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DT
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The scenario: You are a member of the board of a top international model railway company, you are in the boardroom having a brainstorm with the other board members and department heads.

The main item on the addenda: Where will our business be in 5 to 10 years time? And what can we start to design, develop and manufacture that will get us where we want to be and secure our place ahead of the competition?

You are asked to contribute your ideas. Remember that a brainstorm is where you get to let your hair down and say what you want, not just whet the Chairman wants to hear. Don't offend the CEO he may just demote you to the mail room.

Bonus: If your ideas are ever produced, you may just be in line for a promotion as the minutes of the meeting are being taken and what you say is on the record. In the short term, if the Chairman likes what he hears, he may just reward you with a little Christmas bonus...




Ideas posted here online. Competition closes 30th November. Best idea wins. Prize to be announced shortly...
 

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Lets face it more and more of the British Railway system is being electrified so it is likely that most next generation traction will be overhead electric so there has to be a British catenary system offered at some point even if it is a rebranded continental job.

Skaledale Road System to incorporate something that permits vehicles to move along it. Maybe magnet based?

Video wall scenic backboards so that the sun rises and sets and you get breezy trees and moving traffic as a visual backdrop to the layout.

A working crane perhaps.

A DCC accessory control unit that looks exactly like the interior of a signal box and a DCC loco control unit that looks exactly like the cab of a locomotive.

A decoder chip instalation that does not require whole loco body removal.

Plug and play DCC accessories such as points, turntables, signals, etc.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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DT
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What you say in your first point is what I though of right off. The one thing lacking in modern layouts is the mass of gantries and overhead wires. Sure this would prevent direct access to the track, but the user could simplify it or make it as complicated as he likes.

- Together with this - a nice and complete modern signals system

- A good range of classic (finer scale) semaphore signal system.
 

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This will clinch it and nobody will better this idea.

Forget the electromagnet under the track automatic uncoupling job.

I want a DCC automatic uncoupling wagon which has the ability to uncouple Hornby tension couplers automatically given a DCC adress and functions. It can sit anywhere within a rake of wagons and when called up at the touch of a function button will automatically uncouple with the next wagon it is attatched to. This wagon can be either side. This provides a mobile solution to the age old issue of having to twiddle about with Hornby tension couplers to uncouple. The old method of placing a wagon over an uncoupler ramp is no longer acceptable.

When doing all those shunting operations last night on that Hornby Digital layout that I set up it occured to me that this was needed desperately.

Several automatic uncoupling wagons mixed in with various rakes of wagons would provide for a lot of shunting play value without the intervention of the hand of god.

Some sort of crank system could be set up within the uncoupler wagon to automatically haul the next wagon closer, raise the coupler hooks, push the next wagon away, and lower the coupler hook.

This is the perfect mobile uncoupling solution.

Can this idea be bettered?


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Of course it can!


DCC offers us the possibility of a working slip coach!!!

Imagine the express train approaching the station (a powered slip coach working in "double heading format"), the train passes the slip point, the coach uncouples, the express roars through the station and the coach glides effortlessly into the a platform road to await collection by the local train.

DCC offers us the possibility of accurate working TPO equipment!

DCC wagons could be deployed in hump shunting yards!

The only limit to this technology is your imagination and budget!

60134
 

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QUOTE DCC offers us the possibility of accurate working TPO equipment!

This is one area that could be improved. The Hornby TPO is probably 25 years old and really a toy. I know that southern Pride do TPO's but they arn't the easiest to deal with and they don't take Credit Cards. This was a real problem when I lived overseas, as one did'nt know what the postal taffif would be. Gap in the market surely for what was a very common piece of rolling stock.
 

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I have to agree that decent ready made semaphore signals would be a good idea, maybe they could be made to adjust to different types of formations, the ready made items now available are not very convincing, and the kits to make a semaphore signals are very fiddly (well they are to my fingers).
And how about a decent british rail turn table, maybe similar in design to the peco offering, but with a good controllable, motorized mechanism, that does not sound like a bag of nails when operating, and lines up properly
 

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well if you are looking to the future then both Hornby and bachman should consider where is DCC heading and a few other areas where the market is not properly covered

1) DCC decoders prefitted with an easily accessible switch to toggle between DCC and DC
2) deluxe versions of models available fully kitted out with lighting and sound wired in a way which will enable prototypical operation
3) coaches and wagons available un numbered to allow layout modellers to buy and number whole rakes
4) deluxe version of coaches available with lighting and decoders prefitted
5) Catenary masts and associated equipment to enable modellers to easily model OHLE
6) more EMU and electric loco models to go with the catenary
7) working semaphore signals and 3 and 4 aspect colour light signals
8) For the steam buffs more of the everyday loco's such as the 0-6-0's
9) Steel sleepered track for up to date layouts
10) A modular building system to enable more individual station and other buildings to be constructed

I could go on and on but thats 10 ideas for now
 

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>1) DCC decoders prefitted with an easily accessible switch to toggle between DCC and DC
Can you explain why you want the toggle switch? DCC equipped locos run fine on DC with no modifications.

David
 

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Since Doug has set a 5 to 10 year time frame, I suggest starting work on developing a miniature lens and camera sensor that will fit unobtrusively into the cab of any loco. This feeds back to a transmitter which beams the image back to a control desk fitted with a monitor. The controls are laid out as per your chosen motive power - steam, electric, diesel. As the ultimate "coup de theatre" the steam version would have a mounting clip for a variable speed fan for simulating that "wind in the hair" feeling for early 20th century locos with no "cab comforts". For the ultimate in realism a "soot puffer" could be installed just in front of the fan..... This opens the way to a wide range of marketing tie-ins with vouchers for Optrex, Flash, Daz, Aerial.....

Nurse, nurse.....

David

I was serious about the miniature lens though. Versions are already available which will fit in DMUs and EMUs.
 

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If we are talking about the future, most of the suggestions currently on offer are really too tame for this competition. Whilst most, if not all, are highly desireable features not currently available, all are within the bounds of current technology.

So think outside the box, think about what is possible today that seemed sci-fi ten years ago and come up with some challenges for future technology.

What about a system that allows your train to pull up at the platform, the carriage doors to open and 4mm scale passengers to alight and walk into the station building.
Second thoughts - forget that idea - some idiot will tell me that my passengers are dressed in the correct costume for 1988 and should not be getting out of GWR coaches.
Oh well, back to the drawing board then.
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 7 Nov 2006, 00:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Lets face it more and more of the British Railway system is being electrified so it is likely that most next generation traction will be overhead electric so there has to be a British catenary system offered at some point even if it is a rebranded continental job.

Skaledale Road System to incorporate something that permits vehicles to move along it. Maybe magnet based?

Video wall scenic backboards so that the sun rises and sets and you get breezy trees and moving traffic as a visual backdrop to the layout.

A working crane perhaps.

A DCC accessory control unit that looks exactly like the interior of a signal box and a DCC loco control unit that looks exactly like the cab of a locomotive.

A decoder chip instalation that does not require whole loco body removal.

Plug and play DCC accessories such as points, turntables, signals, etc.

Happy modelling
Gary
This is pretty much all available now. It was an International model rail company that Doug mentioned in the intial post. Faller make the road system, Maerklin/Trix, Roco make the working crane, several companies make catenary. There an Ozzie company which makes anm accessory control unit which looks like the inside of a signal box...etc.

QUOTE I was serious about the miniature lens though. Versions are already available which will fit in DMUs and EMUs.Maerklin already have this. It's not cheap.

We only seem to be discussing what is missing from the UK market. Which is quite a lot. Most of what has been discussed is already available in Germany off the shelf. Can I just clarify if this is just what the UK market needs or what an International train company needs? The background video screen, I thought of too. It is the only thing discussed that is not already available. It would be good.
 

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QUOTE (bangerblueed @ 6 Nov 2006, 20:47) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>well if you are looking to the future then both Hornby and bachman should consider where is DCC heading and a few other areas where the market is not properly covered

1) DCC decoders prefitted with an easily accessible switch to toggle between DCC and DC
2) deluxe versions of models available fully kitted out with lighting and sound wired in a way which will enable prototypical operation
3) coaches and wagons available un numbered to allow layout modellers to buy and number whole rakes
4) deluxe version of coaches available with lighting and decoders prefitted
5) Catenary masts and associated equipment to enable modellers to easily model OHLE
6) more EMU and electric loco models to go with the catenary
7) working semaphore signals and 3 and 4 aspect colour light signals
8) For the steam buffs more of the everyday loco's such as the 0-6-0's
9) Steel sleepered track for up to date layouts
10) A modular building system to enable more individual station and other buildings to be constructed

I could go on and on but thats 10 ideas for now


Basically I agree with 2, 3, & 6 - 10.

1) Is not necessay - DCC decoders work well with DC - in any case this would require at least a 4-pole changeover switch on a model with front & rear lights.
4) Although a good idea a decoder is only required if you really want to switch the lights on & off.
5) Veissmann produce a catenery with an "H" section mast suitable for UK use (a trader friend of mine supplies enough of it to UK modellers anyway).

best regards
Brian
 

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The caternery idea is really a double edged sword. its a wonderfull idea but in order to look right it has to be set up correctly. that requires conciderable understanding and planning and is really not something for the average modeller.
for example the wires need to be sprung and wires dont bend round corners in mid air so you need several masts on a corner and the wire zig-zags along a straight. I think Sommerfeld really do the perfect soloutions. i dont think they can be bettered. (oah dear i am plugging a continental manufacturer-i must check my temperature!)

My 2 ideas are as follows.
1 i would like something like the faller road system but far more advanced. i want to see cars stuck in traffic jams and avoiding each other and starting and stopping at reasonable speeds and automatically going to a garage to recharge themselves. i want to see them reverse park and cause traffic jams. i hate seeing roads where a car comes along now and then. real roads arnt like that.

2 bespoke models. today the ability to scan a loco is already there. i want to see a website where i can choose the type of loco i want (regardless of how odscure or unusual) click on a button and have a sterio lithography machine churn out the bodyshell. although the scanning technology exists the resoloution of the sterio lighography machines is still not quite up to the standards required for our needs. this is an area where 5 years develpoement could really pay off and is a realistic target. imagine any bodyshell you want and all for £50!!

I have a feeling i am going to think of many more of these!

Peter
 

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Ok some of the ideas mentioned above may have been implemented by non UK based HO manufacturers.

Why can't Hornby or Bachmann do something equivalent for British OO modellers?

Or if they are not prepared to because they consider that the market is too small relative to the investment then be totally transparent about this and produce an official guidebook pointing British outline OO customers who want these sort of things in the right direction.

Please accept that as an idea.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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"Or if they are not prepared to because they consider that the market is too small relative to the investment then be totally transparent about this and produce an official guidebook pointing British outline OO customers who want these sort of things in the right direction."

I take your point Gary, but which manufacturer is going to promote another companies products openly? It is not exactly doing them any favours is it?

I personally, although a UK outline modeller, have no qualms about buying the items I consider I need from any manufacturer regardless of who they are or where they come from. This means that I have items on my layout, or will have when I finish it, from Germany, France, Austria etc. etc. Why should I try to make do and mend with frequently second rate items when I can get a complete working item from overseas for similar cost?

Surely it is the aim of sites like this and the smaller dealers, who actually tend to take an interest and frequently model themselves to publicise the products that are available - a comprehensive list of all the items available to complement the big boys would probably run to thousands of pages and be completely impractical anyway. (not to mention the cost!

Regards

John
 

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Hornby/Bachmann Modular Baseboard Kit designed by Hornby/Bachmann and sold by Ikea in partnership?

3 x baseboards = 1 Hornby TrakMat.

4 x baseboards = 1 Bachmann track mat.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 7 Nov 2006, 08:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think Sommerfeld really do the perfect soloutions. i dont think they can be bettered. (oah dear i am plugging a continental manufacturer-i must check my temperature!)
Peter

Sommerfeld is an excellent product, however it is quite expensive, can be delicate & you have to decide whether you want 1,500v DC, 3000v DC or 25,000v AC or what countries type you want.

On the other hand the Veissmann is a bit more generic, more robust & a bit less costly. Whilst agreeing that it's great to get it perfect, some compromise is acceptable for most people.

You can, of course build you own if you are good with soldering & have plenty of time & patience.

best regards
Brian
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 7 Nov 2006, 08:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>i would like something like the faller road system but far more advanced. i want to see cars stuck in traffic jams and avoiding each other and starting and stopping at reasonable speeds and automatically going to a garage to recharge themselves. i want to see them reverse park and cause traffic jams. i hate seeing roads where a car comes along now and then. real roads arnt like that.
Peter

Have a look at http://www.miniatur-wunderland.de/

They are already going that way with some of their modifications to the Faller Road System. Allow lots of time to look through their website though LOL.

best regards
Brian
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 7 Nov 2006, 14:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Ok some of the ideas mentioned above may have been implemented by non UK based HO manufacturers.

Why can't Hornby or Bachmann do something equivalent for British OO modellers?

Or if they are not prepared to because they consider that the market is too small relative to the investment then be totally transparent about this and produce an official guidebook pointing British outline OO customers who want these sort of things in the right direction.

Please accept that as an idea.

Happy modelling
Gary

As I have (as well as a few others on this board) a pretty good knowledge of "european" products suitable for the UK modeller please feel free to contact me via the board or via PM to see if I can help with some "pointing".

best regards
Brian
 
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