25 January 2024
This is the most recent release of this ex-Lima tooling (though with a much-improved mechanism). It represents a Class 31 in the employ of the British Rail Railway Technical Centre Derby, renumbered into the 97XXX series.
The livery is described as ‘enhanced’, and it’s certainly beautifully applied. Performance is excellent, and there are spare traction tyres supplied.
Priced at £96.99, the new locomotive is available to order now.
The Railroad brand plays an important part in encouraging new modellers to the hobby and the new Railroad Plus range is seen as a stepping stone to the Hornby main range.
Martyn Weaver, Head of Brand at Hornby said; “It’s an evolution and about making steps smaller and more accessible for people. It helps people to identify the products and the prices that they want. When we start talking about the 2025 range, we will be talking with two different hats, the messaging to the hobby industry and enthusiasts will be very different from those outside of it and new to model railways."
About the prototype
British Rail Class 31 diesel locomotives, also known as the Brush Type 2 and originally as Class 30, were built by Brush Traction from 1957-62. They were numbered in two series, D5500-D5699 and D5800-D5862. Construction of the first locomotive was completed in the final week of September 1957, and the handing-over took place on 31 October. The first Class 31 entered service in November 1957, after the launch of the Class 20 locomotive and was one of the Pilot Scheme locomotives ordered by British Railways to replace steam traction. The Railway Technical Centre (RTC) in London Road, Derby, England, was the technical headquarters of the British Railways Board, and was built in the early 1960s. British Rail described it as the largest railway research complex in the world, and certain Class 31s served in a capacity as locomotives aiding experiments and research.
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