Following on from the announcement that PECO are releasing ready-to-run 009 wagons and coaches, the March edition of Railway Modeller carries the news that Heljan will launch a ready-to-run loco for the scale!
They have chosen the Manning Wardle 2-6-2 tanks of the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway, which is no surprise given that PECO are producing wagons and coaches for the same line. But it is a good choice, an elegant and popular loco that will sell well to collectors, and in different liveries (the later version may follow later too). It's a good size and design for many "freelance" 009 layouts, and I can see it, with the PECO stock, attracting many to 009. I can also see the outside-frame chassis being useful to some!
No price or availability date yet, but it is great news for 009, and I'm sure one will be on my Christmas list one day!