I suppose, partially at least, it depends on whether they have the interest/motivation too. The tiny N gauge just might not appeal to them . . . in which case, I wonder if they would release the Arnold resources to another company, for a reasonable sum . . . and then we have to wonder who else might be interested . . .
So many unknowns and I guess it's very early days yet!
Worth asking the odd question though - you never know who might have heard a whisper.
A few hours later . . .
I dug out a pile of stored N gauge rolling stock and surprised myself!
My excavations reminded me that, while Hornby didn't manufacture any of it, they were at one time involved with N gauge! I have maybe a dozen goods vehicles that are boxed with a HORNBY MINITRIX label on the case. I had completely forgotten about this period, which I would guess was about mid to late 1970s. The vehicles are clearly stamped underneath the chassis "Made In Western Germany" and some have DB markings while others have been tampoed with British Rail markings. I don't think that association lasted very long but it is rather interesting that it came happened at all and then quite suddenly disappeared.
I would guess it was a convenient way for Mini Trix to market their small British range via Hornby's excellent distribution system in UK. Sadly, the only locos I remember were rebodied DBs, at least one diesel and an A4 and my returning dim recollection is that they were fairly horrible to look at! But the goods rolling stock was fine. Actually, Mini Trix was usually considered somewhat inferior to Fleischmann and Arnold but I should save that for a non-Arnold post, on another day, although the linking connection here is, of course, Hornby!
More upbeat, that Maffei S 3/6 is gorgeous!
Although, on checking, it seems to have lost some of the real copper and brass pipework and lamps. It's probably a variation on the two shown in my English language catalogue, which is admittedly a touch out of date, being marked 1977/8!
Amusing to read the description of the lovely purple and cream coach set -
"Rheingold, the train which is worth TWO leaps of joy!"
I always promised myself one of these, but could never quite steel myself to the cost of the whole set. Maybe I'll have another chance one day.
As for adapting Arnold to British N - I imagine much of the motive power could be used and certainly their excellent digital system would be a candidate. If there were to be any upgrades, I'd like the motors to be looked at - they were/are COLOSSALLY powerful but manically too fast and a little noisier than Fleischmann's more refined units.
I'm not personally concerned about their North American range but I do hope most of the European products make it back. Although, just kind of thinking out loud, I suppose from Hornby's perspective, the N American range could be of very high priority as an 'IN' to the large American market potential which could never be realised with their traditional OO British products.
I've only just discovered that the ex Lima Arnold stock is actually available from Ontracks - 177 items. Arnold 'Clearance'
Despite being described as 'clearance items', they are desperately expensive - these really aren't clearance prices at all. Full-length coaches seem to run around £30 apiece, yet in USA you can buy Arnold's equivalent USA coaches in sets of three for as little as $40US the set - that is £8GB each! NScaleSupply.com
The other problem is that I can't match the listed item ID numbers to my old catalogue and there are no pictures to do it visually.
Yes, the codes probably do match up fine - just that my Arnold catalogue is 25 years out of date!
I hardly ever go there but, yesterday I took a look round Ebay, just to see how Arnold prices looked. As luck would have it, I fell over two 5-car Rheingold coach sets with just 1 hour to go! So I swiftly lost my Ebay virginity and am now wondering what I will actually get for my roughly £120 . . .
Later on, I discovered that KATO had made some 5-car Rheingold coach sets. Luckily, they seem to be totally sold out and, for a stress free life, I guess I should try to forget they ever existed - they are sure to be better quality than Arnold and very likely a good deal cheaper too!
I'm finding it quite difficult to catch up with all the developments since various companies have been amalgamated and/or redistributed and have been doing a lot of web surfing to try to refresh myself. I seem to remember seeing somewhere, only in the last day or so, that the Minitrix Rheingold coaches/cars boast individual illumination in each table lamp - is that really true? Would you rate the Minitrix S3/6 loco ahead of Arnold's as well as the coaches/cars?
How would you feel about a comparative review for our delectation and edification?
Incidentally with regard to Gary's comment that the Arnold S3/6 looks almost like HO gauge
It does until seeing something like this Roco HO version - it's really excellent!
I see that Ontracks' Hornby International Page is now advertising a very limited range of Arnold items for 2006, presumably the first to be officially re-released since the Horny acquisition. Although it is a pre-order situation at present,
it's great to see the resurrections starting at last!
Amongst these items is a Simplon-Orient-Express luxury train 5-unit coach set, at around £98 - not too badly priced for such items in good old UK.
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