Model Rail (UK) - - Reviews -

One bo­gie of each car is fit­ted with phos­pho­r­bronze wiper pick-ups to power the in­te­rior lights but the cou­plers are not wired. The driv­ing cars have di­rec­tion-con­trolled front and rear lights but the lack of any through-wiring means that DCC users will have to fit two de­coders and re­con­fig­ure the one in the trail­ing car to re­verse its ‘forward’ and ‘re­verse’ func­tions just to op­er­ate the lights. That is the down side of this oth­er­wise nice, sim­ple cou­pling sys­tem. Un­like the real thing, which has diesel en­gines in the non-driv­ing cars, Hornby has used the blanked-out win­dow area in car 815004 to con­ceal a beast of a mech­a­nism, weigh­ing in at a whop­ping 494g (just over 1lb 1oz) thanks to a metal chas­sis and floor and an ex­tra slab of weight above the mo­tor. Within the ‘kitchen’ area is a mo­tor and two fly­wheels, from which two steel prop shafts drive both axles of both bo­gies. This mech­a­nism is ex­tremely quiet and smooth. Even on my own lay­out with curves of over 3ft radius and a backscene which would pre­vent a mishap, I was re­luc­tant to un­leash the Class 800 at full speed. Model Rail’s test track is on a bal­cony above a 20ft drop and has much sharper curves! How­ever, re­gard­less of the curve radius, the IET looks much better when op­er­ated at speeds ap­pro­pri­ate to the curves on which it is run­ning. And it does look good! It is smooth and quiet straight from the box and the dis­tinc­tive head and tail lights, set be­hind their moulded glass fair­ings, re­ally do look the busi­ness.

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