Re-released in 2005, almost 30 years after the Class 31 was dropped from the Hornby catalogue in 1976, the revamped Class 31 comes in various guises, with Hornby paying very close attention to the numerous subtle variations between prototypes including two cab roof designs, steps, boiler ports, headlights plus original and refurbished body styles. The R2900XS is no exception to the rule with Hornby faithfully recreating 31247’s distinctive Railfreight livery very accurately indeed, and the addition of DCC control with realistic sound makes this locomotive even more attractive.

Hornby R2900XS Class 31 With DCC Sound

Hornby R2900XS Class 31 With DCC Sound

Powering the OO scale Class 31 is a 5-pole, skew wound motor which drives all six axles giving very quiet, smooth, and powerful operation, with plenty of power under the hood for hauling long, scale length trains around your layout.

Over the past 9 years, Hornby have released no less than 16 different versions of the Class 31, covering a huge range of liveries and variants. The latest two releases were in 2012, the R3044 Network Rail yellow version and the R2900XS BR Railfreight Grey. The detail and standard of finish on both these models is excellent to say the least, with excellent attention to detail throughout. Sprung buffers, headlights, NEM couplers a DCC capability make the Class 31’s very attractive locomotives indeed.

Features & Specification

  • Period: 1957 Onwards
  • Region: ER, WR, LMR,
  • Locomotive Nos: D5500-D5699, D5800-62, 31101-327, 31400-469
  • Body: Plastic with metal components
  • Chassis: Metal with plastic parts
  • Weight: 480g
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 228mm
    • Height: 51mm
    • Width: 35mm
    • Wheel Diameter: 14mm
    • Bogie Wheelbase: 56mm
  • DCC Ready: Yes, 8 Pin Socket. R2900XS comes DCC Fitted and with sound
  • Lights: Directional
  • Minimum Curve Radius: R2 (438mm)
  • Recommended DCC Decoders: Hornby R8245, R8249, Gaugemaster DCC20, TCS DP2X-UK
  • RRP: £133.75 to £231.75 for DCC with sound
  • Trade In Value: £25 for basic models, £75 with sound.
  • Second-hand models: £95 with sound, £40 to £50 without.
  • Hornby Class 31 Spare Parts List

Model Variants

  • R3044 Network Rail
  • R2963 North Yorkshire Moors Railway
  • R2413B BR Blue (Weathered)
  • R2420A BR (Late Crest)
  • R2900XS Railfreight with DCC Sound
  • R2754 Railfreight Grey
  • R2573 Minotaur (Fragonset Black)
  • R2413A BR Blue (Weathered)
  • R2571 BR Blue (Weathered)
  • R2413 BR Blue (Weathered)
  • R2803XS Railfreight 2 Tone Grey
  • R2753 Railfreight 2 Tone Grey
  • R2649 BR Blue
  • R2572 BR Green (Late Crest)
  • R2421 BR Maintenance
  • R2420 BR Green (Late Crest)

Hornby Class 31 Model Gallery

Is It Worth The Money?

Without doubt the Class 31 is an excellent model, and the inclusion of DCC sound with the R2900XS adds to the realism greatly. It’s expensive though so if you’re on a tight budget it may be worth looking at the slightly less equipped, yet just a good looking DCC ready models and fitting your own decoder and sound module when the budget allows. The price of a basic model is over £130 now, but the standard of finish and level of detail make it excellent value for money.

Smooth running mechanism. Quiet operation. Excellent attention to detail, lights & sound.

There were some issues with the metal used on the chassis in earlier releases. The outer ends of the bogies are a little too open too.

Overall Rating

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