Heljan reveals O gauge 2021/2022 range


By Howard Smith

24 October 2020

The manufacturer's new range sees the emergence of a Class 73/1 electro-diesel, a Class 27, and a return of its Class 26 Bo-Bos.

All-new O gauge Class 73/1 electro-diesel will feature plug-and-play DCC interface, new lighting features and a wide range of authentic detail variations covering the entire career of this enduringly popular Southern Region class.

Bi-mode trains are all the rage in 2020, but Heljan’s latest O gauge announcement looks back to a classic electro-diesel design from the mid-1960s. Now in development is for release in 2022 is a ready-to-run O gauge model of English Electric’s pioneering Class 73 – its first electric locomotive in this scale.

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 they were thrust into the limelight when 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, these hugely 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's all-new model is being designed to offer a range of authentic detail variations covering the entire career of the production batch built in 1965-67, many of which are still active on the main line network and heritage railways. These will 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.

Standard features will include sprung buffers, wire handrails, fine etched grilles, separately fitted buffing plates, SR 27-way multiple working cables and hoses, windscreen wipers, sandpipes, bogie and bufferbeam details. CAD work is currently in progress.

The new HELJAN O gauge Class 73 will feature the manufacturer's high-performance twin motor/flywheel chassis with all-wheel drive and pick-up, separately switchable cab, headcode and engine room lights, an ESU XL pin decoder interface and provision for DCC sound. The models will have ‘plug-and-play’ DCC and sound capability using ESU’s LokSound 5 XL high-power pin decoder (Ref. No. 58515, not included).

Ten versions have been selected, covering a broad cross-section of BR, Sectorisation and Privatisation era liveries from 1965 to the present day.

  • 7300: BR 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
  • 7308: EW&S red/gold 73128
  • 7309: Network Rail yellow 73212
  • 7310: GB Railfreight blue/orange 73107 Tracy

 

Class 27

Heljan Class 27

An all-new O gauge Class 27 will feature plug-and-play DCC interface, new lighting features and a wide range of authentic detail variations covering 1960s, 1970s and 1980s locomotives.

The first engineering samples of HELJAN’s next new O gauge diesel locomotive – the much-requested BRCW Type 2/Class 27 – are expected to arrive in the UK for review shortly. The new models have been developed in parallel with its new BRCW Type 2/Class 26, with which they share many common components.

Due for release in late-2021, this new model has been designed to offer a wide range of detail variations including boiler-fitted and non-boilered locomotives, two different designs of bogie footsteps, boiler roof grilles or plates, air tanks in the cab roof for dual-braked locos, sandbox/sandpipe variations and original or modified battery boxes.

Other detail options will include three-piece miniature snowploughs and bufferbeam pipes/hoses appropriate for each version. As per the full size ‘27s’, one engine room window per side has been designed to be removable for extra ventilation.

Standard features will include sprung buffers, wire handrails, fine etched metal grilles, separately fitted windscreen wipers, sandpipes, bogie and bufferbeam details.

  • 2770: BR Green unnumbered (small yellow panel)
  • 2771: BR plain green 5370 (full yellow ends) WEATHERED
  • 2772: BR Green unnumbered (cream lining/full yellow ends)
  • 2773: BR Blue unnumbered (non-boilered)
  • 2774: BR Blue unnumbered (boiler fitted)
  • 2775: BR two-tone green D5382 (small yellow panels)
  • 2776: BR early blue D5389 (small yellow panels)
  • 2777: BR Blue 27032 with Highland Rail stag emblems WEATHERED

 

Class 26

 

In other news, an all-new O gauge Class 26 will feature plug-and-play DCC interface, new lighting features and a wide range of authentic detail variations covering 1960s, 1970s and 1980s/90s locomotives.

The first engineering samples of Heljan’s latest new O gauge diesel locomotive – the much-requested BRCW Type 2/Class 26 – have arrived in the UK for review. Under development since last year, these new models are now at an advanced stage.

Due for release in late-2021, this previously unannounced all-new model features a large number of improvements over the original O gauge Class 26 released a decade ago. Unlike that model, its new BRCW Type 2 has been designed to offer detail variations, including three different bodyshells depicting locomotives with or without a tablet catcher recess and, for the first time in ‘O’, refurbished ends without headcode discs.

However, perhaps the most exciting development is the first ever ready-to-run model (in any scale) of the legendary Inverness Class 26s with twin headlights, as used in the Far North of Scotland in the 1970s and 1980s.

Dependent on era and livery, models will be delivered with original boiler water tanks in place or with the later style air tanks and distinctive cradle between the bogies. Other detail options will include original or plated-over cab doors, three-piece miniature snowploughs, boiler vent grilles or plates, Inverness-style round radio pods and later NRN radio pods with square cowls. As required, models will also be supplied with a set of open or folded headcode discs, separately fitted etched metal horn cowl covers and a set of optional Class 26/0 style tapered bogie footsteps allowing customers to tailor their models to individually modified locomotives. As per the full size ‘26s’, one engine room window per side has been designed to be removable for extra ventilation.

Standard features will include sprung buffers, wire handrails, fine etched metal grilles, separately fitted windscreen wipers, sandpipes, bogie and bufferbeam details.

 

Heljan Class 26

Inverness Class 26/1 with twin car headlights

 

late-style class 26 heljan

Late style Class 26/1 with air tank cradle and refurbished ends

 

  • 2675: BR Green unnumbered (tablet catcher recess)
  • 2676: BR Green unnumbered with small yellow panel (tablet catcher recess)
  • 2677: BR Blue 5338 (early version)
  • 2678: BR Blue unnumbered (Inverness headlights)
  • 2679: BR Blue 26027 WEATHERED
  • 2680: BR Blue unnumbered (dual braked)
  • 2681: Railfreight Red Stripe unnumbered (white cantrail stripe)
  • 2682: BR Civil Engineers ‘Dutch’ grey/yellow unnumbered
  • 2683: Railfreight Red Stripe 26025 (orange cantrail stripe) with Eastfield dog logo WEATHERED

To pre-order these models, visit your local Heljan stockist.

 

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