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Hi 6991. Thanks for your post. I too remember the N7's on the West Side Suburban platforms at Liverpool Street, probably in the early sixties just before electrification of the North East London lines. I used to stand on Pindar Street bridge peering over the parapet. I also well remember the J69 in GER Blue and always made a point of looking out for it in the station throat on my way in or out of L'pool Street by train from Chelmsford where I then lived. I don't remember an N7 in GER livery though. The Bow Road photo would be really interesting please. When I moved up to London for work in 1978 I bought a small flat near Bow Road District Line station. For me I think the variants announced by Oxford are too early for me to buy - I would rather have a later BR variant (early or late emblem) to haul my existing Gresley and Thompson non-corridor coaches, which will bring me on to a separate post when I have a moment.
Best Regards,
Peter A
 

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QUOTE (6991 @ 27 Jan 2017, 13:20) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Are one of the big boys going to announce one as well? Lets wait and see. This would be the typical Matrix response in European H0.
Given both Hornby and Bachmann have made their announcements seemingly not. On the other hand Oxford are guilty of the Matrix response themselves in announcing the Class A and B tank wagons just as Heljans are to hit the shelves and announcing a Warwell which Hattons have already announced. Suppose its possible that the Warwell is being made by Oxford for Hattons but odd then that Hattons do not have any exclusivity over it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
QUOTE (6991 @ 27 Jan 2017, 14:20) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...Are one of the big boys going to announce one as well?...
Bachmann are not, because as already mentioned their 2017 announcement is out, so we can forget that.

Hornby though do differently, their 2017 release announcement 'wrapped up' all the products that crept into view on their 'Engine Shed' site during 2016, with a few extra. I'd anticipate that once done teasing us with the development previews of Princess Navies, 21CIEP's and Ivatt Merchant 800s in the first half of 2017, they will begin with the 'reveals' of next year's items. Plenty of time there for a change of plans, thus 'lets do the J6 instead of the N7'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
http://www.oxfordrail.com/76/OR76N7.htm

Better information about their plans in the link above. Distinctly encouraging is my feeling because there is reference to the distinctions between the original GER locos, the LNER 'follow ons' to the same design, and subsequent development of the class which gained the round top boiler; with later reboilering of the early builds, round top was the form in which the majority operated by the time BR had them in its care. So provided the tooling suite referred to is well planned and executed to match the research, OR should advance up the learning curve.
 

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Hopefully, given the side-tanks, they can design/introduce a motor mount & gearbox mechanism that is hidden.

Curious as to where/how they will position the DCC socket & speaker though?

Personally, I question whether it will be single axle or multi axle driven and how they deal with the trailing wheelset??
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
The general configuration of the Dean goods drive layout, which drawings make apparent is motor at firebox end of boiler with drive line to the rear axle, will equally suit the N7 for a fully concealed drive. Hopefully 'not reinventing the wheel' will see this aspect of the model home satisfactorily.

That also leaves the bunker 'box' clear of obstructions and very suitable as a decoder and speaker location. The only slightly larger N2 has a socking great motor and drive line in the cab and bunker, a really clumsy layout dating from that model's forty odd years ago inception. Yet there is no difficulty also installing a 'full size' HO decoder like a Lenz gold in the bunker, fully concealed one side (a second one could go in the other side!) these really are very spacious locations. Equally there is ample space for a decoder in a side tank placed vertically (Hornby's recent J50 exploits this very neatly) or on the centreline of the smokebox (Bachmann's most frequently used solution on tank locos, and before the move to sockets in tenders.)

The rear carrying wheels are in a short pony truck, 22mm axle to pivot, on my kit built chassis and this is an easy fit. (The kit parts provided something like 17mm axle to pivot which seemed a little 'fierce' to me, and physically unnecessarily short, there was plenty of space to go longer.) For comparison the N2 from Hornby has a 23mm length axle to pivot and this is a reliable model. The alternative is a more complicated arrangement of the wheelset in a slide with the chassis block narrowed to allow the wheelset to traverse enough for curves. Bachmann use this on the 56xx (and I believe the E4) and it does represent the frames blocking all daylight behind the wheelset rather well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Latest news is that the first production run has occurred, so boat permitting should be in the UK to go on sale in December. Since previous postings I have
have had an OR locomotive in hand for a friend, and found it good mechanically. The Radial tank is pretty competent, and could have the drive 'disappeared'
with minimal work, a little adjustment to carrying wheels and a tendency to lose its feet on irregularities in track level was eliminated. Very positively the
choice of what I recall as a 50:1 reduction ratio gave fine slow speed performance, with capability for scale maximum speed.

There we are then. Unless OR have done something unexpectedly horrible since last showing, they get a purchase from me. (Precious little else to interest
me in the way of new introductions from Bachmann, Dapol, Heljan, Hornby: even where they have got announcements of something useful it's all for some
indeterminate future date. Peco - lovely bullhead track - and UK kit manufacturers are cleaning up from me at the moment.)
 

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Hi Folks Many moons ago, in my "Blue Period" by which I mean LNER/ER I built a Wills J 69 to represent the preserved loco and a N.7 which
I converted to a round top firebox variant. I would not like to do a "rivet count" exercise on either now, as my sources of information were
either Skinley drawings or the Roche book. I later discovered neither were likely to be particularly reliable and the locos now rarely come out
of the "Black Museum"
I have not heard any rumours as to who Oxford Rail are consulting to ensure the models are accurate but I certainly hope they have decided
not to rely on the sources used for their previous products. I am certain there is more than adequate information available and expertise to
guide them, should they wish to produce near perfect models. This was also the case for all their previous introductions but sadly they did not make
make much use of them. Now they are intimately bound up with Hornby I would hope that perhaps they would use the Hornby Design team to
ensure all the silly mistakes are eliminated before it is too late.
Oxford certainly managed to do many "Unexpectedly Horrible" things to the Radial and also the Dean Goods which does not bode well for the
N.7. Because so many of the errors on these models have been "Hushed up" by other Forums. magazine reviews and YouTube commentaries I
wonder if Oxford will know that they can get away with almost any error without criticism and therefore will not worry if things go wrong with
this model during the various stages of development. One can live in hope but the outlook is not that bright, after all, they claimed the various
cabs of the Radial would be correctly portrayed but all variants have appeared to be the same.
 

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I have removed a large number of posts because:
1) They were not relevant to the topic.
2) Some contained personal attacks.

Please stick to the topic and remain objective.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Had a quick gander at the initial N7 release in GER grey, and it appears dimensionally right against the references I have, visually a
good match to prototype photos. And a fine job when it comes to running, smooth, quiet, and with lots of weight for traction. Starts
and stops smoothly even on a basic H&M resistance controller, because it is well geared for a dead slow crawl. I will have no hesitation
purchasing when it becomes available in the round top BR black version announced among the initial tranche.

(The running I observed was on my 30" minimum radius layout, but the owner tells me it gave no trouble on a set track layout.)

Doubtless others are aware that OR's next up loco model is the NER P3, LNER and BR J27 0-6-0. Another very welcome subject choice
which should please the NER fans if made to the same or yet better standard. Sticking their head in the lion's mouth of course, little I
know of the detail of the NER's loco designs, but I believe immense variation developed within loco classes once they were in service.

Whatever, the introduction of another of the railway's hard grafting 0-6-0s is always welcome. Really cannot have too many, and the
available/announced models list is yet a long way from outnumbering the RTR OO models of rare big wheeled express classes...
 

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I have seen a couple of reviews on YouTube. One lady had one that, unfortunately, was a dud, but she would otherwise have been generally favourable. A gentleman had one that he really liked.



Not my period or area of the country, but these seem to be reasonably priced, without too much fragile detail. This approach would be of interest to me if it had been a former LB&SCR Southern Railway loco.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I suspect the price point reflects a newcomer position to the market, a business name that has to establish nationally vs. the brand
awareness juggernaut that is Hornby. (Strictly a UK model railway thing: Bachmann's plugging away over twenty+ years, most of
that time offering better models at a lower price than Hornby, has only got them to rough parity, among railway modellers alone.)

Let's not delude ourselves, it costs what it costs for any particular technology, and the Oxford products are made using the same set
of materials and techniques as all the rest. If that is accepted then they are taking a smaller profit margin - which in part they can do
because there isn't the baggage that Hornby have accumulated over the years. Maintaining a huge tool bank and stocking a fair size
range of 'all the necessary' to build a model railway incurs a cost, and some of that will be underwritten by pricing on the premium
end of the range. (Grrr, don't like the thought that I may be subsidising set track or items like 'Smokey Joe' by a Hornby purchase.)

In terms of exterior detail level and robustness, the N7 looks a comfortable match to Hornby's fairly recent J50 or Bachmann's J11,
and so will sit comfortably with the other smaller black locos it will mostly work alongside on my layout. My experience of the last
ten years or thereabouts introductions has been good on this front from all of Bach, Heljan and Hornby. The detail well gauged and
stays put unless I go fiddling with it: admittedly aided by my models going on the layout and staying there other than for servicing,
it is handling that does the damage. I don't expect the Oxford N7 will be any different. It certainly starts out from a better place than
the Heljan O2 which has a special precautionary notice 'touch me not' because I can see it is fragile in some respects!
 

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Oxford make much of "owning" their own factory in China; that will cut costs immediately as their is no third party to pay as in Hornbys case or a owning master to keep happy in Bachmanns case
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
The relative advantages of ownership of, leasing and 'buying as required' the necessary manufacturing capacity vary with interest rates,
currency exchange rates, tax regimes, supply side restrictions, demand case and any political and macroeconomic shifts that happen
along. I have no idea on what basis Oxford claim to own their own factory: whatever, it is on the territory of a single party state which
can and does direct what happens on its territory. (Kader have been caught by this, the government simply closed one of their plants
earlier than planned to start redevelopment, leading to Bachmann UK's present product supply shortfall.)

'Ownership' is not a panacea in short. It may actually be more expensive in direct cost than leasing or buying in, but bring advantages
in guaranteed access to capacity - which might make for a better overall financial case for the business - because it maximises sales
revenue by always having sufficient product to sell. It would take a lot of analysis to say 'ownership = lower cost" in short. And today's
outcome may not be the case next year... (Economics isn't called the dismal science for nothing.)
 

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No sign of the remaining models at H. They say no information from Oxford. OR seem to disregard customer
relations as their own website was always out of date. Hope this guy does not infect Hornby
with this casual attitude to delays.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
QUOTE (Ray Sadler @ 2 Apr 2019, 17:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...OR seem to disregard customer relations as their own website was always out of date. Hope this guy does not infect Hornby
with this casual attitude to delays.
Are you surprised that OR are a little slack with Lyndon Davies at Hornby? That's a fuller than full time job to restore profitability, and he
has left his daughter to run Oxford's operations. However good she may be, it always takes time to pick up the reins from what was most
likely the understudy role...

No way can he 'infect Hornby' with this, it has been a contributor to the trouble they are now in, dating from long before Oxford Rail
started, all Hornby's own highly professional work ever since they lost Sanda Kan as their independent supplier by its acquisition by
Kader. They should have moved much faster in developing alternative suppliers at that time, and if I could be bothered to search long
enough, pretty sure I posted as much here...

Hornby's a much bigger outfit that has a focus on communication as part of the necessary remedial action to restore profitability. He's
on record with the 'rebuild trust with retailers' as a core part of that. Even if SK hasn't quite got the message that playing the 'big dog'
card is no longer appropriate. Wonder how long he will last? (Surely I wasn't the only one who thought SK was a trifle 'off message' in
some of his pronunciamentos in the recent TV features? A somewhat humbler approach would have been far more persuasive in my
opinion. Richard Davies of Hattons was right on the money with his criticism of Hornby's failure to supply; identifying it as the direct
cause of Hattons' move into sourcing their own product stream, simply to maintain their business performance.)

I can wait. Now that we have seen that the model is basically sound, what's a few months after a complete drought of RTR OO GER tank
locos until earlier this year? There shall be an N7, whenever it arrives with the retailers!
 

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OK so the understudy is running Oxford Rail, but does it take much to put out accurate
info to customers if there is a delay with scheduled arrivals?

I also understood OR have their own plant in China, so any delays are under their control.

On another thread, did LD really OK Hornby's stupid Coca-cola Christmas set - rubbish! A waste
of valuable manufacturing slots.
 

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ORs plant in China makes items for other manufacturers well, Oxford made a statement when starting their own range that the factory had experience making model railway items for others. Now it could be as is the case with Kader for Bachmann that if one of those "other" model railway products is for the US market the quantum of any order for such will take priority. Or it could be a case that they have been made and are presently somewhere on a 2 month voyage assuming they are not sat in a container on a Chinese quayside. Or then again maybe somone at OR has taken stock of the criticism of the initial release and has sought a few tweaks be made. At the end of the day it a model railway locomotive, if it turns up next week, next month, next season or next year no one is going to suffer long term difficulties over it. Was an actual release date ever given for the awaited versions or was it simply a case they would follow.

Hornby have always made a toy end of the market train set for Christmas, presumably by branding it as Coca Cola their is some financial benefit and it will act as a cross subsidy for more authentic models.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
QUOTE (Ray Sadler @ 3 Apr 2019, 15:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...I also understood OR have their own plant in China, so any delays are under their control...
That's beyond dispute, as Lyndon Davies made much play of his outfit's ability to do the work on a time scale wholly in their control,
in the launch information about OR. The plan was to announce only when models were tooled and production ready, so the models
could go on sale very rapidly after announcement. Initially this plan was followed, but OR's performance is a long way adrift of that
original intention, strangely enough it looks much like that of their competitors.

Now this is my surmise of the 'why', and I don't have anything beyond my past background in manufacturing engineering to back it. So
in my opinion, what OR quickly discovered is that model railway is an order of magnitude more difficult than unpowered die cast road
vehicle production, and their background in this field had led them to underestimate what the demands in model railway would do to
extend the timescale of the whole research through to finished product on sale cycle. (There has been no identification of the model
railway items they claimed to be making for other customers that I am aware of. It would be interesting to identify these.)

QUOTE (butler-henderson @ 3 Apr 2019, 20:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...Hornby have always made a toy end of the market train set for Christmas, presumably by branding it as Coca Cola there is some
financial benefit and it will act as a cross subsidy for more authentic models.
Apparently there is a strong collector market for promotional goods advertising this vile concoction, and I have seen a retailer comment
that the orders are pouring in. If it flies, then expect repeats of the theme in years to come.

Let's not forget that Hornby needs profitable product lines to repay the monster debt it has accumulated, in order to fight clear of the
'lender of last resort' financial arrangement it is now operating under. Forget cross-subsidy, this is digging the company out of a hole
in order that it keeps trading in its present form. Unless Hornby can win back to normal trading with assets clearly exceeding liabilities,
'Hornby' as we know it could well be sold on and broken up, with the uncertainty that goes with that.

The value is in the brand names. What some potential future owner might do with those brand names might differ significantly from the
present Hornby management's direction. 'We' might not like the consequences of that. Then again it might be a good move in the
perceptions of some.

Fiction warning! - reality only personality types ignore all that follows - Fiction warning!

Engage crystal ball mode: Industry announcement. Hornby Nova launches, In a return to the Binns Road tradition Hornby will
expand rapidly into O gauge for both indoor and garden use. A large range focussing on proven popular subjects is ready to order at
competitive prices intended to interest both new and existing customers for larger scale model railway.

Hornby Nova will continue the established OO range it has long been known for. While this ran into major difficulties in the past decade
attempting to meet demand for ever more highly detailed models, for which there is strong competition from a broad spread of both
new and established competitors, we believe the simplified range focussed on popular items will continue to attract customers. The
packaging will emphasise brand continuity, and the large selection of tooling will enable rapid response to shifts in demand at very
competitive prices, with regular colourful livery variations. (Princess in Pink 'r' us)
 
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