Posts Tagged ‘2 Bil’

Following the announcement by Hornby on Monday of their plans for 2014 that included an ex LSWR Drummond 700 class 0-6-0 and SR 2 Hal EMU a number of questions had been raised.

Another shot of the pre production 700 class (picture copyright and courtesy A York)

Another shot of the pre production 700 class (picture copyright and courtesy A York)

Firstly with respect to the Drummond 700 class it was noticed by a number of people, including by friend and SR aficionado Chris Knowles-Thomas via the comment function of these pages, that the locomotive number 30345 announced for the BR Black late crest variant was in fact a number for a K10 class (had it actually survived into British Railways ownership)  but number 30346 would have been correct for a 700 class (a simple typo perhaps?). There is also the question of tender types as when built all the class had 13′ wheelbase tenders but some were swapped with 14′ wheelbase tenders in 1925/6. of the number announced by Hornby 30346 (assuming it to be the number they meant) and 30694 kept 13′ wb tenders whilst 325 acquired a 14′ wb tender.

I have been in contact with Simon Kohler at Hornby to advise him of the above and he confirmed that he will check their plans in light of the information and correct where necessary.

[Edit:18/12/13: Simon Kohler has further advised they propose to change the numbers to E695, 30315 and 30693, this implies Hornby will be tooling a 14ft Wheelbase tender as all these numbers had them post 1925/6 but I am awaiting confirmation from Hornby regarding their proposed tooling.]

[Edit: 19/12/13: I can now advise that Hornby will be producing tooling for two tender types, so both 13ft and 14ft wheelbases.]


The trailing car pick up bogies on the pre production 2 Hal (copyright and courtesy A York)

I also raised the positive fact that the new tooling for the 2 Hal included the correct trailer car pick up bogie, which was sadly missing from the previous 2 Bil releases that incorrectly used the same pick up bogie from the motor car. Simon Kohler confirmed to me that it is indeed new correct tooling and that it will also be used on the future 2 Bil releases as well as the 2 Hal.

So all in all well done Simon Kohler and Hornby!

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Hornby have today announced their 2014 range and included within it are a number of new items of interest to Southern modellers with the headline being the introduction of a Drummond 700 class 0-6-0 and 2 HAL EMU to the range. Below I summarise the releases of interest to Southern / BR(s) modellers.

The first off Engineering Prototype of the Drummond 700 Class (picture copyright and courtesy of A York)

The first off EP of the 700 Class (picture copyright and courtesy of A York)

The Drummond 700 Class 0-6-0 locomotives were built in 1897 and comprised of 30 Locomotives They were subsequently rebuilt by initially by Urie with superheaters between 1920 and 1927. Seen mainly on the ex London South Western Lines working from sheds such as Nine Elms, Guildford, Salisbury, Feltham and Exmouth Junction. They were a long lived class with the last one not being withdrawn from service until 1964.

The 2-Hal prototypes are well underway and will compliment the 2-Bil nicely (picture copyright and courtesy A York)

The 2 HAL prototypes are well underway and will compliment the 2 BIL nicely (picture copyright and courtesy A York)

The 2 HAL EMU follows on from the release last year of the 2 BIL which proved very popular and is reflected by a number of new versions being also released in 2014. Introduced in 1939 and only having one lavatory in one of the coaches rather than 1 in each were designated ‘2 HAL’ as Half A Lavatory unlike ‘2 BIL’ Bi Lavatory! Although designated as main line semi fast stock the 2 HAL’s were somewhat utilitarian compared to the 2 BIL and 4 LAV uits that preceded them, with thinly padded bench style seats rather than deep cushioned seats. Eventually totalling 92 units the 2 HAL’s were the largest type of SR main line semi fast EMU built and lasted in service until 1971.

Locomotives and Train Packs

R3108 T9 Class 4-4-0 No. 708 in SR Post 1937 black ‘Sunshine’ lettering livery, ‘watercart’ tender
R3238 700 Class 0-6-0 No. 325 in SR Pre 1931 black Livery
R3239 700 Class 0-6-0 No. 30345 (sic) [should possibly be 30346] in BR black late crest livery
R3240 700 Class 0-6-0 No. 30694 in BR black early crest livery
R3161B 2 BIL EMU in SR olive green livery (set No. TBA)
R3257 2 BIL EMU in BR(S) green with yellow warning panels (set No. TBA)
R3258 2 BIL EMU Class 401 in BR Blue full yellow ends (set No. TBA)
R3259 2 BIL EMU Class 401 in BR Blue full yellow ends, set 2090 NRM version
R3260 2 HAL EMU in SR Green (set No. TBA)
R3261A/B 2 HAL EMU Class 402 in BR(S) Green 2 variants (set No.s TBA)

 [Edit 18/12/13: Simon Kohler has advised they propose to change the numbers for the 700 Class to E695, 30315 and 30693 see update post here]

The collectors club models have a bit of a Southern theme in 2014 with the Terrier appearing as R3247 in LBSCR livery as No. 650 “Whitechapel” and R3248 in Kent and East Sussex livery as “Sutton”.  Continuing the Southern theme R3249 is Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 No. 34070 “Manston” in BR Brunswick early crest livery.

Rolling Stock

The popular BR(s) Pull Push sets converted from Maunsell coaches makes a further welcome appearance as R4534C (set No. TBC) and the Maunsell Open 2nd R4538A is released in BR(s) livery

Following the announcement last year of new tooling for the BR Mk1 coaches in the Railroad range that are just hitting the shops now, 2014 sees the release of BR(s) versions in a higher specification range with metal wheels and working interior lights (the Railroad range will still contain the original specification style). Three BR(s) Green livery coach types will be available in the form of a Composite, Corridor 3rd and Brake third variants.


It is not just the Southern Modellers that benefit from new tooled models as also announced are GE/LNER J15 0-6-0, LNER D16/3 4-4-0 and BR(E) K 2-6-0 classes. The Railroad range also sees new tooling in the shape of the Franco-Crosti 9F 2-10-0.

Additional new tooling for coaches announced includes BR MK2 E coaches in 3 variants, although these will use the same tooling techniques as the MK1 coaches they will be in the main range and will include versions with interior lights. The wagon range is further extended with new tooling in the shape of LNER/BR Extra Long CCT vans as both LNER and BR variants.

There will also be further developments with their DCC Railmaster / e-link and  a new low cost sound system ‘Digital Twin Track Sound’.

A further view of the 700 Class EP (picture copyright and courtesy A York)

A further view of the 700 Class EP (picture copyright and courtesy A York)

I am sure many people will be asking why Hornby are announcing new models when they have had supply chain issues over the last few years that has both delayed and prevented previously announced models from hitting the shelves. Hornby have put in place a number of new staff and suppliers to overcome these issues. It is from these new suppliers that these new models will be coming from and therefore are separate to the issues experienced and in some cases still being experienced with previous factory arrangements.

The other side of the well advanced 2-Hal EP's (picture copyright and courtesy A York)

The other side of the well advanced 2 HAL EP’s (picture copyright and courtesy A York)

This can be seen by the advanced nature of the Engineering Prototypes illustrated here. I believe we all look forward to all the supply issues being resolved as it just not just affects Hornby but manufacturers across the hobby as a whole and we all want to benefit from a robust, value for money and competitive market place.

The full range announcement can be found on the Hornby Website here or on the RMweb forum here.

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In addition to my post last week 2Bil or no 2Bil the issue regarding the availability of the 2Bil EMU train packs has been raised on a number of online forums, by retailers and also on Hornby’s own Facebook page where they have posted the following in response to a question raised there:

The popularity of the 2-BIL, although not a surprise has placed us in a very difficult situation. The original plan for the release of the 2-BIL was scheduled for early January, with this in mind orders for the unit had to be placed with our supplier very early in 2012. Obviously, as we had no orders to base our requirements on we had to estimate what we believed the demand would be. Of course if the model had been scheduled for release say in September 2013 we would not have been in the position we now find ourselves but we were determined to have a totally new model out into the market as early as possible in 2013.

The model was announced along with the rest of the 2013 range on the 18 December . The model was delivered in part 6 weeks later but of course it was too late to extend production of the model as by then we could see that the demand was going to outstrip our estimations and therefore we have had to look at allocating of the stock available. The balance of our initial deliveries will not be fully in our warehouse until the 25 March. I can assure you that additional models have been ordered for the NRM and BR versions and we believe that they will be with us in June.
In short we are not happy with the situation and neither are our retailers nor the modellers! Sadly the launch of the 2-BIL has been a victim of its own success.
Following my previous post I do not think any further comment on the above is necessary. My review of the units will be posted in due course.

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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…

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