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STOP PRESS - The Hornby 2018 Range Launch!

STOP PRESS - The Hornby 2018 Range Launch!

Welcome to The Engine Shed – your behind-the-scenes look at Hornby and its Development team. With the 2018 Range having been revealed on Monday, we hope you’ve all had a chance to look through and digest what we’ll be doing this year. While you may have guessed at one or two of the models in the run up to the announcement, we hope there were still several pleasant surprises in there too.

Emotions can often be running high just after the Range Launch, so we wanted to come to you a few days after that initial burst of excitement to take a look through a number of the 2018 releases.

Speaking of emotions running high, we have been reading your comments about The Engine Shed over the Christmas period, both on our own platforms and elsewhere online. It’s great to see that the blog is so popular with so many Hornby fans, and we would like to assure all of you that The Engine Shed is here to stay. We’ll be diving into new models, events and all kinds of other things this year so please don’t be concerned anything will be changing on that front.

It was extremely regrettable that we couldn’t come to you in December, but we’re back now and looking forward to nestling in to our monthly time slot. However, I’m sure as the year goes on, we’ll have loads to tell you about so be prepared for the odd ‘Stop Press’ edition too!

We hope that puts a few concerns to bed, which leaves us with the task of picking out some highlights from the 2018 range. Of course, each model we release is special to us and is the result of hours of work, however, for this first blog we thought we’d pick out the new tooling and give you a brief introduction to each.

We’ll be going into much greater detail in future editions of The Engine Shed, as well as picking up on other elements of the range too.


Princess Coronation Class

The first of the class, 6220 Coronation, entered service in June 1937 and was followed by a further four locomotives built to the same style. All were finished in LMS Caledonian Blue, with silver stripes. The next five locomotives, Nos. 6225 – 6229, incorporated some draughting modifications to the body and were painted in the more familiar LMS Crimson Lake to match the existing express carriage stock.

Considered economic to run at main line speeds, a further fourteen locomotives, Nos. 6235 – 6248, were built. These locomotives, as well as having the draughting modifications, were fitted with a double chimney.

However, it eventually became clear that servicing and repair tasks were greatly hampered by the casing. This, plus the loss of the economic running due to wartime running restrictions, meant the casing was removed.



All of the streamlined Princess Coronations have been catered for within our tooling, both the single and double chimneys, plus the two types of streamlined tender (with and without shroud). It’s worth mentioning that we chose not to take the measurements of the ‘Duchess of Hamilton’ at the NRM because it isn’t in original configuration. Instead we’ve utilised original plans and photographs to verify the builds.

The Princess Coronation Class will feature three locomotives in 2018. The R3623 ‘Queen Elizabeth’, the R3639 ‘King George VI’ and R3677 ‘Duchess of Hamilton’. All are currently expected in the fourth quarter.


Lord Nelson Class

The Lord Nelson’s design had to fit within the King Arthur’s profile and, yet, be more powerful. Having previously used a Drummond four cylinder locomotive, Maunsell altered the positions of the cranks on the Lord Nelson to give eight exhaust pulses per revolution, rather than four, yielding a significant increase in power.

The first locomotive, No. E850, was completed on the 11th August 1926, with a further fifteen engines soon ordered. Once the decision was taken to name the class after naval leaders, the Southern Railway’s publicity department went to work, calling the Lord Nelson “the most powerful express locomotive in Britain”.

The first withdrawal came in May 1961, the last in October 1962, with one locomotive, No.30850 ‘Lord Nelson’, saved for preservation in the National Collection.



You’ll be pleased to hear that we have tooled the class to offer as many examples as possible, through the Maunsell, Bulleid and BR modifications. This means that almost everything can be covered from 1926 to 1962. However, there are some notable exceptions, ‘Lord Hood’, with its smaller driving wheels, can’t be modelled and ‘Lord Hawke’ cannot be produced before 1955 due to its longer boiler.

We’d also like to thank our friends at the Mid Hants Railway for allowing us access to ‘Lord Nelson’. The team photographed and measured the locomotive in preparation for our development work and their support was invaluable in the project.



The Lord Nelson Class will be available in three different liveries: R3603TTS ‘Lord Nelson’, which is fitted with a TTS decoder, R3634 ‘Sir Francis Drake’ and R3635 ‘Lord Rodney’. Both ‘Sir Francis Drake’ and ‘Lord Rodney’ are expected in the second quarter, with ‘Lord Nelson’ following in the third quarter of this year.



NBR C Class



The first six NBR Class C locomotives were introduced in 1888 and such was their success that by 1900, 168 locomotives had been built.

When W.P Reid became Locomotive Superintendent, he began a rebuilding programme of the company’s locos. By 1920, 108 engines had been rebuilt and by Grouping, 160 had been completed, with the final eight being finished under the LNER. 

25 of the early rebuilds were sent to France for use on the Western Front. On their return in 1919, all these locomotives received ‘tribute’ names of famous battles of WWI, Allied Commanders and even a fictional character created in 1914–15 by cartoonist Bruce Bairnsfather, ‘Ole Bill’.

With one exception, the class survived intact through to 1931 and despite some withdrawals before 1939, 123 locomotives made it into British Rail service in 1948. Six of the class survived in Scotland up until 1966, with the final two being withdrawn in 1967 and one locomotive, No. 673 ‘Maude’, survived into preservation.



The J36 has been modelled in its rebuilt condition (which means no open cabs) so we can cover the ROD locomotives (from 1917) and Scottish based locos (from 1919). As many combinations as possible have been included and we can confirm there will be snow plough and cab tender variants.

The J36 Hornby model has been made possible by the North British Study Group (particularly Graham Dick) and the National Records of Scotland (in particular, Maps and Plans Archivist Dr Kirsteen M Mulhern). We’d also like to thank SRPS Bo’ness for access to ‘Maude’. 

As with our other new tooling locos, there are three liveries of the J36 planned, R3600TTS ‘Maude’ which is fitted with a TTS decoder, R3621 ‘722’ and R3622 ‘Haig’. All three of the class are expected in Q3 this year.



Maunsell 59’ Kitchen/Dining First

By 1925, the Southern Railway had settled on its new standard corridor coach of 59’ length, 9’ width and 12’ 4” height, with standard 8’ SR bogies. On the 6th August that year, six First Class Dining Saloons for the Western Section were constructed.

Four further low-windowed Dining Saloons were completed between July and December 1929, with the remaining six Dining Saloons (D5621) entering service between August and September 1930.

The next batch of Dining Saloons were completed in May 1932, to two different diagrams and different internal arrangements. All four carriages to Diagram 2650 were completed, along with six to Diagram 2656. The final ten Dining Saloons, being built to Diagram 2655 and the remainder of Diagram 2656 were completed in July 1934 to Order 713.



We have concentrated on D2651, but not the original six in their original condition, instead we have chosen to include the double loading doors. As you can imagine, we have tried to include as many of the subsequent modifications as possible.

We’d like to thank the Bluebell Railway for their ongoing help and assistance with this project.

Offered in both the R4816 SR ‘7869’ and R4817 BR ‘S7946S’ liveries, the Maunsell Kitchen/Dining First carriages are expected in the fourth quarter this year.


LNER Dia.034/Dia.064 ‘Toad’ B/E

As the newly formed London & North Eastern Railway’s older, pre-grouping type of brake vans reached the end of their working life, a programme of renewal was put in place. The first new design, coming in 1924, was a 19 foot, 20 ton brake van that took the best features from former Great Northern and North East Railway types.

Designated as Diagram 34 and coded as Toad B, these new vans had steel solebars and headstocks, vertical wooden planking on the sides and ends and a wooden side ducket with horizontal wooden planking. Minor details were improved over the next six years until, in 1930, steel side duckets replaced the wooden ones and a new diagram number was issued. This was Diagram 64 and the designation was changed to Toad E.

711 Toad B vans were built in eight lots, 698 making it through to Nationalisation, whilst 901 Toad E vans were built in seven lots, with 883 making it through to BR.



We have adequately catered for both variants of the ‘Toad’ with our tooling, especially as there is a great deal of overlap. We’d also like to acknowledge the assistance of the Mid-Suffolk Railway, who were massively helpful and a pleasure to work with on this project.

The Toad B vans will be represented by the R6833 Dia.034 LNER livery and R6833A Dia.034 in BR livery. Toad E vans will be offered in both the R6834 Dia.064 LNER livery and R6834A Dia.064 in BR livery. The LNER brake vans are expected in quarter three, with both BR liveries following the quarter afterwards.


TTS Vent Van



2018 sees an exciting experiment for Hornby with the TTS Vent Van. Building upon our hugely popular TTS decoder, this Vent Van will add a whole new range of sounds to help set the scene of a working railway. Designed to work alongside TTS locomotive sounds, the TTS Vent Van will give a richer depth of sound, anonymously included within a rake of wagons, or sitting stationary on a layout.

We know this model has already generated a large amount of interest and we will be featuring the TTS sounds in a future edition of The Engine Shed.

The R6888TTS Vent Van is expected in quarter four this year.


There are so many models we are excited to be bringing you this year. From new tooling locomotives, to a fantastically interesting TTS Vent Van, 2018 should prove to be a great year for Hornby and, we hope, for you too. 

We did mention it at the start, but rest assured that The Engine Shed will be coming to you with each developmental stage of these projects, as well as a whole lot more this year. There’s so much to tell you about with each of these new models and we’ll be taking a deep dive as soon as we can.

Be sure to let us know what your pick of the 2018 Range is either here on our website (over on the Official Forum), or on our Facebook page or Twitter. We’ll be keeping an eye out for your comments.

We’ll see you before the end of the month, and until then,

Happy Modelling!

The Engine Shed Team


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