The Hunslet project continues to move forward and since our last update there has been considerable effort in the design area to see how the models will come together, including the Stay Alive and DCC capabilities that we require. As part of this process a lot of time has been spent on research of the multiple variants and the detail differences between them. This has led to the conclusion that we will effectively have to create tooling for both the 50t and 55t chassis as separate items (the liveries announced are split roughly 50/50 between both chassis types) to ensure we get the models right as we do not want to compromise on the models we produce. We have given the go ahead on this tooling and expect the final cost quote through shortly and, when agreed, we then start cutting the tooling for the first Engineering Prototype (EP) which we expect will arrive during the first quarter.
With the change in the tooling, and with some other updates on the cost of production, I have spent some time analysing the figures and updating our budgets to ensure we understand the financial position, and most importantly cash position, of the project given the number of models we will be commissioning. We need to be sure that the cash outlays and their timing are understood and that the time gap between the NGS paying for the models to be produced and collecting the cash from our members for models delivered has been factored in accurately. Based on the calculations we are in a good position to support this time gap period from existing funds so this ensures the project is not at risk from a cash perspective.
At the end of November the pre-orders for the various liveries was over 800 models with additional orders coming through on a regular basis. These pre-orders are absolutely critical to us to determine what you as the members want and to generate cash for us that will help to fund the development work and forthcoming production costs. If you have not got your pre-order in yet, then there is no time like the present so we encourage you go to our website www.ngsjoin.com to fill in the form for your order and pay your deposit. The website stated that pre-orders were open until 31/12/17, however, with production not likely to start for some months yet we will move the deadline to a later date which most likely will be sometime during Q2 of next year.
The design work, additional chassis and updated production estimates have added to the project costs of the model and this may well lead to an increase over the initial pre-order price of Â£70 (being Â£5 off of the initial estimated selling price of Â£75). Until we move into production next year we will not be able to determine the final price, but the Society’s aim is to deliver a quality product at a price that the Membership would be prepared to pay so we will do our best to limit any increase as far as we can.
We will keep you updated via the journals, website, Facebook, etc. as progress continues and look forward to getting the first EP next quarter.