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Not very fond of traction tyres either, so I will not be buying either loco. I quite like the Schools class but not with traction tyres. This is based on previous loco's that were purchased with traction tyres that proved more trouble than they were worth. It is a personel thing, so modellers like them and some don't - live and let live.
However, there is one point that seems to have been forgotton. When (not IF) the traction tyres fail and need replacing, there will be a lot of modellers out there struggling to pull apart the valve gear, as on the Schools class only to bend the connecting rod or damage other parts of the valve gear.
The amount of debate that has taken place about some modellers have trouble removing a loco body to fit a decoder, without damaging delicate detail, leads me to think that there will be quite an uproar when expensive loco's have their delicte valve gear damaged. Hornby rose to this challenge and supplied models with or without a decoder.
I think Hornby has not learned from its mistakes and thought this through to its inevitable conclusion: - lots of damaged loco's and upset customers.

Cheers Manfred
 

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Manfred - let's not discourage Hornby and others from producing models like this. The problem with these 4-4-0s (and indeed the M7 0-4-4) is getting enough weight over the driving wheels to provide the adhesion in our small gauge. My M7 struggles with more than 3 Maunsell coaches so it's only fit for branch-line work, rather than for station pilot duty which I had intended - that's now a 2-6-4 tank. You can't pack the front of the boiler with weight as that reduces the weight over the drivers. Hornby have explained in detail that there is no real alternative to traction tyres other than a motorised tender, which the previous version of the Schools had. I'm sure we don't want to go back to that, so I'll put up with tyres for having the model in the first place. I do want some variety on my layout - ie I don't want all 6-coupled (or more) engines only. Perhaps Hornby will provide a service to replace tyres at a reasonable cost.

Of course, if you're in to modern image and like the idea of having a Schools on railtour duty with a reasonable load, you could always plonk a diesel on the back and run as a "double-header" ....
 

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If its so hard to get a good running 4-4-0 maybe H could try some 0-6-0's which were after all the most common loco type;
like J15 or J17 or..you can fill in the gap! Shouldn't be too many problems there, just need 12 wheel pickup, a bit of weight and a nice chuggy motor.
Andrew
 

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Between them Bachmann and Hornby already provide a J39 for LNER fans, Dean Goods and Collett 2251 for the GWR, Q1 for the SR and LMS 4F so I think that area is pretty well covered ...
 

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QUOTE Between them Bachmann and Hornby already provide a J39 for LNER fans, Dean Goods and Collett 2251 for the GWR, Q1 for the SR and LMS 4F so I think that area is pretty well covered ... smile.gif

I really hope that was a joke! The Dean Goods, 4f, & J39 all are out of date in terms of detail & running qualities. Bachmann could pounce on Hornby & steal the working loco market now by providing 'normal' work a day locos such as a J27, O4, new 28xx or a S15. We'll see if they have decided to do that shortly.
 

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QUOTE (RFS @ 28 Jan 2009, 21:06) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Manfred - let's not discourage Hornby and others from producing models like this. The problem with these 4-4-0s (and indeed the M7 0-4-4) is getting enough weight over the driving wheels to provide the adhesion in our small gauge. My M7 struggles with more than 3 Maunsell coaches so it's only fit for branch-line work, rather than for station pilot duty which I had intended - that's now a 2-6-4 tank. You can't pack the front of the boiler with weight as that reduces the weight over the drivers. Hornby have explained in detail that there is no real alternative to traction tyres other than a motorised tender, which the previous version of the Schools had. I'm sure we don't want to go back to that, so I'll put up with tyres for having the model in the first place. I do want some variety on my layout - ie I don't want all 6-coupled (or more) engines only. Perhaps Hornby will provide a service to replace tyres at a reasonable cost.

Of course, if you're in to modern image and like the idea of having a Schools on railtour duty with a reasonable load, you could always plonk a diesel on the back and run as a "double-header" ....


Hi RFS

I am not trying to discourage Hornby at all. Their are other alternatives that they may not have considered. Hornby may have missed a couple of obvious solutions.
Firstly, with the decoder fitted in the tender, Hornby could still put extra weight in the tender and let the weighted tender put weight on the drawbar which in turn would provide more traction for the locomotive. This will allow the front of the boiler to be packed with weight. Just a thought (the finescale guys have been doing this for ages)

Secondly, Hornby could put the motor in the tender and use a shft drive to power the locomotive in a similar manner that Dapol use on their N gauge locomotives. This allows for more weight in the locomotive. OO is large enough to allow the shaft drive to go below the cab so as not to interfere with the fine cab detail. Again the European manufacturers have been doing this sort of thing for quite some time.

Cheers Manfred
 

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OO gauge tenders are large enough to hold the complete motor - as with the old Hornby Schools and the current Hornby 9F. And no worries about traction tyres on the tender as the loco can have pickups on all wheels including front bogie. The M7 picks up from its rear bogie. I think I'd rather have that than some complex shaft drive between the two. These models are aimed at the toy market so they need to be robust enough to work reliably in that environment. Thus you need to keep the engineering simple. In fact with motors so small these days you could have motor in both engine and tender which would be relatively simple although the cost would go up, which I believe is the real issue. I suspect Bachmann and Hornby are making models to a price rather than a spec, but a very good job they do nevertheless.

As to other type of models that H and B might produce I think we need to remember they're really in the toy market not the finescale one. I find it remarkable that you can buy a new Bachmann 9F for little more than £90. Fleischmann produce superb models - and wouldn't we love it if they produced a British OO range to the same standards? But the Fleischmann HO equivalent of the Bachmann 9F costs between £250 and £400..
 

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An interesting comment about the word "Toy"

For years, the 70's, 80's and some of the 90's, when Hornby items were reviewed in the model press and criticised by modellers, for not being more detailed or having coarse wheels, Hornby's get out of jail card was " We are not a manufacture of scale models, but a toy a manufacturer". Some time in the late 90's their position changed to that of a manufacturer of scale models. There reasoning at the time was that their customer base had become mainly modellers and not children, as well as competative pressure from Bachmann, who were producing models superior to Hornby's. Hornby still catered for the toy market with train sets that included models with less detail. Hornby also introduced the Thomas The Tank Engine range and has introduced the Railroad range for the toy end of the market.
The problem as I see it is, that some people are not prepared to pay for a top quality model (as opposed to a toy), so when Hornby caves in to these people and produce to a price, these same people are the first ones to complain about faults, or compromises that have been made just to keep the price down. There are a lot of modellers who want top quality models at toy train prices. Sadly chaps that is not going to happen.
There is another classic example. Lima models were manufactured to a set price, which is why we were stuck with dodgy ringfield drives and traction tyres, on the plus side the bodies were quite good for their time. Once Bachmann and then later Hornby brought out models with a double ended drive, even though the price was higher, most modelllers abandoned Lima models. Their is a market out there for high end "models" and modellers are willing to pay the price for that level of quality. If you want lower prices then you can buy the "Toy" railroad range.
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.

Cheers Manfred
 

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QUOTE Their is a market out there for high end "models" and modellers are willing to pay the price for that level of quality. If you want lower prices then you can buy the "Toy" railroad range.
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.

Cheers Manfred

Couldn't agree more Manfred.
 

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Thanks Neil

Just had another thought and Neil you can correct me if my information is wrong
Isn't one of the European manufacturers producing two types of the one model. One for the high end market with all the bells and whistles and the same model with not so many refinements at a lower price. (I am talking about new release models here, not as what Hornby is doing with its new A3 and putting the older tooling in the Railroad range).

As Hornby have entered the European market, I wonder to what extent they monitor their competition?

Cheers Manfred
 

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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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Glad to see that this is a reasonable and realistic debate! Just to add a pennyworth to whatever body of opinion which is gathering, Simon Kohler (no connection) has explained well the difficulties of getting weight where you need it in a 4-4-0- Not a fan of traction tyres- even with metal wheel generally, the gunk eventually gets through, and the replacement problem as above is one which concerns regular runners.
the old L1 was pretty good and can, without magnahesion, start a 5-coach train (or 4 Bachmanns) on a 1 in 66- but it has that chunk of motor magnet in the cab... the tender bearing on the loco is ok as long as you don't expect it to cope with abrupt shifts of gradient, rather like the Bachmann N tender coupling.
I do think finer wheel standards have something to do with it- the treads of Romford-style wheels definitely don't grip as well. Having said all this, wait for the summer- the condensation on my loft layout this week was making even established locos slip! Oddly enough the strongest was an old B-o-B Triang version with steamrollers and flangeless middle set... practically a 4-4-2!
Sure debate like this can only assist- it's moving towards better understanding rather than gripemeister stuff.
 

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*** Actually a realistic profile should assist grip, not negate it. My finescale kit built locos which are not all that heavy have no traction problems at all.

The real culprit with the wheels is the material chosen - nickel silver or nickel plate. Nickel silver is nortoriously slippy and if the wheels were changed to finescale Alan gibson wheels in steel the grip would be much much better with no other mods at all!

So.... a simple change that would work a treat would be a set of alloy steel driving wheels to replace the ones there. Even better - stop using nickel silver for rail too - its actually a bad choice for several reaasons when an austenitic stainless steel would look better, solder well and NOT corrode/oxidise as easily as NS does. Even modern steel rail is a far better choice in many cases, but still not OK for damp layouts of course.

There are other very easy solutions to the 4-4-0 problem - a very simple beam suspension to shift load from smokebox/bogie to drivers would be cheap and very easy to produce. Its cost would be negligable.

It would transfer the weight from the front bogie back to the drivers and would have the advantages of better pickup, better traction, better loco balance, better tracking of the loco through curves etc.

Its only downside would be that first radius would be a no-no. No big deal as first radius looks silly with anything bigger than a small shunter.

Richard
 

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QUOTE (Manfred Ebinger @ 29 Jan 2009, 10:40) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks Neil

Just had another thought and Neil you can correct me if my information is wrong
Isn't one of the European manufacturers producing two types of the one model. One for the high end market with all the bells and whistles and the same model with not so many refinements at a lower price. (I am talking about new release models here, not as what Hornby is doing with its new A3 and putting the older tooling in the Railroad range).

As Hornby have entered the European market, I wonder to what extent they monitor their competition?

Cheers Manfred

No worries Manfred.

Most German manufacturers will offer a model with and without a digital decoder with sound. In Brawa's case the model is offered with sound and prefitted smoke generator or without. Roco used to do three ranges of models of differing quality in which some of the same models appeared in basic and better quality versions. I'm not sure what is currently available where the same model appears twice with varying quality by the same manufacturer.

I'm not sure if there is any point in Hornby monitoring the competition in Europe after the impact their first model made.


Neil
 
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