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Rails Announce OO 18000 Gas Turbine Locomotive


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5 hours ago, Colin_McLeod said:

 

Is this Covid-19 or something else?

Mixture of thing I expect.  there is a new outbreak of Covid in parts of China which might, or might not, have an effect (a US website claims that it is affecting shipping from certain ports but that only seems to be on a US website so might not be much).  What really exists is a shortage of shipping containers (might now be easing but I'm not sure??) largely allegedly a consequence of the Suez Canal blockage plus there is in any case a shortage of overall shipping capacity which has paid a part in pushing container and shipping costs through the roof.  So some delays are likely but some British/EU 'manufacturers' don't seem to be suffering too badly. 

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There are plenty of issues. Trade wars / barriers as a result of Brexit / Trump/China posturing; Changes in China as cheap labour sources dry up and the growing Chinese middle classes get first grabs on Chinese made goods / factory space especially driven by trading uncertainties from trade tensions.

 

Then along comes Covid - factory closures, supply chain issues et al topped off with a Suez crisis.

 

But at the end of the day, Rails have a contract to supply something, it is delayed (outside of their direct control) and customers rightly want to know what's happening and more updates Rails give, the more accommodating customers will be now and in the future. Of course I will have to think. That loco I ordered due in X months from supplier Y will now be a year later so will I risk pre-ordering from them again? That applies to Rails, Accurascale, Hornby and so on. I have choice. Who & what I pre-order and what is the risk?

 

Looking at long term forecasts, products from China are going to cost 40% more by the year end on average due to increased production, material & shipping costs. There will be change.

 

Maybe the lesson we learn is to return manufacture to the UK and perhaps the future of one of production runs in China is not as rosy anymore?

 

Rails - what about just telling your customers what you know and let us share your frustration and patience?

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44 minutes ago, stewartingram said:

Patience is such a virtue.....


Agreed. It’ll be here when it’s here. Who’d have thought 3 years ago that we’d have an RTR 18000? Another few weeks won’t make any difference.

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2 hours ago, TrevorP1 said:


Agreed. It’ll be here when it’s here. Who’d have thought 3 years ago that we’d have an RTR 18000? Another few weeks won’t make any difference.

We waited a lot longer than that for the Kernow D600s - and it was worth the wait.

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7 hours ago, St Enodoc said:

We waited a lot longer than that for the Kernow D600s - and it was worth the wait.

As a doctor with poor grammar skills might say, patients is a virtue. 

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On 23/06/2021 at 15:46, reddragon said:

Looking at long term forecasts, products from China are going to cost 40% more by the year end on average due to increased production, material & shipping costs. There will be change.

 

Maybe the lesson we learn is to return manufacture to the UK and perhaps the future of one of production runs in China is not as rosy anymore?

A 40% uplift in costs is nothing to what the costs would be if production returns to the UK, sadly

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15 minutes ago, Monkersson said:

A 40% uplift in costs is nothing to what the costs would be if production returns to the UK, sadly

Perhaps.

 

We used to have things made in Japan, then Hong Kong, then Taiwan and now China. Where next for cheap products?

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20 minutes ago, Trainshed Terry said:

 

How about the UK. 

 

Terry.

Whilst locos are high labour items, many wagons & coaches are not and could be build by more automation in the UK

 

Big bonus, you own the moulds and they are local and can be delivered quicker to meet fluctuations in demand, delivery savings exceed higher production costs!

 

Now isn't there an area in East Kent with higher unemployment that might have such skills to do this?

 

Peco seem able to do it.

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26 minutes ago, reddragon said:

Whilst locos are high labour items, many wagons & coaches are not and could be build by more automation in the UK

 

Big bonus, you own the moulds and they are local and can be delivered quicker to meet fluctuations in demand, delivery savings exceed higher production costs!

 

Now isn't there an area in East Kent with higher unemployment that might have such skills to do this?

 

Peco seem able to do it.

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/144756-Heljan-announce-class-45-in-oo/&do=findComment&comment=4468739

 

Above is a link to a post I made regarding costs in producing items in the UK for the company I work for. 

 

Peco are able to manufacture items here because they always have, and have built up their business over a very long time.  Anyone bringing manufacturing back to the UK faces the same basic costs as a new manufacturer, which probably explains why the new manufacturers on the scene outsource the job to China.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, reddragon said:

Perhaps.

 

We used to have things made in Japan, then Hong Kong, then Taiwan and now China. Where next for cheap products?

Depends what products but Turkey, Vietnam, Malaysia, India and the Philippines are all common sites for manufacturing.

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Aside of cost, rtr made in the UK by minimum wage uneducated uninterested teenagers competing with food packing, mc jobs and tonights night at the club etc doesn't sound like a recipe for success to me. British quality is legendary at this skillset level, which is why China, Eastern Europe runs rings around us.

of course you can pay more and get higher skilled..but then what does that do to the price of a model..

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17 hours ago, Ian Hargrave said:

Rails newsletter posted now announces they are onboard ship.

Thanks for the update. Looks like the arrival will now be late August or early September if they are just departing. I don't know if they are like other Heljan made products for the UK market, and will be landed in Denmark first. Anyway the delay is good for me as I've just paid for 2 GWR railcars and I don't think the other half would have been happy if a third loco arrived this month.

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1 hour ago, No Decorum said:

Late August, according to Rails. Is it too soon to start clamouring for 18100?

 Ah but in which guise ?  I saw it on the railways stand on the South Bank during The Festival Of Britain in 1951 alongside such ( then ) cutting edge locomotives as Britannia 70004 William Shakespeare and a Woodhead 26XXX electric. Later in the decade 18100 was converted into a test bed for work on the Styal section of 25Kv AC electrification. Now there’s a curiosity to model.

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4 minutes ago, Ian Hargrave said:

 Ah but in which guise ?  I saw it on the railways stand on the South Bank during The Festival Of Britain in 1951 alongside such ( then ) cutting edge locomotives as Britannia 70004 William Shakespeare and a Woodhead 26XXX electric. Later in the decade 18100 was converted into a test bed for work on the Styal section of 25Kv AC electrification. Now there’s a curiosity to model.

Ah yes, the Class 80. With the increasing interest in overhead electrics, it would (in my opinion) make sense to tool for both.

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On 11/06/2021 at 12:04, The Stationmaster said:

Yes - it was part of some wheel/rail interface testing programme according to various sources and that is why the bodywork was modified due to teh way test programmes were conducted using one of the bogies as the test area.

 

I'm more inclined to describe the rust in the bottom curved part of the bodywork as rot as it looks as it you could give it a poke and watch it fall to pieces in front of you.  So  far more serious than ordinary rust although it could no doubt be repaired with new panels - at a price.  Whether the loco could ever be made workable as a gas turbine is a very open question as it's far from clear what changes were made inside and above the bogie at the end where the fairing was provided.   So it might involve major interior body alteration in order to accommodate re-powering.  and obviously there would be the turbine itself plus all the associated systems to find and install.  A certain Mr Dyson has an original Whittle turbine and it has been restored to full working order so at least one exists but it needs an awful lot more than a replacement Whittle turbine to recreate 18000 as a working gas turbine loco - even if Mt Dyson is prepared to donate his.

Having been inside it, there is nothing whatever inside the body - it could be made into quite a nice meeting room! The worst of the rust or rot, as might be expected, is in the lower sides and the rounded bottom 'edge' has largely disappeared and would need complete replacement with new steel formed to shape. I'm afraid it reminds my of my 1960 Hillman Minx - Rootes Rot - from which there was no recovery. But 18000 was made from rather thicker metal. I'm afraid, unless someone comes along with cash and manpower 18000 will quietly rust away. (CJL)

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Yes, it is sad to see 18000 looking so forlorn in Didcot. Unless some money is spent stopping the rot it will be too late to restore it. I am one of those fortunate people who saw her when she was working and she was a site to behold. I hope that someone somewhere realises that 18000 was a significant locomotive in our railway history and deserves to be more than

a rotting shell. At least this model will bring back memories of that very loud gas turbine screaming through Didcot.

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