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Hornby R2419 Class 09 Diesel Locomotive "Dick Hardy"
Review by Gary Leigh
DCC Decoder installation by Doug Teggin

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The original fleet of 26 Class 09 diesels shunters were built at Darlington and Horwich works between 1959 and 1962 by British Railways, and allocated to Southern Region. They were outwardly identical to the Class 08 0-6-0 shunters, but powered by an English Electric 400hp 6K engine. Fitted with revised gearing, they had a maximum speed of 27.5mph, which permitted trip working over the congested south of England network. This higher speed also permitted running on branch lines.

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In 1992/93 a further batch of 12 standard Class 08s were rebuilt with modified gearing and classified as 09s, subgrouped as 09/1 and 09/2 depending on whether they were fitted with 110v or 90v auxiliary electrics.

When Hornby announced that they were to release an updated version of the Class 08/09 0-6-0 diesel shunter many wondered if Hornby had taken leave of their senses as there was already what many consider to be a fine model of thisclass available on the shelves for modellers. However, Hornby promised something very special and that they would deliver a product that would set a new standard for detail, finish, and running qualities. There has been a Class 08 in the Hornby range since the 1950's and given that the last update of this model by Hornby was almost 30 years ago then do we now have a model that will take Hornby through the next 30 years?

The model being reviewed is the Class 09 "Dick Hardy" in the grey engineers livery. No. 09 012 "Dick Hardy" is named after one of SR's most popular managers who was the depot managers of Stewart's Lane and Chairman of SLOA. The loco is currently working at the EWS yard at Hoo Junction in Kent.

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Hornby have a new form of packaging that permits locomotives to be removed without any risk to the fine detail as the packaging comes apart around the loco. The package is complete with operating and maintenance instructions, a history of the locomotive, detailing parts to fit on the front and rear buffer beam, and an insulating sleeve for a DCC chip. The loco is DCC ready.

The first impressions are that this loco is something very special and well worth what is perceived as a premium price for a loco of this size in the Hornby range. At the front of the loco there is a radiator grill that has slats in it. The auxiliary electrical wiring is all in place and all the maintenance eyes have holes in. The loco side includes brake blocks that are accurately positioned, a fully detailed chassis, doors that open, printwork that is perfectly legible with a magnifying glass, and all handles and grab rails perfectly proportioned and positioned. The toolboxes and cases all appear to be separate units with appropriate gaps between them and the bodywork. This no doubt will permute a number of permutations to be produced and with around 1000 of these locomotives (Class 08 and 09) built the permutations are considerable!

Hornby Class 09 Diesel Locomotive "Dick Hardy"

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There is plenty of detail on both sides
of the locomotive including separately fitted tool boxes and cases
The radiator grill is slated and all
auxiliary electric cables and pipes are separate components
Good detail on the cab end including
separately fitted windscreen wipers and coupling hook
The printwork including the driver
instruction table and dials is crisp and legible
Note the maintenance eyes with holes in
on the roof
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The paintwork on the cab end is crisp
with no paint creep visible between the black and yellow
A closer look at the printworkThe pump has to be fitted before the
drivers cab steps but this is all done by Hornby so not your problem!
A closer look at the printwork on the
opposite side
There is fine panel and handle detail on
both sides of the loco
The cab roof has a sliding vent

The cab roof has a sliding vent and once again all maintenance eyes have holes through them. The cab rear has separately fitted windscreen wipers and comes with all the brackets and electrical circuitry as separately fitted components. The cab interior is a perfect representation of the real thing in miniature and this can only really be appreciated when the cab body is removed. There must be in excess of 60 separate detailing parts that are factory fitted.

There can only be one score for the appearance of the Hornby Class 09 and that is 10/10. It really is impossible to see how Hornby could not have made a better looking model!

A photographic comparison of the Hornby and Bachmann versions

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The Hornby and Bachmann locos side by
Note the difference in the maintenance
hook details.
The Hornby loco on the left has a slated
The Hornby loco on the left has a
prototype coupler hook fitted (to both front and rear buffer beams)
The roof detail compared with the vent on
the Hornby loco on the right in the open position
There are a few more rivets on the end on
the Hornby loco to the right
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The exhaust detail is slightly smaller on
the Hornby loco to the top
The motion gear on the Hornby loco to the
top uses smaller components
The Hornby chassis. Notwithstanding the
detailing parts it was much easier to remove the Hornby body without damage
which is an important consideration for DCC users.
The Bachmann chassis. Current examples
are now DCC ready. It seemed impossible to remove the Bachmann body without
damaging something as it is clipped in place as well as being screwed.

It is worth saying a few words regarding how the Hornby version compares with that produced by Bachmann. When you look closely at the two locomotives you can see differences in the detail and the Bachmann loco does not exhibit the same running qualities at very slow speeds. You will require a good quality control unit to get the best out of the Hornby Class 08 and basic set control units really will need to be replaced.

The Hornby chassis and body revealed

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The Hornby Class 09 ChassisThe mark placed on the flywheel to help
note how slowly the motor rotated - 6 revs per minute!
The "DCC ready" installation pointBe careful when removing the body as the
plugs for these fittings have to be removed from the chassis first
Be careful when removing the body as the
plugs for these fittings have to be removed from the chassis first
The boxes and cases on the side of the
body are all separately fitted

Now apart from promising us something very special on the appearance front (and Hornby have delivered here) they also promised a locomotive with running qualities that at least equal the very best of Continental and American models. Now bearing in mind that this Hornby loco is around £45-£55 and Continental locomotives of this size are around £70-£90 then if we are indeed getting Continental style performance we are getting it at bargain basement prices! So have Hornby also delivered on this promise?

The answer is an astounding yes and better!

New owners of this locomotive will never have experienced anything like this before. The slow running performance is so slow that motion can be imperceptible. I invited my better half to have a look at the locomotive and it took her 30 seconds before she realised that the loco was in motion. It will crawl along at the pace of a few millimetres in minutes. It is important to have the right controller to appreciate the slow running of this locomotive and I found that my old H & M Duette with the high resistance and half wave settings was perfect. It has made me wonder whether a 128 stepped DCC control unit has enough steps as I am confident that any DCC user will notice the steps at slow speeds when running this locomotive. One of the benefits of analogue is that the control in infinitely variable.

The five pole skew wound motor combined with the sizeable flywheel has a lot to do with this. This motor design is unique to Hornby and offers a very smooth performance as a result of power being available for 100% of the motor cycle, and the skew winding permitting a longer armature coil for a given size of can motor. The flywheel was marked up and the motor was timed for revolutions and an absolutely astoundingly low 6 revs per minute was possible. Now noting that the loco is geared at about 50:1 this does mean that it would be possible for controller to be set so that the locomotive takes over 8 minutes to complete one revolution of the wheels! This sort of performance has simply not been seen before in a British outline locomotive and probably has never been seen before in any model locomotive worldwide!

So there is only one score to offer for performance and this is also 10/10!

The Hornby Class 09 Cab Interior

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The images are taken from a number of angles. Note the printed dials and the separately fitted control levers. The cab could not be removed as it seemed to be glued in place. From the images though it is clear that new standards have been set.


When you compare the detail and running qualities of American and European equipment this Class 09 locomotive is a good match and arguably much better. And taking into account the price of around £45 to £55 you are getting exceptional value for money. This is the slowest running model you are likely to have experienced and to get the best out if it you will require an analogue control unit with a high resistance half wave pulse setting. The loco has not been tested with DCC and this will be the subject of a further review. If this is the first of a new range of upgraded and new locomotives from Hornby utilising this chassis then Hornby are to be commended and this and subsequent models are likely to be very popular. Certainly, as far as "Dick Hardy" goes, it seems impossible to suggest how Hornby could have made the model any better![/TD]

DCC Decoder installation

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Follow the supplied instructions to take the loco apart. 4 screws under the chassis and some fiddly hoses and pipes to pry free and you're set. You don't have to force anything - if you do it right, it comes apart easily.

Note: The TV interference suppression capacitor has to be removed for DCC use. A capacitor is only needed for conventional operations to prevent radio interference. With DCC operation a capacitor corrupts the data format and the error free data transfer is disturbed. A snip with a small cutter does the job. I removed the capacitor and covered the exposed all the wires (above-right).

Remove the sponge pad from the inside of the body if it helps make a little more space for the decoder wires.

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I installed an Arnold Digital 81201 decoder into the Loco. As there are no extra functions required by the locomotive a simple, but robust decoder is fine. The 81201 can handle 1.5 amp.

The Lenz LE1035E is probably the best decoder for this loco as it has a half-speed shunting mode that can be activated using function 3 at any time. Using the Arnold 81201 decoder, the loco moved 20 cm in one minute at the first speed step. That is slow - If you need slower, use the Lenz LE1035E.

The installation was very easy as the decoder with its NEM plug simply plugged in and after the wires were routed, the decoder fitted well between the front screw pillars. It is shielded by the sleeve supplied by Hornby. Tape down the decoder wires over the NEM plug as there is no room for any wire above the gearbox armature and the body will rock if you don't.

Close up the body carefully and start programming the decoder. I noticed that the direction of travel was wrong so I assume that the factory wiring of the NEM plug must have been wrong. This is corrected easily using CV29, adding 1 to this value, so mine is now 3 instead of 2. Program CV29 according to how your Class 08 was wired.

We debated the top speed and after some experimentation we agreed that 100 seemed realistic enough at the top speed for the loco. The mid point was set to 50 giving the speed curve a straight line shape.

DCC CV Settings for the Class 08/09 Locomotive

CV112Address (The loco
CV21Minimum Speed (V Min at
step 1)
CV34Acceleration delay
CV44Brake Delay (0-15)
CV5100Max speed (V High)
CV650Acceleration Curve (V
CV9216PWM frequency (69Hz)
CV293Decoder Configuration
CV490Decoder specific values
CV5020Decoder regulation
The rest of the CV's are left
untouched (factory default).

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A very interesting model that handles very well under DCC. Smooth and faultless. High torque and excellent traction make it a perfect shunter. With 6 new models to choose from by Hornby and Bachmann we are a little spoiled for choice!
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