• No.12 “Sarah Siddons” in two different guises, the first being 1990s livery when she carried an elaborate version of London Transport livery (or it certainly appears elaborate when placed alongside No.11) and her current day appearance in original Metropolitan livery. The model is superbly detailed and finished to the highest standard. Nameplates, crests, lining and numbers are all crisp and sharp. There are no extra detail parts to fit, which is a welcome bonus for anyone not keen on this task and certainly a long way from the early Heljan models which had a mountain of detail parts to fit. The only issue I would raise with this model is that the screw shackle and pipework that surround the NEM pocket would need removing if fitting the traditional tension lock couplings supplied with the model.
Performance wise the model is very smooth and quiet, benefitting from it’s three pole motor and heavy diecast chassis, the model also runs smoothly over insulfrog points thanks to it’s excellent pick ups. Another pleasant feature is the interior cab lights. Although I am yet personally to load test one, Heljan claim it to be capable of hauling fifteen coaches on level track. For DCC fitting, four screws underneath are removed and the body slides off, there is plenty of room for the 21pin chip to be housed. The only note of caution I would exercise when undertaking this process is that the body fit is very tight and can be difficult to remove without disturbing some of the locos more delicate details. Is this model suitable for my layout?: One negative of this model is the very limited scope for operating the class and the lack of suitable stock for them to haul. In their working days the class was seldom known to stray from the Metropolitan network and most of the time would be seen working the passenger trains. Metropolitan/London Transport stock is largely the domain of those prepared to kit and scratch build, I have seen some wonderful 75