The new R7229 Analogue Controller, R&H 48DS and the Peckett B2
Welcome to the latest edition of The Engine Shed – offering you in depth information straight from the Hornby Development team.
These ‘Terriers’ have definitely been the talk of the hobby, not only as they are the first newly tooled 2019 items to arrive but also due to their starring role in the BBC4 programme ‘Big Trouble in Model Britain’ narrated by James May (be sure to watch it on BBC iPlayer if you missed the original broadcast).
We should also mention the Collett 57’ Suburban Coaches we covered last month too as they have also arrived since our last Engine Shed. We have mentioned it on many occasions but there is nothing quite like seeing new models come into stock when the team have worked on them so extensively. The satisfaction when we see these models being welcomed by the community and out there on layouts is truly fantastic.
However, in this edition of The Engine Shed we take our first detailed look at both the Ruston & Hornsby 48DS as well as the Peckett B2. While they were both mentioned last month, there is plenty more to look at including the research trips, development work and the Decoration Samples we received a little while ago. We also have the first look at the 'Large Prairie', with the promise of plenty more to come.
Before we get started on all of that though, we first have some information on something that could have been lost in amongst all the newly tooled locomotives and rolling stock. Requiring plenty of its own development work and planning, the R7229 Analogue Train and Accessory Controller was included in the 2019 range and will become hugely important over the coming years.
R7229 Analogue Train and Accessory Controller
Offered as an alternative to the R8250 Standard Train Controller, the new analogue controller R7229 incorporates a number of new features. While the R8250 has performed admirably since the retirement of the R965, we have been paying close attention over the years to the feedback we have received on the R8250. While our standard analogue controller is required to be as simple as possible, there were some areas we felt we could improve upon.
Perhaps the most striking addition is the uncontrolled output which has been added to the back of the new R7229 controller. Designed to operate points and accessories, this port is likely to find use with newer members of the hobby who are taking their first steps in layout design or modellers who want an easy way to supply power to their point motors. Either way, having the uncontrolled output back on the basic controller is one of the best ways to assist in providing power to operate points and accessories on analogue layouts.
However, adding the output is not the full story. Differing from the uncontrolled output on the R965, the new R7229 incorporates a CDU (capacitor discharge unit). Supporting solenoid points motors, the CDU will avoid any potential operating issues when too much power is demanded through the controller.
The other feature that stands out is the ‘Hi-Lo’ switch located just to the side of the uncontrolled output. This switch is a useful addition that will allow you to limit the speed of the controller instantly. Great for younger children, this will avoid any speed related problems where trains are sent at far too high a speed around the layout. Even for more experienced modellers, the ‘Hi-Lo’ switch is a useful feature which enables slower running at the flick of a switch.
The new controller has also been given a traditional Hornby finish, in keeping with larger controllers like the HM2000. Produced with a black and red colour scheme, the finish is designed to be more tactile and with the addition of extra weight, the controller is both robust and stable. The central dial has even been smoothed out to offer an improved feel when being used.
Many of the useful features from the R8250 controller will also be present on the new R7229. The dial will still stop the directional slider from moving if it is turned up, ensuring no locomotive has its direction abruptly changed while running. There are also the fixing holes on the underneath allowing the controller to be located to a baseboard if desired.
The R7229 Analogue Train and Accessory Controller is currently expected later in the year.
As we alluded to in the February edition, it is now possible to tell you a little more about this small but hugely impressive new model. While we showed you the Stereolithography model and ‘First Shot’ last month, there is plenty more to discuss, including the all important Decoration Samples.
However, as with any project, the work first began with a research trip to Murton, York to visit the Derwent Valley Light Railway in October 2017. We would especially like to thank Trevor Humbey who we liaised with on our visit up north and who enabled this incredibly useful visit to take place.
We must also mention David Hall who’s assistance was also invaluable to the project.
Plans and drawings were also sourced from the Lincolnshire Archives, which the Hornby designer made full use of when creating the 48DS.
Design work began on the R&H 48DS in September 2017, with the project being concluded in November of the same year.
As you can imagine being the smallest model Hornby have ever produced, space was the constant concern throughout the project. Ensuring the motor would fit posed the biggest problem, with the designer finally finding the space within the design. Furthermore, space for a decoder had to be allowed for and, again, a solution was found which would enable an incredibly small decoder to be fitted.
Despite the miniscule surface area, a huge amount of detail was also worked into the design, including the toolbox and levers that were present inside the cab.
The problem of size was also encountered when the first samples were received. Normally the team build up the model using a chassis and parts that are available or identical to what has been used in the design. As an aside, this is why many of you will have noticed certain early samples using incorrect parts from the finished model.
However, this was simply not possible for the 48DS as it was the smallest model ever produced by Hornby. Instead individual parts had to be separately purchased from parts specialists in the UK, which was the only way to create the first working sample of the 48DS.
Linked to the lack of space in the model itself, the overall size soon became a concern. With such a small wheelbase, issues over electrical pickups were addressed. With the addition of a wagon with an electrical connection, any problems the team had with the locomotives running smoothly over pointwork or track were also solved. While the wagon is entirely optional and can be added or removed as desired, it is a useful addition to avoid any potential problems down the line.
As mentioned at the beginning of this section, we are pleased to show Decoration Samples for the forthcoming R&H 48DS models. You will notice that we are one short as that was not available for this edition of The Engine Shed.
Please do keep in mind that these samples do not necessarily depict the final model.
Another highly anticipated release since it was announced in January is the Peckett B2.
A research trip was scheduled to measure ‘Fonman’ at the Ribble Steam Railway & Museum, where we spoke to Karl Latham. A visit was also made to see Nick Gilbert at the Northampton & Lamport Railway where ‘Westminster’ was being restored at the same time.
The team would also like to thank John Chaplin at the Bristol Port Authority and Andy King at M Shed from Bristol Museums and Galleries.
The Peckett B2 design commenced in July 2017 and was completed in August. The design work did not require as long a time as other models simply because so much of the groundwork had been carried out with the Peckett W4. In polar opposite to the 48DS, the Peckett B2 was actually adding space to the W4 design, which avoided many of the challenges faced with the 48DS.
The B2 design meant the addition of an axle to the W4 while at the same time using the same gearing, which meant much of the work was already completed. While the chassis and boiler were larger, there was definitely more than a passing resemblance to the W4, which massively reduced the time involved with completing the CAD design.
The following highlights the Decoration Samples, which many of you may have spotted during Hornby’s travels this year. While looking at the images please remember that these are samples are not finished models.
The ‘Large Prairie’ project will be covered in greater detail next month, where we will be explaining the full story behind this 2019 newly tooled model. We can show you the ‘First Shots’ from the tooling to whet your appetite and you can be sure much will follow in April.
London Festival of Railway Modelling
Last weekend saw the London Festival of Railway Modelling take place at the historic Alexandra Palace. We brought you just a slice of the action via our social media channels and it only feels right to include it here too.
The stand looked resplendent in the now standard red and black. With plenty of samples and models on display, it was another successful year at this cornerstone of the model railway hobby.
Speaking to all the attendees over the weekend was hugely enjoyable as there really is no substitute for that immediate contact with model railway enuthiasts. The stand also had an exclusive sample of the R1233 Coca-Cola Train Set which made quite an impact following its announcement on Friday. Another very popular addition to the Hornby range especially at Christmas.
That concludes this month’s instalment of The Engine Shed. We hope you are learning just a little more about the newly tooled models that will be added to the Hornby range this year.
If you have enjoyed this month’s blog, please be sure to let us know as it is always pleasing to hear from readers of The Engine Shed. You can get in touch via Facebook, Twitter or our Official Forum.
However, until April when we will have more on the ‘Large Prairie’ and plenty more,
The Engine Shed team
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