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  • Writer's pictureBen Jones


‘O’ gauge diesels don’t get much smaller than this! It’s time to welcome our new 1:43.5 scale starter locomotive – the classic Ruston & Hornsby 48DS industrial shunter.

Perfect for layouts of every size, from the smallest shunting plank to a giant industrial complex, our tiny Ruston 48DS diesel is now at the tooling stage following the completion of detailed design work. Working samples are expected for review in the autumn, ahead of first releases in mid-2024. Look out for 3D prototypes on the HELJAN stand at the Gauge O Guild’s Guildex event in Stafford on September 2/3.

Designed from scratch using original research and drawings provided by Ruston 48DS owners and experts, this superb new entry-level model is a ‘must have’ for modellers of the industrial scene but will also be suitable for BR era main line layouts and preservation sites, where many of the survivors now reside.

Five liveries covering industrial, BR and preserved machines form the initial announcement. Suggested Retail Price (SRP) is just £199.00 – an absolute steal for a high-quality O gauge model. Contact your local HELJAN stockist to secure your favourite now!

Above: Enclosed cab version of the Ruston 48DS.


#9030 Ruston & Hornsby 48DS Factory Lined Green (Open Cab) ERA 4/5/6

#9032 Ruston & Hornsby 48DS Yellow/Wasp Stripes (Enclosed Cab) ERA 7/8

#9035 BR Southern Region Green Ruston 48DS DS1169 (Open Cab) ERA 4/5

#9037 Ruston & Hornsby 48DS Dark Green ‘Sir William McAlpine’ (Enclosed Cab) ERA 8/9

#9038 Ruston & Hornsby 48DS Express Dairy Blue (Open Cab) ERA 4/5

Authentic detail variations include original open style cab and the later enclosed design, standard or deep bufferbeams and optional lifting rings for the sides of the underframe.

Standard features include…

· Separately switchable headlamps

· A fully detailed cab interior

· Next18 DCC decoder interface

· Factory-fitted speaker in the radiator section

· Compact 5-pole motor with flywheel and super-low gearing for the ultimate in slow speed shunting control

· Authentic cab and bufferbeam variations

· Wire Handrails

· Finely detailed chassis with chain drive and brake gear

· Wire mesh radiator grille

First deliveries of this exciting expansion of our range are expected in Q3 2024. Look out for more updates soon or come and see us at Guildex on September 2/3 – Team HELJAN will be on hand all weekend to answer your questions about all our new products.

Discover more about the wonderful little 48DS design in the video below, produced by 48DS owner and superfan Lawrie Rose!


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