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  1. There is a saying, look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves. Equally there are thousands of best practice business books / videos / seminars out there which all effectively look at small things which can amplify when added together - and which bang the drum that continuous improvement, not big initiatives can produce great financial benefits. So, if making the handrails slightly thicker means the Chinese worker spends a couple of seconds less working on each bodyshell, that will translate to fewer person hours required overall. Even a couple of h
  2. Given the age of many of the structures in the Euston area, finding more asbestos that needs dealing with shouldn't be a surprise - many 1960s train carriages used it extensively for insulation! I'm also told one of the big problems with the Houses of Parliament is the place is riddled with the stuff and the costs of removing it are only a 'best guess' as lots of it is suspected to be hidden and only accessible once rebuilding starts. To a degree I suspect the same is true of Euston - pre work surveys can only tell you so much, particularly given the fact that anything which might
  3. China isn't moving anything - its the British tradition of wanting Roll Royce luxury at the price of an old mini. Fundamentally, most labour intensive manufacturing went to China simply because Western consumers were unwilling to pay enough for products to keep the work in their home countries. As for whats changed, its pretty simple - in the past two decades living standards (and thus wages etc) have risen significantly in China. I for one don't begrudge anyone being paid a decent wage for their work - including having it go up year on year if the country makes rapid s
  4. One would presume that these have been factored into the calculations of HS2 ltd when selecting the site. However its also true to say that HS2 are focused pretty much only with their own project and won't consider wider railway connectivity issues which are demeaned to fall outside of the core remit given to them by the Government. This is of course deliberate, the more lose the terms of reference* the grater the potential of costs going up and given the outcry amongst certain sections of society the last thing HS2 needs is to bump up costs even more. More generally, w
  5. Bristol Parkway is a bit different because the site it was built on (Stoke Gifford yard) was passed through by all trains between London and Wales, all trains from fast trains between Bristol and London that skipped Bath even before the thing was thought of, plus it could easily have all cross country trains routed through it. Toton by contrast is on a route that never normally sees passengers services - as far as I know all Sheffield services are routed via Derby while services from Nottingham to the north use the quicker / shorter route out of the city via Lenton. Furthermore eas
  6. I know that - as I'm sure do those in charge of choosing the HS2 route alignment through the area. It does however have potential to host a reasonable shuttle train service to Nottingham and Derby, though destinations further afield may be more problematic . You should also note that the Birmingham Parkway station has no public transport links (yes there will be a people mover system over to the WCML Birmingham International station, but thats not going to make for a quick interchange between rail services) while even the Curzon Street site will require walking to existing stations
  7. Given the nature of HS2, I doubt that played a major factor in the siting of the station. The key requirements for the East Midlands hub will have been defined:- Not wanting to compromise the line speed of HS2 in the area nor significantly increase costs (by necessitating lots of extra tunnelling for example) Having good access to the strategic road network Preferably being built on brownfield land to minimise environmental damage, ideally already in the ownership of another state entity. Now, because the East Midlands area will not have a city cent
  8. However you cannot consider the station in isolation. While connectivity with existing rail services would have been better at East Midlands Parkway, we live in an age where environmental / noise / visual impact considerations are just as important and IIRC this was why that site got rejected thus keeping HS2 close to the noise / pollution generators that are the M1 instead of sandwiching Kegworth between the M1 and HS2. A look at Google earth also fails to show any significant areas of brownfield land near Breaston which could be used for a station.
  9. But whats the alternative? Routing HS2 through either Derby or Nottingham proper is going to need lots of tunnelling plus urban demolition to build a big enough station (even if you do stick it below ground) to cope with 800m long trains. Then of course whichever city is bypassed will, kick up an almighty political s***storm about being economically disadvantaged compared to its neighbour. As such an out of town parkway station to serve both cities is a good compromise. Totton has brownfield land avalible for re-use, is located close to major roads, has the ability to b
  10. Park and ride services work best where access to the city they serve is difficult by car due to the road infrastructure. The problem is that the station in Plymouth is a significant trek from the city centre, plus thanks to the Luftwaffe (and 1960s town planners) Plymouth is equipped with a decent road network and has the grade separated A38 dual carriageway providing easy access from the South Hams area. In fact for Most to get to Ivybridge you have to pass across and / or along the A38 anyway. Meanwhile the location of the new Ivybridge station on the edge of the town me
  11. It was, but the downside was when the factories / industries changed and no longer had mass shift changeovers, patronage plummeted. This in turn meant there no business case to modify the platforms to a accommodate the new Sprinter trains so the train service got replaced by a taxi until it was put out of its misery and the stations formerly closed in the run up to privatisation. Some two decades later the same was repeated with the station called I.B.M. in Scotland which was finally shut last year, its reason for being built in the 1980s (the adjacent IBM factory) having closed a
  12. They are - but the point is that Bachman may have taken a fresh look at the process for the HAP rather than continue with previous methods in an effort to control costs and speed up production compared to previously tooled models. However because of the cost of fresh toning older models keep their original design. An example of this in the rolling stock world is the Maunsell open 3rd coach made by Hornby. That model has the roof vents done as part of the roof moulding reducing production costs - but the Maunsell coaches released before it still retain their individually fitted vent
  13. Petite the previous version may have been - but maybe they were a tad too fragile and meaning lots of duds / rectification work was needed during assembly. In the current economic environment the pressure to minimise the assembly costs (the most expensive part of model railway manufacturing) as well make the whole process a bit quicker may have impacted on the decision to move to a different style for the HAP.
  14. And what do you suggest they do - have them moulded as part of body in the form of raised plastic strip? Please remember that those handrails have to be above a certain minimum thickness for (i) The Chinese assembly staff to actually be able to handle them and (ii) Have any chance of not breaking the moment a customer touches them. That invariably means a degree of compromise is required and results in the model having oversized handrails - there are plenty of RTR steam and rolling stock with similar issues if you start looking closely at handrail diameters.
  15. I haven't purchased anything myself, but my understanding was when the Gold membership was launched that as an ordinary member I can still browse the classified section and make purchases if I wished. If I am mistaken I'm sure someone will be along shortly to set the record straight.
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