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Hornby APPOINTS NEW CEO

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That would work quite well if the "scrapped" models were then recycled into individual spare parts and made available to, er, owners of classics.....

 

That's what ebay is for with the parts worth more than the whole, same as cars!

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Here's an idea - and this rejuvinated the car market.

 

How about a scrappage scheme?

Bring in your old loco, and you get £20 off a new Hornby loco, with the old model recycled, never to enter the second-hand food chain.

 

There would be old runways up and down the country littered with lima 37s and Mainline Royal scots...

and no doubt a few pristine wrenn and dublo locos - headed to the landfill in the sky (if that even makes sense)

 

Isn't that exactly what Hornby used to do? Part exchange your old locomotive and we'll make sure it's kept out of the second hand market?

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Or which has been admitted to by one retailer at least, Hornby have some items in their range that are vastly overpriced.

Are model railways different from any other product where a discount is both available and expected ?

 

There is a great difference between the relatively normal discounts on RRP being offered by many large retailers, and the huge dumping of stock by Hornby at often less than half price, once or twice or year, to get rid of slow sellers (and thus reduce their inventory and improve their balance sheet temporarily), many of which were sold via their own website, or also via one or two box shifters who got in quickly, and thus caused massive resentment from independent retailers. It is the dumping which the new CEO appears to be stopping.

 

This should improve relations and confidence with retailers, as well as improve long term results for Hornby, provided they can sell the things eventually, to somebody, at something close to RRP. It is a brave decision both because of the short term impact it is known it will have on this year's financials, and the long term risk of being stuck with, or having to scrap, a lot of unwanted inventory. Only time will tell about the latter. 

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Here's an idea - and this rejuvinated the car market.

 

How about a scrappage scheme?

Bring in your old loco, and you get £20 off a new Hornby loco, with the old model recycled, never to enter the second-hand food chain.

 

There would be old runways up and down the country littered with lima 37s and Mainline Royal scots...

and no doubt a few pristine wrenn and dublo locos - headed to the landfill in the sky (if that even makes sense)

A lot of smokey joes will get smoked, but the West Countries will survive it.

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There is a great difference between the relatively normal discounts on RRP being offered by many large retailers, and the huge dumping of stock by Hornby at often less than half price, once or twice or year, to get rid of slow sellers (and thus reduce their inventory and improve their balance sheet temporarily), many of which were sold via their own website, or also via one or two box shifters who got in quickly, and thus caused massive resentment from independent retailers. It is the dumping which the new CEO appears to be stopping.

 

This should improve relations and confidence with retailers, as well as improve long term results for Hornby, provided they can sell the things eventually, to somebody, at something close to RRP. It is a brave decision both because of the short term impact it is known it will have on this year's financials, and the long term risk of being stuck with, or having to scrap, a lot of unwanted inventory. Only time will tell about the latter. 

 

It does suggest that they are thinking more long term...a good sign?

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OK, not really about the CEO at all, but where there is a product opportunity, though probably not for Hornby. The development of control of the locos by some sort of wireless system and on-board power is well underway. That will continue until someone gets it right enough for general adoption, much in the way that DCC emerged. Hornby will need to maintain awareness, and not go 'their own flavour' this time please.

 

But these trains will still require track, and in particular the rather less than plug and play points: some sort of integrated control that 'just works' for the mechanical movement on the point, and relatively easily 'assembles itself as a network' in a software application for control purposes is a product package that might sell.

Isn't the new Hornby Junior battery controlled with plastic track? Could this be the baseline to build this capability on to?

 

Just a thought.

Les

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Isn't the new Hornby Junior battery controlled with plastic track? Could this be the baseline to build this capability on to?

 

Just a thought.

Les

The new Hornby Junior set could give me the exercise which I’m always being told I need, chasing the train to try to push the button on the roof of a speeding train. Just like clockwork, in fact, with no batteries needed.

 

In all seriousness, I wonder what the point of radio control and battery power is. If I want to run a locomotive which has been in store, in all likelihood the battery will be flat and I’ll have to charge it. Of course, if the track is powered, I could run the locomotive as I charge the battery, which rather makes a nonsense of having battery power in the first place. As for running over dirt and dead spots, we have capacitors. Radio control might cause problems with loss of signal, for example in tunnels. It is certainly very impressive seeing a model run off track and continue across the workbench (as is seen in demonstrations of multiple capacitors as well) but do we really want locomotives which continue to roll onwards to self-destruction when they derail? 

 

DCC is becoming ever more sophisticated and I for one would like to stay with it. What I would like to see is a controller with the features of laptop control but with the handiness of a hand-held NCE controller.

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Regarding the new CEO, Lyndon Davis, it's worth going back to a statement he made in the Oxford Rail website, at the start of Oxford Rail. The statement was part of a pseudo interview and this part explains his history in the diecast industry and his passion for the hobby.

 

'

I have been in manufacturing for nearly 40 years. I trained with the Mettoy Company in the 1970's. I worked in every area of the factory, hands on as part of programme for the future of the company. Mettoy employed 3500 workers and was a leading producer of diecast, plastic  and in its early years tinplate based items. Ministry of Defence approved we manufactured everything - Toys, Hand Grenade Mechanisms, Electrical Goods, Razors, Automotive Products etc. I often joke, if you've used it I have made it !

Mettoy brands included Wembley Footballs, Playcraft Toys and Corgi. It is this past that has been engraved into Oxford Diecast China Factory today. It is highly efficient using the latest lean manufacturing technologies, I would place a bet that our factory is in the top 10 most efficient manufacturers of our type in China. It looks like Swansea 1979!

 At 16 I worked in all areas of the factory and the first mould I worked on was the C1113 Hyster Stacker Truck (cab mould). In my twenties I went on to run the factories of Mettoy/Corgi.

Then I bought the Mettoy factories in Swansea with two colleagues in the 1980's. During that time we sold the Corgi brand, Oxford started over 20 years ago after a 4 year non-competition clause imposed on me by the American company Mattel - the most frustrating time of my life.

I have a passion for engineering and the eventual return of manufacturing to the UK. I ran the last mass production plant of diecast vehicles in the UK - I plan at the right time to be the first to bring it back.

Dusty told me to 'bring it home' I promised him last year towards his end that I would, so I will, just give me time.'

 

​Within this statement was an ongoing pledge to bring manufacturing back to the UK, which I read as the diecast activity. I believe that 'Dusty' was one of the 2 partners who with Lyndon, took over the Mettoy factory in Swansea, when production was moved from the UK. This is unlikely to be a position he will adopt at Hornby, but is certainly an aspiration for Oxford diecast. Within those few paragraphs I see someone who has a lifelong interest and passion for the model market, and a huge knowledge of the industry.

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...DCC is becoming ever more sophisticated and I for one would like to stay with it. What I would like to see is a controller with the features of laptop control but with the handiness of a hand-held NCE controller.

It’s called a smartphone. I’ve seen a few layouts now being run using a smartphone app - the users seemed very pleased with the system, and let me have a go. I can’t remember the name of the system, but I was impressed.

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That'll probably put an end to the "Bargain Hunters" thread, then!  :jester:  However, the terminally-stingy will always find some alternative way of getting something for as close to nothing as possible.....

 

Seek and thou shalt find !!!!

 

Brit15

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It’s called a smartphone. I’ve seen a few layouts now being run using a smartphone app - the users seemed very pleased with the system, and let me have a go. I can’t remember the name of the system, but I was impressed.

You probably mean the Roco/Fleischmann Z21 system. I've tried ESU ECoS, Hornby Elite, Hornby eLink and ZTC. The Z21 with iPhone or iPad is easily my favourite. I sometimes use the ZTC through the Z21 "sniffer" if I ever have the urge to use a handle!

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You probably mean the Roco/Fleischmann Z21 system. I've tried ESU ECoS, Hornby Elite, Hornby eLink and ZTC. The Z21 with iPhone or iPad is easily my favourite. I sometimes use the ZTC through the Z21 "sniffer" if I ever have the urge to use a handle!

 

And the ZTC 611 is about to get an upgrade to a large screen format! Little bit heavy to carry around, but then so is my wife's handbag.

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And the ZTC 611 is about to get an upgrade to a large screen format! Little bit heavy to carry around, but then so is my wife's handbag.

 

 

Why are you carrying around your wife's handbag?

Have you got matching shoes?

 

:jester:

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Why are you carrying around your wife's handbag?

Have you got matching shoes?

 

:jester:

 

Who told you about my Saturday nights?

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It's a French thing, you know.

 

Happens to all of us living over the seas.

 

Speak for yourself, Andy!

 

That said, I confess I did once have my own French (man's) handbag. Wouldn't be seen dead with it now!

Mike

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I think your last para is the sort of innovation that they may have to consider. There are several players now trying to prove the tech but they rely on a substantial proportion of confident, loco bashers, to insert their products. This could be a game changer, but needs substantial capital to make it mass market, plus further innovation to allow the advantages of DCC functionality, especially sound, lights and suchlike. One US outfit is heading there, but is still in the O gauge appeal stage, with HO/OO left to find ways to insert the kit and the batteries into tiny spaces, let alone the tech of remote charging.

 

Purely for example, I have rejected that, having subscribed to its development for several years, believing I have to settle on something within the next year or so, when I eventually get around to my dreamed-of layout construction, so I have I invested heavily now in conventional DCC. But Hornby have to think beyond me, and my perception of my reducing, modelling lifespan, otherwise known as mortality.

 

Me, I'd like OFF board bass sound like Broadway Imports Limited's 'Paragon 3' system and something that is obvious to anyone with a 5.1 or similar sound system that uses one bass unit. With rare exceptions like the Live Steam, we always seem to be 10 years behind the Americans and playing catch-up instead of going back to basics and thinking what are we modelling and how can we best recreate it, all of it?

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Thank you for taking the trouble to post those links. At the risk of being accused of being “terminally stingy” some seem a tad expensive.

 

I was familiar with the Ring system and thought it the nearest I have come across to the sort of thing I mean. However, it’s for radio control. There’s no reason why something similar could not be knocked out for DCC.

 

Some reading up and digging around is in order.

 

Thanks again.

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....I was familiar with the Ring system and thought it the nearest I have come across to the sort of thing I mean. However, it’s for radio control.

There’s no reason why something similar could not be knocked out for DCC.....

 

 

The Ring system isn't for radio control in the sense as we have understood in previous times.

It only sends command signals wirelessly to/from the loco, train and accessories.

Track power is still provided through the rails, although despite earlier reticence, they are now acknowledging the dead-rail option.

 

While the Ring system isn't DCC, it does show the sort of thing that's possible with a DCC handset and modern user interface.

Particularly the user interface, where things like CV's are banished and are hidden behind simple, intuitive and plain language interface.

Plus it has that all important physical control wheel.

 

The closest to the Ring RailPro cab in the DCC sphere, is the ESU MobileControl2, the ESU Cab Control and its rebadged Piko derivative, the SmartControl.

The handset has a motorised control wheel and actual physical buttons at your fingertips, along the sides.

 

 

.

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And BlueRail with receiver to DCC decoder?

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