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Hop Onboard with the Toad Brake Vans

Hop Onboard with the Toad Brake Vans

Welcome to this edition of The Engine Shed – the Hornby Development team’s outlet to the modelling world!

We hope this month’s edition of the blog finds you well and in slightly better spirits than our last instalment. With no lengthy delay this time around, we are back to bring you news on all that has happened at Hornby HQ over the last four weeks. This month we have many new samples to show you, some of which are exclusive to The Engine Shed but there are also a couple of very intriguing pieces of news too.

While we never try to give too much away right at the start, a new model announcement can be found below, as well as two stories that those of you who follow us on social media will not be too shocked to see here in our blog.

First on the agenda though, are a selection of samples, with the first being the Toad Brake Van Decoration Samples.

The Latest Samples

Hornby Toad Brake Van
Hornby Toad Brake Van

We are genuinely excited to show you these Decoration Samples of the Toad Brake Vans. As we have said before, the Decoration Sample is an important stage in development because it provides the first true impression of what the model will look like on your layouts. It is by no means the finished article but it is the first indication of what you can expect.

It is also a huge milestone for us and where feedback is so important. Primarily, this is where the team checks the sample time and time again and ensuring anything we spot is fed back and corrected for the next sample that we will receive.

Hornby Toad Brake Van
Hornby Toad Brake Van

Of course with The Engine Shed that feedback can also come from you, especially if the sample has only recently arrived. While much of the feedback we see following a blog will cover points the team have already spotted, the chance to see what our collectors and modellers think is hugely useful and incredibly rewarding. This feedback may also help with decisions and raise potential issues we may not have considered – a definite win/win.

It has been a few months since we last saw the Toad Brake Vans, which incidentally was in April with the Engineering Samples. As one of our 2018 new tooling projects, the Toad Brake Vans have been well received and we cannot wait to see what the modellers think.

Hornby Toad Brake Van
Hornby Toad Brake Van

This next sample we have for you cannot quite be called a Decoration Sample but is certainly in the ballpark. Having been announced in May in our ‘Mid-Year Range Announcement’, the Paddington Class 800 (R3691) has already proven a popular addition and consequently these photos may be of interest to many of you. 

R3691 Detail
R3691 Detail
R3691 Detail

Do note that these samples are very much a work in progress. We cannot stress enough that these samples are being worked on as we speak and they are far from being complete. However, it is the first real opportunity we have had to show you the ‘Paddington’ artwork in situ.

We also felt it would be quite interesting for you to see the model at this stage, as we are always keen to show you all the intricacies that may often be hidden away during the development of a model.

We hope that is understood and that you find these working samples interesting!


It is an Engine Shed favourite which is presented next, as we show the sample of the R3615 Works Livery Peckett. This is probably the final look you will have at this model before it arrives and we trust you like what you see!

R3615 Scenic

It is another final look here at the Pullman ‘Brighton Belle’ Train Pack (R3606) and matching Coach Pack (R4871). These look stunning when combined and if the demand is as we believe it is, many will be added to numerous layouts in the not too distant future.

Brighton Belle
Brighton Belle
Brighton Belle

Lastly, we have two superb Class 50s to show you. Both ‘Leviathan’ (R3653) and ‘Glorious’ (R3658) arrived recently and are pre-production samples with production scheduled for later this year.


R3660 DCR, Class 56, Co-Co, 56303

As we mentioned at the start, we do have a new model announcement for you! It is not often that we have products arriving six months ahead of their scheduled date but such things can happen as with the DCR, Class 56, Co-Co, 56303 (R3660). This model will be in the shops during August so place your order now as this model is bound to be in great demand.


The British Rail Class 56 Type 5 Co-Co diesel locomotive was first introduced in 1976 to cope with increased requirement for heavy freight. Following some difficulties in construction, the Class 56 arrived in service replacing Class 20 and Class 47 locomotives. Nicknamed Gridirons or “Grids”, these powerful and reliable performers transported iron ore, coal and steel, amongst other things.

Despite their popularity, the Class 56 required heavy maintenance and with the introduction of the Class 60, the Class 56’s role was gradually reduced. The arrival of the Class 66 then saw the Class 56 placed into storage.


‘56303’ as modelled here initially started life as 56125, having been renumbered in May 2006. Used alongside 56301 and 56302, ‘56303’ worked on the Fastline container trains running between Doncaster, Grain, Birch Coppice and Trafford Park. With Fastline’s collapse, ‘56303’ passed into Devon & Cornwall Railways ownership.


Mallard’s 80th Anniversary

Not too long after our last edition in June, ‘Mallard’ celebrated 80 years since breaking the Steam Traction World Speed Record. Having had such a long connection to this popular engine, we too took part in celebrations, creating both a video and a selection of archive photos.

The response online for both our celebrations and those that took place elsewhere, was astounding. The legacy of these engines and the resonance they have, not just with audiences associated with railways, is truly heartening and a great indication of what this hobby can offer.

The Great Model Railway Challenge

Much more recently we posted this logo from the ‘Great Model Railway Challenge’. While a select few of you may have been involved with this upcoming television programme, many of us are eagerly awaiting more details. From what we have been told it will be unlike anything else we have seen on TV, offering a cross between our wonderful hobby and the ‘Great British Bake Off’.


We did what we could to help, as did many other manufacturers and we are now left waiting until we hear more on this exciting project. You can be sure we will be sharing all the news as and when we can and we will try our best to catch a glimpse behind the scenes here in The Engine Shed too.

Either way, it’s great to be part of something like this and we just hope it will not be too long until we can start tuning in to the ‘Great Model Railway Challenge’!

And that’s a wrap for this edition of The Engine Shed. It has been another instalment filled to the brim with samples and we look forward to receive your feedback.

It is likely to be a familiar story next month, as we know there are more samples due.

Please make sure you let us know your thoughts on this Engine Shed in the usual places: Facebook, Twitter and our Official Forum.

Oh – before we go, a quick word of warning that the Great Dorset Steam Fair is rapidly approaching, towards the end of August. We are sure to go into more detail in the next blog but with time flying it is never too early to look forward!

Many thanks for taking the time to read July’s edition and until next time,

Happy Modelling!

The Engine Shed team


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