All-new O gauge Class 73/1 electro-diesel will feature plug-and-play DCC
interface, new lighting features and a wide range of authentic detail
variations covering the entire career of this enduringly popular Southern
Bi-mode trains are all the rage in 2020, but HELJAN’s latest O gauge
announcement looks back to a classic electro-diesel design from the mid-
1960s. Now in development is for release in 2022 is a ready-to-run O gauge
model of English Electric’s pioneering Class 73 – our first electric locomotive
in this scale.
Designed to operate on both third-rail electric and diesel power in non-
electrified areas such as yards and depots, the Class 73s lived a relatively
mundane life until they were thrust into the limelight when the new ‘Gatwick
Express’ operation started in 1984. Over the years, the class has worked
everything from express passenger to newspaper and mail, freight and
engineering trains. The advent of Sectorisation in the mid-1980s saw the
standard BR blue livery replaced by a rainbow of liveries, a trend that
Despite a steady decline in the 1990s, these hugely versatile locomotives
have seen a revival in the 21 st century and continue to play a vital role hauling
engineering and test trains for GB Railfreight and Network Rail on the 750V
DC third-rail network and beyond. Now seen over a much wider area than in
BR days, the ‘EDs’ have gained a cult following and 13 locomotives have
even been rebuilt with more powerful diesel engines and modern electronics
transforming them into 1,600hp go-anywhere machines.
Our all-new model is being designed to offer a range of authentic detail
variations covering the entire career of the production batch built in 1965-67,
many of which are still active on the main line network and heritage railways.
These will include locomotives with or without high intensity headlights and
NRN radio aerials, radio pods and optional fibreglass arc shields fitted to the
bogies from the mid-1980s onwards.
Standard features will include sprung buffers, wire handrails, fine etched
grilles, separately fitted buffing plates, SR 27-way multiple working cables and
hoses, windscreen wipers, sandpipes, bogie and bufferbeam details. CAD
work is currently in progress – regular reports will appear on the HELJAN
Facebook page and in the model railway press as the project progresses.
The new HELJAN O gauge Class 73 will feature our proven high-performance
twin motor/flywheel chassis with all-wheel drive and pick-up, separately
switchable cab, headcode and engine room lights, an ESU XL pin decoder
interface and provision for DCC sound. Like the new HELJAN Class 26/27,
these models will have ‘plug-and-play’ DCC and sound capability using ESU’s
LokSound 5 XL high-power pin decoder (Ref. No. 58515, not included).
TEN versions have been selected, covering a broad cross-section of BR,
Sectorisation and Privatisation era liveries from 1965 to the present day – see
below for more information. We are currently examining options for models
with factory-fitted DCC sound, details of which will be confirmed separately.
Suggested Retail Price (SRP) for DCC Ready models will be £625.00.
Look out for updates on the HELJAN Facebook page and in the model railway
press as this exciting project develops.
NEW HELJAN CLASS 73/1 O GAUGE MODELS
7300: BR Blue E6008 (small yellow panels/grey solebar) WEATHERED
7301: BR Blue E6020 (small yellow panels)
7302: BR Blue 73137 (full yellow ends)
7303: BR Large Logo Blue 73114
7304: InterCity Executive 73102 Airtour Suisse
7305: BR Civil Engineers ‘Dutch’ grey/yellow 73108
7306: Revised Network SouthEast 73126 Kent & East Sussex Railway
7308: EW&S red/gold 73128
7309: Network Rail yellow 73212
7310: GB Railfreight blue/orange 73107 Tracy