Hornby is to take the humble model train set to the next level with the launch of Hornby Digital Sound, a system that sees individual trains fitted with speakers so changes in sound dynamics differ as they travel around the track and through tunnels.   

Rather than the noise coming from a centralised speaker as currently happens, each train will make noises such as coal being shovelled into the steam locomotive’s firebox, waiting to depart, and a the train's whistle, which can be sounded as it rushes through stations.

Trains in the range include the sleek, classic LNER "Herring Gull" Class A4, priced at £234.99, the Diesel Electric Class 50 "Illustrious", priced at £209.99, and Diesel Electric Class 60 "The Hundred of Hoo", available for £209.99.

All Hornby Digital Sound locomotives can be operated straight out of the box, says the train maker, with each class of locomotive having its own individual sounds recorded where possible from the full size locomotive.