auburn Model Trains which were American Model Trains as was earlier known. Williams Reproductions sold these dies to MDK K-Line in 1986 and in the same year, MDK was producingO27 locomotives, cars, and other figures.

Buying a Horse – How Much Training Should it Have?

Trained versus Untrained Horses

For most people (e.g. excluding large breeders, horse dealers and such), it is usually best that you purchase a horse which is already trained to the level you will be using the horse at. If you will be using the horse for basic riding it should be trained to this level pre-purchase; if you are using it for advanced riding then you should buy a horse that is trained to the advanced level. If you are using it for show jumping, it should already be trained for show jumping.

Of course, one can purchase an untrained horse or a partly trained horse. Such a horse will be less expensive to buy. Also, you can instruct a trainer on exactly how you want the horse trained, and you can have the experience and pleasure of participating in this. However, against these advantages, there are a number of disadvantages:

Training Costs. The cost of training will be in addition to the cost of the horse. To begin with, there are the costs of the trainer. In some cases the trainer will come to you but if not, you will need to transport the horse to the trainer or stable the horse with the trainer, either of which will be additional costs. Due to individual differences, it can be difficult to state precisely how much it will cost to train a horse, but such costs are frequently (one could even say ‘usually’) under-estimated. It is often the case that when one adds in all the final costs of training, it would have been less expensive to have purchased an already trained horse.

Accidents. Occasionally there are accidents during training, even with good trainers, especially during early training when the horse is less predictable. Even in the case of minor accidents, there may be vet costs.

Mis-Training. Trainers vary both in terms of approach and in quality. Furthermore, in order to secure the training contract at an economical level, trainers may rush the training or under-estimate the amount required. If this occurs, at best you end up with an incompletely trained horse and at worse a horse which has been mis-trained, resulting in undesirable behaviors.

Feel. Two horses, trained in exactly the same way, will provide a different riding experience due to individual differences. Horses differ due to breed, build, training and individual genetics. Consequently, how comfortable you will be riding a horse is more predictable with an already trained horse than with an untrained one.

Health Examination. A trained horse is easier to evaluate for injuries or other defects as one can ride it and one can watch it carefully while being ridden in each gait. Although one can examine an untrained horse, the examination by necessity is less complete.

Because of these factors, buying an already trained horse is often less expensive, less risky and less stressful than buying an untrained or partly trained horse and then having it trained up.

You should not try to train a horse yourself, unless you are a professional horse trainer or working under the complete supervision of a professional horse trainer. When non-professionals train horses, the horse will almost certainly pick up bad habits and behaviors (which are very time consuming and expensive to correct), as well as the risk of accidental injury to the novice trainer.

You should also be wary of buying a partly trained horse based on the seller’s commitment to fully train it. Having made the sale, many sellers will rush the training and cut corners, in order to minimize their costs and receive payment as soon as possible. One should only make a purchase commitment when the horse is fully trained and you have ridden it to ensure that you are completely satisfied with the result.