Author Topic: Large scale rail  (Read 1889 times)

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Offline andrewfoster

Large scale rail
« on: February 03, 2012, 03:21:43 PM »
Not a Gauge 3 question, but perhaps someone here will have a better idea of where to look...  For a special display model, I'm looking for a small quantity of 1:8 scale (for 7 1/4" gauge) bullhead rail, preferably in steel, with chairs to suit. Does anyone know of a source of it? It's well outside my usual territory, and I've drawn a lot of blanks so far.

Thanks -

Andrew

Offline cabbage

Re: Large scale rail
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2012, 08:14:06 PM »
PNP are the only people who might help you...(?)

http://www.pnp-railways.co.uk/track-work-intro.html

regards

ralph

Offline Andy B

Re: Large scale rail
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2012, 09:04:55 PM »

Offline andrewfoster

Re: Large scale rail
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2012, 11:48:44 PM »
Many thanks for the replies. PNP has a very good range, but I don't think they have real bullhead rail, or at any rate, I couldn't see it there. They seem to use rectangular bar, which I know is common on the ride-on 71/4" railways.

Miniature Railway Supply has exactly what I hoped I'd find. Their prices are pretty hefty, but I just need enough to lay good track on a four foot long bridge to display a well detailed live steam locomotive, so I think it will work very well.

Thanks for your help -

Andrew

Offline andrewfoster

Re: Large scale rail
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2012, 06:48:41 PM »
Following up on the last one, Miniature Railway Supply have been told not to export to North America (or even talk to potential customers!) by their insurance company, because of the product liability risk that passenger carrying miniature railways can bring. There is a way around it if I buy through a third party in the UK, but I would have thought that an insurance company might discern a difference in risk between carrying passengers in the USA and a private, static indoor display for a European customer (where it will end up after a few days being assembled in Canada).  If the customer ever decides to run his engine, how much trouble can he get into that he can blame on the supplier of four feet of track?

Andrew

Offline John Candy

Re: Large scale rail
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2012, 09:15:08 AM »
Andrew,

I am afraid that litigation in the UK has got out of control since the Govt. changed the law quite a few years ago to allow charging based upon contingency fees (commonly known in England as "No Win No Fee") which has been common practice in the USA since their legal system was set up.
In the old days, if you wanted to make a claim in the UK, you had to put your money where your mouth is and pay your own lawyer, even if you lost the case (unless you qualified for Legal Aid and even then in most cases you would be required to pay a contribution).
What we used to call "Ambulance Chasing" is now legalised with adverts on TV and elsewhere encouraging people to make (often false) claims.
This "culture" of "compensationitis" and fraudulent claims, coupled with our (at times ludicrous) Health & Safety laws is pushing insurance premiums ever higher.
Unless Miniature Railway Supply have assets or a place of business in Canada, then a Canadian Court would have difficulty establishing jurisdiction and any action would need to be commenced in England.
English levels of damages awards (although increasing in recent years) have not yet reached the levels seen in the US.
I blame the UK Govt. for changing the law to permit contingency charging.

Regards,
John.

My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline MikeWilliams

Re: Large scale rail
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2012, 03:03:27 PM »
John,

If that is the case, why is it only exports to north America which are subject to these restrictions?  The same applies to UK classic car clubs who make spare parts for old cars - several of them will not sell to the USA because they fear legal action from there.  But they are very happy to supply anywhere in Europe.

Mike

Offline John Candy

Re: Large scale rail
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2012, 04:56:38 PM »
Mike,

It is now 25 years since I was in the legal profession but my recollections are as follows.

Enforcement of a judgment (that is correct spelling in the legal context) obtained in a foreign court is dependent upon inter-governmental treaties.
However, before a judgment can be obtained there has to be a trial and jurisdiction of the court has to be established.
A British citizen (in a civil case) can put forward the argument of "forum non conveniens" to secure dismissal if he does not reside or have a place of business in a foreign state.
If a judgment is given against the defendant by a foreign court, then it can only be enforced by an English Court (or Scottish or Northern Irish Court) if the defendant's assets are in the UK. In the absence of treaty obligations, fresh proceedings have to be commenced in the English Courts.
It may be that so far as the EU is concerned that there are now new rules which may apply between member states.

US lawyers try all manner of tactics to obtain jurisdiction and in the case of corporations it is frequently possible to establish jurisdiction by virtue of contractual relationships between corporations, subsidiaries, etc. (the " Long Arm Statute" of each state specifies criteria to be applied when determining jurisdiction).
In the case of an individual or "small business" it is unlikely there would be a "presence" overseas and the court would have to determine whether the defendant was "conducting business" within the jurisdiction. Supplying goods by mail order I would hardly have thought would constitute "conducting business" within a jurisdiction.

"Class actions" (where a group of litigants combine to pursue a common cause) are prolific in the USA and are mainly against pharmaceutical companies, transportation corporations and other suppliers of defective goods and services. In these types of case it is usually easy to establish jurisdiction through contractual chains.

So, why do clubs shy away from doing business with North America?
I can only assume that they perceive the risks to be greater than in other jurisdictions (and the damages awards are certainly likely to be very much larger).

As I said at the outset, my views are based on experience a quarter of a century ago (working in a City firm which specialised in international litigation on behalf insurers and corporate clients) and some things may have altered but I doubt the question of establishing jurisdiction (except possibly within the EU) has altered much.

Regards,
John
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline John Candy

Re: Large scale rail
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2012, 05:31:33 PM »
An afterthought:-

The INTERNET may have moved the goal posts.

Did a bit of digging and found that in a US (Pennsylvania) case Zippo Manufacturing -v-  Zippo Dot Com, the defendant had argued for dismissal on the grounds of not carrying on business in the State of Pennsylvania.
The Court applied the Long-Arm Statute on the basis that Pennsylvania residents had paid for and downloaded material from the defendant's website and therefore a contractual relationship existed (the contracts having been entered into within the State).

Whether someone placing an order for goods overseas could be caught by this must be open to question (particularly if the vendor's conditions of sale provide for exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts).

This may be the basis for insurers of British companies "taking fright".

The long-arm statutes are not new....they go back several decades so their very existence cannot be the cause of alarm.....it must be something which influences a Court's interpretation which has changed and this could be internet shopping.

John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline AllWight

Re: Large scale rail
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2012, 01:33:36 PM »
Hi John

This takes all the fun out of life. I have read everything in the posts. And while I am sure everything you have said is all correct it is somewhat worrying to think that people live in fear of a writ appering before them for a minor ambulance chaser case. I had a similar incident last December involving ambulance chasers. What happened was in July 2011 I had a very minor prang with my car. The other car got off without so much as a scratch. I needed a new driver side headlamp and bonet. Any way at the scene I checked the driver that I ran into was ok, and he was. He said no harm done and leave it at that. I insisted we swap details and I informed my insurance company that the accident had occurred. So my conscience was clear on that front. Ten days later, he the other driver puts in a claim for loss of earnings due to injuries sustained. I know whiplash can take time to take effect but ten days is a long time. I forwarded it on to the insurance company and let them argue with the third parties insurance company, thats what they are there for. Fast forward to December and I get a huge parcel in the post containing documentation an inch thick on the private medical reports and everything else they can think of. After a visit to CAB it turns out the third parties insurance companies solicitors know the best financial return is to go directly to the guilty party, namely me as it has happened in the past that people pay the minimum £3,000 to make the problem go away and save court hearings. Any way I spoke to the legal team of my insurers and they have now resolveld the issue for a settlement of £1,000. £1,000 of which we all pay in increased premiums year on year. So these false or overstated claimants are one of the reasons for us all being priced off of the road.

I am glad to say though that all is well and the car is a lot better now.

Back to the track issue I am a driver at Moors Valley Railway and I do a lot of the track maintenance so I can understand the legality of ensuring a safe infrastucture. But something that might be of interest to a lot of you is the Watercress Line is ten miles long and has a light railway order of 25mph. The track in theory or reality is capable of much higher speeds and is of a better state of repair than the track from Alton to wherever you choose to name. The reason for this is the track is maintained by training new employees of Network Rail on their latest tamper or rail grinders. As the line has minimal use compared to the national network it will be in better condition by default. A small garden railway with 300 foot of track would be an undertaking with regards to maintenance but it should be manageable. Moors Valley is 1 and a quarter miles circuit and the track is 95% top quality but it is like the fourth rail bridge in that respect.

Mark

Offline John Candy

Re: Large scale rail
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2012, 02:17:41 PM »
Mark,

Unfortunately, the high cost of contesting dubious claims (even in cases where the defendant is likely to be successful) results in insurers paying out to "scammers".
It is not new, since when I was involved, the question would be how much to defend the case and how much (in costs) would we recover from the other party if we are successful?

Even if you won the case, you would only recover a proportion of your costs (usually around two-thirds was the "rule of thumb") so it could be more expensive to win than to pay up without a trial.

"Settle on best terms" would be what the underwriters would scribble on the advice they were given!

Regards,
John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.