When you recieve a refund from HMRC, once you've checked that it IS really your money and they won't want it back, the sensible thing is to go out and buy a new toy train isn't it?
In this case, the shops were shut but I'd had something on an eBay watch for a few weeks. Suddenly, I could stop being sensible and buy it. A week later, all the way from Germany, my "Toy Train" 90200 locomotive arrived.
Doesn't it look fantastic?
I know the good folks at Lehmann Gross Bahn call this a toy train, but I prefer to use the term "Harlequin" in trubute to the multi-coloured cars produced by Volkswagen a few years ago. The locomotive is also multi-coloured so I think the name fits.
As befits a toy with play value, this is a simple machine. Battery powered (3 C cells in the loco) it's controled by an infra-red remote (2 AAA cells) which provides speed up, slow down, emergency stop, directions, and whicslt, chuff, bell and guards whistle noises.
You are probably thinking I'm slightly nuts. That's true, but there is method in my madness.
Our garden railway needs serious renovation, it's looking very tatty at the moment. This will have to wait until the spring but we'll need a test loco. What better than one that doesn't even need electricity in the rails? We can ballast and tidy the track and test it on the spot.
The model is very light but fairly robust. If it runs over the track then I'm sure a muich heavier standard model will.
And on those occasions when a child is brought round and out of the blue there is a demand to run the railway, there is a quick and brighly coloured loco ready for the job.