It’s now mid-February and Members will be aware there were significant quality control issues with the wheels on the forthcoming Hunslet locomotives; so much so that the factory decided to reject the entire initial batch and source a new production after speaking with the designers. This new production has brass wheels, rather than diecast, which gives us the required tolerances and the addition of more weight in the chassis. The production of these wheelsets was completed before Chinese New Year when all the factories in China close down for two weeks, and work resumed immediately afterwards.
So once the production of the Hunslets is complete we will have another hurdle to negotiate. We are aware of long shipping backlogs for containerised freight to the UK – this is a combination of reduced working due to Covid and delays caused by increased paperwork post-Brexit (although our consignment is not coming from the EU, widely-documented difficulties with other freight is having a knock-on effect at seaports such as Felixstowe) and even though our intention still remains to air freight the shipments to the UK, these difficulties above are causing a knock-on effect.
Consequently, at this time, we are unable to give a firm date for the arrival of the models, though we will, of course, update members as soon as possible.