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    I'm still in a hole. Should I stop digging?
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    Need you ask? London Underground, the GC Woodhead Route with its EM1s and EM2s, and Swiss Railways, particularly the RhB. Oh and skiing, but at my age it gets harder to lose the weight each year to get into my ski pants. Ideal railway, well apart from the Underground, it must be the Gornergratbahn - where else can you ski and go train spotting at the same time.

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  1. Paul, You are being somewhat hypercritical as you very often mention Zimo in posts from people about ESU decoders even when no one else has previously mentioned Zimo in the topic, and go to great lengths to extol the virtues of Zimo at the expense of ESU, and have done so for many years, both on here and on other model railway forums. You've done it again here by accusing ESU of having a 'blank cheque' attitude, when ESU publish a schedule of repair costs, https://www.esu.eu/en/support/warranty-repair/reparaturen/servicepauschalen/austauschpauschalen/ Also the OP mentioned Austria, and as we all know Zimo is based in Austria. So it was possible that the OP had ESU with Zimo, or Germany with Austria. I made absolutely no mention of the arrangements that Zimo have with whoever are their agents in the UK. I only referred to what appears on the Zimo Austrian website: https://www.zimo.at/web2010/sales/kundendienst_EN.htm where they talk about passing on customs clearance costs to the sender for items sent from outside the EU. Zimo also say on their website that: "The repair process via the specialist dealer usually saves the shipping costs, but is often not the fastest option, as the transport in both directions is often carried out in collective packages. When sending directly to ZIMO, the fastest possible return of the product is guaranteed; however, the sender bears the shipping costs in both directions himself. This also applies to warranty cases (as these are mostly foreign shipments)." Of course, if local repair or sending via a local agent is possible, then naturally I'm very pleased for the owners of Zimo kit that they can avail themselves of such a service.
  2. I tried a solder repair donkey's years ago on a Trix bogie without realising it was suffering from Zinc pest/rot. It was a hopeless failure. Whether that was down to the rot or my technique I don't know, probably both. If you do try it remember to use lead free solder as it is lead as an impurity in the zinc alloy that causes zinc pest. I don't know if the lead in such solder could cause rot where it touches the zinc alloy, but it is probably better not to find out. The cut 'n'shut idea is good, but you'd be binning an awful lot of the donor model just to get an extra window bay. The other thing is that those Corgi models aren't 1:72, they're 1:64 even though the wheels run on "OO" track. Put next to anything in 4mm scale like the Original Omnibus Feltham and they'll look wildly oversize. I have a couple of the Corgi 1/64 models myself. If you want an E1 and being 4mm scale is important then search around for the Tower Trams kit, but you probably already know that. One of my "To Do" jobs is the reverse of what you want to do and cut down a Tower Trams E1 to make the 3 window Class M tram.
  3. I don't see how you can regard it as a black mark against ESU, especially as Zimo have a very similar notice on their website about items sent for repair from outside the EU. A black mark against SWD possibly, but the cost of running a repair collation service for items out of warranty could be disproportionately high and SWD are not a large company making huge profits. But they will still accept items within the 24 month warranty period. It could also introduce a delay if service agents waited until there were several items to return before sending them off to Germany or Austria or wherever for repair. It is just one of the realities of leaving the EU that we can't close our eyes to any longer. We're now a 3rd party country and must expect to be treated as such. So back to the OP, how old is the decoder? If it was bought from new less than 24 months ago then send it to SouthWest Digital as a warrant claim, they are very likely to ask to see the original sales invoice to confirm that it is within the warranty period.
  4. The company was Rovex Limited, trading as Rovex Models & Hobbies up to 1976 when there was a reorganisation with the DCM group which split the activities of Rovex Ltd into different divisions, but still under the umbrella of the Rovex Limited company, when the model railways "Hornby Railways" came under the Hornby Hobbies division. This was the position until Dunbee-Combex-Marx failed in 1980. The various cradles for the different can type motors are all shown in the relevant service sheets..
  5. Except that SW Digital, the official UK distributor for ESU have the following notices on their website: "Please note: No ESU Repairs carried out in the UK ALL out of warranty items to be replaced or repaired will have to be returned directly to ESU Germany by yourselves." And ESU say on their website: "Important note for END CUSTOMERS from all countries outside the EU who return faulty items back to ESU GERMANY: Please return faulty items directly to your model railway retailer who is responsible for the claims management and transaction to GERMANY. If you don´t have a retailer, please note that we reserve the right to charge you with additional costs for shipping and handling. We ask for your kind understanding." and "If you would like us to repair an item for you against charge, please check our different rates of service charges before you send it in. Don´t forget to explicitly state on the covering letter that you will accept any arising service charges."
  6. You might have more success if you returned ESU decoders to ESU in Germany, and Zimo decoders to Zimo in Austria.
  7. The first X.03 was produced up to 1954 and had an Alnico magnet. It was replaced by the X.04 in 1954 which was essentially the same motor but an Alcomax magnet The X.04 was the standard Triang stand alone motor used in OO/H0 steam outline locos including all models using the 0-4-0 chassis for over 20 years until around 1976. Apart from some produced in first half of the 1950s, and the Steeple Cab loco R.252/254, all Triang diesel and electric outline locos used motor bogies. In 1976, Rovex tried to reduce the cost of the motor and redesigned the motor to use parts from the motor used in Scalextric cars, (larger volumes = lower unit cost). This redesigned motor was called the X.03 But they will not have been produced in anything like the same numbers as the X.04 as they were used for a much shorter period at a time when sales of model railways were much lower than the late 1950s and early 1960s. Also, looking at the relevant service sheets the new 03 seems to have been used almost interchangeably with can motors except that there were differences in the worm and worm gear depending on which motor was used, see the relevant service sheets for more details. So swapping motors may not be quite as straightforward as it might seem. So if you have a Triang stand alone motor it could be a 1950s X.03 or a 1970s X.03 but is much more likely to be an X.04 as there will be far more of them around. Some steam locos used the XT.60 motor, which was also used in the TT range (the "T" in XT is the giveaway), where space didn't permit the fitting of an X.04, whilst the original Triang "Rocket" used the X.500.
  8. Do you mean X.03 or X.04? There's no reason why they couldn't be 3D printed, after all Rovex did use cradles for the can motors that replaced the X.04 motors in the R.355 0-4-0s when the 0-4-0s still used the 1959 chassis design. The only issue might be that the cradle would need to be designed to match the dimensions of whichever motor was to replace the X.04. So a generic cradle to suit all possible alternative motors would not be possible. Have a look at Hornby Service sheets 82 and 82A to see examples of such cradles or brackets on the Hornby Collectors website https://www.hornbyguide.com/service_sheet_menu.asp.
  9. And the air is already full of the stuff and the proof is that under certain conditions it partly condenses forming clouds. You know, those big white fluffy or sometimes very dark grey things that float around in the sky above our heads, or occasionally at ground level, which we call fog. And guess what one of the things that all the 7.9 billon humans exhale in their breath is - that's right - water vapour, along with CO2, same as all the other animals that breathe oxygen via lungs. And if global warming continues there's going to be even more water vapour in the air as the warmer the air the more water vapour it can hold. That's why cloudbursts and the resultant localised flooding and landslips and mudslides are becoming more common. But guess what you use to make green hydrogen - WATER. So in a green hydrogen economy you end up with a closed loop system where the only energy input is light falling on photovoltaic cells to produce the electricity to electrolyse water into its component elements, oxygen and hydrogen. And producing hydrogen is a way to store electricity to cope with periods when there's less wind, or when the sun goes out, i.e. at night. And when hydrogen is combined with oxygen from the air in a fuel cell you get the energy in the form of electricity back and the only other product is water, which was the feed stock to make the hydrogen in the first place. But back On Topic, what will heritage steam railways do? I would have thought that the amount of CO2 not to mention the particulates pollution produced by them would not be enough to worry about. But the question is how do you grant exemptions to such undertakings without opening the door to letting others burn coal? And more to the point what will be the price of the coal itself if the volume needed for heritage steam is so small that it is not enough to keep a mine working at its optimum capacity and hence lowest cost to operate? Coal could become very expensive making heritage steam impossible financially.
  10. And how does that work? No, can't see it myself, and I used to travel through Holborn daily on my way to Chancery Lane for many years back in the 1970s. So I'd love to hear your solution. Even if you set off towards West Ruislip from Holborn, or from Chancery Lane towards Epping and sat in your seat at the train at West Ruislip or Epping until it started back towards Central London you'd still have to pass through your departure station before reaching the other station which invalidates the challenge. You might be able to manage it on the Metropolitan Line between Moor Park and Northwood if there was a Fast City train from Moor Park to Aldgate that used the fast lines bypassing Northwood on its way to Aldgate. At Aldgate you'd stay in your seat and it returned via the slow lines between Wembley Park and Moor Park to Northwood. Transit time would be around 90 minutes I think, if there was a train diagrammed like this. There are no platforms on the fast lines between Moor Park and Harrow so the station after Moor Park on them is Harrow, not Northwood so it's not cheating. Nowadays the maps in the Met Line carriages show the fast lines as a separate line so that folks don't get confused - More dumbing down - It never confused me when I started using the Met aged 9. EDIT But the best one of all on the Underground must be Leicester Square to Covent Garden. By the time you get down the escalator at Leicester Square, wait for a train, get on, get off at Covent Garden, wait for the lift and get back to street level, you could have walked it quicker.
  11. I forgot to say that I enjoyed the video, music and all. I must say, I don't personally regard it as "vintage ops" (running older models), as I still have all my Triang models and have added to them over the years and do run them. I'm currently modifying some coaches from the 1960s. Does running my Triang stuff from the 1960s make me a "vintage operator"? Very probably. I was watching a programme on TV last night "The last domino?" about the prog rock band Genesis's upcoming farewell tour, and seeing Tony Banks, and Mike Rutherford looking old and grey, and Phil Collins sitting whilst singing interspersed with pictures and videos of them from way back suddenly made me feel very old.
  12. As a matter of principle, you should never scale, i.e .take measurements, from the drawing itself. The drawing should have all the dimensions marked anyway so there should be no need to scale. I worked in a drawing office for 6 months once, preparing drawings. We had one engineer close to retiring age who had worked abroad for many years. Just before he retired I was asked to modify some of his drawings to reflect changes made since he had first drawn them. On starting to alter them as requested, none of the marked dimensions matched what was on the drawing. It wasn't until I checked his scale (ruler) against another one in the office that we found out that his scale, one he had been using for most of his working life, had shrunk.
  13. If you mean the Road/Rail wagon that could run behind a tractor unit or hauled by a loco then it was made as I've seen it and the rest of the set for sale by a well known 2nd hand models dealer. It was available as a set RM.925 comprising the wagon itself - RM.924, the tractor unit/mechanical horse M.1570 and the Railway adaptor bogie RM.923. They first appeared in the 1964 10th edition catalogue, and were featured on the back cover of the 1967 (13th edition) Triang Hornbycatalogue along with the rest of the Road/Rail Minic items, but not in the Tri-ang Hornby price list dated 23 January 1967. The same picture was on the back of a Minic Motorways catalogue from the same period and this version has the prices: M.1570 Mechanical Horse 19/6 (98p) RM.923 Railway Adaptor Bogie 3/11 (20p) RM.924 Road Rail Wagon 9/11 (50p) RM925 Road Rail Set containing all the above 32/6 (£1.63) Wish I'd got one at the time. In good condition they're worth a lot of money these days.
  14. The modern Hornby 0-4-0 chassis as used on their cheaper 0-4-0s is a direct descendant of the Tri-ang Railways 0-4-0 from 1959, first used in the Steeple Cab R.252 (maroon with dummy plastic pantograph) and R.254 (green with a fully working pantograph). and R.359 (Black steam loco). R.355 steam locos (Nellie - Blue/Polly - Red/Connie- Yellow/27 - Green) and the North British diesel 0-4-0 R.559 also used this same chassis. All these locos use the X.04 motor with a twin start brass worm. When Hornby (it is just a name as the current "Hornby" models owe nothing to the old Hornby Dublo system apart from the name, and the current Hornby system can trace its origins back to a train set first made in 1950 by Rovex Plastics Ltd. in London), stopped using the X.04 motor and changed to a can motor, they also seem to have changed to a single start nylon worm, which means that the later 0-4-0 locos with the can motors go like "scalded cats" as we say in the UK. If you can get one of the Tri-ang or Tri-ang Hornby R.355 models with the original X.04 motor then you'll find it is slightly more sedate. The R.455 and R.255 0-4-0 steam locos from the early 1970s onwards have the same bodyshell as R.359 and R.355, but use a can motor. The first ones from this period use the old chassis with an adapter cradle to hold the can motor instead of the X.04, so they could in theory be retrofitted with an X.04 motor, but the worm may not mesh properly with the worm wheel (gear) as that too changed according to the service sheets, see sheets 19, 62, 82 and 82A here http://www.hornbyguide.com/service_sheet_menu.asp. I believe at some point the use of the old chassis was discontinued and a new one designed for the can motor and that new design cannot have an X.04 retrofitted.
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