Southern Railways M7

In the year that Hornby introduce their new superdetailed M7 I have just added a Triang Hornby M7 to the layout. Converted by Mike King using a Marklin skid, this has proved to be an excellent runner. It came with Triang couplings at both ends but I have converted the front coupling to the Peco HD coupling. So bunker first it can pull a HD train and chimney first a Triang one, that is if I had a train of Triang wagons which I don’t – at least at the moment.
This acquisition adds nicely to my branch line theme as these engines were used comprehensively throughout the SR and BR (SR) networks. In their later years they were often used for empty stock movements at Waterloo station. It looks good with a green suburban coach and a parcels wagon.
It would of course be very nice to 3 rail the modern Hornby M7 but unfortunately Hornby now use “so called” fine scale wheels, well at least the flanges are much smaller and this makes them impossible to run on the old 3 rail track. They would de-rail easily on the bends and through the points. The reality is that I have never tried to run a modern Hornby engine on my track so I can’t really prove that the modern stuff won’t run. I think that it might be worth 3 railing a modern Hornby just to prove once and for all that they won’t run on the old track. Something to think about for the future.

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