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Where to get NMRA standards gauge (HO) in UK - at a sensible price!

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Where to get NMRA standards gauge (HO) in UK - at a sensible price!
Posted by FowlmereRR on Thursday, July 2, 2020 3:49 AM

Well, the title says it all. I keep looking for a UK source and never find anybody who stocks these over here. And when a hit comes up on the UK EBay site, it is for a US supplier who will charge as much for shipping as the item costs.

Any suggestions welcomed.

Bob

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Thursday, July 2, 2020 4:12 AM

https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/nmra-98-1-standards-gauge-ho-scale/

Shipping should not be excessive, as thze gauge could be mailed in an envelope.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

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Posted by RR_Mel on Thursday, July 2, 2020 7:45 AM

Make one.




Click to make larger

 

EDIT:

Downloadable AutoCad DWG file:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1chBLiVIllFOxIOAHD-q1MXyFEPk-46s3/view?usp=sharing



Mel


 
My Model Railroad  
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I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 

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Posted by NVSRR on Thursday, July 2, 2020 11:02 AM

Did you try the NMRA direct?  Or thier UK counter part?

A pessimist sees a dark tunnel

An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

A realist sees a frieght train

An engineer sees three idiots standing on the tracks stairing blankly in space

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Posted by jjdamnit on Thursday, July 2, 2020 4:14 PM

Hello All,

Check the NMRA website.

Look under the contact menu. Scroll down to The Region Presidents.

There is an NMRA British region president. Clicking on the title opens an e-mail contact.

Reach out to them for advice on purchasing the gage of your choice.

Scrolling down further leads you to the Staff Contact form so you might get a better answer from the NMRA staff directly.

Hope this helps.

 

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, July 2, 2020 4:45 PM

There is a NMRA couterpart.  I don't see that they have a store but there are parts hidden behind a pay wall

https://www.nmrabr.org.uk/

Henry

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Posted by FowlmereRR on Friday, July 3, 2020 2:27 AM

Tinplate Toddler

https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/nmra-98-1-standards-gauge-ho-scale/

Shipping should not be excessive, as thze gauge could be mailed in an envelope.

 

Sadly, Ulrich, that is not the case. £12.68 for the guage, and £41 for shipping when I went through the checkout !! I think not ....

 

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Posted by FowlmereRR on Friday, July 3, 2020 2:31 AM

BigDaddy

There is a NMRA couterpart.  I don't see that they have a store but there are parts hidden behind a pay wall

https://www.nmrabr.org.uk/

 

Henry, I think that is probably the only option remaining. I'll contact them and see what they can do.

I am still amazed that, given the reasonable level of interest in UK in US modelling, these are not readily available. Maybe there's another reason.

Thanks, all.

 

Bob

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Posted by RR_Mel on Friday, July 3, 2020 8:33 AM

??????

I put “Letter” in the box on USPS.com Retail Price Postage Calculator and 5oz for weight from the US to the UK and got this screen.



Click to enlarge

Next I put my HO NMRA Standards Gauge in it’s envelope with a sheet of printer paper as a protector then in a standard business envelope and weighted it on a postal meter, it weighted 1.6 oz total.

$6.34 US

??????


Mel



 
My Model Railroad  
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 



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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, July 3, 2020 9:13 AM

It looks like it costs just over six bucks when mailed from Canada, although I don't know the cost of the NMRA gauge here - it's been a while since I bought one.

Wayne

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Posted by snjroy on Friday, July 3, 2020 9:47 AM

I would call these folks and ask:

https://www.americanrailroadcentre.com/

Simon

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, July 3, 2020 9:49 AM

Maybe someone in the forum will volunteer to buy and send you one as a PayPal transaction. 
Retail shops have more cost than the actual postage

Henry

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Posted by RR_Mel on Friday, July 3, 2020 10:10 AM

I changed the weight to 2oz (actual weight 1.6oz) and this it what came up.



$2.24


Mel


 
My Model Railroad  
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, July 3, 2020 10:15 AM

Just moments ago, I contacted a sorta-nearby hobbyshop, and was somewhat surprised to learn that the HO NMRA gauge is $23.95, plus the 13% HST.

If I didn't already own an NMRA gauge, I might be inclined to either borrow one and use it as pattern to make my own, or simply do without...after all, I seldom build my own turnouts anymore, and don't use it for much else other than checking wheelsets...that can be done on a section of track.

Bob, I've sent you a PM (Private Message) regarding this topic.

Wayne

 

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, July 3, 2020 11:42 AM

There is a used one for $7 on Ebay, but it is a Mark 3, Mel's pic is a Mk 4 and the latest is a Mk 5

What are the differences?

I tried to figure out the price to the UK was but Ebay said 0.

Henry

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Posted by FlyingScotaman on Friday, July 3, 2020 7:36 PM

Was that maybe because you were on ebay.com and the item doesn't ship to the UK?

 

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, July 3, 2020 7:41 PM

FlyingScotaman

Was that maybe because you were on ebay.com and the item doesn't ship to the UK?

No, I clicked on shipping and there was a list of countries they would and would not ship to.  I changed US to UK and got 0.00, however the ebay ad has since changed and they want $22.91 for UK shipping.

Henry

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Posted by FlyingScotaman on Friday, July 3, 2020 7:41 PM

Postage prices from the US have gone haywire on Ebay in recent years to the UK. Canada was always high but the US has followed suit I suppose that's one of the many problems with playing this game in the UK.

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Posted by FlyingScotaman on Friday, July 3, 2020 7:43 PM

Sounds reasonable Big Smile

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, July 3, 2020 7:51 PM

I'm not sure the USPS to blame.  From Mel's post, 1st class 2 oz is $2+   My gauge is packed away, but it can't possible weigh 4 oz, but if it did, would that be 10x as much?

We have heard for years that shipping to Canada is expensive.  Is that UPS or is that the last mile in Canada?  

Henry

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Posted by FlyingScotaman on Friday, July 3, 2020 7:59 PM

The thing is. Put yourself in their shoes. Nobody in their right mind is going to sell something for $15 and then package it and go to the post office and wait in the queue for $5. Well I wouldn't anyway. Add to that the fact that it's not going to ship in a letter envelope from a commercial shipper.

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Posted by FlyingScotaman on Friday, July 3, 2020 9:15 PM

If you have the drawings could this help. Can't see it being cheaper tho

https://3dprintdirect.co.uk/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwbnph8Oy6gIVgaiyCh1rZQiaEAAYASAAEgK-2_D_BwE

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, July 3, 2020 9:20 PM

FowlmereRR
Well, the title says it all. I keep looking for a UK source and never find anybody who stocks these over here. And when a hit comes up on the UK EBay site, it is for a US supplier who will charge as much for shipping as the item costs.....



FowlmereRR
...Any suggestions welcomed. Bob

Yeah, check your "Messages", as I've sent one to you regarding this topic.

Wayne

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Posted by NHTX on Saturday, July 4, 2020 1:21 AM

     Since this is an international transaction, could customs and import duties have something to do with the absurd "shipping" charge?  The true postage may be reasonable but "handling" and UK import fees drive the "shipping" to the ridiculous? 

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Posted by betamax on Saturday, July 4, 2020 10:05 AM

Unlikely that it would attract attention from the customs people.

It is small enough to fit into an envolope, but it may be heavy enough to not qualify for lettermail.  Then it would cost extra.

Besides, taxes and fees imposed by customs are the responsibilty of the importer.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Saturday, July 4, 2020 10:12 AM

Ask Kathy Millat, she's a UK MR celebrity, ask on her youtube channel. 

Henry

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Posted by CNR378 on Saturday, July 4, 2020 10:17 AM

Try the NMRA company store. There is a public section for non-members.

Or try Micro-Mark.

 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, July 4, 2020 1:00 PM

Well, initially, this didn't look like it would be much of a problem, other than the somewhat ridiculous cost of the NMRA standards gauge. 
Shipping is apparently quite affordable from here in Canada, and I could easily pick one up at a not-to-distant hobbyshop, slip it in an envelope with a $5.98 price sticker on it, and drop it in the mail.
This option seemingly wasn't of interest to Bob for some reason, as there was no response to my PM, so I'll leave this discussion for others to solve.

Wayne

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Posted by FlyingScotaman on Saturday, July 4, 2020 2:51 PM

You know I was curious about this so I went on the wayback machine and downloaded the pricelists from macsmodels.co.uk from 2004. That guy had everything; washers, every Kadee coupler and conversion kit, screws, track, rolling stock, consignment brass. You name it. A real Aladdin's cave and 25% of his business was re-exporting back to the US. Well he had the coupler height gauge but not the NMRA. So if in those days of bricks and mortar guys who stocked all the minutia it wasn't held then now there's no chance.

But back to the postage charges. They're worked out by Ebay. You list and they do the lifting for you. I also checked a similar item listed in the UK on a VPN as though I was shopping from the US. Domestically within the UK it was gratis to the US it was $17.

On the customs charges. They are getting worse and worse or maybe more efficient in the UK at picking up nearly everything coming in. The kicker is there's a 15$ "release charge" that's applied to the item and that's whether or not it is $10 or $1000 and the VAT on that. As an example I bought a video from a guy in CA maybe $40 incl postage and last week had to pay about $20 in charges and VAT so the cheaper the item the higher the risk profile.

As I have said before modelling US style in the UK is becoming more precarious as time goes by but it is what it is. Suck it up or take up something else. But for me I still think the US products represent good value for the detail and I don't buy much now as I have amassed too much really over the years but as things come up in the UK particulaily I might have a stab at it.

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Posted by FowlmereRR on Monday, July 6, 2020 2:55 AM

Thanks to all of you for your comments and suggestions, and especially to Wayne (who I have sent a PM this morning) - I haven't been online since last week as I've been busy on other things.

This is all very vexing, but I'll take a look at some of the other suggestions made, and see what comes of them.

The customs and import charges stuff into the UK is a bit of a mystery to me, as it doesn't always seem consistently applied. I recently bought a lovely little Proto 2000 0-6-0 on EBay from the US - would you believe I was the only bidder and picked it up, new and in original box, for just over £85 ? I was well pleased. The shipping and duty added another £40+, but even so, compared to some other "new" listing from Germany at well over £200, it was a bargain. Now, fitted with a WOWSteam decoder, it runs beautifully.

Now, I must get back to my other projects - an outdoor mobile cook station unit for the deck, and redecorating a bedroom. No trains for a while ... Sad

Thanks again to all of you,

Bob

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