Anybody read the Guardian re the EC threat about OO?

I think it would be interesting, if not for the date, and the Reporters
name. :-)
Here's a (purported) cut and paste:
From the British newspaper The Guardian.
EC critical of popular hobby
By Avril Poisson
European affairs reporter
A new report by the European Commission could affect one of the
Britain's more quirky hobbies, model trains.
The EC Enterprise Directorate-General report entitled "Efficiency and
Accountability of European Standardisation under the New Approach"
criticises the UK's use of model train scales which are different to the
rest of Europe.
The EU report accuses UK model train manufacturers of violating
Technical Harmonisation Directives and not conforming to standard trade
descriptions. In one example, the report describes some types of model
train track being marketed as both 'HO' and 'OO' scales which it says
are different sizes.
The report offers a list of 90 recommendations, including passing
legislation if required to bring UK model train manufacturers into line
with Europe.
Another criticism was of small model trains built to 'N' scale.
John Emerson, editor of British Railway Modelling magazine, said
"British 'N' scale is standardised to a scale of 1:148, unlike the rest
of the world which uses a ratio of 1:160, while preserving the track
gauge of 9 mm. The inaccuracy of British 'N' offends some purists, but
that's how it is."
Emerson also said this is why American and European 'HO' scale trains
use a ratio of 1:87 whereas British 'OO' scale trains use a ratio of
1:76, on the same 16.5 mm track gauge.
EC Standardisation Unit spokesman Aout Premier said the situation was
confusing and the UK should meet European standards.
He said that technical harmonisation standards were approved by the "New
Approach" Council Resolution in 1985 and enacted by the European
Commission after consultation with member states.
In Britain, the prominent anti-Europe MP Sir Peter Tapsell called on the
Department of Trade and Industry to reject the European directives. He
said "The nation that invented railways should not change its unique
identity and bow to petty directives which the EU did not have the power
to enforce."
But Premier said the EU can enforce common standards through several
Directives concerning the design, manufacture and marketing of consumer
Premier said that Directive 378/1988 on toy safety and Directive 68/1993
on low-voltage electrical equipment could be applied to model trains.
If the UK failed to meet standards, Premier said that EU could revoke
the right of UK model manufacturers to display the 'CE' conformity mark.
The models could then be deemed non-conforming and measures could be
taken to stop their manufacture and make their sale illegal.
Emerson rejected the claims saying "We are not talking about toys. We
are talking about very high quality detailed models."
A spokesman for the Union Européenne des Modélistes Ferroviaires des
Chemins de Fer, a Swiss-based group that represents national federations
of railroad modellers in 18 European countries, said he hoped the UK
would accept the EC standards and adopt European scales.
So, the moral is, quickly switch to HO! Maybe you can still pick up a HO
scale Rivarossi Royal Scot!
Newcastle NSW Aust
Reply to
Steve Magee
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Has anybody seen todays date?????
Reply to
Yes, I think the OP has, otherwise why would he have started his message with
I think it would be interesting, if not for the date, and the Reporters name. :-)
Seems that you're not the sharpest thing around...
Reply to
Steve Magee quoted:
Quirky? *Quirky* ?!?!
OK, we all know it's an April Fool hoax. However, the best hoaxes always have an element of possibility in them. Is anyone here totally convinced that this could *never* happen? I'm not!
Reply to
Enzo Matrix
If you are really worried about these new Euro regulations try
Keith Make friends in the hobby. Visit Garratt photos for the big steam lovers.
Reply to
Keith Norgrove
I think someone's pulling our legs ;-) I can't find this anywhere on the Guardian's website. "Poisson d'avril" is the French term for April Fool. Note the reference to "EC Standardisation Unit spokesman Aout Premier" - Août Premier = August 1st (?)
Reply to
It could in part. There may well be an attempt to standardise guages, couplings, working voltages, etc in order to promote cross-border trade but not scale as that has no relevance to free trade.
Reply to
In message , kim writes
Does this mean Fleischmann and Marklin have to slug out who runs the best system first?
Reply to
Clive Coleman
I'm guessing the EC would go with whichever system was in most widespread use although the German government invariably uses its veto whenever it feels its economic interests are threatened.
Reply to

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