The Maunsell Kitchen Dining cars arrive, are they 1st Class…

Only announced as being part of the Hornby 2018 range in January this year the  Maunsell 1st Class Kitchen Dining cars have now arrived and yes they are pretty much 1st Class and certainly up the standard that we have come to expect from Hornby for coaching stock. Often coupled to the Maunsell diagram 2005 Open 3rd coaches these will complete Southern / Southern Region express passenger rakes.

R4816 – SR Maunsell Kitchen Dining First Number 7869 Diagram 2656, in SR Green.

The versions being produced initially by Hornby are: R4816, SR Maunsell Kitchen Dining First Number 7869 Diagram 2656, in unlined SR Green; and R4817, BR Maunsell Kitchen Dining First Number S7861S Diagram 2651, in BR(s) Green.

Kitchen Diner First Diagram 2656 No 7869 c1940 image copyright and courtesy M King

The Diagram 2656 cars were  built in 1932 and a later batch built in 1934 and other than the cooking equipment fitted were similar in body style to Diagram 2650. There has been much debate that Hornby have chosen to produce this model in unlined olive-green which is totally correct for post 1940s, as seen in the picture, left,  courtesy of friend and SR coach guru Mike King. Evidence also exists of members of the 1934 built batch having been introduced when new in unlined livery (See Gould, Oakwood Press; Maunsell’s SR Steam Passenger stock 1923 to 1939)

A 3/4 view of R4816 No. 7869

The Diagram 2651 in BR(s) green represents one of the six, originally built in 1927, coaches post rebuilding around 1935 to include the characteristic recessed double doors.

The other end of R4816 No. 7868 the representation of the lead weights on the solebar can be seen in in this picture

There were some slight bodyside differences between these and the subsequent 20 similar cars built in 1929 and 1930 which is one of the reason why after some discussion between the Hornby team and a number of contributors that the originally announced number of S7946S was changed, to suit photographic evidence, especially related to the size of the window next to the double doors.

A view of R4817 No. S7861S to Diagram 2651 in BR(s) green

The pictures of the models accompanying this post speak for themselves, and as stated above meet the standards we have come to expect to from Hornby for coaching stock especially with respect to the other Maunsell coaches they have produced.  The bodyside feature the relevant panel lines, hand rails on the ends and are nicely flush glazed, frosted where appropriate. Clip on corridor connection end doors are fitted but these can be removed, to reveal the closed inner doors, if required.

Another view of R4718 No. S7861S note the smaller window by the double doors

The interior is well moulded and the tables painted to represent white table clothes and includes the swan neck table lamp, although unlike the Pullman range these do not illuminate.
Curtains are printed on the inside of the glazing, which again has been an area of debate especially as they are uniform on each window, some may wish to remove these, and if doing so use only good quality methylated spirit on a cotton bud, do not use anything like enamel thinners or similar as this is likely to fog the glazing.

A view of the underframe

The Underframe is well detailed with sprung buffers and the nicely moulded delicate end bottom foot steps on each corner and also all the additional tanks and equipment associated with dining cars and the excellent Hornby standard SR 8ft Bogies are used. The lead weights that were located on the solebar, which were necessary to even up the wight distribution of the prototypes is also moulded.

A higher angle view of R4816 No. 7869 to show off the roof and its various vents and water tanks

The roof mouldings include the relevant water tanks and variety of vents needed especially over the kitchen area.

An accessory pack is included with each coach containing blank roof boards and Roco style close couplings, I will be using Kaydee No. 19 buckeye couplings as per the rest of my Hornby Maunsell coaching stock.

In  reality and to most eyes the Diagram 2656 and rebuilt Diagram 2651 cars are pretty similar and in many ways it is a shame that perhaps the tooling for the original Diagram 2651 cars has not been done, although perhaps this is still a future option? One very pedantic further point is that on the boxes Hornby have called these ‘Kitchen/Dinning coaches’ not sure where the additional ‘n’ comes from…

Overall these are a good and long-awaited additional to the range for Southern Modellers, one should hope that a SR lined green version will be announced in due course as although Hornby have publicaly stated that their tooling does not allow this, I like a number of others do not believe this to be the case.

Note: I have of course referenced Mike King’s excellent book in writing this post: An illustrated history of Southern Coaches, OPC  ISBN 0-86093-570-1 and David Gould: Maunsell’s SR Steam Passenger stock 1923 to 1939, Oakwood Press, that should grace any SR / BR(s) modellers book shelf.

16 thoughts on “The Maunsell Kitchen Dining cars arrive, are they 1st Class…

  1. They certainly look good. I hope this is the start of Hornby and other manufacturers taking catering vehicles more seriously. Do you think there is a case for charging more for them as their production runs will be smaller?

  2. Collected mine a week ago – I’m very impressed!

    S7861S was out-shopped from SR Green to CLC on 17th February 1955 thence CLC to BR(SR) Green 7th November 1957.

    1. Hi Colin.
      Thanks for sharing the livery dates. They are very much welcomed. Can I be cheeky and enquire as to where you got the repaint dates from? Are they from Glen Woods/vehicle record cards and are they in the public domain for interested persons (ie me!)? This is something that I am very much interested. I have the equivalent for EMUs & DEMUs very kindly provided courtway of John Atkinson. The loco hauled stock would be simarly welcome.

      Natalie Jones

      1. The dates were indeed obtained from the record cards and only 1956 is currently published (Lancing 1956). In terms of emu John and I have been placing their details on (it just takes time)!

  3. The price is certainly increased. I did not preorder but asked for an email when available. I responded the following weekend and the website tried to charge me an extra £5. By the time my email was replied to the price had gone up again! I think I will wait now for the lined SR version.
    And why no lighting? Hornby cracked the technology for lighting in Pullmans Graham as you pointed out. 25 years ago?
    Sorry to sound a moaner. I do have over 20 earlier Maunsells and reckon them. But just have a feeling I am being taken for a ride with this model.

    1. With respect to pricing a number of retailers will put up a speculative price when a model is first announced and not honour it, or some even have been known to change prices depending on demand, is not always the manufacture that causes prices to raise in such fashion. I guess that Pullman cars are run by most in their own rakes whilst these dining cars will be run with other Maunsell coaches without lighting, also the price would be higher still if lighting was fitted.

  4. A couple of things of note from looking at the Mike King photo is the twin roof rain strips (per side) and the hint of body side lining, beneath the centre windows

  5. Graham,

    I am really pleased that these coaches have appeared at last, just disappointed that the lined SR dark green has not appeared to match the vast majority of Hornby SR Maunsell stock already produced (of which I have quite a collection!). That said I have purchased one, but I await the lined version as I suspect do many others.

    I was intrigued by your comment; ‘Evidence also exists of members of the 1934 built batch having been introduced when new in unlined livery (See Gould, Oakwood Press; Maunsell’s SR Steam Passenger stock 1923 to 1939)’.

    As I have both the original 1978 edition and the revised edition from 1990, I thought I would have a butcher’s myself … There is a fine and clear photo of No.7998 in lined green in the 1990 Book, the photo of the Dining Car in the 1978 Edition is really quite grainy and it is impossible to tell if the carriage is lined or not.
    Interestingly the caption states it is No.7999, but even allowing for the poor quality of the photo the four numbers are clearly similar and is qualified by text in the 1990 version stating it was No.8000 that appeared on exhibition at Wadebridge.

    I think we can safely assume that Maunsell stock was lined to some degree into the Bulleid era and perhaps up until WW2.


  6. I have been looking at the Mike King book and to be honest, I cannot see what the difference is that caused the original concern; if the differences are in Graham’s opinion that minor I would rather have two lined out olive SR kitchen/dining cars, than not having them. I too have a large fleet of every olive coach produced to date.
    The recent releases are very nice indeed.

  7. Hello Graham,
    I really think Hornby have given us an exceptional variety of coaching stock from the B.R. Mk.1 at a most reasonable price, albeit with some moulded detail to also allow use in the Railroad Range, to the wide range from past to present day. My main interest is the West Country but that has not stopped me acquiring items from all the ‘main’ companies. By the time I first travelled down to Cornwall in 1961 the formation of the Cornish Riviera Express was all Mk.1 vehicles but, up to the previous year, the catering was served by two ex Great Western vehicles. There is clearly a need for Hornby to produce some Great Western catering vehicles and, given their importance, the Ocean Saloons should be considered. Whilst the discussion has been Southern based in the west both it and the Western came together at various locations and had running powers with each other.
    Regards, Frank

Leave a Reply