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Everything posted by GoingUnderground

  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.
  15. Thst sounds like a customised version of the manual specific to Mehano. for a start that isn't how you spell "LokSound" I suggest that you download and read the manuals on the ESU website, I see that someone has saved you the bother of finding it on ESU's website. However, the manual won't tell you what each function does, as that will depend entirely on how the writer of the sound file in the decoder assigned actions and sounds to function buttons.
  16. LokSound 3.3? There was a LokSound 3, but the model after that was the 3.5, followed by the 4 and the current 5. Before that there was a V2 and the original LokSound. The 3 and 3.5 used 100 Ohm speakers, so the earlier models may also have used 100 Ohms. The 4 and 5 are designed for 4 Ohm speakers. As Nigel has already said, ESU do have the manuals available to download for almost all of their discontinued products. Unfortunately, ESU have been, and still are sadly, the subject of a sustained DDoS attack since mid-August, and it can be difficult at present to get access to their website. I was able to access it earlier this morning, but it's timing out on me at the moment. They are trying to take steps to mitigate the problem. Why anyone would want to target a small company like ESU that specialises in model railways is a mystery to me. Once you can get on to their website, you'll find the manuals in the Downloads area. They will either be under "Digital Decoders" or in the section dedicated to discontinued products. [EDIT: I was able to get on to the website again, and the manuals for the "Classic" and the V2 LokSounds are in the "Former Products" part of the download area. Both manuals seem to date back to 2002, 19 years ago. The impedance of the "Classic" isn't given in the tech spec part of its manual, but the V2 manual says that it is 100 Ohms, so the Classic may well be 100 Ohms also. If in doubt work on the basis that it is at least 100 Ohms.] But are you sure that is is a V1 in the loco? If it is a genuine V1, then that will be a very, very old decoder indeed, possibly more than 15 years old? Should you buy the loco you might do better to replace the decoder, and speaker, with a new V5 preloaded with the Blue Tiger sound project, I think that there is such a sound file on the ESU website, but, as I said, it's timing out at the moment so I can't check. [EDIT: There is a sound project for the Blue Tiger for the V5 decoder.]
  17. The brown box dates to the DCM era, when the company was called Rovex Limited. Catalogues from that era refer to the "company" as "Hornby Hobbies, Rovex Limited", which would be consistent with DCM buying Rovex Ltd from the Lines Bros liquidator as a going concern company. Rovex itself went through several name changes, and possibly company changes as well. Added: The Rovex business was founded in 1946, and when it launched its toy train set for Marks and Spencer in 1950 it was trading as a limited company under the name Rovex Plastics Limited. The name remained unchanged after its acquistion by Lines Bros. in 1951, and it wasn't until September 1953 that the company name was changed to Rovex Scale Models Limited. (Taken from Pat Hammod's "Story of Rovex Vol. 1) Using the Triang Railways catalogues as a guide from 1955 onwards, the company name changed over the years: 1946 - 1953 (Sept) Rovex Plastics Limited 1953 (Sept) -1967 Rovex Scale Models Limited 1968 - 1969 Rovex Industries Limited 1970 - 1972* Rovex Tri-ang Limited 1973 - 1980 Rovex Limited * The name would probably have been changed sometime in 1971 or early 1972 by DCM to Rovex Limited after the connection with the rest of the Lines Bros group was severed. The catalogue was already printed and overstickering the 1972 catalogues with the new name would have been an expensive task with no immediate benefit. During the DCM era the company seems to refer to itself as Hornby Hobbies, Rovex Limited, as shown on the brown box, but the legal entity seems to have been Rovex Limited as the legal notice in the catalogues about the right to change designs and specs refers to "Rovex Limited". I don't have any of the 1981-89 (27th-35th editions) catalogues, but the 1990, '91 and '92 (36th-38th editions) catalogues show the name of the company as Hornby Hobbies Ltd, as does the 2011 (57th) and the 2020 (66th) catalogues. And I for one will keep buying the red and yellow boxes, but I do fear for the future as they do seem to be being outmanoeuvered by Kader/Bachmann.
  18. I did say "everywhere". I've known for 30 years that some folks take taxis to the supermarkets, and the poorer the area the more likely that shoppers would use taxis. And has been pointed out older folks may no longer drive, or be able to afford a car. But many of them will use the free bus passes for certain journeys where that is at least as convenient as a taxi as it will certainly be cheaper. For relatively short distances in towns they are very practical, I used them from time to time when I worked in Central London but my journey into London was on the Tube, or in very rare instances by car, but that was over 40 years ago. But for folks living outside of towns and cities or for longer journeys taxis quickly get very pricey as you have to pay for the dead leg of the journey when the taxi has to come to you, or get back from your destination to its base as there's no certainty that its last fare was to somewhere very close to you, or that its next fare will be from somewhere close to your destination. I also know about the apps, but taxis still aren't as convenient as your own car sitting outside the front door, at least for those of us who have that luxury, as you need to book taxis in advance or wait for them to turn up even with an app.
  19. Rail will always be more expensive as it has to maintain its own infrastructure, with governments topping up the shortfall in many places, which is far easier to link to revenue as it is a relatively closed system. Air will be always be less expensive in cash terms because it's infrastructure costs are much lower - no permanent way to maintain. Aircraft are expensive but the lack of serious PW costs more than compensates. Cars, no matter how they are powered, will be somewhere in the middle because drivers don't pay directly for the infrastructure, being paid for by local and national taxation including fuel duties, and the massive usage of the network makes for massive economies of scale. You only need to live next to a main line railway to realise how silent it is for the majority of the time compared to a motorway or trunk road. And please don't point out that fuel duties exceed the cost of maintaining the roads. Electric cars don't pay fuel duties, and as their numbers increase governments will have to find new ways to tax us to replace the lost hydrocarbon fuel duties. Cars, for those that have them are just too convenient, just get in and go, even if it's only down to the shops at the end of the road. That's why sharing or leasing won't catch on as that takes away all the spontaneity as you have to arrange for the vehicle to be available at a time and place etc. OK you may be able to do that on line, but taxis are virtually the same thing, and does anyone goes everywhere by taxi? Vehicle convoys all under central control on motorways and trunk routes will probably happen, increasing the capacity of those roads roads, but that won't help when you get to your destination as you'll still need somewhere to park the damned thing, and possibly recharge it. And I can't see central control coming all the way down to minor roads and back streets in towns and cities, it wouldn't be cost effective. A vehicle self-driving itself to a parking space away from the driver's & passengers' destination may help, but at the expense of creating more traffic. Hence I believe that ultimately parking capacity, and possibly availability of recharging points, will be the limiting factor for car ownership. Once you get central control, then road pricing becomes very possible as all the necessary data will have been captured by the system at least on the priced roads. That may be the solution to the lost fuel duty, but it will make the cost of travelling by road much more visible. We need a fully integrated public transport system that recognises the existence of the car, but doesn't make it primary mode of transport as we do today. And there isn't the overwhelming public will to create a fully integrated system that would make it politically possible.
  20. If you mean the owner of the Hornby name all the changes since company names and company structures since 1980 are irrelevant as the right to use the Hornby name has remained within the same group of companies with the same ultimate holding company since the management buy out in the early 1980s. There are 3 parts to any business: 1. the trade or activity that it carries out, sometimes called the "undertaking". 2. the legal entity that carries out that trade or activity. This could be: a person (Sole Trader); several people in the form of a partnership; a limited liability partnership; a private company limited by shares or by gurarantee; or a public limited company (plc) with shareholders. 3. the owners of the legal entity. That could be a single person, or a partnership, or in the case of a company with shareholders lots of people or a trust or another company or a mix of any of these. Undertakings can be transferred between different legal entities at will and bought and sold, and such transfers have often been used until the TUPE regulations to degrade employees terms and conditions. Groups of companies often restructure and that frequently means name changes or activity changes, sometimes both and sometimes simultaneously. But the company that has been the the ultimate holding company for the former Rovex undertakings (which included the right to use the Hornby name) since the management buy out of the former Rovex business and called the shots is the same. It started out as Wiltminster Ltd in February 1981, was reregistered as a plc with the new name Hornby Group plc in 1986, and changed its name again to Hornby plc in 1996. If you want to follow the history of a company follow the company number, it never changes unless Companies House impose a new numbering system during the entire life of the company. Wiltminster was company number 1547390, and Hornby plc is 01547390 (the addition of the leading 0 was a Companies House change as companies cannot change their registered number). Wiltminster is a holding company, meaning its activity is to own other companies, its subsidiaries, and provide their finance, not to make products. In the case of Wiltminster/Hornby plc, it seems to have had two main subsidiaries in the UK. Hornby Hobbies and Hornby Industries. These two subsidiaries swapped names in the 1980s. Bot when the swapped names the Roves business activity of designing, making and selling model railways, Scalextric etc was moved as well so that the active company was always the one named Hornby Hobbies. Phoenix Asset Management holds the majority of the shares in Hornby PLC and to that extent it now calls the shots. But owning Hornby PLC does not mean that it owns the Hornby registered trade mark name. Ownership of that name may lie with Hornby PLC or the current Hornby Hobbies or possibly another subsidiary company within the Hornby plc group. It all depends on how the group is structured internally. But provided the company selling the trains is still able to use the name it really doesn't matter which legal entity owns it. And, incidentally according to the 2020 (66th edition) Hornby catalogue, (I don't have the 2021 67th edition to check if there have been any changes but the 2021 Hornby plc accounts suggest that there have been none), Hornby Hobbies Ltd owns not just the Hornby name, but also the following trade mark names: Hornby Railways Tri-ang Hornby Tri-ang Hornby Dublo and Minic.
  21. Thanks for correcting my dates, I should have checked myself before posting. But I'll think you'll find that there was no "Hornby" company as such, same as there was no "Dinky" company. They were just brand names used by Meccano Limited for its non-Meccano construction system products to differentiate them from Meccano itself. So the question of ownership of the Hornby "company" doesn't arise. It was a registered trade mark, just like the Triang name, and it ended up being owned by Rovex who progressively through the 1960s became the focus for management, control, and manufacture of the Lines Bros Group's range of plastic models, including Scalextric. On the subject of catalogue "names", including Minic in the railways catalogue was a marketing exercise intended to boost the sales of Minic Motorways following the move of the manufacture of the Minic Motorways from Minimodels at Canterbury to Rovex at Margate. It was a natural move as Minic Motorways had been designed from the start to be compatible with the Triang Railways OO gauge system, and took up slack caused by the gradual decline in the sales of model railways through the 1960s. And it wasn't the first time that the OO railways system catalogue included other products from the Triang range. Previous Triang Railways catalogues had included: the Triang Lionel science kits (9th edition - 1963); the 3mm TT system (9th edition - 1963); Minic Motorways (10th edition 1964 with the Minic Motorways name and logo on the front cover); and, the Model-Land building kits (10th edition - 1964) which were never sold under the Triang or Triang Hornby brand. The 1965 11th edition had a picture on the back featuring Minic Motorways, Arklitex, and Model-Land items to show how they could all be used together, along with their respective logos at the top of the page. There was also the inclusion of the Triang Wrenn models in the 1969, '70, '71 and '72 catalogues. Also the 1972 18th edition bore the Triang Hornby logo and name, but it was printed before the sale of Rovex to Dunbee-Combex-Marx by the Lines Bros liquidator and the loss of access to the Triang name. Presumably some agreement was struck to allow existing packaging (the boxes) and stationery (the 1972 catalogue, instruction leaflets etc.) to be used up.
  22. I'm no expert, but I believe that it was inspired by an actual plate steel carrier, see https://collection.sciencemuseumgroup.org.uk/objects/co207634/trestol-well-wagon-railway-wagon It is part of the NRM collection and was, and may still be, on loan to the East Lancs Railway https://www.eastlancsrailway.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/east-lancashire-railway-wagon-stocklist-september-2019.pdf Pictures of the BR 6 wheeled bogied Trestrol EC seem to be hard to find, https://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-3/p895983931-3.jpg from the Paul Bartlett collection. The 4 wheeled Trestrol AO seems to be more common in the photographic records. But the Triang one will be a compromise because of the need for it to go round 1st radius curves.
  23. Spot on. It's called "opinion shopping" in business circles. There's no point in commisioning a report from someone who isn't going to give you the answer that you want. Beeching's card was marked by his terms of reference which were set by the government of the day. And governments of all complexions are still doing it today, appointing folks to head up quangos, agencies and the like who are known to agree with the govt's aims and hence guaranteed to give the govt/PM the answer/result/outcome that it/he/she wants. It's naive and totally ignores human nature to think that they'd do anything else. In the highly unlikely event that the opinion isn't quite what's wanted it gets questioned, then sidelined, followed by being ignored in the hope it'll be forgotten and then they go find someone else to do it again on the basis that circumstances have changed since the earlier report. Every time I hear a politician speak I see Jim Hacker and Sir Humphrey pulling the strings in the background. No wonder everyone is so cynical about politicos.
  24. The history of Hornby models and the use of the name is quite simple, really, if you separate the name from the models that bore it and just look at the lineage of the models themselves and then at names under which they were sold: Hornby: 0 Gauge: 1920 >>> 1960 Hornby OO Gauge: 1938 >>> 1964 - Hornby Dublo, produced at Binns Road, Liverpool. 1964 >>> 1968 - No models produced. Selected 2 rail locos sold off under Triang Hornby brand. Remaining stocks of 2 and 3 rail models sold off through the model trade. 1968 >>> 1971 - Triang Wrenn, from new production by G&R Wrenn at Basildon. 1972 >>> 1992 - Wrenn Railways, produced by G&R Wrenn, Basildon. 1992 >>> 2001 - Dapol, but only a limited selection from the old HD range. 2001 >>> Today - G&R Wrenn for collectors primarily. For the Rovex/Triang OO models the picture is much, much simpler: 1950 >>> 1952 - Rovex, produced at Richmond. 1953 >>> 1955 - Triang Railways, produced at Richmond. 1955 >>> 1965 - Triang Railways, produced at Margate. 1965 >>> 1971 - Triang Hornby, produced at Margate. 1972 >>> 1995 - Hornby Railways/Hornby, produced at Margate. * 1995 >>> Today - Hornby Railways/Hornby, produced under sub-contract in China. * The 1972 18th edition catalogue is branded Triang Hornby as it was printed before the sale of Rovex to Dunbee-Combex-Marx by the Lines Bros liquidator. The Zero 1 system was the brave first attempt at a digital system in a time when microcomputers were in their infancy. Maerklin also introduced their own digital system in the 1980s. Zero 1 is not compatible with DCC, which itself was a development of a second digital system from Maerklin this time created by Maerkkin and Lenz Elektronik. A guy called Robin Palmer was said to have been involved with the development of the Zero 1 system, and when Hornby discontinued it, Palmer founded ZTC (said to stand for (Zero Two Company) to try to keep the Zero 1 system alive and exploit better technology as it became available. Many of the early ZTC DCC decoders were Zero 1 compatible as well as being DCC, but the later ones were DCC only as interest in Zero 1 dried up. The ZTC511 had a Zero 1 mode, but was not multi-protocol as it could only be switched between one of 3 modes: true DC, Zero 1 or DCC. If you want to try going digital don't waste your time on the early digital systems from Hornby or Airfix, just go DCC with new decoders, and a decent DCC command station. There does seem to be some very minimal residual interest in the Zero 1 system so you could try putting the decoders on auction sites. But don't expect folks to be falling over each other with bids.
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