Hornby bites the bullet in 2009

A brand new Southern EMU is announced in the form of the Class 395 ‘Javelin’ whilst wagons fans will be pleased to see the OTA timber carrier and two further engineers’ vehicles in a programme that sees Hornby ‘tighten its belt’. However, more good news may be on the way…

Hitachi Javelin Class 395 EMU

IT IS A difficult time for the big manufacturers at the moment, with production delays in China and uncertainty over the economy. However, Hornby showed a positive and upbeat face at its annual presentation to the press even if its plan of new releases for the next 12 months can be best described as conservative – at least as far as post-steam interest is concerned.

A considered approach, especially during these difficult times, but maybe a sensible move. Simon Kohler was happy to reassure RAIL EXPRESS Modeller, and its readers, that should Far Eastern manufacturing issues be quickly resolved, we can confidently expect to see several more brand new ‘modern’ items announced in the coming months. The Kader acquisition of Sanda Kan, which makes many of Hornby’s models, was described as a welcome development since the company has an established reputation in the field and will be familiar with the market. The purchase removes much uncertainty.

Alas, 2009 will not be the long-awaited ‘year of the diesel’ and having been somewhat spoilt by the recently released HST power cars and Class 153 DMU, this was not unexpected. Prompted by the continuing popularity of the ‘Pendolino’ and good feedback from the new HST, Hornby is again headlining with another high-speed project – the Class 395. The release of Hitachi’s ‘Javelin’ EMU in model form is scheduled for the autumn, to coincide with the prototype’s launch into shadow service. Hornby obviously has an eye on the future here and the high-profile role the trains will take in transporting visitors to the 2012 London Olympics. A four-car unit is to be sold as a train pack with the additional two vehicles, to make up the correct six-car formation, provided as separate items. This model will, like the Class 390, be pitched at mid-market level but will incorporate what is described as a ‘notch up’ in detail.

Class 60 No. 60040

Three new modern wagons
Another brand new item that will be welcomed with delight is an OTA timber-carrying wagon. This will be joined later by two further engineers’ vehicles in the form of the ZCA ‘Sea Urchin’ and ‘Sea Horse’ spoil conversions. All will employ the same former OBA/OCA running gear despite Hornby being rather confused by the chassis variations relating to this complex subject matter – the image shown during the presentation featured an ex-VDA underframe! More information is awaited but what is known is that considerable effort is being expended on the ‘below solebar region’; numerous separate parts will be fitted, including a full representation of the brake gear. Three running numbers on each wagon are proposed but it is not clear at this stage if this will incorporate different colour schemes, end styles and stanchion positions on the OTA.

Dutch livery Class 50

The only brand new coaching stock that will be of any use to readers is a delightful representation of the ‘Devon Belle’ observation car that saw limited use behind diesels in Scotland towards the end of its life in the late-1960s.


New liveries cut back
The limited number of new colour schemes on existing products is a further sign of the times. Two new sound-fitted diesels are lined-up in the form of Petroleum sector Class 31 No. 31302 and ‘Dutch’ Class 50 No. 50015 Valiant, whilst the Class 60 is to receive Army-branded all-over maroon as The Territorial Army Centenary and the ex-Lima Class 59 receives the latest Aggregate Industries paint. First Great Western features prominently on the HST power cars (Nos. 43017 & 43192 in the plain MTU version) and a Class 142 in the hybrid FNW/FGW ‘gold star’ livery. Class 153 No. 153382, in the attractive black ‘gold knot’ Devon & Cornwall scenic railways scheme, also makes an appearance having been delayed whilst the artwork was sourced. A Class 09 is offered in BR green as No. D3721 whilst the Class 08 gets a re-run in EWS as No. 08676 Dave 2.

Devon & Cornwall Class 153

Passenger stock comprises Mk. 3 HST trailers in FGW ‘neon’ (to partner the power cars) and further blue/grey runs to satisfy demand. On the wagon front, ‘Shark’ ballast ploughs in olive green, yellow/grey and Loadhaul are being made available in weathered finishes.

Blue/Grey Mk. 3 Coaches

The ‘Skaledale’ range of resin buildings continues to expand with notable additions in the form of an oil storage depot, bunded storage tanks and a brick-built garage, all of which could find a place on a diesel era layout. A new Pump Escape (fire engine) and two BR yellow vans, based around the Bedford TK cab also captured our interest in the ‘Skale Autos’ listing.


19 Responses to Hornby bites the bullet in 2009

  1. Manfred Ebinger says:

    With regard to the Hanson class 59, will this get an upgraded chassis. I went to the Hornby site and have cut and pasted this section direct from the site : – Length: 280mm Finish: Pristine Special features: Twin bogie drive; Pick-ups on all wheels Motor: 5 pole skew wound Curved track: Hornby 2nd radius + / 438mm+ Available: 1st quarter

    What do you think, or better still do you have a direct link to Simon Kolher.

    With regard to the Class 395, does your view mean that we will get a Pendolino type power bogie or are Hornby going to do a proper central motor twin bogie drive setup?

    This brings up another point. If Hornby can produce a Class 395 at price that Hornby thinks modellers will be prepared to pay, then their argument for not producing a Blue Pullman on the grounds of price, goes straight out the window. Amongst modellers here in Austrailia a Blue Pullman set would out sell the Class 395 at the rate of 10 to 1.

  2. mark says:

    i think the best way hornby should of gone was to produce a 317/455 or 507/313 type unit with careful moulding a whole host of models for a large part of the country could be done,as nice as this is ,on a personal note i think hornby have made a boo.boo,
    as for the blue pullman manfred i agree ,with all the bells and whistles,
    take care all

  3. Andrew says:

    The Hornby site does indeed suggest a twin bogie drive 59! Either this is a new retool released by the back door or its yet another Hornby mess up. I bet its a single bogie Pendo style motor. I have previously requested a re-tooled 59 on the Hornby product questionaires. Also a high spec 73 and better than Bachmann Deltic.

    I would put money on the 395 being bogie mounted motor too.

    I would also like to see more Eurostar coaches (only minor tweaking of exisiting tooling needed!) and a proper MK3 TGS to match the other re-tooled Hornby MK3’s (again, its only minor tweaking of exisiting tooling!). Both these would result in me buying whole rakes, the lack of 1 or 2 coaches (so a small investment) is stoping me buying whole rakes! Do Hornby see this, I cant be alone surely?

    PS You can contact Hornby via their site. They are normally pretty good at PR.

  4. rich says:

    One word to describe the 2009 range really…


    Id like to have seen more liveries on the cl153 – namely Wessex Trains’s Heart Of Wessex, Heart Of Wales & the St Ives Bay Belle / Looe Valley Explorer liveries and the New London Midland livery.

    Also some new liveries on the HST would have been nice considering hornby Still produce the FGW Barbie & Midland Mainline Mk3’s, so therefore a Midland Mainline & FGW barbie HST’s respectivly. Also, Why Hornby have gone for 43017 & 43192 i dont know – when they could have done 43002 & 43003 or the first MTU’s 43004 & 43009…

    And what about a Wrexham & Shropshire set ? consdiering W&S have now started running with 67’s & Mk3′ i thaught that would have been a logical choice…

    Or what about some Irish Ready To Run models ? considering Hornby produce both the Mk3’s & Mk2’s & still have the 201 class toolings from Lima, and the fact the Irish market is getting bigger and bigger, i thaught following this would have been a logical choice…

    As for the 59 – perhaps there taking the same motor / drive system from the ex Lima Cl67 ???

    As Usal, Hornby has tried to stay at the top of the Steam Market and have just Ignored bot the D & E market and the Irish Markets…

  5. rich says:

    oh and having found out the 2009 range prices, i think ill be spending alot less on Hornby stuff this year. As Hornby are supposed to be attracting more people into this already expensive Hobby, after introducing a very small range for 2009 will mean theyll have less custemers and to put up the prices of the models is beyond madness. Which beggs the question why should i spend nearly £160 on a FGW HST model when i can put that towards my new Surfboard or London Irish Rugby season ticket ?…

    Also, another model hornby should have considered would have been a Class 442 Wessex Electric – its Mk3 based, a southern EMU and now carries several liveries. Or how about something like a VEP ?

    What id like to know was why the Javelin was chosen, When people said they was after a Southern EMU , most people ment CIG or VEP, not a Javelin. Ok so they might be entering service very late this year but they are just to modern and unless your modeling ashford depot or the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, i just cant see any markey use for it and seems to be a complety mad choice.

  6. Matt Wassell says:

    I have to agree that the 395 EMU is a strange choice ! I would have thought a more suitable dual voltage EMU to have produced would be the Thameslink 319s. Granted, one would need to be modelling third rail territory or overhead lines, but atleast it would give modellers an excuse to buy some of the forthcoming Peco Catenary to model the north of London area. I can’t see that many people will be modelling the CTRL which is obviously the only place where the 395s will be operating on overhead catenary!

    I am however looking forward to the release of the new FGW HST & more importantly the “Nodding Donkey” in the Hybrid “Gold Star” livery. HST power cars in “Barbie” livery would have been nice too though.

    It will be interesting to see what happens with the 59 chassis. I would definately buy some if the chassis were to be revamped.

  7. Gareth says:

    I suspect that the news of the Twin bogie drive and Pick-ups on all wheels is a typo but I will try and get a straight answer out of Hornby.

    As for the Class 395, it just continues Hornby’s selection of models over the years that run past its factory/offices. The sales of the ‘Pendolino’ have also been very good for Hornby and the ‘Javelin’, with its alleged Japanese ‘bullet train’ heritage could be just as popular with kids and big kids.

  8. Chris Brown says:

    Nothing really to get excited about. The only loco I really want is the digital sound Class 50 and it doesn’t look like we are likely to see that until the end of the year, in time for christmas one hopes.

  9. Larry says:

    The 395 is just a usual choice from Hornby they are looking for the nest type of rolling stock and hope that all the visitors to 2012 Olympics will generate more sales I am sure that the real fleet will be in 2012 vinyls for the games, which will promote the sales of the model? shame though 442 unit would have been the easy choice?

    Note that the pre-production photo of 50015 Valiant in Dutch livery has sand boxes on the body which is wrong for the livery and post refurbished loco. I hope that this is only in the photo not on the model at the end of the year?

    Lastly the MK3 blue grey stovk I hope wont have central locking lights by the doors for their new HST power cars they could even have Intercity-125 on the branding..

  10. rich says:

    Same Larry – tho im mixed about the Mk3s…. Although im not modelling the Br Blue Greay era, the Mk3s will no doubt come out with the CDL lights on as is the basic Mk3 tooling … but as i could use them as Cargo D mk3s then thatd be nice for me…

    As for the 442 – same, thatd be a nicer choice as there mk3 based – perfect for Hornby – and have now carried several liveries and are already known for being the best BR EMU around thanks to there Mk3 heritage…

    Lastly, i really hope they both get the packaging right and the paint right on the FGW Hst & 142 because if there offering it that colour, i think ill just go and get a HST & Mk3s repainted my self… That pre Pro image, for FGW Blue, is far too light and is rather weak / gives a rather weather worn colour rather than FGW Blue… as for the Pacaking, id really like Hornby to get things right on it, considering the FGW 142 is now about to be sold at shops packaged as Northern Rail 142 – despite being in FGW ex FNW livery with FGW pink doors….

    Still very dissapointed with there 2009 range though, some more 153’s & HST’s would have been better, considering Hornby has said 2009 is the Age Of The Deisel….

  11. Andrew says:

    Going back to the Pendo, interesting that sales have been good. Could one reason be that the whole rake was available from almost the word go? Hornby seems so negative towards the Eurostar when ive spoken to them which is a bit odd seeming that in recent years it has covered a fair bit of ground in the UK in at least 2 liveries (and they have most of the design hard work already!). Heard many reasons as to why further coaches are not released, the main seeming to be poor sales of the train pack indicating no interest. Could this be becasue no ‘real/adult’ modeller would by a train pack unless at least a enough other coaches were about to run some form of train, like me (and I have bought a pendo)? If the pendo was only available in say a 4 coach set would this have been so succesful, i doubt? True not many could run a full rake but how many do with the pendo, OO modelling is often all about compromise? Seeming the Eurostar kind of runs past hornbys door you think they would have done more.

    PS Could a proper TGS be a go-er for someone like RE as a special run (although maybe not in times like this), only minor tweaking of exisiting hornby body, many liveries over a long time, plenty of new interest in the HST since the new PCs form hornby = success?????? Could hornby block it due to it competing with an existing product though?

    PPS With the weak pound and most if not all hornby et al products imported it looks like we are going to have to get used to higher prices………

  12. Rich says:

    Has Manfred Ebinger performed any market research for his claim of ‘Amongst modellers here in Austrailia a Blue Pullman set would out sell the Class 395 at the rate of 10 to 1’? I find it doubtful that an unsuccessful DEMU with a very short lifespan, that has been extinct for the last 37-or-so years would outsell the Javelin.

    Must try harder Manfred!

  13. gerry franklin says:

    ok now we have the all singing 125 , but will it push the new mk3s? i very much doubt it . iv kept the lima mk3s its ok with them, but not the hornby ones. they are ok on straight track not on bends . scalextric corners better!!!

  14. Manfred Ebinger says:

    Very interesting Rich. Your comment about apparenet lack of market research is way off the mark. Unless you live here in Australia you would not be very familiar with the demographic’s of the modellers. Most modellers would tell you that a Javelin is a spear thrown at an athletic’s carnival. Most modellers are split between pre-nationalisation and British Railways up to the end of steam. There are a few in the Blue grey era and hardly any model the current scene. However, there are a quite a few who have bought models of the current scene because they take their fancy. On the 5th of January you said in regard to the Javelin and I quote “I can’t see any market use for it and seems to be a completely mad choice”, are you speakind as an informed source on behalf of British modellers in the UK?. The Blue Pullman was not a sucess in the mainstream, but filled a niche market. The trains have an iconic following, similar to the one off prototype diesels of the same time period. The prototype diesels have sold well, probably better than any of the manufacturers thought. Simon Kohler and Bachmann’s main argument aginst producing the Blue Pullmans was that no one would be prepared to pay the suggested retail price. Well given the higher than usual price being asked, the prototype Deltics sold out, as did the model of Falcon. If you look at steam, every one was sceptical when the Q! can out. It turned out to be a best seller for Hornby. Why? Because it was iconic, scarse and unusual. Most modellers bought one for those very reasons, including myself. I seem to be getting of the point somewhat.

    Yes, I would have liked to see more new models especilly modern rolling stock. Reading between the lines, Hornby have given us a glimpse of whay they propose. The reported poor organisation and subsequent take over of their Hong Kong supplier, have probably made Hornby a little cautious about promising more than thier supplier can deliver. No I am not an apologist for Hornby, but I am looking at the situation throght the eyes of the business, they are after all in business to make a profit for thier shareholders and we would all be losers if they went out of business.

  15. mark says:

    hornby are going to release the devon bell observation car,nice but ,why not a DBSO at least five liveries,ie b/g scot-rail,anglia inter-city network rail yellow,also a MK 3 DVT dapol through rail x asked for orders so there must be a market out there.
    take care all

  16. Keith says:

    If times are so uncertain at the moment why develop a new tooling for a unit that isnt even running on BR yet?? namely the 395. Surely better to bring out a unit with some longevity in liveries to recoup tooling costs? the 317 has been mentioned, or how about the 321 ? once again a kick in the teeth for EMU fans.

  17. alex fenton says:

    there are only 3 things good about the hornby 2009 range, firstly the army class 60, sceondly the javelin is a good choice, and thirdly the fgw neon hst, i think the hst livery was an adventurus choice but still more could have been done.

    but yet again this could just be another year were i buy bachmann models, hornby are focusing to much on steam by reintroducing castles and all sorts, i want hornby to invest more in the diesel and electric market next year as it has lots of scope for traffic in service thats not a model.

    and i am looking forward to bachmanns realease’s for 2009.

    i want to see some improvement from hornby next year because this has gone on to long from my view, its time hornby did something extra special for the modern image modellers.

  18. shaun says:

    Rant about limited editions.

    This rant is I am sure not a new one but it is my take on the subject.

    That long awaited model finally arrives and with anticipation the wrapping is removed, the item removed from the box; sacrilege! and the model is ready for work on the layout.

    So why did I buy it in the first place?

    For me the idea behind buying a model is simply that I want it as a working model on a layout, not in order to attain an element of exclusivity over my friends and most definitely not for greedy profiteering!

    If a Producer offered a favourite either as a limited run or offered it in the normal way with thousands available I would still buy it and use it as a working item.

    A prime demonstration of this madness was the production of the prototype DELTIC released by the NRM. When working as a volunteer I received many requests for the model. All I could do was redirect the individual to the gift shop. There they would be met by some very bright glossy flyer telling them the item had “sold out” How much more income could the museum generated if they had a regular supply of this iconic locomotive? A few weeks later the item was seen at a collecters’ fair at double the original price. That’s another £150 lost the NRM!

    So who gains?

    If as a shop. I ask a company to produce my favourite model as a limited edition of say 504 pieces what is going to happen?

    I will have to advertise in the model press and possibly produce some photos of the real thing, placing them on my flashy corporate web site, then explain to my waiting customers “I am so sorry your very over due pre-order of something you will not be able to see until it arrives has yet again been delayed by the maker and I do not know when it is expected!

    I have to commission the work to be carried out. When they can be bothered to get around giving me a production slot and finally producing them they will eventually arrive in my warehouse. Once they have sold out they are of no use to me and I can no longer make money from them because I offered them as a limited edition not forgetting that all important “certificate of authenticity”!

    So whet happens next?

    Feedback clearly demonstrates I should have produced at least another 500 or so and every second phone call ends with a disappointed customer. And I start to chant the mantra ”You could take a look around the collectors’ events or try your luck an Internet auction sites”! I do not need to loos business, specially it this time.

    And so my unhappy customer traipses of to the collectors’ event or takes a look hoping to net that all-important catch. To his horror that model what seamed a reasonable price has magically inflated by three or more times within just a few weeks. And those greedy traders lick their lips with the anticipation of ripping-off their fellow modellers!

    I understand everyone has to make a living but the disgraceful prices charged by traders are totally unacceptable in my view and have nothing to do with a reasonable need to making a living

    Perhaps this might be seen is “sour grapes” because I did not get the item I wanted and perhaps you would; be forgiven for thinking this but does it really make since for either the retailer or customer?

    To be fair to the makers, the items usually do arrive eventually and they usually appear to be reasonable quality in most cases. If in the long term I no longer have use for the models and that time comes when it has to be sold as part of my estate some models have gained in value I think that is reasonable as I am sure others will have depreciated in value too.

    Rant over!

  19. Tim says:

    After reading the above articles on what should have produced, i agree that hornby should have produced and should still consider producing the class 442, as already stated, they are based on the mk3 coach and would make a great train pack or even train set.

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