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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm interested in the Hornby Railroad 9F Evening Star. My two layouts, however, are quite small -- one is 4x6' and the other is 3x4'. Consequently, they use very tight curves. The largest radius curve is basically 18" (here, in North America, curve radii are still measured in inches) but I also have one loop that uses curves that are 16" while the tightest are 15".

I'm just wondering if this 9F will be able to cope with such tight curves without derailing. Maybe I'm crazy to even think about this (especially for the 15" curves)!


Thanks for any feedback or advice!

Rob
 

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My brother recently got this train, it is good, quiet and recepts to the controller well but the coupling rods are VERY weak and bendy and they are easily breakable. The part that has a slidey bit (I don't know what it's called) is the weakest part and you've got to be really careful when opening up the body as it has a tendency to bend and break as the body comes up. It might work on the 16" curves ut I wouldn't make it any smaller as I have and it now emits a squeaking noise. (whether that's to do with the oil I don't know)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Charlie -- I appreciate this feedback re the loco and its couplers. That also makes sense re the curves as well so I realize that I might not be able to run it on the 15" ones. Cheers, Rob
 

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The Hornby 9F is a development of an earlier tender drive product which was good for Hornby's Radius 1 curve, 14 5/8" radius at track centreline. The coupled wheels had a lot of sideplay to allow this, so provided Hornby haven't changed things over much installing the motor in the loco, it may well still manage 15" radius.

One of the compromises Hornby made on this model was mounting the cylinders slightly further outboard: that confers a bit more space behind the connecting rods and slidebars when the first two coupled wheelsets throw over as much as their sideplay permits when on really sharp curves. I would suggest a careful inspection of the clearances between rods and crankpins before running it the first time, and then dead slow round the curves (starting with the largest radius) watching the gear from inside the curve for any sign of trouble. It is worth being cautious, Hornby use a decent motor and drive train, and it has ample power to screw up the scale section brass rods if anything catches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The Hornby 9F is a development of an earlier tender drive product which was good for Hornby's Radius 1 curve, 14 5/8" radius at track centreline. The coupled wheels had a lot of sideplay to allow this, so provided Hornby haven't changed things over much installing the motor in the loco, it may well still manage 15" radius. ... It is worth being cautious, Hornby use a decent motor and drive train, and it has ample power to screw up the scale section brass rods if anything catches.
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Thanks for this info, 34C. This is helpful -- I'll run it slowly at first (when I break it in) and especially run it slowly at the curves. I'll also start by running it through my largest radius curves first. That's good news that there is a good chance it could run OK on 15"R curves! Cheers, Rob
 

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I have an original 1970s tender drive 9F as well as the recent Railroad offering and several more Bachmann ones. What I don't have are any first radius curves to test them on but as the RR version uses a modified version of the original's chassis it should stand a good chance of traversing them. Other than very much finer wheels and motion the cylinders are indeed mounted significantly further outboard than they should be; with the finer motion components this should give more clearance than the original. Note that the original loco was unpowered and so the wheels/motion could be assembled to give much lateral play. The RR version, being loco drive and therefore needing a motor to engage with the (rearmost, i think) wheelset, doesn't have quite as much slop as the 70s one. Mine runs fantastically well - better than any of my 3 Bachmann ones - for which I could have bought 6 Railroad versions!!! If only it had been available then ...! The RR A4 is another superb engine and runs as well as the full price super detail versions.
 
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Hi,

Has anyone tried the body of the china made, tender drive Evening Star on a railroad chassis ? I would like to swap my detailed Evening star body on to one of the newer loco drive chassis, and then maybe cobble together an unpowered loco and tender using the railroad body to use as siding fodder or for double heading.
 

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Almost immediately the loco drive Evening Star came out, somewhere on line a poster said that a body swap between a China made tender drive 9F and the new loco drive 9F was simply a matter of undoing the securing screws, and exchanging the bodies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have an original 1970s tender drive 9F as well as the recent Railroad offering and several more Bachmann ones. What I don't have are any first radius curves to test them on but as the RR version uses a modified version of the original's chassis it should stand a good chance of traversing them. Other than very much finer wheels and motion the cylinders are indeed mounted significantly further outboard than they should be; with the finer motion components this should give more clearance than the original. Note that the original loco was unpowered and so the wheels/motion could be assembled to give much lateral play. The RR version, being loco drive and therefore needing a motor to engage with the (rearmost, i think) wheelset, doesn't have quite as much slop as the 70s one. Mine runs fantastically well - better than any of my 3 Bachmann ones - for which I could have bought 6 Railroad versions!!! If only it had been available then ...! The RR A4 is another superb engine and runs as well as the full price super detail versions.
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Thanks -- this is encouraging, especially that the RR version runs very well & smoothly! Yes, the A4 is tempting too. Rob
 
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Thanks 34C,

I will have to pre-order the black version I think, swap the bodies and then my Evening Star might be able to pull more than its own weight !!
And a black body on a non-powered chassis will give me something to practice my weathering on.
 

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I'd be tempted to wait and see before ordering. The Railroad Caledonian Pug may be based on the old model, but it is less detailed than mine ( no 'handrails' in particular!) and the 9F could turn out to be similar. I'm tempted by the Black 5 but will wait until more pictures of it are available (being in France it's the only way I can judge...)
 

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My 9f is almost 20 years old, Hornby tender drive, runs fantastically well and will pull anything. I have 1 or 2 very tight curves and it never derails. I have never had a problem with this locomotive and is far more reliable and robust then my Bachmann locos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the ongoing feedback. Interesting re the 20-year-old 9F. Some of the older locos are quite robust and can haul a lot (I have several older Hornby ones and 4 Hornby Dublo locos). Rob
 
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