Heljan Class 73 for 'O' – first EP shown


By Howard Smith

01 October 2021

Sharing photographs of a hand-assembled prototype, claimed to be its most-detailed model yet, the manufacturer offers a closer look at its forthcoming model.

Heljan has unveiled the first pre-production sample of its forthcoming O gauge Class 73/1 electro-diesel. The 'next generation' model features a plug-and-play DCC interface, new lighting features and authentic detail variations to cover the career of the enduring and popular Southern Region class.

With some parts missing and a mixture of detail parts from early and later locomotives, notably the sandbox lids, Heljan has said that the model shown isn't a complete representation of the final product.

Heljan Class 73

Heljan has said that this model is its most detailed to date, containing more than 550 separate parts, and has been designed to offer a range of authentic detail variations covering the entire career of the production batch. This is to include locomotives with or without high intensity headlights and NRN radio aerials, radio pods and optional fibreglass arc shields fitted to the bogies from the mid-1980s onwards.

Heljan Class 73 O gauge

Standard features include sprung buffers, drophead buckeye couplers, wire handrails, fine etched grilles, separately fitted buffing plates, SR 27-way multiple working cables and hoses, windscreen wipers, sandpipes, bogie and bufferbeam details.

Heljan Class 73 O gauge

The model features Heljan's twin motor/flywheel chassis with all-wheel drive and pick-up, separately switchable cab, headcode and high intensity headlights (later liveries only), plus DCC-activated third-rail 'arc flash' built into the bogies. DC users will also be able to control the lighting features using a bank of six microswitches on the underside of the chassis. The DCC interface is designed for an ESU XL pin decoder (Ref. No. 58515, not included) interface with provision for DCC sound and the easy installation of a large speaker.

Seventeen versions have been selected, covering numbered/named and unnumbered versions across a broad cross-section of BR, Sectorisation and Privatisation era liveries from 1965 to the present day. Heljan has said that it is examining options for models with factory-fitted DCC sound, details of which will be confirmed separately.

Heljan Class 73 O gauge

Designed to operate on both third-rail electric and diesel power in non-electrified areas such as yards and depots, the Class 73s lived a relatively mundane life until the new ‘Gatwick Express’ operation started in 1984. Over the years, the class has worked everything from express passenger to newspaper and mail, freight and engineering trains. The advent of Sectorisation in the mid-1980s saw the standard BR blue livery replaced by a rainbow of liveries, a trend that continues today. Despite a steady decline in the 1990s, the versatile locomotives have seen a revival in the 21st century and continue to play a vital role hauling engineering and test trains for GB Railfreight and Network Rail on the 750V DC third-rail network and beyond. Now seen over a much wider area than in BR days, the ‘EDs’ have gained a cult following and 13 locomotives have even been rebuilt with more powerful diesel engines and modern electronics transforming them into 1,600hp 'go-anywhere' machines.

Heljan Class 73 O gauge

Models announced are as follows:

  • (7300) BR Early Blue E6008 (small yellow panels/grey solebar) WEATHERED
  • (7301) BR Blue E6020 (small yellow panels)
  • (7302) BR Blue 73137 (full yellow ends)
  • (7303) BR Large Logo Blue 73114
  • (7304) InterCity Executive 73102 Airtour Suisse
  • (7305) BR Civil Engineers ‘Dutch’ grey/yellow 73108
  • (7306) Revised Network SouthEast 73126 Kent & East Sussex Railway
  • (7307) Pullman umber/cream 73101 The Royal Alex' GAUGEMASTER COLLECTION
  • (7308) EWS red/gold unnumbered
  • (7309) Network Rail yellow 73212
  • (7310) GB Railfreight blue/orange 73107 Tracy
  • (7311) BR Blue (small yellow panels) unnumbered
  • (7312) BR Blue (full yellow ends) unnumbered TOWER MODELS EXCLUSIVE
  • (7313) BR Large Logo Blue unnumbered
  • (7314) InterCity Executive unnumbered
  • (7315) BR Civil Engineers ‘Dutch’ grey/yellow unnumbered
  • (7320) GB Railfreight blue/orange unnumbered

Heljan Class 73 O gauge

For further details, current pricing and availability, see your local Heljan stockist, or visit the Heljan website or Facebook page.

 

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