'Cat' out of bag for Hornby

'Cat' out of bag for Hornby

L&MR 0-4-2 Lion on display at the Rocket 150 celebrations at Rainhill in 1980.  (Wikimedia Commons/Oxyman. Barry Lewis).

Hornby has confirmed that it is working on a 'OO' gauge ready-to-run model of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway 0-4-2 Lion, to complement its recently-introduced all-new 4mm scale model of Stephenson's Rocket. The model was originally due to be announced in Hornby's 2022 catalogue.

Built in 1838, Lion was ordered from Todd, Kitson and Laird of Leeds for use on goods traffic. It was subsequently rebuilt in 1841 with a longer boiler and remained in traffic with the London and North Western Railway until 1857. It was later sold to Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, while in the late 1920s it was handed over to the Liverpool Engineering Society for safe keeping. In 1953, Lion went on to achieve celebrity status in the classic movie, The Titfield Thunderbolt, and was renamed Thunderbolt for its starring role.

Confirming the surprise news on March 8, Hornby's Marketing and Product Development Director, Simon Kohler, explained: "After the success of Rocket, Lion was most definitely on the list, especially given the public demand. We were intending to announce it later this year or early next..."

Prices, delivery timescales and the specification of this new 'OO' gauge model have yet to be confirmed.