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Andy Y

Locomotion announce prototype HST

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Hello Richard

 

I think the HST must surely be classed as iconic- perhaps not the HST-P itself if that is what you mean, as outside of the industry and enthusiasts people probably do not know what it is.

 

As for Watford Gap services, when it was new people were coming from all over the Country for the novelty- it was quite a party scene, with live music etc. It was quite a social gathering point in its time.

 

The prototype HST is no more "iconic" than the Watford Gap service area - I know this is a press announcement but some proportion would help. Is this the power cars or a set?

 

- Richard.

Edited by Derekstuart
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Come what may, I'll certainly buy a pair. There are two options here:

 

Stick with the power cars or do a decent Mk3 coach to go with them. The Mk3 will sell in large numbers if the production coaches are included. Nobody has done a consistent rake of modern-quality coach (heck, Hornby can't get them right). The prototypes are not that different to the production coaches so why wouldn't Rapido go for the Mk3?

 

Guy

Edited by lyneux

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The prototype HST is no more "iconic" than the Watford Gap service area

The HST defined Intercity rail travel in the UK for a significant length of time, which I think most people would agree makes it (both the production version and the prototype) an iconic part of British Rail history.

 

You are of course entitled to have a different opinion.

 

 

Is this the power cars or a set?

 

It hasn't been decided yet.

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Stick with the power cars or do a decent Mk3 coach to go with them. The Mk3 will sell in large numbers if the production coaches are included. Nobody has done a consistent rake of modern-quality coach (heck, Hornby can't get them right). The prototypes are not that different to the production coaches so why wouldn't Rapido go for the Mk3?

 

 

 

There was a time I would have agreed with you, but a lack of available (quality) models has ended my UK thoughts.

 

But you have also indicated a possible source of hesitation - Hornby.  In the worst case scenario is there enough market for 2 modern lines of Mk3 coaches?

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Gerald

 

 

As for Hornby Vs Rapido- I would suggest that they wouldn't really be fighting for the same market. The MK3's are really railroad quality (one of the Lima tools that I have to say didn't date well) and Rapido will undoubtedly sell at a higher price and go to more "serious" modellers.

 

I also have to say that I am not overly impressed with Hornby's power cars- though I do accept that I am in the minority.

 

 

Of course (and no one seems to have mentioned it) once they tool for the HST-P they already have the chassis for a production version and the body has the same roof, 95% of the side the same and only really the nose that is different. If Rapido continued their clearly high quality work, sell well for the prototype then one day we could even see Rapido production PC's... and that would wipe Hornby's offering out I think.

Edited by Derekstuart

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As for Hornby Vs Rapido- I would suggest that they wouldn't really be fighting for the same market. The MK3's are really railroad quality (one of the Lima tools that I have to say didn't date well) and Rapido will undoubtedly sell at a higher price and go to more "serious" modellers.

I should have been more clear, I wasn't thinking of the current Hornby offering, but rather anything Hornby might be currently working on...

 

I also have to say that I am not overly impressed with Hornby's power cars- though I do accept that I am in the minority.

I agree with you, which is one of the reasons I have given up on UK modelling.

 

It is hard to consider modelling Paignton in the 86 - 90 timeframe given what is either unavailable, or if available the poor quality (in my opinion).

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I think what we are beginning to see is the market diverging. At one end of the scale you will have high fidelity items like the forthcoming Dapol Black Label A4 and perhaps SLW Class 24 ( I say perhaps only because it looks damn fine piece of work , but at a cost equivalent to a full price Hornby 60 or 31) and at the other end you have the mainstream for skinflints like me . So where am I heading? I think this means you can have Hornby Mk3s which serve the main market , but have a highly detailed one with all the pipe work and grubbins that Rapido have said they like fitting maybe for something like £70 . Using the Bachmann Autocoach as a benchmark for pricing , currently the highest price coach from a mainstream manufacturer(although I think the DBSO is likely to trump it)

Edited by Legend

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A good announcement, but I think I'm perhaps a bit young to consider the Prototype HST as iconic. If it develops into full-spec Mk3 coaches (HST and loco-hauled) then I'd certainly be interested in those!!!

 

APT-P next!!!

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Even if - which is unlikely - Hornby issued new "super detail" Mk3 coaches there is room for Hornby and Rapido to make them. Hornby have a very dismissive and snotty attitude to non-steam modellers, their turning out current Mk3 buffets with no roof vents and the Mk2e, which had the potential to be a real market stealer, being turned out with a visible panty line the real vehicles never had demonstrates a lack of care and a contempt for anyone modelling non-steam that would not be tolerated by steam era modellers. So, on that basis, not only do I think that Hornby are not even contemplating doing a Mk3 to the same standard as their Pullmans for which Hornby seem to have some form of OCD, but in the unlikely event they are, they will completely screw up the new model to such an extent that Rapido would have enough market left to them to make a model work commercially.

 

To be frank I don't think Hornby are interested in high detail non-steam post 1968 and in the process are disillusioning a whole upcoming generation of "baby boomers" who are the last generation to have relatively secure finances into old age but are less likely to want pretty kettles their grandparents would have been unfamiliar with.

 

As for the HST being iconic, I struggle to see in what way the 1970s industrial anarchy robs the train that all objective observers credit with saving and building the long distance non-electric Inter City travel market in the UK of it's status as one of the most successful purchases made by the BRB of it's status as an icon of the late 20th century. Commercially a success, the fact production units remains in front line service after 40 years - longer than the revenue earning service of the A4s and Princess Coronations - and the design and styling has become a symbolic piece of British industrial design means it is an icon. The prototype is an icon in it's own right as it was effectively designed on the quiet whist the BRB were focussed on the APT, and proved the concept that it was possible to run diesel trains at sustained high speed, which wasn't the received wisdom amongst some engineers back in the 60s. It proved in service the concept of non-supplemental fare, high speed diesel service, at the time the fastest outside Japan, and showed that world class intercity travel could be provided for the masses at no extra cost, using existing technology adapted and evolved. Above all, it looked revolutionary and amazing when launched in it's smart reversed grey and blue livery which instantly got it recognition, indeed I think the decision to paint the production trains in a lightly revised standard blue-grey was a retrograde step.

 

Linking the prototype HST and industrial relations mismanagement as justification for it not being an icon of the modern railway is just bizarre.

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... Hornby have a very dismissive and snotty attitude to non-steam modellers, ...

I agree with your view that the production HST is a design icon. The styling by Kenneth Grange ensured that what was a hugely successful piece of engineering was eye-catching and, yes, iconic (though modern TOCs have screwed up the design of the light clusters in their refurbs).

 

But I'm not sure the prototype HST is also a design icon for the general public, rather than for us enthusiasts. Personally I love it, and the photo of APT-E and prototype HST together is something I'm determined to recreate in diorama form (it has nothing to do with my usual ex-GER/M&GN tastes).

 

But your assertions about Hornby's emotions strike me as bizarre. Their retool of HST power cars (which I suspect has not been hugely profitable) after years of us demanding it suggests they are responsive. Most people think their Class 60 is one of the best D&E locos in 00. Etc. None of this suggests to me "snotty and dismissive".

 

Equally, all of the manufacturers have made howlers at one time or another. Are they also therefore snotty and dismissive? The fact that for years Bachmann had no SR locos in its catalogue - does that make them snotty and dismissive to SR modellers?

 

Paul

Edited by Fenman

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Image courtesy and copyright of NRM Archive.
 
Please wait for further details from Locomotion before making contact to order.

 

 

As someone who is in the above pic do I get a discount? :mosking: If only I was that thin now 40 years later!

 

post-9992-0-47234600-1448977090.jpg

 

How can I not order a full set?

 

Mike Wiltshire

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Hello Gerald

 

I respect that viewpoint of course, but disagree with it. Surely part of the point of modelling is that you have to put your own 'stamp' on it. I would agree that models that are fundamentally wrong in dimension are not helpful, but most just lack certain details- most of which a modeller can retro fit.


It is hard to consider modelling Paignton in the 86 - 90 timeframe given what is either unavailable, or if available the poor quality (in my opinion).

 

 

As for HST's- Wombat put it just right- the initial problems were down to unions trying to flex their muscles. The HST was a world away from steam- which ended less than a decade before the HSTP took to the rails- and there is no reasonable justification to moan about the driving environment of the HST. Yes I will agree that the later guard's complaint might have been more justified.

 

The real reason for the HST argument was the reducing demand for secondmen- it was nothing to do with safety as widely reported (DSD's solved that) and was all to do with keeping their members in work, though where they were around the early 1960's when they could have made a better argument is anyone's guess.

 

The HST is surely the longest serving train of modern times still in regular passenger service. Perhaps only beaten by early 313's.

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I think one needs to be careful considering Hornby at the moment - a lot of the issues occurred under different management and it certainly appears that the new management has changed things for the better.  While it is still early certainly the King, Adams Radial, Class 71, Q6, the coaches that have been announced so far this year, etc all appear to be very good products.

 

[as a side note I think I should be clear and when I talk management I mean the people running Hornby as a whole, and not people running the train side of things]

 

As for the issue at hand, the Mk3s, the point remains that regardless of ones feelings about Hornby it is entirely possible that there is a new tooling effort underway (certainly some people think Hornby has been dropping hints in the Engine Shed videos), or there may not be.  But any of the UK companies, particularly the newer entrants who don't have a back catalog of models to help generate yearly revenue, have to think carefully about not duplicating models that may not have sufficient sales volume to support repaying the costs.

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Gerald

 

I don't think the 'niche' manufacturers need to be overly worried about duplication. There is little chance of a mainstream manufacturer competing with the likes of Rapido, Realtrack/DCK and the new SLW.

 

Remember that most models from the big two are bought as kids toys or as RTR models for box openers. The smaller makes are more likely to be collectors or 'serious' modellers. As the cost of producing such detail is quite high (I suggest that the smaller makers are running lower overheads which means they can still make their stuff cost effective, whereas Bachmann/Hornby have very large costs which they cannot recover if they spend too much making the item in question).

 

So on that basis, whilst no one likes competition I don't think it's quite the issue that some others would think.

 

After all, Hornby and Lima survived for YEARS beside each other; the former making toys and the latter making models.

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I am a little troubled by the Mk 3 coaches - because I can imagine a situation where the best models every made were available for a limited period, in a one-off livery, and in only HST formats e.g. no buffers. If Rapido do make the coaches, and this allows a spin-off for the liveries of the production HST sets and for loco-hauled coaches, I think this would be marvellous, but I hesitate to write this without going off-topic.

 

- Richard.

Edited by 47137

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Richard (47137)

 

what you appear to be suggesting is that Rapido use this model as a base model to then build a larger range of MK3's for sales of LHCS, production HST etc as well as the prototype MK3s (which we do not yet know if they are going to do them). I would agree with you and even if it hasn't been decided to do so, I would imagine the idea has crossed Rapido's desks at some point.

 

Earlier I made the same observation about the power cars- if sales go well then they have a future option to slightly re-tool to make the production version, after all the chassis is almost the same, the roof is the same, most of the body side is the same (just change the vents) and it is really only the cab that is different. If they could make several variations of models out of a few base tools then their return per sale is going to be much better.

Edited by Derekstuart

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But your assertions about Hornby's emotions strike me as bizarre. Their retool of HST power cars (which I suspect has not been hugely profitable) after years of us demanding it suggests they are responsive. Most people think their Class 60 is one of the best D&E locos in 00. Etc. None of this suggests to me "snotty and dismissive".

 

Equally, all of the manufacturers have made howlers at one time or another. Are they also therefore snotty and dismissive? The fact that for years Bachmann had no SR locos in its catalogue - does that make them snotty and dismissive to SR modellers?

 

Paul

Except the HST retool was done some years ago and they haven't released any quality post 1968 locos for a while. The 4-VEP was a lemon with some crass problems far beyond the occasional error - solid partitions for the first class compartments, since amended but a ridiculous feature that would not have made it through checking for their precious Pullmans, indifferent running, the motor bogie being visible in the passenger compartment and the well documented front end issues. None of these errors would have been tolerated in any steam loco they produce - witness the howls of derision they got for having the temerity to have moulded smokebox darts on the GWR freight tanks. The Mk2e coaches are a huge disappointment, and are nowhere near the quality of their steam era coaches. Why commit funds to produce two different types of LNER suburban stock at very high levels of detail, then produce a Mk2e coach with poor fitting chassis, and livery application faults?

 

This leads me to my view that Hornby are dismissive and snotty about anyone modelling post 1968. Yes, some of their D+E stuff is great but all the good stuff - the 60, the 50, the HST power cars - were tooled up a while ago and nothing produced since has been of the same quality they put into their steam stuff. In fact apart from the VEP and the Mk2e and a small amount of freight stock they haven't really tackled much D+E rolling stock (sorry, but the Belle, 2-BIL and HAL are of the same era as the Merchant Navy so hardly count) and what they have done in terms of quality has been poor. Would the Southern fans have accepted Maunsell coaches without roof vents the way those who were looking forward to the FGW liveried Mk3 buffet were given a coach with an inaccurate roof moulding? No, they wouldn't. It's as if Hornby only consider the collectors of highly detailed steam outline locomotives as "true modellers" and anyone modelling anything post 1968 can make do with any old stuff so long as it is in a pretty colour scheme. We're not talking about one-off errors here, we're talking about a systematic run of egg-laying by Hornby's quality teams and a complete disdain and ignoring of the whole D+E sector for investment. Where are the EMUs and DMUs which still remain to be modelled? Why is the only available OO gauge "Pendolino" of a lesser design standard than the allegedly cheap and cheerful Railroad Crosti 9F? And yes, given Bachmann have committed funding to a new OO AC electric class despite assertions by some they are sales death, why hasn't Hornby taken up the competition and gone for a new Class 86 or 87, both of which have a far greater geographical spread and longer lives with more livery options than the Class 71, which looks to be a nice model but what must be of a limited appeal given they only ran on the Kent Coast routes. It all says the only real modellers model steam, and the only people interested in "modern stuff" are kiddies. An attitude which unfortunately does seem a bit too common on here as well.

 

Perhaps Hornby's financial planning is more short term - cash in on the grey pound, the rich collectors and those with a vague memory of steam before they die and rush out all the steamers before those of us with less interest in tea urns (and of the six active modellers I know of my age group I'm the only one with any interest in pre nationalization steam and also the only one active on this message forum, which might suggest on-line polls of age versus modelling interest conducted here might be under representative) become the core market, but Bachmann - who I acknowledge have laid eggs themselves when it comes to models but not to the same extent as Hornby - seem to see a valuable and active D+E market and are clearly investing huge amounts in new models covering a wider range of periods than Hornby are doing. My recent expenditure on models for "Kings Oak" and my shed layouts has seen the overwhelming balance go to Bachmann, with only a handful of Class 153 models and a 156 coming from the Hornby camp. I doubt very much if I am unique in this for modellers of the recent scene.

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I don't think the 'niche' manufacturers need to be overly worried about duplication. There is little chance of a mainstream manufacturer competing with the likes of Rapido, Realtrack/DCK and the new SLW.

 

Realtrack put their PCA cement wagon on hold because of - Bachmann.

 

So I guess it is a real thing.

 

I suspect that SLW would have been more than a bit concerned if Hornby had suprised everyone at Warley with an up to date Class 24.

 

Remember that most models from the big two are bought as kids toys or as RTR models for box openers. The smaller makes are more likely to be collectors or 'serious' modellers. As the cost of producing such detail is quite high (I suggest that the smaller makers are running lower overheads which means they can still make their stuff cost effective, whereas Bachmann/Hornby have very large costs which they cannot recover if they spend too much making the item in question).

 The big secret is that the market for the "serious" modeller as you call it is 5%, maybe 10%, of the model railway hobby market.

 

Unless you get into really unusual pricing - the Dapol £400 A4  - the sales to serious modellers alone does not cover the costs of making the models we like at the price currently getting paid.

 

Without the mainstream market - RTR - buying these higher end models in significant numbers the models wouldn't exist.

 

After all, Hornby and Lima survived for YEARS beside each other; the former making toys and the latter making models.

Very different time, and its easy to split up a market.

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Gerald,

 

I would understand a niche manufacturer stopping a project if it was in its early stages if a large player registered its intent (the sole reason that Bachmann announce plans YEARS before release is to ward off anyone who might have ideas).

 

However I think that SLW have nothing to worry about now. Even if Bachmann could release an improved 24 to that standard it would take a year or two.

 

Bachmann and Hornby STILL duplicate some models, so whilst it is not ideal (as I have acknowledged) I don't think it's the end of the world.

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The big secret is that the market for the "serious" modeller as you call it is 5%, maybe 10%, of the model railway hobby market.

 

Hello all,

 

That's true, and what of course isn't a secret from numerous threads and posts on this form is that many of those at the "serious" end of the market still want to pay toy train prices.

 

While there is the constant belief that manufacturers are somehow ripping everybody off then what incentive is there for them to take the chance and go for the high-end?

 

cheers

 

Ben A.

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I would understand a niche manufacturer stopping a project if it was in its early stages if a large player registered its intent (the sole reason that Bachmann announce plans YEARS before release is to ward off anyone who might have ideas).

 

However I think that SLW have nothing to worry about now. Even if Bachmann could release an improved 24 to that standard it would take a year or two.

But that is not what I said.

 

What I said was what if instead of announcing a Q6, Hornby instead had a Class 24, done to their new standard, shown in the decoration sample stage and theoretically could have been in shops for February?

 

How many sales would SLW have lost, particularly from those important RTR buyers, who would instead wait to see and buy the Hornby version?  It could be enough to tip a model not just from profit to break-even, but to loss.

 

Of course the good news for SLW is that this time nobody announced a Class 24.

 

Bachmann and Hornby STILL duplicate some models, so whilst it is not ideal (as I have acknowledged) I don't think it's the end of the world.

It all depends.

 

For example, the class 47, with 512 built and service almost everywhere, can easily handle multiple different models.

 

On the other hand, multiple models of the class 89 would be a problem.

 

The Mk3 carriages are in the grey area between those 2 extremes, and my personal guess is that the market can only sustain one high end model.

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So the HST Prototype wasn't iconic. :scratchhead: 

 

 

Is that why the BBC made a documentary about it? Unfortunately now never shown due to a  certain Jimmy Saville featuring in it. But available on YouTube I believe.

 

 

 

Jason

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Hmm were the two MK3's really 'stolen' for the Royal train or was it a case that no matter how good the HST is, that it just could not manage 12 MK3's at 125MPH reliably?

It might well be true but I suspect not. I remember reading on RMWeb an interesting topic about how reducing the number of coaches in the HST reduces the permitted top speed, because of the lack of braking force of the missing coaches means that the ratio of the total weight of the train/versus the number of axels that can provide braking force means that the shorter trains cannot stop in a short enough distance for the standard signals range. This is obvious when you know it but otherwise counter intuitive to the casual thinker. Using the same logic I would hazard a guess that the 12coach train would brake quicker, have the same top speed, but that its rate of acceleration would be much slower. This in turn would mean that the main advantage that the HST provided of shorter journey times which came from its acceleration both out of stations (with that wonderful Valenta scream) and when returning to 125 Mph after clearing restricted speed sections would be negated.

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Hmm were the two MK3's really 'stolen' for the Royal train or was it a case that no matter how good the HST is, that it just could not manage 12 MK3's at 125MPH reliably?

I might be mistaken but I recall there was going to an issue with train length V platform length on some of the intended WR routes with a 12 car set.

 

Mike Wiltshire

Edited by Coach bogie

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This is a great announcement from Locomotion and it is terrific to see them go for the prototype HST, well done them!! I wish Locomotion the very best, is it really necessary for people to belittle the efforts of other manufacturers and resort to pejorative expressions such as snotty?

What is a serious modeller? Are people suggesting that models such as the Hornby S15, Brighton Belle, Q6, 56, 60 and the various full spec coach lines modelled by Hornby are not worthy of serious modellers?

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