It is often debated in Southern circles if the term ‘unrebuilt’ should or should not be used to describe a Bulleid Pacific in its original form. One school of thought is that if something has not yet been ‘rebuilt’ it can not be ‘unrebuilt’. You might have guessed that if I am honest the use of ‘unrebuilt’ is a pet peeve of mine. Now Hornby, perpetuated by some of the written media have coined the phrase ‘unconverted, to describe the Maunsell Diagram 2005 Third / Second Open coach being released this year. This is I assume come about due to fact that some were converted to form part of the 1959/60 Pull Push sets nos. 600 to 619 but surely in original form they were just that ‘original’ not ‘unconverted’?
I also take this opportunity to clarify a few other things that has arisen since the announcement last week or correcting misinformation that has either appeared online, in some retail stores listings or in the printed media…
Firstly, contrary to at least one retail site and one magazine, the Bogie van B release is a completely new tooling of a model not previously in the Hornby range. It is neither ‘gangwayed’ or a retooling of the now aged ex Triang/Hornby Gangwayed Bogie Luggage van which is a different prototype entirely.
I can also re-confirm, as this has been questioned on at least one online forum, that the BR(s) Converted Maunsell Pull- Push Sets will be released both in a train pack as set 600 along with M7 locomotive number 30029 and also as a coach pack as set 610. It should also be worth reiterating that the driving trailer is a completely new tooling of the correct style 1935 built ex diagram 2403 BCK, as this style had flush style windows and droplights rather than the earlier style Maunsell coaches already in the Hornby range.
The release of West Country class 34001 Exeter in early emblem BR livery paired with high sided 4500 gallon tender represents the short period between January 1555 when she received the modified wedge shaped cab and November 1957 when she was rebuilt. I am hoping that the cab side lining will be corrected from the sample (computer generated) image shown on the Hornby website to horizontal lining that it should have when still paired with high sided tender, rather then the paneled lining as shown which would be correct if the tender was cut down.
I was asked a question via a comment on my Hornby announcement post of last week about the Sound Chips used by Hornby in relation to the release of both a rebuilt Merchant Navy and a West Country with DCC Sound. In case you missed my answer, I obtained the following clarification: the Soundchip will be an ESU LokSound V4.0 with 18 sound functions. Hornby in the past on their sound fitted releases have always used authentic sounds rather than generic and I would be surprised if they changed that policy, especially when recordings from the preserved locos are available. They have previously been developed in-house (which perhaps could in reality be another 3rd party) but not SW Digital.
Although not directly Southern, being from other railway companies, two of the brand new tooling steam locomotives announced did run on Southern metals. The GWR 72xx heavy goods 2-8-2 tanks were regulars at Salisbury on the freights and coal trains from South Wales and the LNER O1 class 2-8-0 freight locomotive number 63789 was used on during the Locomotive exchange trials on the Eastleigh to Bristol (via Salisbury) freight trials in 1948. Last years release of GWR 28xx class 2-8-0 number 3803 also was used on this trial.