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Ho uk

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20 Oct 2009
The recent TGV visit to St Pancras, and ICE before it, along with those diesels that dragged them through Kent, got me thinking about the long term future of OO scale.

DB will be running services on HS1, along side the Eurostar e320 in a couple of years, but I'm having difficulty imagining these sets modeled in 1:76. If hornby choose to model HS2 captive stock in OO, the 16.5mm track will look awfully narrow.

With more European types likely entering the UK as competition opens up on HS1, and HS2 eventually opening the North of England to European loading gauge vehicles, how long before HO gains a foothold among modern British outline modelers?

What would it take for OO collectors to switch?
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RailUK Forums


Established Member
4 Mar 2010
The original Hornby Eurostar was originally modelled in HO scale, as it was basically a Jouef import. It is telling that it was only a couple of years before Hornby developed a 00 scale version of the train to replace the earlier model. More recently, the HS1 domestic units, the 395s, have been modelled in OO scale by Hornby, and both the Lima and Hornby class 92s were OO scale. Of course these latter two also see regular use off the HS1/Channel Tunnel network, particularly the class 92s which undoubtedly spend considerably more time away from the international link than they do on it.

Therefore I would imagine that if a model of the future HS2 "classic compatible" stock is produced, it will be in OO scale. As for the HS2 captive stock, I'm not sure, but as far as any International interlopers are concerned, such as the Velaros or TGVs, then modellers will continue to be content to purchase HO scale models of these trains from the European manufacturers as they do at present. Even on a layout modelled on an interchange between classic and high speed service, such as St. Pancras or HS2 Euston, the high speed and international services will still be sufficiently segregated from the "classic" services for the differences in scale to be imperceptible.

I don't think that an increased number of international services or HS2 will pose a threat to OOs strong foothold over the UK railway modelling market.
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