Garden railways

beamendsltd wrote:


"International" here means "outside the UK".
Heh heh.
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wolf k.

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"Wolf K." wrote:

99% of the world is outside the UK. (on a population basis) Any scale that relates two dimensions in different measuring systems (feet and mm) is going to lack appeal to most of the world's population.
Regards, Greg.P.
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But since British outline models are 99% sold in the UK, who cares - as long they all stick to 10mm (which, for "indoor" models, they all do). Plus, of course, the Gauge One Model Railway Association set the real standards back in 1947 ;-)

Cheers Richard
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beamendsltd wrote:

Of course 99% of British outline models are sold in the UK, they are the wrong scale to go with the collections of the rest of the world! European modellers in particular like to buy models of a variety of nations' prototypes, but there is almost nothing on the market from Britain.
Real standards - "You're going to model 4'6" gauge or nothing in I scale." "You're going to model 4'6 1/2" gauge in O Scale." "You're going to model 4'1 1/2" gauge in OO Scale!" "You're going to model 4' gauge in TT3 Scale!" etc
Greg.P.
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Tell that to the S7 boys! (and girls, of course). Or select from about 20 "standards", plus manufacturers whims.....

Tell that to the P4 boys! (and girls, of course)

Ditton the TT brigade.... 2mm Group etc etc

The trouble is, none of these "standards" *are* standards, they are just specifications made up by various groups without consultation with other groups and/or manuafctuers.
Like it or not, if ones choice is ready-to-run UK outline models then your choice of "standard" is effectively defined by Peco, and if you wish to be really accurate then P4, S7 etc set the standard, with points in between - EM, GOG-C, GOG-F, 0-FS etc etc. Some body setting itself up as a self-appointed standards authority is utterly pointless, and just confuses things even further, unless they have everybody on board. As no one has, then de facto standards rule the day.
As a punter modeling in 0, I just want to buy stuff that will work, and while I make my own track etc I don't want to go S7 for practical reasons (availablilty of kits with wheels included mostly), so I've gone for 0-FS, the next best thing. And that is effectively defined by Slaters, as their wheels have become the benchmark! When I was looking at Gauge 1, I'd have had to go 10mm as that's what's available for UK outline.
Were I wanting to model European, US or Japanese practice, I'd select other "standards" as appropriate - the Japanese having own flavour of HO, for example.

Cheers Richard
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beamendsltd wrote:

[...]
[...]
It was just such a mess of standards that prompted the formation of the NMRA just prior to WW2 (1936 IIRC). Many of the 30-some people who organised the NMRA gave up their standards in order to achieve two goals:
a) interoperability (called "interchange" by the NMRA), so that people could bring their NMRA-standard models to each other's layouts and operate them together; and b) common manufacturing standards so that parts from different manufacturers could be combined with a minimum of fuss.
They have achieved both, and continue to do so: the most widely used DCC standard is the one set by the NMRA. In fact, the de facto DCC standard includes NMRA recommended practices, too. Manufacturers have learned that the solid base of their business is the serious model railroader, not the trainset buyer. The latter have of course benefitted, since they can use all or most of a trainset when the bug bites.
The problem in Britain as I see it that there is an unwillingness by too many people to give up their "correct" specifications, coupled with an unwillingness to "waste all that good work", in order to change to some common standard. The result is a fragmented, fractured model railway scene, with the majority of _operators_ using thje de facto commercial standards, and a majority of _model builders_ using one or another of the oddball varieties.
BTW, the NMRA is reworking its standards in light of manufacturers' misreading of some of the specs, and is developing fine scale standards, too. Also, the DCC standard is being enlarged to accommodate the increased functionality of decoders.
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Everyone, manufacturers and users, have far too much invested over the years to change - it's never going to happen. The NMRA never consulted outside the US as far as I can see, and as such is pretty much irrelevant to us over here (except DCC).
Why on earth are they developing new standards for fine scale? That's been well and truly covered already - more standards will just create even more problems! With P4 being as near prototype as possible, and S7 being exactly prototype they can hardy be improved upon[1]. I would imagine the 2mm and 3mm boys (and girls) have got those scales pretty well covered too.
Cheers Richard
[1] obvisouly we're talking UK prototype here.
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beamendsltd wrote:

[...]
That was the argument back in 1936, too....

Of course they didn't consult outside the USA. Why should they? But what they did shows what can be done when people get together to solve a problem, instead of arguing endlessly about whose specs are purer.

Because the finescale modellers want one. IOW, there are people who model finescale and want to be sure that they will be able to operate their scratchbuilt locos etc on their friends' layouts, and vice versa.
Anyhow, the standards won't be new, they will be based on existing practice, and will be put to a vote. If adopted, then any product that describes itself as "finescale" will be expected to conform to those standards. If it doesn't, it won't gain much if any acceptance.
I don't think you fully realise that the NMRA is an organisation of modellers. What it does is membership driven. The effort to extend DCC standards (and RPs) has come about because the membership wants it. The fact that NMRA DCC standards and RPs have become a de facto worldwide standard is the result of early adoption by the US market. Manufacturers naturally saw no point in changing the specs when they added DCC in other markets.

These UK specs/standards did inspire the finescale movement here. I expect that the NMRA standard will be essentially the same, allowing for differences in scale.
Cheers.
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So? Does that make it any less valid? Perhaps the NRMA should change? Obviouskly thet won't, for exactly the same reasons.

It was done here too - looking at the huge range of "standards" on US it hasn't execlty resolved much - e.g. Aster havingtheir own private scale!

So just adopt existing standards. There's no point in re-inventing the wheel!

Calling any new standard "finescale" is not a good idea - there are already "finsecale" for all gauges under Gauge 1 (amd sometimes more than one, thought the are differentiated, e.g. 0-FS and GOG-Fine).

I'm fully aware of what it is, and the DCC status. However, you do keep assuming on posts to this groyp that all NMRA standards are applicable world-wide, and that is simply not true. Their standards ignore other world-wide de facto standards (e.g. Peco, Hornby). While all may be wonderful for in the US for manufactuers, UK outline models world-wide have their own very long established standards for both coarse and fine scale, ignoring those standards is not sensible, and would be commercial suicide for any UK outline manufactuer (as Jouef, Trix and Lima found out when they tried to push HO UK outline models here in the 70/80's).

Cheers Richard
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<snip>

There are also 'finescale' standards in gauges *above* Gauge 1, up to 12 inch gauge, above that one is into 'real railways'.
<snip>

Or in the case of Trix, who tried to push their own new standard that sat halfway between HO and OO, IIRC something like 3.7mm = 12 inches.
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:Jerry: wrote:

Before that time there were the following wheel standards: - Hornby Dublo 3 rail. } - Hornby Dublo 2 rail. } One wheel standard but two systems. - Trix Twin. Incompatible with anything. - Trix Fine. Vaguely compatible with BRMSA/HD. - Tri-ang. Compatible with Tri-ang. - BMRSA.
Three totally different standards designed to keep customers away from buying the other brands. The last one was an attempt by smaller _manufacturers_ to bring the three together.
Scales: - HD: 4mm/ft. - Trix Twin: 1:90 (if you could call anything scale) - Trix: 3.8mm/ft. - Tri-ang: sort of 4mm:1ft/compatible size with current production. - Playcraft: HO. (toy market) - Rivarossi: 3.8mm/ft. (one try) - Lima: 1:87. (abandoned) - Fleischmann: 1:87. (not extended)
Trix tried to find a scale between their old products and 4mm to both retain their existing customer base while gaining HD and Tri-ang customers - rather like a Ford Edsel!
Peco made HO track, finding the right combination of appearance and standards to sell within and outside Britain.
Fast forward 40 years and the British market manufacturers have finally figured that compatible, if not agreed or written wheel/track and coupler standards give them a better share of the market. Perhaps in another 40 years they will figure that the International scale will get more sales.
Regards, Greg.P.
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beamendsltd wrote:

[...]
Erm, I don't. Sorry if you get that impression. I just offer the NMRA process as a model. IOW, if consumer-driven standardisation worked in N. America, it should work in the UK. So why don't you have industry-wide standards in the UK? I've indicated that I think it's mostly psychological, not technical. I could go on, but I won't. I think this horse is dead enough, poor thing. ;-)
[...]
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wolf k.

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wrote:

But we DO have standards in the UK, indeed some are even drawn from the NMRA, the only problem that has not been solved is the unsolvable one - under-scale (width) RTR "00" track - any solution would actually cause *many more* problems than the *one* it solves! I really don't understand were this myth about the UK not having "industry-wide standards" is coming from, unless you are still reading Railway magazines from the 1960s - much work has been done, 'finescale' 00 track has been available since the 1980s whilst models have run on various manufactures track since the early 1970s - IIRC (Tring-)Hornby were the last to adopt the then standard 'code 100' track in 1970/71, in fact, in the early 1970s I was running a mix of Triang-Hornby, Hornby-Doubo and Trix stock on a layout laid with Peco streamline track in late 1971.
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:Jerry: wrote:

Personally, I don't have a problem with 4mm on 16.5mm gauge track.
[...]
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wolf k.

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Wolf K. wrote:

No. This is an argument I have with lots of people. Firstly it ignores the size of the market - yes that does make a difference - work the percentages out, look at the distributions etc. etc. - statistics in action.
Secondly it assumes that the culture in NA is the same as anywhere else - in Europe it patently isn't.
Thirdly it assumes that market driven is the best. That's the sort of problem that gives us MS Windows because the market was manipulated whilst there are infinitely better OS'es around (in the IT business 30+ years, know what I'm talking about).
Fourthly it's a generalisation - you *know* that you can't generalise, just as you can't apply the principles of one market to another where the demographics aren't the same.
Fifthly, the market doesn't always come up with the right answer... ah, I'm not going there... someone will start waffling on about market defined forces always being right by definition and then we're into the sort of stupid arguments that have stultified progress in the computing industry and others for the last umpteen years.
Sorry Wolf, nothing personal, just a bit fed up at the moment.
-- Rod
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Benny wrote: [...]

Have a beer.
Cheers!
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wolf k.

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"Wolf K." wrote:

The horse may be dead, but we keep tripping over it! ;-)
Greg.P.
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wrote:

...and is even more relevant today than it was back then!

Unless one consults in *all* the markets were such goods are made and sold how does one obtain international agreements and standards - or are you implying that because the US based NMRA decided to unilaterally draw up some standards all other countries around the world should do as they say, how frecking arrogant!

They have them...
IOW, there are people who

They can if they abide by the current standards!

They WILL me new is they are new standards, if they are going to use old standards why bother drawing up existing standards again?! Duh...
and will be put to a vote. If adopted, then any product that

They already are FFS, how many times have you go to be told this?

<snip even more repetition>
But that was a wholly new product, meaning one world wide standard could be adopted and it would have been stupid not to use the research that had already been done. The same is not true for existing technologies.
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:Jerry: wrote:

Erm, I don't say, nor does the NMRA, that its standards should apply worldwide. Why should they? But the consumer-driven process of developing standards worked very well in the USA/Canada. We can be sure that any product from any manufacturer will work on our layouts, which is/was not the case when you buy/bought Hornby, or Maerklin, or any other proprietary "system." IMO, the assumption that the customer should buy from you and you alone is f**king arrogant.
Successful standards are in general directly or indirectly consumer/user driven. If Hornby was a standard in the UK in the past, that's because they made a good product that satisfied their customers. (My brother and I inherited Hornby clockwork trains from my uncles in 1945. Wonderful! Wish i still had them....) The fact that Hornby have had to adapt to other people's standards has come about because the customers wanted both better and more compatible products.

Sorry if I wasn't explicit enough: . The NMRA is developing FS standards because NMRA members want one. Why aren't they just adopting FS standards? Firstly, because the standards are almost entirely British, and therefore don't apply to most of the scales and gauges used here; and secondly, because there are some differences in the specs actually used by FS modellers. The most common one for HO is P87, which AFAIK is based on the same principles as P4, may even be a direct translation.

See above. NMRA looks for overlap in specs, so that any future standard will be written so as to accommodate as many existing practices as possible.

Oh I know there are FS standards. How many times do I have to repeat that? Most of them are British, and so don't apply to most of the scale/gauge combinations not used here. And whatever standards are in use, until the membership votes on them, they aren't NMRA standards. That's all. That doesn't mean you should or shouldn't use them. It's your hobby - enjoy it!

There are two "old technology" electrical standards that are nearly universal now (major exceptions are Maerklin, and O gauge "tinplate, as sold by Lionel, etc.):
-- 12V DC as propulsion current; -- right hand rail positive from loco driver's POV produces forward motion.
As it happens, these were among the first standards adopted by the NMRA. 6V DC for HO, and 12-18V AC for O, were widely used at the time, but it was realised that a common standard for all scales would benefit everybody. NB that NMRA adopted one existing standard. The same standard was also in use in other parts of the world. The fact that the large US model railroad market adopted it helped make it the worldwide standard - even Hornby came around, eventually. Maerklin did to, in its Hamo and Trix lines, but never really believed in it - which is one of the reasons it's in serious trouble now. Lionel refused to follow NMRA standards, which eventually killed it. It was at one time the largest manufacturer of toy (and some scale) trains in the world. The marque was eventually bought by nostalgic investors, who have found a profitable niche market for Lionel-branded trains.
It doesn't matter what the standards are, so long as they are standards.
--
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<snip>

Then it won't be 'Finescale', this was proved 40 years ago when the spec for 18.83 was laid down, to have a 'finescale' standard one needs to start with a clean sheet of paper, about the only common part between the then coarse "00", the better "EM" and the 'Finescale' "P4/S4" standard were the use of 1/8th inch dia' axles.
As for the rest of your 'rant' about standards and the lack of interoperability between makes, all I can say is that you are woefully out of date as to the facts on this side of the 'pond'... :~(
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