Yesterday Hornby released details of their 2014 range. Due to other commitments I was unable to publish any details yesterday and I’m sure by now many of you had looked through the new offerings and possibly even pre-ordered a few of them! 2013 was not the best of year’s for Hornby, with supply problems, a reported annual loss and some of it’s newly tooled models coming under fire, particularly the big GWR 42xx/52xx/72xx tank engines. In fact a new term known as “Hornby bashing” has become commonplace. It was not all doom and gloom however and the new e-link DCC system being a particular highlight.
Other than “getting back on track” with it’s delivery schedule, Hornby have managed to pull a few surprises out of the bag. The LNER J15 and D16/3 (Super Claud) classes and ex-LSWR 700 class are all potentially very exciting new releases, the 700 class being a personal favourite! The Railroad range has also been bolstered by BR 2-10-0 Franco Crosti Boiler 9F Class.
As in 2013, there are some interesting prototypes modeled – preserved Castle class 4073 Caerphilly Castle and LMS ‘Duchess Of Sutherland’ and Support Coach Train Pack stand out in particular. There are also a number of low-budget DCC Sound models that are being sold for a penny under £70, which is very impressive.
On the rolling stock front there are new BR Mk2E plus more variants of the new Mk1, some of these are better detailed than previous Railroad variants and the southern region versions have lights. There is even a Mk1 camping coach! The LNER Extra Long CCT Van completes the new collection nicely.
In all, considering the problems in 2013, it is positive that Hornby is striving to add to it’s range. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to see the Margate firm do well, as it benefits the hobby as a whole. Let’s hope 2014 marks the beginning of better fortunes for Hornby!