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Sir

I have recently started taking your magazine and I must say that it is most enjoyable. My primary interest is gauge 1 in the garden but I have also purchased a Hornby live steam Mallard set with the intention of putting a layout in my attic, I have some 25' x 10 ' available on one side if I am not to use up all my workshop space.

My point is: I have not seen any mention of Hornby live steam in the Hornby magazine. There is also very little comment on the internet about it. I am surprised that it does not command a greater following as it really lends itself to a simple main line type layout for a large space where the trains can be enjoyed running through a countryside setting. In fact with live steam, all you need is a large double track oval and a couple of storage loops; this is what I shall build.

Is there any intention to feature this branch of the hobby in the magazine? As a gauge 1 modeller, I recognise what an engineering feat Hornby have accomplished in producing the live steam range. The locomotives, now available for less than £200 new, are an absolute bargain and my Mallard runs very well indeed. Hopefully, it is just the first of many. If there is not much support for these wonderful creations, perhaps some help from your magazine will create the interest they justly deserve.

Kind Regards

Phil Flint
 

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Dear Phil,

I do agree with you that some mention of the LS system in the 'Hornby' magazine would be be of interest.

If you search back on this forum in the section devoted to "0, G and larger scales, Live steam & Garden", there are several postings there regarding the Hornby live steamers.

Most important factors in my experience is getting the largest radius curves you can to cope with the speed and reasonably frequent connections to the track to minimise voltage drop and thus maintain control over the locos.

Regards,
John Webb
(A Hornby LS user as well)
 

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Having waited for some time for live steam in 00 I was delighted when Hornby introduced there range, and as soon as a set went for sale in the local hobby shop I acquired one for €700 an amount that broke my bank. However not to be deterred I laid out a separate track 16' X 8' and connected up the control units etc. Read the instructions and switched on the power. Waited for the light and activated the throttle. At this stage there was steam emanating from the loco and relief valve let off steam. Great so far so good. The loco moved 2 " and that was that. Not if I kissed its arse could I get it to move. Disappointed but not defeated I corresponded with Hornby and it was decided to return the throttle unit. That was fine, waited for a few weeks and received a new one. Attached it to the setup and tried again. Steam pressure up and all of the bells and whistles ready for action. This time it failed to move it at all!!!!!! Started the correspondence with Hornby again and this time the Loco was returned. I received a new one in the post. However in the meantime the layout had to be altered as a new engine had joined the stables and it was a 4-10-2 an American engine. It did not like the curves on the layout and required me to relay the curves and most of the layout but alas the steam line had to go. So the steam set is packed away in the attic gathering dust. The only reminder of its time on the layout is the water/steam stain on the baseboard where I tried to get the loco to move.
It might happen yet.
 

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Personally, I would have returned the entire set to the place I purchased it from - that's a lot of money to pay out for something that simply does not work - maybe it's too late to do so, although I don't know how consumer law works in your country.
 

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No doubts that OO live steam has some real novelty appeal, but if does require some real work to set it up and then shut it down.

I love my train room, off with the lights, off with the master switch, it kills all power, then next time all I need to do is turn it all on.

John
 

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I think another problem with the live steam system is the total absence of locos that aren't LNER.

Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you to all who took the trouble to add comments to this topic. I am somewhat disappointed that the editor, to whom my first post was addressed, has not replied. Do we take this to mean there is a veto on any comment regarding Hornby live steam? Let's hope not. There have been numerous suggestions on other sites that Hornby will not continue to develop the live steam range; this would be a great pity as it is a real technical achievement that deserves to be a success.

To address some of the points that were raised in the posts that followed my initial one:

1. Yes the locomotives are all LNER but I do not see that as a problem. My gauge 1 activities are largely SR but I am quite happy to have my loft line representing the ECML. Hornby cannot be expected to have a wide variety of prototypes in the live steam range; the sales would never cover the development costs. You can have a very interesting main line scene with just A3s and A4s anyway.

2. Yes they are more complex to operate than electric locomotives. Live steam always is more effort, that is what is enjoyable about it. Try a coal fired gauge 1 live steamer if you think Hornby live steam is difficult to master.

3. I think the key to an enjoyable Hornby live steam line is simplicity. A plain scenic main line in the loft is my way. The pleasure is watching the trains go by. That's what it is good for, not complex operations that you can achieve on a normal electric layout. Think of it as a garden railway in your loft.

I hope the editor will choose to comment and add to the debate. It might even encourage a few more people to have a go and bring Hornby some more well deserved live steam sales.

Kind Regards

Phil Flint
 

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Hi Phil,

Firstly, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you about this post - and to answer one of your questions, there is no veto on comments on Live Steam! The simple fact is that this particular month has been extremely busy in the HM office for one reason and another, and another! I try my best to get onto the forum at regular intervals, but sometimes I can't respond to all the posts immeditately.

In short, I'm more than happy to consider a feature of Hornby's live steam set-up and in fact it has been on the feature list since we launched. Watch this space!

The Live Steam models are undoubtedly a great innovation and I also agree that it would be good to see a wider variety of locomotives representing other regions - personally, for obvious reasons, I'd love to see a live steam air-smoothed 'West Country' - showing my true colours there!

When you say that live steam is more complex to operate than conventional electric models, you are quite right. I did have the opportunity to have a little play with a live steam set when Hornby introduced it and, just like real steam locomotives, it takes preparation, patience and practise to make sure everything works properly - I've lost count of the number of times I've been up at the crack of dawn to light up a full size steam locomotive ahead of a days running!

Cheers,

Mike Wild, Ed.
 

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QUOTE (Mike Wild @ 5 Sep 2008, 08:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The Live Steam models are undoubtedly a great innovation and I also agree that it would be good to see a wider variety of locomotives representing other regions - personally, for obvious reasons, I'd love to see a live steam air-smoothed 'West Country' - showing my true colours there!

Well I didn't want to be quite that partisan about it but............................................


Regards
 
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