Model railway manufacturer Hornby Hobbies has released a limited-edition version of its Class 66 locomotive model to represent the locomotive that GB Railfreight named after Capt. Tom Moore.
Having seen the reaction to the unveiling of the 129-tonne, Class 66 freight locomotive named in Capt. Moore’s honour to mark his 100th birthday, Hornby asked GB Railfreight if they could replicate their loco in miniature form with all profits being donated to the NHS as a thank you for the work frontline staff are doing during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The original plan was to make only 500 models. However, Hornby found it impossible to keep up with demand and, in less than 48 hours, it had sold more than 2,500. Since then, Hornby has added 1,000 more to its stocks and sales of the model have raised £140,000 for the NHS.
The full-size Captain Tom Moore locomotive has already been playing its part to help the COVID-19 recovery by hauling loads, including containers carrying PPE gloves, from Southampton to distribution centres around the country.
Simon Kohler, marketing & product development director at Hornby Hobbies, said: “Like others, we at Hornby were inspired by the achievements of the amazing Captain, now Colonel, Tom Moore and we were so pleased that GB Railfreight, Porterbrook, Procast Foundry and Railwayana Auctions teamed up to create a special livery on one of GB Railfeight’s Class 66 locomotives.
“As a special thank you to Col. Tom Moore and the NHS, Hornby will be producing as a limited edition, 3500 models of locomotive 66 731, ‘Capt. Tom Moore – A True British Inspiration’ the sales of which will generate £140,000 which will be donated to the NHS Charites with our heartfelt appreciation in what they are doing for us all.”
Bob Tiller, engineering director of GB Railfreight, said: “We are delighted that the Captain Tom Moore locomotive ably reproduced by Hornby, has been such a success and sales have helped raise more money for NHS charities supporting our wonderful NHS heroes as we deal with the ongoing pandemic. The popularity of the model shows what an inspiration, Captain Tom Moore has been to us all.
“The speed at which the 3,500 miniature locos had been sold is testament of the whole railway community, including railway enthusiasts’, appreciation for the work of the NHS during this period.
“I hope that this locomotive will be a cherished reminder on model railways for years to come of the debt we owe to the NHS and the important role that the railway and freight services have been playing in helping the UK through this crisis.”