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Tuesday, 7 July 2015

My Hornby Class 700

This is the locomotive I purchased from Hornby Hobbies Visitor Centre in Margate recently.

The LSWR Drummond Class 700 a.k.a. Black Motor lasted until December 1962 and none were preserved. It was used for heavy freight workings. Hornby released the model in several guises including 30315 late crest version, which I bought because the prototype was shedded at Salisbury, which seems fitting for the period and location of my Model Railway. I have a picture of a 700 (30692) in 1960 hauling empty ballast wagons to Meldon on the LSWR main line confirming that the class would have travelled on the line and in the period I have modelled.

I added a Zero 1 chip, which was simple to fit in the tender as shown below. The weights had to be removed to make room for it and despite this the train runs satisfactorily but I suspect on tight curves or uneven track the tender might derail. There is still room in there to add a customised weight.

Out of the box the loco was tested using an old analogue Hornby controller and it was noted that the loco had poor slow speed running tending to jump start. With Zero 1 digital control slow running was restored.


So far I have only run it with a 15 wagon train. The loco exhibited wheel slip on the slightest gradient and on the main 800mm curves. I felt that the tender wheels were not particularly free wheeling but I need to investigate further and check the wagons for sticking axles too.

One other problem was a buffer falling off during handling. I glued it back in place.

It is a fine model with nicely detailed and painted cab controls. The cab area has an open aspect that is disconcerting during operation without a loco crew in place. I'll be fitting a driver and fireman.

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