new Southern Electric Group logo

Hornby's Mid-Life Refurbished Eurostar

Hornby R3215 Refurbished Eurostar Driving Motor

Released in April 2015, deferred from the previous year presumably to avoid being ahead of the real thing, was Hornby's aged Eurostar model in Eurostar's mid-life refurbished livery. This issue consists of R3215 Driving Motors and Motor Second Opens pack and R4580 "divisible saloons" (Trailer Brake First Open) pack. When the Eurostar model was initially in 1996 Hornby promised to produce additional types of cars to make up a representation - even if much shortened - of a realistic formation, however these have never appeared.

On the positive side, the application of Eurostar's new livery is done to Hornby's usual high standards even down to (see below) the EVNs on each car. The reviewer has so far only ever seen pictures of this new livery on Driving Motors so cannot comment on the accuracy of the livery on the trailer cars, however it appears to be spot-on on the Driving Motors.

EVN detail on the side of a MSO
Articulation unit
Otherwise this model remains more toy-like than being an accurate scale model with shiny self-coloured plastic bogies, shiny self-coloured plastic under-sized articulation units, a mixture of finely done bodyside and rather heavily moulded details on the roof, the most prominent being the far too large conduit running along the roof. This is barely visible on the real thing! Detail on car inner ends is scant and representational rather than comprehensive.
Driving Motor roof and inner end detail
Hornby R3215 MSO

Drive remains by a small (Scalextric type) motor mounted within the inner bogie on one Driving Motor and this can result in under powering of a six, or longer, car formation. Most unlike the power delivered by the real train! A rectification would be to obtain a spare motored Driving Motor chassis and either to swap it with the chassis on the unpowered Driving Motor or just to swap the relevant bogies. This version of the Eurostar model has, however, been upgraded with an 8 pin DCC socket and unlike the very early versions at least the MSOs now come fitted with an interior.

Frankly given the toyish nature of this model and that it is of a modern(ish) glamourous international train it is surprising that this has not been issued as part of Hornby's Railroad range. It is, however, despite its negative aspects a welcome new version. A new state-of-the-art accurate and complete model is to be desired but given the six different car types of a Class 373 it would be expensive to develop, tool and produce. N gauge modellers are better served by Kato's model!

Hornby R4580 TBFO