2Bil or no 2Bil…

It was generally received with much acclaim when Hornby, at long last (some of us have known it was on the cards for a few years now), announced last December that it was not only going to be producing a Southern 2Bil EMU but that it was already at an advanced stage of production meaning it would be available in the first Quarter of this year. This was considered as good news on a number of counts firstly as it would be a popular model and secondly that some of the supply chain issues that had been a challenge for Hornby over the last few years were being resolved.

One of the issues with the model being produced before any announcement to the market has been made is that production volumes are based totally on estimated figures. Some of the 2Bil train packs have been available at full RRP via Hornby’s concession store Modelzone in advance of other stockists. This appears to be either a new policy or an experiment by Hornby and has unsurprisingly not been popular amongst the other retailers. It now transpires that those other  retailers are being told that the quantities that they originally ordered will not be met. In some cases retailers will only receive as little as 50% of their original order. This will likely mean that a number of customers pre-orders will not be able to be fulfilled. We can only surmise from this that Hornby have under estimated the demand for these models.

On a positive note Hornby have to their credit reacted to this and announced a further run of the Train Packs referenced R3162A and R3162AX (DCC fitted version), running numbers TBA, expected to be available in June.

I shall be reviewing the 2Bil models on this blog in due course, and whilst not wanting to steal my own thunder I can say that with the exception of some minor niggles (roof top lighting conduits for one and the trailing car outer bogie another) it is generally a splendid representation of the prototype but more on that later…

4 thoughts on “2Bil or no 2Bil…

  1. Graham,

    Re: the outer bogie of the trailer car on the 2-Bil. I read the review in BRM yesterday and then did a little research myself.

    Southern Electric 1909-1979 (Fifth Edition), George Moody, Ian Allan Publishing (1979), p87: ‘The bogies were of the ordinary type, the wheelbase of the motor bogies and the end bogie of the driving trailer being 8ft 9in and the other bogies 8ft.’
    British Railway Carriages of the 20th Century, David Jenkinson, Patrick Stephens Ltd (1990), p135 has a drawing of the 2-Bil with both outer boiges on the 2-Car unit shown as being 8ft 9in wheelbase.

    I’m not saying who is right or wrong, but I would be surprised that Hornby could make such a fundamental error as this. I expect that they took measurements from the preserved unit when they did their research(?).


    1. Glenn

      Yes the outer bogies of the units were 8’9″ and Hornby have correctly used the 8’9″ wheelbase at each outer end (and correctly 8′ wheelbase bogies at the inner ends) the issue is, and at the moment I am only going by photographs, is that the trailing car outer bogie although the same wheelbase as the power car outer bogie there were detail differences between the two and I am yet to be convinced that Hornby have taken this account and actually produced three different bogies.

      1. Graham,

        Oh I see, I must admit I’m no expert when it comes to Southern Electrics and wondered what all the fuss was about in the BRM article, it seemed to imply to me that they should be 8ft bogies, but you’ve made the point much more clearly.

        I’ll be pleased to get one (hopefully) even if there are minor niggles.

        When you think about it the 2-Bils were as much a part of the Southern Railway scene as N Class 2-6-0s and Bulleid light pacifics, although obviously not so well travelled across the system.

        … back to the gardening,


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