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In depth idiot
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I am another in the 'traction tyres verboten' camp. A prime cause of track dirt, quick to deteriorate with running; and often both of unsightly appearance and a cause of poor pick-up.

Except: the one maker that had traction tyres right, from decades ago; Rivarossi, now owned by Hornby. Their tyre is transparent and near invisible when in position, doesn't cause track dirt, is very long lasting, and Rivarossi's pick up arrangements were typically so good that there is no problem there either. Perhaps we need to make Hornby aware of the useful know-how they own?
 

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In depth idiot
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8,253 Posts
QUOTE (Manfred Ebinger @ 28 Jan 2009, 23:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>.. Having said all that, Hornby still have some work to do to weed out the poorer items in their range and move them over to the Railroad range where they belong. ..
I believe they may be at risk of doing some damage to their business if they do not act to properly differentiate their range. It doesn't take much reading of internet forums to find Hornby customers struggling with lack of internal consistency in the range. Hornby also have the very real difficulty of a huge legacy of product in customers' hands.

Railroad is a good start, lower cost, coarse wheel standard and clearances to run on set track, big old coupler, traction tyres, and should as you suggest have the large majority of the pre-1999 tooled product in it. The more I think about it though, the all important Hornby name, unqualified, should probably be attached to that range. That's where you find product compatible with all that went before, and it is the name well known to people in the UK with no interest in the hobby, but looking for a trainset for a child.

But for the finer scale product, aimed at adult modellers, a new name would definitely be appropriate. Under a new name they can cheerfully say, not suitable for set track, not compatible with the big old coupler, only suitable for age 14 and over. Bring out new introductions in both coarse and fine versions, and the choice is clear.
 
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