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Hornby and Rails - Everything Hornby. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Tue Aug 25th, 2020 05:30 pm
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Petermac
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I see it appears Hornby and Rails are parting company...................

Rails have issued an apology saying that, after 35 years of trading with Hornby, with immediate effect they will no longer be able to supply any of the pre-orders or take orders for any future releases.

Seems there's trouble at t'mill somewhere .......................................



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 Posted: Tue Aug 25th, 2020 06:57 pm
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There are lots of great local model shops that still do..... :doublethumb



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 Posted: Tue Aug 25th, 2020 07:14 pm
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Dear Valued customer, 

We regret to inform you that after over 35 years of trading with Hornby, with immediate effect we are unable to fulfil any orders for forthcoming release or out of stock Hornby products. 

Therefore over the coming days we will be cancelling pre orders and informing customers personally. We apologise unreservedly for the inconvenience this will cause you. 

We would like to make it clear that this only affects Hornby products that are on pre order or out of stock. All our other extensive range of brands are unaffected. 

John Barber
Managing Director

Rails of Sheffield Limited






:hmm :hmm :hmm





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 Posted: Wed Aug 26th, 2020 01:09 am
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CCGWR
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Bet it's the Terrier Competition, between the two. Seems very similar to the Hatton's Bachmann split over the 66 except this has been put out in the open more.

Connor



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 Posted: Wed Aug 26th, 2020 07:27 am
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col.stephens
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Neither Rails of Sheffield or Hornby will benefit from this.  After the Bachmann/Hattons debacle the latter has become a much less interesting place to shop.  I'm surprised the manufacturers can afford to lose the big box shifters who have an annual turnover in the £millions.

The way I see it is that they will all hide behind bland statements of 'commercial sensitivity', etc. but in reality they are behaving like a bunch of children who have allowed a spat to get out of hand.

Terry

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 Posted: Wed Aug 26th, 2020 08:44 am
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Petermac
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col.stephens wrote: Neither Rails of Sheffield or Hornby will benefit from this.  After the Bachmann/Hattons debacle the latter has become a much less interesting place to shop.  I'm surprised the manufacturers can afford to lose the big box shifters who have an annual turnover in the £millions.

The way I see it is that they will all hide behind bland statements of 'commercial sensitivity', etc. but in reality they are behaving like a bunch of children who have allowed a spat to get out of hand.

Terry

I partially agree with you Terry although I think the main losers will be the box shifters.

I obviously have no idea of their financial setup but most companies have to service some kind of finance and, to suddenly lose a huge chunk of their turnover must worry their backers.

As you say, Hattons is now a less interesting place to shop and I'd imagine, for those who use them, the same will happen to Rails.

We don't know what actually triggered the split but, from the tone of their announcement, Rails are not happy with what's happened - nor I suspect, are their bankers !

The fact is, if people want to buy Bachmann or Hornby products, they'll still do so regardless of where they spend their money so, on that premise, the manufacturers will only suffer in so far as either Bachmann or Hornby offer an alterative version of a particular model and those originally wanting the Hornby version for example, change their minds and buy Bachmann.

The downside for us of course, is that we'll almost certainly have to pay more.






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 Posted: Wed Aug 26th, 2020 09:57 am
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I suspect many people will end up doing what I have started doing now. Rails for Bachmann and Hattons for Hornby. Whoever I happen to be buying from at the time for Dapol and Oxford Rails and others!

It's very sad though.

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 Posted: Wed Aug 26th, 2020 11:13 am
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Sad really. It may hit Rails short term but I Imagine they will plow resources earmarked for Hornby products into commissioning new product direct from factories, and Hornby's back catalogue will be fair game.
Both rails and Hattons still have a strong revenue stream from second hand but you can see going forward  Hattons feeling free to target Bachmann's back catalogue and Rails doing the same to Hornby ?

Can these two manufacturers afford yet more players picking off the best items from their ranges in direct competition ? Bearing in mind that neither Bachmann or Hornby get anything from the re sale of their products but rely solely on revenue from  new product sold via franchises. 

Whatever you think of Hattons or Rails, they shift volume. . . Both manufacturers need volume to survive

Interesting times ahead methinks

Cheers

Matt

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 Posted: Wed Aug 26th, 2020 04:07 pm
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col.stephens
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If Rails are planning to sink more time and money into commissioning their own products direct from the factory, they are going to have to do better than the ongoing debacle over their Terrier, which is fast becoming the fiasco of the never appearing loco.  I just hope the wait is worth the effort, but having bought two of the Hornby products much sooner and cheaper, I await to be convinced, and wait...and wait...and wait!

Terry

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 Posted: Wed Aug 26th, 2020 06:57 pm
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Petermac
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I can't see the sense in sinking too much into commissioning new models - the odd one yes, but even the very big boys realise that the cost of producing "OO" Gauge UK outline models is frightening and the market is pretty small compared with HO Gauge.

Discounting rules and common "marketing sense" will prohibit too much in the way of discounting - I'd guess for every 5 or 10% of "extra" discount, one has to sell maybe 10 times the volume just to stand still.

I think they'll both shrink at least a little, maybe more, and specialise in their respective suppliers - Hornby for Hattons and Bachmann for Rails.

It could be the good times are over for us ..............................



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 Posted: Wed Aug 26th, 2020 09:10 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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I'm guessing that this is Rails' call.

They are trying to establish themselves as "manufacturers" and clearly saw the Terrier as a good model to take to the market.  Was this a good choice?  Hornby's Terrier is a decent model, why challenge it?

If I were contemplating a leap into manufacturing with all the financial risks involved, I would be tempted to go for something that survived into BR livery like a LNER J6 or some of the GWR classes (is there a model of a Saint?) etc.

Barry

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 Posted: Fri Aug 28th, 2020 07:36 am
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col.stephens
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If I understand the Rails/Hornby Terrier scenario, what happened was that Hornby were secretly developing a new Terrier to replace their old ex-Dapol model.  Unaware of this, Rails announced the production of their new Terrier.  As the development of the new Hornby model was much advanced, there was a rush to get it to the shops to beat Rails.  Personally, I was surprised that Rails carried on with their project.  There have been other cases of duplication such as the Class 66 and the LMS 10000/1 diesels, none of which has really been of benefit to either the manufacturers or modellers.



Barry, the Terriers did survive into BR livery and a number are still with us on at least four preserved railways here in the South East.  In fact, I did a loco driving course on one of them.



Terry

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 Posted: Fri Aug 28th, 2020 01:10 pm
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BCDR
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B&SC terrier Waddon is part of the Exporail collection in St. Constance, QC, Canada. 

While protecting your copyright is normal, trying to enforce what in essence is a monopoly when you do not own it is not. "Sell ours or else you will suffer" attitude. Kudos to Rails for standing up to bullying. Are model stores only to produce niche models that the big boys can't be bothered with? Or not produce better models than they continue to offer? It's also hypocritical. Bachmann and Hornby have over the years produced the same model. It seems they get around it by (for the most part) not being contemporaneous. As far as I know no retailer was penalized for selling both of them. And not bothering to tell one of your main box shifters (or the people who pay your salary by actually buying your product) what's in the pipeline beggars belief. Given the cost nobody is going to contemplate developing a competitive model that is currently under development. Secretly developing a new model? So punters continue to buy the old one no doubt. Rest assured that if the big boys owned the manufacturing facilities in China there would be no competition.

Interestingly Bachmann here face competition in nearly all of their range. As do Broadway, Atlas, Athearn and Walthers. Newcomers such as Rapido carved out market shared with a better product. Not a different one. Keeps pricing honest. 

Nigel



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 Posted: Fri Aug 28th, 2020 02:37 pm
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Barry Miltenburg wrote: I'm guessing that this is Rails' call.

They are trying to establish themselves as "manufacturers" and clearly saw the Terrier as a good model to take to the market.  Was this a good choice?  Hornby's Terrier is a decent model, why challenge it?

If I were contemplating a leap into manufacturing with all the financial risks involved, I would be tempted to go for something that survived into BR livery like a LNER J6 or some of the GWR classes (is there a model of a Saint?) etc.

Barry


For information: no Saint, but Hornby had the very similar Star until recently, which is due to be re-released soon, at the £160-170 price point. An 'as new' pre-owned Star arrived here last year from a large UK box shifter, which rattled so much from the broken bits not actually missing from the package that I stuck the sticky tape down and sent it back and am not holding my breath that the latest iteration will actually be an improved one.

If Rails, etc are listening . . . stay clear brave Sheffield chaps!

Bill



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 Posted: Fri Aug 28th, 2020 03:50 pm
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Hornby did a Saint. Least said about that the better. Star? Easy enough to backdate a Castle (which is what they became). I am struck by the thought that steam prototypes that do not cover ~1900 to ~1960 do not get modeled. Kudos to Kernow for doing the GWR SRM. While I'm at it, what about the autocoaches? Hornby do one, representative of no known prototype and rating back to the Airfix 1970's model,  Bachmann did a late Hawksworth one.....Did they get iffy about that? Anybody who models the GWR has an autocoach or three. Decent model needs a lot of bashing or the old Comet kit. Or Worsley Works etches. Not everybody wants to kit build or bash. So how well is the modeling community being served by the big players? I appreciate that prototypes with only a small number are going to be low in the list, but the reliance  on tweaking old tooling mean more efforts by others who want to meet market needs. Bachmann still relies heavily on old Mainline tooling for a lot of stock. 
Nigel



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 Posted: Fri Aug 28th, 2020 06:59 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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Terry

I was aware that the Terriers appeared in BR livery - I was trying (poorly as it appears) to make the point that the J6 and others also survived beyond 1948 but have yet to make it into RTR form.

It always struck me as odd that some classes have been missed whilst others attracted multiple manufacturers.  Especially when I see that the Prototype diesels are now being produced, despite, in some cases, being a class of 1!!

Barry

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 Posted: Sat Aug 29th, 2020 07:52 am
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col.stephens
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Point taken Barry.  You raise another interesting point.  How do the manufacturers decide on which classes of loco to produce? For instance, just because a certain prototype loco was produced in large numbers does not guarantee large sales in model form.  Obviously, the larger the area in which a loco worked would be advantageous, as would the length of time the loco was in service.



Nigel makes reference to models being secretly produced, as in the case of the Hornby Terrier.  I wonder if this was in response to ongoing criticism regarding the amount of time from announcement to actual delivery.  Much better if you can announce a new Terrier and have it in the shops within a matter of months to allay that criticism.  I suspect this was the real reason for keeping it secret in this case.  Unfortunately for Hornby, their plans were shattered when Rails unwittingly announced their plans to produce the same model under the impression that Hornby were content to keep knocking out their old ex-Dapol model.



With reference to the big manufacturers owning the factories in China, actually Bachmann do, or to be more precise, the factory owns Bachmann!  Bachmann was taken over by the Chinese company Kader in 1984.





I think that the reason the prototype diesels are being produced is simply that all of the diesels have been produced in model form.  After all, there really weren't that many when compared to the steam classes.  It appears to me that industrial steam locos are now finding favour with the manufacturers, despite many classes of company locos having never been produced. This probably brings me full circle to my first paragraph.  There's money to be made in making models of the previously ignored small industrial locos.


Terry




















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 Posted: Sat Aug 29th, 2020 02:03 pm
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My understanding is that Kader, like many others, has it's products manufactured by Shine Dew Industrial Co. Ltd., a Chinese Government entity in Dong Guan, founded in 2006. It produces client-patented products under partnership arrangements. 300,000 unit capacity, 1500 minimum order. Hence the plethora of liveries for the UK products. One stop shop, financing, CAD, manufacturing, assembly and packaging. Which is why the likes of Hatton's, Kernow and Rails can do what they do. There are other companies (such as Nankin Artco, Oriental, Rolland, Sandakan...). All government owned (one way or another). Some specialize in locomotives, others in diecast plastic carriages and wagons. 

Kader Industries, the owner of Bachmann, is Chinese owned, registered in Bermuda. They used to have a factory in Hong Kong. 


Different approach over here, let the punters know it's coming, take reservations, place a firm order. Which is why it's often impossible to get a new model without reserving.


The current Hornby Terrier must be selling well to have kept the new model development secret. Must be (expensive) new tooling. Bet the current batch of Terriers is the last while the stocks are cleared. And that the Rails and Hornby models are going to be produced in the same factory, which is how it all came to light. Chinese walls in this case being transparent.


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 Posted: Sat Aug 29th, 2020 02:48 pm
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Rails have teamed up with Dapol to produce their Terrier and I owe rails an apology.  The first models have already been delivered to customers.  I am awaiting a Southern liveried model which I think might be in the next batch.
I believe the Hornby Terrier must have sold well.  I have two and at £80 or thereabouts, and £30 cheaper than the rails version, an absolute bargain.

Terry

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 Posted: Sat Aug 29th, 2020 05:33 pm
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Looks the current Hornby model is the latest model. 

Bit more communication between UK manufacturers regarding their schedules would prevent these issues.


Nigel



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