As probably expected, new models from China are delayed due to the current global health situation! Once the situation has improved, there may then be investment issues affecting the ability to produce and pay; so the situation is very volatile right now
Another international issue is that of Brexit, and the need to pay customs duty on imported goods, but also to be able to claim back the VAT. During the transition period, this has already got very messy with traders not yet required to deduct the VAT, but Royal Mail (in the UK) is already charging import duty and handling fees!
There has been some exciting news from Nürnberg, this year!
NMJ seems to have finally acknowledged modellers’ desires by producing a prototype model of SJ cafe carriage type RB1 from the 1960s series. However, if delivery (or lack thereof) of the Y1 is anything to go by, we shouldn’t get too excited!
Dekas is bringing out the SJ ‘Hbis’ covered sliding door wagon in six different versions, for epoch IV and V.
Minichamps has announced models of the Saab 900 Turbo 16S coupe and convertible from 1987, the Volvo 240 GL sedan and estate car from 1986 and Volvo 740 GL sedan (and possibly estate car) from 1986.
Busch is bringing out a Land Rover Discovery of a later-year model, labelled as a Swedish police car.
Considering the exciting news from NMJ, what else would suit the 1960s range?
- The RBo2 (later R2, then R1 very soon after) dining carriage would be a very suitable model, preferred over the RB1, actually. (Märklin has produced a poor 1:100 scale length model for many years.)
- The DFo28 (later DF28, then D38, then D48) postal carriage would be very interesting because even during epoch IV they had different liveries. Several of these alone would make an authentic train (so various running numbers would be required).
- The WLABo1 (later WL1) sleeping carriage is the only 1960s design that SJ has left in traffic, so again, there would be more livery options, but not all-over black—yet!
- (This leaves the F5/F6 short baggage carriage, but there are many Lima models still available second-hand, and the later ones were of very good quality, complete with NEM couplings.)
MJ-Hobby intends to organise a small model railway event during the Halloween weekend in Västberga, instead of the big event at Älvsjö. They will have some activities and displays in their shop and some on the other side of the road; as it was several years ago. This event has always been popular with the customers!
Modelleisenbahn München GmbH (who owns both Fleischmann and Roco) has announced that the production of Fleischmann Profi-glis track has been discontinued forthwith. This is because a few of the tools for production have broken down and repair is not possible and new production is not considered economically justifiable. Thankfully we did not use this track on the FLMJ, and we have none in store.
HNoll has announced that work is underway to develop a model of SJ´s and TGOJ´s Ma locomotive in all versions (400, 700, 800 and 900 series). It is scheduled for 2021, but with the current global situation this cannot be relied upon. The price is not known either! Contrary to earlier news, HNoll has now said that they will not pause operations. It would have negative consequences in the factory in China and would have a negative impact on Hobby traders. They will instead reduce the volumes and thus create demand with a smaller supply of models. This clearly means that customers should pre-book models at hobby shops to ensure delivery of the first stage of restaurant cars. The Blue-X Concept and InterCity Concept products have been discontinued because the product as it was presented cannot be delivered as intended. Conversations with Roco did not result in anything constructive, not even an answer. There is a possibility of developing a model of the Rc locomotive or having a conversation with another manufacturer on the matter!
HNoll has also advised that due to the circumstances prevailing in China, it has been decided to temporarily close the factories. This means delays in the delivery of the Restaurant Carriages but also future models. One cannot predict how long the delay will be!
And finally … returning to the theme of emergency messages by mobile (see the last paragraph in our news update from 03.01.20): It happened on Tuesday 24th March; many mobile owners received a short text implying that it was from the government. It said very little (nothing of any help), and contained a link; exactly what scammers and spammers do; so most people simply deleted it! (The text read: “GOV.UK CORONAVIRUS ALERT. New rules in force now: you must stay at home. More info and exemptions at gov.uk/coronavirus Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.”) The government had to work with the operators to get the message sent because an emergency alert system, trialled seven years ago, was never put into practice. If it had been, the government could have bypassed the operators and sent messages directly to mobiles, as has happened in other countries and is what happened in Sweden with the contaminated water. The report on the trial said it would be possible to send alerts to the public within 15 minutes of making a decision, but in the event, some alerts took 24 hours to reach the mobiles. It was suggested by the BBC that the system was not put into practice because cost was an issue!