How To Get A Raildriver

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by Cramnor, Oct 15, 2021.

  1. Cramnor

    Cramnor Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I have been struggling now for a long time to get hands on a Raildriver. For European retailers, they are all out of stock and all my orders have been cancelled eventually, as it seems like they are not planning on re-stocking. Ordering from the manufacturer itself is an option, but the horrendous freight charges have deterred me from ordering with them (250$ for the Raildriver and an additional 350$ for shipping, no thanks).
    However, I have recently discovered a good way of getting a Raildriver to Europe. I came across Walthers in the US, and they have the Raildriver in stock for currently 180$ (https://www.walthers.com/raildriver-desktop-cab-controller). The best part however is that shipping comes at only around 50$ to Europe, making a total cost of around 230$ or 200€.
    I have ordered mine on Tuesday, you can pay with credit card or PayPal. It has been sent yesterday (I never got to that stage before with a Raildriver) and is scheduled to arrive by the end of next week, so the process seems to be rather quick as well, no waiting for months :)
    While I have not received it yet (and I will update later once I did), I wanted to share this discovery/experience with everyone else who has been unsuccessful in getting their hands on a Raildriver.
    Let me know if you found other good ways or followed me in ordering one from Walthers. :)

    Update: I have received my Raildriver without any problems, it was a smooth and easy process and I can highly recommend it for everyone who wants to get a new Raildriver! :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
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  2. paweuek

    paweuek Active Member

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    Oh boy, I bought mine a month ago because didn't want to wait any longer from Amazon US for something around 300 bucks. :(

    Good tip for another players "on the fence" though :)
     
  3. Johan H

    Johan H New Member

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    Good tip, but I wonder if there is import tax added to that if it's shipped to the EU?
    I've ordered some gaming hardware to Sweden from US before and taxes has been added here by Swedish customs.

    I ordered a custom truck shifter from US, and the cost with shipping was 70.00$ but on the label it said 7000$ so I had something's to explain and prove to the customs before I could get it without paying a lot more tax than I should. :D
    I heard later that because of the 7000$ label and size of the package, they thought it was a gun :o
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
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  4. paweuek

    paweuek Active Member

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    That's actually good point - Amazon charged me 63$ for import fees and after shipment the gave me 5$ back.

    Funny story is that Polish customs Service called me and asked what actually I imported because seller put wrong code saying it is coin operated hazard game machine :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
  5. Cramnor

    Cramnor Well-Known Member

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    Yes, fair point, I expect that taxes will be added to that. But it would happen either way (if I ordered from the manufacturer directly for example), and in the end it will still be around the same price as ordering it in the EU directly where it is not in stock unfortunately :)
     
  6. paul.pavlinovich

    paul.pavlinovich Well-Known Member

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    I quite like Walthers, I've used them from Australia for model railway stuff and its always arrived in good time for reasonable shipping. I hope you enjoy the Raildriver Cramnor
     
  7. redrev1917

    redrev1917 Well-Known Member

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    For UK I had to pay tax when I purchased from the US. Transport and tax basically doubled the cost for me, would I do it again. You bet!!
     
  8. mariussoare_84

    mariussoare_84 Well-Known Member

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    Cramnor I don't want to be a party breaker, but the import tax is quite high and you might end up paying more than it usually sells for in Europe.

    I was looking to buy some Bachmann 4-4-0 locomotives such as the UP 119 and naturally, I was attracted by the very good prices these sell for in the US but when I added taxes and shipping it came up more expensive than buying from Ebay from well known German hobby retailers that import more articles at once and thus have a better tax rate.

    Always check taxes before buying from outside of the EU!
     
  9. Cramnor

    Cramnor Well-Known Member

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    From what I can tell, it will add the typical VAT, so it will be 180$ + 25% tax in my case :) Well, that's my expectation at least
     
  10. paul.pavlinovich

    paul.pavlinovich Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes I'm reminded why I live in oz... 25% oof... worst we get pinged is 10% GST (like VAT but less). Most of the time as a private importer we pay nothing.
     
  11. mariussoare_84

    mariussoare_84 Well-Known Member

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    In the case of Ebay at least, they need to tell you the import tax amount upfront. Going back to the case with Bachmann, for importing a 250-300 $ product the tax is about 100 $ plus shipping depending on your location. The tax is an estimate and can be higher or lower.

    Nowadays it should be easy as the request for documents is online but it will be an extra thing for you to do with customs in order to finalize the delivery.
     
  12. Jamy

    Jamy Well-Known Member

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    I purchased mine from the manufacturer. If you contact the manufacturer they will do you an offer to compensate for the import tax you will have to pay. I paid £199 including shipping but I paid an extra £50 to customs which was an import tax
     
  13. Cramnor

    Cramnor Well-Known Member

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    Seriously? Wow, well, too late now for me :D
     
  14. mariussoare_84

    mariussoare_84 Well-Known Member

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    That is a very good experience you had there Jamy I'm glad it worked out like that for you.

    I remember trying the same thing with Bachmann and they kindly advised me to buy from their official page in the US despite being present in the U.K. for importing and distributing in Europe (back when the U.K. was still a member of the E.U.). I asked them why I can't get it directly from Bachmann Europe but they never bothered to reply.

    I find many things so much dependent on the person that attends you which can lead to the end response varying from person to person.
     
  15. osiegmund9

    osiegmund9 Well-Known Member

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    I bought my raildriver on Amazon US for around 250€. Tax and shipping to Germany included. After 2 weeks my raildriver was in use;)
     
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  16. Jamy

    Jamy Well-Known Member

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    here was the response I got from the manufacturer when I asked the about European stock

    We ran into a number of complications this year due to COVID-19 and Brexit this fall. We aren’t sure when we can get the container back that way, it is being sent back to the US as I type. We are offering heavily discounted shipping if you order direct from us here in the states. If you wanted to send me your address I can offer you a quote. The unit will come with the US power adapter, but that is only for the speakers, you just need USB to power the actual RailDriver itself. (most people use their own speaks anyways)


    I am happy to help,

    Maggie



    Maggie LeBlanc

    Director of Sales & Product Fulfillment
    sales@piengineering.com
    P.I. Engineering, Inc.

    101 Innovation Parkway
    Williamston, MI 48895
    (517) 655-5523 ext. 18

    Fax: (517) 655-4926

    www.piengineering.com
     
  17. mancunian#7861

    mancunian#7861 Active Member

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    These come up on eBay fairly regularly. Infact I posted links 2 or 3 times a while back .. pre-owned more often than not but for around £150 give or take. I set up a search so every time one went on sale, I got an email notification.

    Here's one currently at £36, although still over 5 days to go ... https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/133905416831?hash=item1f2d62827f:g:z5sAAOSwngFhaqs3

    It's the only one I can see at the moment although as I said, they tend to come up fairly regularly.
     
  18. mattdsoares

    mattdsoares Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if we're allowed to post stuff like this, but I have a functioning used one in the US that I was going to throw up on eBay. Happy to sell to someone in the EU as long as you're cool paying the shipping. I really don't use it. Prefer just the keyboard.
     
  19. Cramnor

    Cramnor Well-Known Member

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    For those interested, the delivery from Walthers has arrived and I am happy playing with my Raildriver. The process was easy, smooth and quick, I got it within a good week, and the price is quite good as well I would say :) Can highly recommend it for everyone thinking about getting a Raildriver
     
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  20. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    Depending on the courier, they will also add a handling charge for dealing with the duty and VAT. For the UK Post Office I believe it’s £8 but the likes of UPS or FedEx can be considerably more.
     
  21. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    This issue of difficulties obtaining an RD is but one more example of the inequities that plague the world. Even in the time of Covid, I'm sure large corporations have no difficulty importing whatever they need from anywhere in the world. But the ordinary individual has to struggle to buy the simplest things from overseas. I mean it's not as if anyone is making a similar product in the UK, for example.

    I haven't bought anything from the UK recently, but when I did, all I paid for was shipping. VAT was waived and there were no import taxes on the US side that I recall.

    Needless to say, when I bought my RD, I paid a very small shipping charge for next day delivery ( I could have driven to PIE and back in a few hours) and the sales tax was maybe 6%.

    It's a fine product and very well built. Some units are still working just fine after 15 years or more. And the compatibility with TSW2 is gradually improving, even though it's still in beta. I sincerely hope that everyone who wants an RD can get one in a timely way and without breaking the bank. The more RD owners we have, the more pressure on DTG to advance the support and configurability of the unit. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
  22. Cramnor

    Cramnor Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree, that's why I wanted to share my experience and encourage others to do the same so that everyone can get their hands on one :)
     
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  23. rich.cooke

    rich.cooke New Member

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    Crosstie said: "Some units are still working just fine after 15 years or more. "

    Yep! My wife bought me mine for Christmas on 27 November 2003. Its still going strong and proved very good value for the money.
     
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  24. Cramnor

    Cramnor Well-Known Member

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    Well, I got the *insert swear word here* letter from FedEx today, get to pay another 110€ for customs and taxes. I get the taxes, but the customs fee is almost the same (about 50€ each), that is just ridiculous :D Well, still cheaper than anything else I've seen for a new one and unfortunately the only way to get one here at the moment.
     
  25. Théo Baltor

    Théo Baltor Member

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    If in Europe you encountered some problems and expensive value, here in Brazil is very expensive to buy it!
    To buy on US Amazon costs US$ 281,32 (US$ 209,95 for the product plus US$71,37 for Brazilian importation taxes :mad:).
    Converting to our local currency is R$1.567,31 or 242€.
     
  26. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    I got mine on Ebay from the US, brand new and very reasonable shipping. I can't remember what I paid but it wasn't over the top and found it easy, much better than the EU. In fact I prefer not to order from the EU if I can avoid it.

    My advice would be keep checking eBay.
     
  27. Cramnor

    Cramnor Well-Known Member

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    Well, mine ended up being 230$ for the RD and shipping plus 100$ for tax and customs, so thats around 300€ in the end, think its not that bad in Brazil :D
     
  28. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    Well, it's not horrendous and, I don't know about Europe, but in the US I would likely get to deduct those taxes and duties from my federal tax return come April. Sales taxes are tax deductible to some extent over here.

    Plus you have your Raildriver!! Worth its weight in gold, some would say. :D

    ( And it's pretty heavy, right? ) :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
  29. Cramnor

    Cramnor Well-Known Member

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    I do, and I'm happy about it :) it's about 5kg, but nothing golden on the outside at least :P
     
  30. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    I actually saw some better controllers or at least they looked like they were. It was on Thompson's website but alas they were for TS1. He said they had limited effect on TSW2, that was a while ago so I don't know if they work better. They were expensive but made with quality in mind. I would ditch my RD in a heartbeat if I could get the same if not more functionality out of it.
     
  31. Théo Baltor

    Théo Baltor Member

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    Wow... It`s true... I saw again the Amazon page and exists one chance the Brazilian customs do not charge fees, then they refound me. OMG, now I want to buy it! Ahahaha
     
  32. Théo Baltor

    Théo Baltor Member

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    Serious? You can deduct some sales taxes in the USA???:o Here we only deduct medical, education, and pension plans expenses.
     
  33. paul.pavlinovich

    paul.pavlinovich Well-Known Member

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    Mine is almost 20 years old. It may even be twenty.i bought it when i lived in America and I left there when my work finished in mid 2002. I bought MSTS in 2001 but got the RD a bit later.
     
  34. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    Mine is much younger. I'm not sure why I waited so long to get it. But they do last. I think Matt P. has a couple of near 20 year olds too, if I recall.
     
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  35. Cramnor

    Cramnor Well-Known Member

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    I really hope today's "Made in Taiwan" quality can keep up with that quality from 20 years ago.
     
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  36. reVo_77

    reVo_77 New Member

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    Hi everyone, I get my raildriver from Amazon.com, and the game is amazing with it.
     
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  37. paul.pavlinovich

    paul.pavlinovich Well-Known Member

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    It does make a massive difference doesn't it :)
     
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  38. redrev1917

    redrev1917 Well-Known Member

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    I actually found myself not driving anything which isnt (yet) rail driver supported. The lack of a rail driver destroys the immersion for me.

    Just a shame that there isnt a way to custom bind the functions, either officially or via a mod :(
     
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  39. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    Me either. They said it is such an easy thing to do but we are still waiting for a lot of the older stuff. I've gone on strike, I'm not driving or getting any more DLC untill the 166 and HST get RD support. I thought about Picketing but it is cold at the moment. ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2021
  40. redrev1917

    redrev1917 Well-Known Member

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    I refuse to buy any new DLC but then they keep releasing new routes/Locos and I cave :(
     
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  41. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    I'm really tempted by the 313 but know I wouldn't play it. I don't want to drive Loco's without RD but the reason I bought TSW2 in the first place was cause of the GWE but it hasn't got RD support so it dampens my enthusiasm. Does the 66 have support btw?
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2021
  42. redrev1917

    redrev1917 Well-Known Member

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    I am pleased to confirm that the 313 does indeed have rail driver support and its one of the best trainsets for the rail driver.
     
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  43. Théo Baltor

    Théo Baltor Member

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    I made a mistake. The values aren`t as a said:
    "To buy on US Amazon costs US$ 281,32 (US$ 209,95 for the product plus US$71,37 for Brazilian importation taxes :mad:).
    Converting to our local currency is R$1.567,31 or 242€."
    The correct values:
    US$ 209,95 for the Raildriver plus $321.72 for Shipping & Import Fees. Total: US$531,67 or 459.96 Euros or R$2,996.39
     

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