Tag Archives: Brighton Belle

Latest on new Southern related model in development and or production

Last weekend I had the privilege to be assisting fellow High Wycombe and District MRS members Alan and Simon Paley with their delightful Pre-Grouping layout Loughborough Road (on which most of the pictures  below were taken) at the excellent RMweb live event in Coventry.  It was also a chance to catch up with a number of the manufacturers and see their progress on some Southern related models.

Kernow Models O2 class Mainland Pull Push fitted version

Firstly further progress is being made with the Kernow Model Centre’s ex LSWR Adams O2 locomotives and I am pleased to advise the second engineering prototypes (EP’s) have now been received. Unlike the first EP’s received that were a bit of a mix of some of the tooling options these samples combine the all the correct tooling options for the each of the seven variants being produced.

Kernow O2 rear 3/4 view

Also a couple of issues highlighted from the first EP’s have also been corrected. Now that these models are being project managed by Dave Jones of DJ Models the development has moved on a pace and the livery details can now be completed. As I reported here the Kernow Models Gate Stock sets also being managed by DJ Models have recently been signed off for tooling to commence.

Hornby Drummond 700 Class EP

Hornby were represented at the RMweb Live show by Simon Kohler, now working as a consultant to them, and with his kind permission was able to take a close up look at some of their new items either just released or in development.
Firstly the Drummond 700 this model was first announced at the end of last year is now also at the 2nd EP stage.

Hornby Drummond 700 Class

They have certainly captured the look the prototype and I am advise they hope to have these in the shops before Christmas.  The changes made to the originally announced number and livery versions that I reported here back in January, following my discussion with Hornby, has now been confirmed to all retailers. They will be producing E695 (Maunsell pre-1931 lined black) , 30315 (BR Late Crest) and 30693 (BR Early Crest).

Hornby 2 Hal in Southern unlined olive green livery

The well documented supply chain difficulties experienced by Hornby over the last few years do actually appear to be finally resolved with a flow of new production appearing to arrive, including further batches of the 2 Bil and R3194 Hornby Schools Class 30937 ‘Epsom’.
Just starting to hit the shops now is the brand new R3260 2 HAL EMU looking very smart in SR olive green livery,  the first of a number of livery variants due, that like the Drummond 700 was first announced at the end of last year.

Hornby/Arnold 5 Bel unit production version

Simon also had on display and running the first production sets of the Hornby/Arnold 5 Bel Brighton Bell sets in the later blue and grey and livery and these should be available during October with the Brown and Umber versions to follow before the end of the year. I was very impressed by the models that also include lit table lamps that appears nice and subtle with now signs of any flicker. The unit running was also very smooth, although I did notice that one compromise that had to be retained was that the solebars do have a couple of cut outs to allow the bogies to swing, however the effect was not as obvious as I first through it would be from the initial EP’s seen.   As first announced here these models are  only  available via www.Hornby.com and orders can now be taken via their website here..

It’s good to see such positive progress on a number of the Southern related models over the last few weeks, and I am happy to say that some progress,  behind the scenes, of some of the other already announced models  has also been made (I have had Cads for checking from many sources recently) . Long may this continue and I will endeavour to continue to provide the latest updates on this blog along with any new Southern related announcements that may or may not already be in the pipeline (was that enough of a tease?)

That was the Warley that was…from a Southern perspective

As per my post last week I attended the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition Last weekend assisting Hornby Magazine editor Mike Wild operate his Topley Dale layout at its first and last public outing.  This post is a brief round up of some of the updates and news items from the show with a Southern / BR(s) theme.

Often Warley is a good place to show off the latest products under development and their status with either Engineering Prototype (EP) samples or livery sample models.

Bachmann / Farish

The first EP of the Farish 3rd Series Merchant Navy (picture courtesy of A York)

Bachmann had nothing new from a Southern perspective in 4mm scale but Graham Farish in N Gauge had the first Engineering Prototype of the 3rd Series Merchant Navy in original air smoothed form. They are initially releasing 3 livery of variants of the this 3rd series original style Merchant Navy with 6000 gallon tender, this is the first EP available and has not previously been seen.
Also in the Bachmann / Farish display cabinets were liveried samples of the N Gauge Bulleid Coaches in BR(s) Green and very nice they looked too.


Hornby did not have anything new on display for us Southern fans, although their LNER P2 (which Bulleid did have an input with) looks a stunning model! The will be making their announcement for the 2014 range on December 16th at 10am and I will post then to advise of any Southern content…


The first off EP of the 0 gauge 25t ‘Pill Box’ brake van (even planked right hand ducket version) was on show along with the first EPs for the Maunsell Coaches and Van C in N gauge, all announced back in July 2012 . I have been asked by Dapol to review and offer advice on their Southern models under development so watch this space for further updates.


The week before the show Heljan announced a couple of new items including a Metropolitan Bo-Bo electric locomotive, familiar to many as Sarah Siddons, this does has a slight relevance to this blog as it has run on Southern metals for a couple of railtours, once to Portsmouth and once to the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway in Kent ( I was on both tours) along with plans to announce a further new item at the show itself. This further item is a retooled Class 33/0 locomotive and they had EP’s on the stand. The announcement of this model in their own range follows a legal issue with Rail Express magazine that had originally commissioned it via Heljan.

RT Models 

Robert had on his RT Models stand brand new white metal castings for SR Style stepped locomotive buffers. Those on the market currently are a slight compromise as they are generally sold as being LNER/SR stepped buffers, so Robert has produced a very fine casting totally accurate for the Southern version and very fine it is indeed.

Model Rail Magazine

And finally; no this is not another plug for the December issue that features Fisherton Sarum but they have advise that they are in discussion with both Bachmann and Heljan regarding some further model livery commissions in the form of a Bachmann Desiro unit as 450 class in South West Trains Livery and also an exclusive livery version of the new tooled Heljan Class 33/0 model, further details will I am sure be announced in due course.

Next Pictures: Arnold / Hornby N Gauge Brighton Belle Running Prototype

Last month I was able to post the first pictures of the Arnold / Hornby N Gauge Brighton Belle fist off engineering prototype tooling that is being produced in the British 1.148 scale rather then the usual continental 1.160 scale. Courtesy of Simon Kohler of Hornby and with thanks to the Worthing Model Railway Club and their exquisite Nine Mills layout as the backdrop,  I am now able to post pictures of the first full running sample model.

The first running sample of the Arnold / Hornby N Gauge Brighton Belle

This motorised sample; powered by an open frame motor located above the floor line inside the Driving Motor Brake Parlour Third drives both bogies via cardian drive shafts. Although the motor is slightly visible though the nicely flush glazed windows, from a normal viewing distance and with the all the table lamps it is not overly noticeable.

A further view with the Worthing MRC’s Nine Mills layout as the back drop

The wheel sets on this sample seemed to have deeper flanges than the more usual RP25 profile but these may of course not be representative of the final wheel sets being used.  It did look however if the underframes were notched to allow the required bogie swing but again this may not be as the model will finally appear.

This does however show that development of this interesting model is continuing at pace.

Edit 20/10/13: I can confirm from Hornby that the wheels and the underframe cut outs on this sample are not representative of how the final production models will be. 

First Pictures! Arnold / Hornby N Gauge Brighton Belle Engineering Prototype

It was back in January this year that the continental manufacturer Arnold that are part of the Hornby International stable of brands initially announced they were to produce an N gauge version of the Brighton  Belle set and that it will be in the British 1.148 scale rather then the usual continental 1.160 scale.

It was later announced here,  along with the actual livery variations being produced that these truly distinctive models will only be available via www.Hornby.com and advance orders will and can be taken.

The models will feature: being accurate to UK N scale – 1:148, High performance motor with flywheel, 6 pin DCC socket, Detailed differences on bogies between both period models and Illuminated table lamps.

First off Engineering Prototypes of The Arnold / Hornby N Gauge Brighton Belle

The first Engineering Prototypes (EP) of the bodies have now just been received by Hornby and I had the privilege, courtesy of Simon Kohler of Hornby, to be the first to take any photographs at the weekend.  It should be noted that these are the very first samples and there are a small number of inevitable design  tweaks needed that have already been noted.

Both Driving Cars feature a die cast detailed underframe

Both driving cars have a well detailed die cast full length underframe which should give a nice amount of weight for traction.  and the differences between the three trailing cars have been accurately portrayed and they also feature flush glazing.

If these first samples are anything to go by then the finished models will be an a worth addition to to any 2mm Modellers Southern / Southern Region fleet, although I don’t envy their need to install 2mm scale third rail!


Brighton Belle in N – Hornby Arnold update

As per my post at the time Arnold one of the brnads of Hornby International announced last January their intent to produce a N Gauge Brighton Belle in British 1.148 scale rather then the usual continental 1.160 scale.

Hornby Arnold have today released further information as follows:

The “Brighton Belle” is one of the most famous, if not the most famous of the “Belle” trains to operate on British tracks. The “Belle” operated between London Victoria and Brighton and was the first all electric Pullman service in the World.  The service commenced in June 1934 and continued until April 1972 with only a period during the Second World War when the service was suspended.  There were three 5-Car units specifically built by Metropolitan Cammell for the “Brighton Belle”, a service which took just 60 minutes to travel the non-stop 51 mile distance between London and Brighton.

In recent years under the patronage of the Transport Trust a group was formed to restore a 5-BEL unit and bring it back into service under private ownership.

The stunningly elegant Hornby Arnold N gauge model, which will be initially produced in two distinctive periods, captures perfectly the opulence and style of the “Brighton Belle Pullman”, with each car lit with miniature table lamps as well as having carefully crafted detailed interiors.

These truly distinctive models will only be available via www.Hornby.com and advance orders will and can be taken.

Technical features:

·         Accurate UK N scale – 1:148
·         High performance motor with flywheel
·         6 pin DCC socket
·         Detailed differences on bogies between both models
·         Illuminated table lamps

HN3000 SR 5-BEL “Brighton Belle Pullman” – 2-Car set (DMBPT) in Cream & Umber – 1934 – £129.99

1 x DMBPT (Driver Motor Brake Parlour Third) Powered
1 x DMBPT (Driver Motor Brake Parlour Third) Unpowered

HN3500 SR 5-BEL “Brighton Belle” 3-Car pack (2 x TPFK, TPT) in Cream & Umber – 1934 – £79.99

2 x TPFK (Trailer Parlour First Kitchen)
1 x TPT (Trailer Parlour Third)

HN3001 BR Class 403 “Brighton Belle Pullman” – Blue & Grey – 1969 – £129.99

1 x DMBPT (Driver Motor Brake Parlour Third) Powered
1 x DMBPT (Driver Motor Brake Parlour Third) Unpowered

HN3501 BR Class 403 “Brighton Belle” 3-Car pack (2 x TPFK, TPT) – Blue & Grey – 1969 – £79.99

2 x TPFK (Trailer Parlour First Kitchen)
1 x TPT (Trailer Parlour Third)

All models are produced to 1:148 UK N Gauge standards.

Continental kippers! – a Brighton Belle in N Gauge from Arnold

It might sound a little left field but continental manufacturer Arnold have yesterday announced a Brighton  Belle set in N Gauge and that will be in the British 1.148 scale rather then the usual continental 1.160 scale.

This is not perhaps as odd as it might seem as Arnold are part of the Hornby International stable and therefore have access to the information that Hornby used for their 4mm version in the UK.
A German flyer about the models to be produced in both Umber & Cream and Blue & Grey liveries is worth a look , and can be seen here, ignoring some of the obvious inaccuracies in the text which can be spotted even in German!

British N Gauge modellers will of course be pleased that it is to be manufactured in the establish British 1.148 scale and perhaps this might lead to other British prototypes appearing the Arnold range.

Hornby have already in the past dabbled slightly in British N Gauge with their now unfortunately ceased range ‘Liddle End’ of  very nice cast resin buildings that we similar to their very good 4mm big brothers in the Scaledale range. With Dapol announcing both SR / BR(s) locos and Maunsell coaches following the Farish announcement of Original Bulleid Merchant Navy Pacifics and Bulleid Coaches last year it appears to be a good time for Southen in N Gauge!

Another announcement of potential interest from the Hornby International stable under the Rivarossi brand is the USA 0-6-0 tank in HO. The body is therefore the wrong scale and lacks the modifications made by the SR for their USA tanks, however the chassis might be useful under perhaps a SE Finecast kit?  There is of course already the announcement earlier in the year of the Model Rail commission via Dapol of a 4mm SR USA tank which will be the best option for 4mm modellers.


A pointer to The Brighton Line’s finest

For those eagerly awaiting the new Hornby Brighton Belle units to hit the retails outlet, modeller, author  and regular blogger Nigel Burkin has posted some good images and a brief review of the Blue Grey version on his excellent blog  here.

The comments regarding the improvements over Hornby’s 4-Vep should be noted such as pin point axles and finer wheel treads throughout. I am told from another source that the running of these models is impressive, despite using the same motor type as the 4-Vep, so the use of pin point axles on all the trailing bogies and also a heavier chassis for the motor car obviously has worked.

Hornby have now confirmed the details of the versions being released year as being: 1934 umber and cream set 2051 that will consist of driving cars 3rd class numbers 88 and 89, 3rd class trailer No.86 and 1st class trailer cars Hazel and Doris. The 1967 set 3053 in blue and grey with  driving cars  S292S and S293S and  trailers cars 2nd class S285S and 1st class S281S and S283S.

Further information on the prototype Belle units can be found on the Semg website here

Hopefully the later style umber and cream variant  to fill the gap between the two versions above will follow in 2013 perhaps.

It has also been noted elsewhere  that there appears to be  no provision for a coupling on the front of the unit.  I guess Hornby do not believe many modellers will have space for a pair of 5 coach units running together, but apart from the occassional service in reality they generally ran as a pair.