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  • Writer's pictureBen Jones

Factory Decorated Class 26s!

It's just over three weeks until we head to Glasgow for Model Rail Scotland 2022 - our first UK show for two years! Just in time to star on their home ground on February 25-27, the first factory decorated samples of our new O gauge Class 26s have arrived.

No fewer than nine versions will be available on general release, plus a further exclusive edition for Tower Models. These cover early BR green and BR blue variants with tablet catcher recesses, 1970s/1980s Inverness locomotives with twin headlights and weathered BR blue 26037 in 1980s condition. Also included are 1980s/90s air-braked locomotives with the distinctive air tank cradle replacing the boiler water tanks between the bogies. These are being offered in classic BR blue, Railfreight Red Stripe and Civil Engineers' grey/yellow. The full list is as follows...

HELJAN O gauge Class 26/1 - new production batch

#2674 BR Blue 26032 (twin headlights/Highland stags) TOWER MODELS EXCL.

#2675 BR green unnumbered

#2676 BR green with small yellow panels unnumbered

#2677 BR Blue (early) unnumbered

#2678 BR Blue with twin headlights unnumbered

#2679 BR Blue 26037 WEATHERED

#2680 BR Blue unnumbered (air tanks)

#2681 Railfreight 'Red Stripe' unnumbered

#2682 BR Civil Engineers grey/yellow unnumbered

#2863 Railfreight 'Red Stripe' 26025 WEATHERED

Please note that these are not the finished article - a number of small decoration issues have been identified and will be rectified before production starts. As first decorated samples these are part of the development and review process and not intended to be released as shown.

Following customer feedback about earlier samples, several modifications were made to the tooling to improve what was already an impressive model. Sandboxes, bufferbeams, water tanks and snowploughs have all received attention to make them more accurate or (in the case of the 'ploughs), easier to fit.

These models feature plug-and-play DCC capability, switchable lighting functions (with microswitches for DC users and separate lighting functions in DCC mode), engine room, cab and tail lights and a host of optional detail parts, allowing you to tailor your model to specific locomotives and time periods.

Detail variations include original or plated cab doors, Inverness style and late-1980s NRN cab radio pods, a removable engine room window on each side as per the prototype, etched brass horn covers, a full set of headcode discs, miniature snowploughs, tablet catcher arms and a set of tapered bogie footsteps to give you the option of modelling locos which received steps from Class 26/0s.

HELJAN UK stockists report very strong advance orders for all versions of this impressive new model, especially #2678 BR Blue with twin headlights. To cater for demand, we have already increased the quantity to be produced, but we expect this version to sell out very quickly. Reserve yours now to avoid disappointment!

Due to the current factory and shipping issues affecting all project, the delivery schedule has slipped a little but we expect these models to go into production in the early summer for possible delivery in Q3. However, please be aware that it is currently very difficult to provide exact release schedules. Look out for further updates as the models move to the production stage. And stay tuned for an update on our O gauge Class 27 project here very soon!

Want to see these models up close? Visit the HELJAN stand at Model Rail Scotland on February 25-27 - book your tickets now at


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