Exciting news from Warley this weekend, concluding the last couple of weeks of fevered online speculation with the announcement by Peco of ready-to-run Lynton & Barnstaple wagons and coaches in OO9. Okay, perhaps not as exciting as a RTR loco but nevertheless an interesting, and positive, step forward for UK narrow gauge modelling.
Although the prototypes were built specifically for the L&B, the vehicles to be produced – four wheeled opens and vans, and two types of bogie coaches – are reasonably generic enough to be able to appear on most common carrier NG layouts. The goods stock, due in January, is also going to be available in plain grey and brown as well as the fully decorated L&B and Southern liveries.
As a modeller with more ideas than time or patience this appeals to me. I don’t have a problem with the incursion of RTR into a “kit builders’ scale” because, let’s face it, the vast breadth of narrow gauge prototypes even in the UK are never going to be covered in the same way that standard gauge locos are now apparently being hoovered up. And on a suitable layout the prospect of easily being able to backfill with rolling stock and concentrate on building locos and scenery is very tempting.
Of course a loco would have been nice. But that would have been a significantly higher investment for a manufacturer and as a toe in the water of an untested market this makes a lot of sense.
I can’t wait to get my hands on some, of course this means I’ll need an 009 layout again to run them on…