For 2009 I think there will almost certainly be a scaling back. Although I appreciate that there is a need for mkIII coaches I feel that possibly there is a need for updated GWR coaches and steam era freight stock.
On the loco front it would be nice to see some of the smaller big four classes as opposed to the glamour types, more on the line of the T9 perhaps? Certainly it would be nice to see things like a re-tooled Midland compound and LNER D49 for example.
I think we will just have to wait and see, but I do think that it will not be a another year of Southern models.
I would expect Hornby's 2009 programmme to be much more modest than in recent years, and new liveries on existing tooling will probably feature strongly
So a round of colourful liveries for the existing Mk3s would be an obvious move. Lots of colour changes on things like 153, 156, Pacer, 101. National Express livery may feature, given their tie up with National Express' recent advertising campaign. I doubt there will be much new D+E tooling - quite possibly we'll see 2 new steam locos , no new diesels and a comment about catching up on overruns from 2008. I do expect GW coaches though.
If you're going for a new LNER 4-4-0 , not sure D49 is the best bet: Directors and Claudes have strong claims too. But I reckon that may be for 2010 or 2011. The Compund is more obvious a candidate
Bachmann have mentioned an A2 , so I think there may be 1 other steam loco announced (or possibly 2) and no D+E. They already have 4 major D+E items in the pipeline (150 /4-CEP /105 / MPV ) so they don't really need to make any new announcements on that front for the moment
In the Model Rail interview published July 2007, Simon Kohler, (given the typical 18 month to 2 year lead time in model development,) probably referred to what Hornby already had in the pipeline for 2009. As I recall it what he said was 'have to look North of the Thames now, we have done an awful lot of Southern locos'; and he confirmed that the T9 had been measured up (among others), which I took at the time as a sign that a model of this prototype was a 'definite'. Mentioning a specific type as one of several you have measured up, while concealing the identities of the others, says to me 'this one is a go'.
Likewise when reviewing what was useable from the Lima range, there was also a mention of the 201 as a possible using the running gear developed for the 59. Again that says to me 'it is on the radar' wouldn't be surprised to see that in the 2009 programme.
When it came to a specific question about upgrading the GWR models the answer was interesting: 'if the market demands it'. Now I want an 'all-singing and dancing' Castle and 28XX, so when next in front of one of my friendly retailers I pointed this out and said, the 'the market' AKA 'me' wants these two models redone to Hornby's top standard. Said retailer laughed, and gave as his opinion that a redo will only occur when the present tools wear out, because GWR models sell as they are. He reckoned that in model quality terms the GWR is a victim of its' own success in 'brand image'. If younger modellers decide on a company or region in the steam era, it is usually GWR or BR(WR), because it can still be seen in 'holiday country' all across Southwest England. And the present quality satisfies that market demand.
There was also more from SK later (cannot remember where published) regarding wagons as the priority in rolling stock, and some of that has now started to emerge, but wagons of a quality to match the recent locos and coaches remain the weakness in Hornby's range so I would expect more, much more.
So now we are looking at 2009 and beyond. There's still the Schools and BR std 4MT 4-6-0 to appear from the 2008 programme, both South of Thames types. Once they are out could we see more exploitation of (expensively) developed 4-4-0 and 0-4-4 chassis design, aimed 'North of Thames'. Maybe on the same pattern as the SR 4-4-0's Hornby might do the final 'big un' (having done them all before!), and something older, but completely new to the range.
LMS: 4P compound, and something small old and pretty like a Dunalastair?
LNER: D49, and the ex GCR Director? (Latter did well in most wanted polls)
GWR: County, and Truro? (For some unaccountable reason this latter always speeds to the top of 'wanted' lists.)
There's no track record in 0-4-4's, other than the M7, but there's stuff crying out to be done.
Which LMS 0-4-4T? Midland or Scottish? tough choice.
LNER 0-4-4T, the ex NER G5 project may have caught Hornby's eye.
As for wagons, I have to believe that they will do more BR Blue to present day freight stock. With classes 56, 58, 59, 60, 66 and 67 all in their range, and practically no suitable wagon models to current standard to go with them, they must be helping Bachmann's, Haljan's and Dapol's wagon sales no end. What I don't know is where the gaps in coverage are, but hopefully Hornby have a fix on that and will plug them.
Regarding modern traction, with the HST out, the class 91 is going to receive the same treatment as night follows day. Hornby need rid of that ringfield motor, and with a good four axle drive in the parts bin... Will they tackle the Mk3 and 4 coaches and bring them up to Pullman standard? Hope so, but not holding my breath, think that will wait for the economy to improve.
Hoping you're right on the Dunalastair. Its blue- so it meets Simon Kohlers criteria for a succesful model, althought it is slightly north of the Thames (don't tell him ). LMS Crimson, Black and BR black also possibilities- so a good spread of liveries would be possible.
Compound would be a nice model- although from Pat Hammonds books the Compound brought out in 1981 as one of the four 4-4-0s was the weakest seller - Hornby may have remembered that.
A Director would be a good choice. Can they do an original one and a "Scottish one" in the same way as they've done variants of the T9?
I think we'll have a good few models. Development of the 2009 range would have started before the recession started to bite . Best way to get cash in and be profitable is to provide a steady stream of new models.
Also predict lots of Mk3s. Its a bit of a marketing gaffe not to have released them at same time as power cars. I know the theory is that you simply replace power cars, but these new models will have stimulated demand for coaches.
A stanier CK would be nice. Gresley full brake?
Wasn't it press day today- watch out for leaks
I think they were going to announce it early this year to us lesser mortals, the buying public (Christmas Eve?). Remember last year when Model Rail vigorously defended the embargo and then released the information early themselves . Well , I note the publication date is set for 02/01/09 , so subscription copies should be available before then unless they are going to wrestle posties to the floor to stop him posting the info through your letterbox. Unfortunately REX who can usually be relied to spill the beans on the modern image items is a bit early this year, so may not have had the chance to incorporate it.
My local retailer told me today Hornby have told him the 2009 range will be much smaller.
Possibly alot of the private owner stuff being dropped. He tells me over the last two years the things that have sold have been Br blue diesel, Br steam and modern (1980+) image stock. This despite being in GWR country.
I think we will get a smattering of new models through the steam and deisel range as these will have been planned 8+ months ago.
Modern image rolling stock there are plenty of options for and we ( I being an EWS modeller) pay higher prices for our freight rolling stock compared to steam era so a few new models here will be a hit i think.
Should be the GWR year in steam terms, new coaches, 42xx / 72 xx would be a huge seller i think.
Lots of new Skaldale and the usual discontinued range.
More sound? More livery changes in the three sound options perhaps but I would be surprised if they dived in two feet and announced new models with sound (ie. class 67) as no one know what sales are going to be like?
True limited operational area. In fact, I think there are only 10 of the real units at the moment. Also think final livery has still to be decided upon. However units will be very high profile given the Olympics in 2012. They are supposed to be named after athletes. Also with 140mph capability, other than Eurostar, they will be the fastest units in the country. Ideal Hornby trainset territory!
I have no idea what new locos are coming in fact I would suggest that a go slow on new locos is called for (for a bit). I would like more thought being put into steam era goods rolling stock and accessories. Aa nice high quality Horsebox would be great as would semaphore signals and a good working turntable.
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