Heljan 47

Discussion in 'Talk' started by FiftyFourA, 8 January 2018.

  1. FiftyFourA

    FiftyFourA Western Thunderer

    Hi Everyone,

    Just browsing the web before tea and settled on the Tower site - apparently Heljan are re-tooling the O gauge 47 for a 2019 release.

    It will be in two formats, 'original' and 'later' condition.

    As it is being completely re-tooled it will be interesting to see which areas they are going to improve. The bogie sideframes for one!

  2. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    It'll be interesting to see if they sort out that flipping awful cab...

  3. Dan Randall

    Dan Randall Western Thunderer

    I'm sure, just like the original batch, they'll be good sellers, but I'll be spending my money on the JLTRT version. :thumbs:


    3 LINK likes this.
  4. Arun

    Arun Active Member

    And the gear train?
    On the G0G forum I'm currently collating data on the gear train faults in Heljan 0gauge diesels. The reported failure rate in these is very high whereas the rate in the centrally mounted motor feeding two towers on the bogies in Falcon, Warship and Western has no reported failures.
    It would make sense to use the latter system in the class 47 if it being re-tooled.

  5. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    I'm not sure about that Arun, if I'm honest. I know it's an irritation if a loco fails, and Heljan really haven't helped themselves with their spares provision, but I do wonder if it's just a small but vocal minority who are swaying opinion. I'll wager that in real terms the failure rates are low.

    The same approach has been used in their European 0-gauge releases and it's not been raised as an issue on any of the German fora, or at least not that I'm aware of.

  6. FiftyFourA

    FiftyFourA Western Thunderer

    And when exactly did 'sense' come into the equation :)) :)) :)).

    We are modellers after all!

    I fancy one of Mr W's 47s as well, but the Clayton must come first. Why, because I want one!

  7. Brian Daniels

    Brian Daniels Western Thunderer

    It is indeed a full re-tool so it will have better cabs, bogies and tanks. I believe it is to have motors as per Falcon, mounted on the chassis to gear towers.
    BrushType4 likes this.
  8. richard carr

    richard carr Western Thunderer


    The original 47 gear train failed fairly often one of my 2 went after very little use, but I had no problem getting the spares and it's a fairly simple job to replace them. I haven't had any further problems since then. None of the other models have had any significant problems to my knowledge and I have bought and used most of them.

  9. Blueeighties

    Blueeighties Active Member

    You have been lucky then Richard. I have multiples of most classes passing through the workshop, and the vast majority of them have had failed gears.
  10. Blueeighties

    Blueeighties Active Member

    The reason failures have not been reported in the newer drivetrain Warship, 60, Falcon, class 25 etc, is that they are too new. All of the other locos are a decent age now.
    And just for info the Western does not have the newer drivetrain.


  11. Brian McKenzie

    Brian McKenzie Western Thunderer

    The problem of splitting plastic gears is well known amongst some Chinese manufacturers, especially by Chinese owned Bachmann America - who to their cost experienced widespread gear failure and unfortunate publicity with some of their On30 products.

    Google "bachmann On30 gear failure" to see something of the massive flood of complaints, suggested fixes and video "how to" gear replacement etc. Bachmann, to their credit eventually mailed replacement gears and gear drive-trains all over the world to anyone who cared to request same, no questions asked.

    How does Heljan mechanism design compare with other suppliers product lines of European prototype for O gauge, but manufactured in China?

    My understanding, from contact with gear manufacturers, is that moulded gears are best avoided in preference for those cut from solid plastic bar stock, in similar manner as for metal gears.

    -Brian McK.
  12. FiftyFourA

    FiftyFourA Western Thunderer

    I'll bet the gear problem has nothing to do with saving a few pence on production costs :cool:.

    I wonder how long it will take some entrepreur to introduce a 'reliable' upgrade, if the reports of the volume of comments on the O gauge website are to be believed then there seems to be a market waiting out there.

    However, like Richard, I have used my Heljans for a few years now (47, 37s, 31 and 40) both on my exhibition layout and Carlisle layout and the only issue I have had is the back-to-back on the Class 40. Is that me 'tempting fate'? :eek:

  13. richard carr

    richard carr Western Thunderer


    You are probably tempting fate !

    In reality most of my locos have actually had very little use, the only 2 that have had a reasonable amount are a class 26 and a Falcon. Neither of which have shown any problems at all. Even my split box 37s have never really been used much even though they must be 10 years old now, but I'm not surprised it has happened given the force fit of a plastic gear on a knurled axle.