Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mini Metro

D5705 at the Worksop Open Day on 1st September 1991
Hattons Model Railways, through Heljan UK, will soon be introducing a model of the Metropolitan-Vickers (or MeteroVick as they were more commonly known) Type 2 diesel locomotive. This is the latest in a growing line of shorted-lived and prototypical diesels that have recently appeared (or are about to appear) in model form.
The prototypes were built as part of the BR Modernisation Plan of 1955 and they were unique on BR in that they had a Co-Bo wheel arrangement, i.e. a 6-wheel bogie at one end and a 4-wheel bogie at the other. This, however, did tend to affect their route availability, due to the different axle loadings, and it also made maintenance somewhat complicated.
Just 20 of these unusual locomotives were built in the late 1950s and they were numbered D5700 - D5719. They were fitted with a Crossley 8-cylinder, two stroke engine which was extremely noisy and which, almost from the start, proved to be unreliable.
The locos were initially assigned to the Midland Region and are best remembered for their use in hauling the overnight 'Condor' express freight trains. They were later to be transferred to Barrow but their continued engine problems led to their early demise in the late 1960s after only 11 years in service. 
All but one of these odd locos was then scrapped by the end of 1969 with the survivor is, I believe, currently on the East Lancs Railway although I am not sure if it is operational or not.
A ready to run model of the Class 28 in OO gauge was produced by Hornby Dublo and a kit form was made by Silver Fox Models but, so far as I am aware, no other ready to run model of the Class 28 has been made since the Hornby Dublo version.
The model will be produced in a variety of liveries, both pristine and weathered, and will be DCC Ready with an 8-pin socket. They should be available in June of this year with an RRP of around £130.

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