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BR 4-6-2 Britannia Class 7MT 'William Wordsworth'

Hornby Railways R2563

British Railways' standard class 7,
otherwise known as the Britannia Class is a class of 4-6-2 steam
locomotive designed for express passenger work, one of British Railways'
standard classes of the 1950s.
Designed by Robert A.
Riddles CBE, 55 examples were built and 2

Variations: 70035-70039 were built with
roller bearings on the leading and trailing coupled axles only and plain
bearings elsewhere. 70040-70049 were built with plain bearings throughout.
Over their service life the roller bearings used in remaining cases showed
no advantage in reliability or cost.

Preservation: Two Britannias have survived,
the original 70000 Britannia and 70013 Oliver Cromwell.

Train Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle Rolling stock

British Railways Class 7MT, no. 70013
'Oliver Cromwell' at York Railfest on 3rd June 2004 prior to the start of
its restoration to working order. Image by Phil Scott.

[Above text and photos source: Wikipedia]

Train Wheel Vehicle Motor vehicle Rolling stock

[Above photo source:

No. 70030 'William
Wordsworth' was delivered into
traffic in November 1952. Originally allocated to Hollyhead, the
locomotive finished its days at Carlisle Upperby and was withdrawn from
traffic in 1966.

The Hornby Railways model R2563. Released: October 2006. Price:

Model Specification (from Hornby): Length: 287mm; Running No. 70030 'William
Wordsworth'; Livery: BR green; Period Late 1950s/
Early 1960s; Finish: Pristine; Detail: Extensive, DCC ready.

Suitable Rolling Stock: R4260A, R4261A, R4262A, R4263B, R4264B.

Click on the photos of the model for a
larger view.


This is always a fun
experience. You have mixed feelings: anticipation, excitement, slight
worry about potential broken bits and nervousness about getting it all out
in one piece as we know that our stub-fingers are not designed to handle
these fine models.

Rectangle Gas Gun accessory Transparency Composite material

Charcoal Cuisine Gas Dish Ingredient

First thing that you notice is that the tissue paper has
been replaced by a plastic film - that turns out to be some sort of latex
- perhaps static free, but quite interesting.

Second thing that you see is a bag of coal. It is real coal, great idea.
It needs crushing a little bit more to get it down to
scale, but this will be a good project for
detailing the loco in a short while.

The third thing that I noticed was a bogy wheel wedged
above the cab roof... not a good sign.

With all this packaging: foam, latex and plastic wedges,
the loco was still moving around in the tray... what else was damaged?

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Train Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Motor vehicle

I found a cab door off and the bogy wheel previously
mentioned. Also a strange piece of metal wire, but I also found the rear of
the cab buckled in. This is what had squeezed out the cab door. I would
say that the parcel had received a bit of a shock in transport.

Luckily the deformed cab was able to be bent back to
shape. I glued the cab door in place and I replaced the wheel.
There was a
section of white piping loose and a bit of black plastic came loose in my
hands, but I couldn't find out where it had come from. Nothing looked
missing - perhaps it was some bit of left over sprue.

I have in the past added the detail kit and installed
the decoder only to find that there have been problems, so this time I
checked the loco on address "0" of my DCC setup.

Train Vehicle Rolling Rolling stock Measuring instrument

See video

(972 KB)

It worked fine. The rough sound of the
motor oscillating is quite normal. I
proceeded to install the decoder (see below) and when that was done and tested, I
added the detail kit that was supplied with the loco.

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The loco is
the top of the current range of Hornby models - funny How I've said that a
few times in the last few years... It really is
though. Very well
built with fantastic detail. It runs smoothly and looks great from any

There are some issues though.
'William Wordsworth' is not
a preserved loco and it is finished in a pristine finish, but I'm not sure
if in real life it would have ever looked so 'flash'. The white piping
around the cab is quite bright. Apparently it was asbestos clad copper
piping so even new, it would never have been white and it would have got
dirty pretty quickly. Another job to do...

The bogy is the most
weird bogy I've seen, it doesn't look as though it will work on the track,
and it adds a degree of difficulty to put the loco o the rails.
It flops about all over the place I've seen
many a Hornby Pacific, but this is the strangest.

The pony truck at the
rear have smooth un-flanged wheels. It honestly doesn't look too bad and it
will help the loco go around the bends of some tight home layouts, but no
replacement wheel-set was supplied. Even though my bends are quite gentle,
I don't replace my ponies as I'd rather they ran well than jam up in
tricky spots.

The tender has all wheel
pickup and is electrically connected to the loco with two wires that plug in using a
small plug and socket under the front of the tender (below
left). This is a much better
arrangement than the copper pins and plates on the tender hook of previous
models. I had issues with those setups - well done Hornby for going down
this route. You just have to make sure that the wires don't drag onto the
track (see photo below right). Look at the photo at the
top of the page (here) to see how
the wires should be arranged.

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Train Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle Rolling stock

The tender has a bar with two holes to connect to the loco
as Bachmann have done to allow close coupling and an eased setting for
going around the bends. As you can see from the photos below, the close
coupling setting (below left) is not very practical and would probably not work on most
layouts. Use that in the display cabinet and use the loose setting
(below right) for the

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Detailing is exceptional and is above what we have seen so
far from British manufacturers. With the detail kit added, the loco really
looks good. There is no way you can use the front NEM socket with all
those pipes and coupling hooks. I had one small standard coupler supplied
in the accessory bag. I wonder if the rear one on the loco was missing of
if they only now supply one.

The cab detail and the
tender detail is great. Quite a few colours are used to decorate the
controls and dials and water level gauges are well done. The tampo
printing on the tender is very fine indeed.

Train Vehicle Wheel Rolling stock Window

Train Gas Rolling stock Locomotive Rolling

I wouldn't want to put this loco back in the box in a
hurry. I'll do some surgery in the tray to make sure that the details are
not damaged. I'll tape the bogy in place and I'll add a bit of soft
padding allowing the loco to sit better.

anyway, its going to get a bit dusty first as I don't plan on taking it
the layout for a while.

What a great model.
Fantastic looking engine that runs very well. Lets just hope that it
can do some heavy work on the main line.

DCC Decoder

The choice of decoder is the
Lenz Gold-JST Silent-Back EMF DCC Decoder
(Article Nr. 10433).

The decoder can handle a

current draw of 1.0 Amp
with a peak
current for short periods of 1,8 A. Some of the
main features are:

  • Super smooth and
    silent high frequency back-EMF motor control.
  • Supports the industry
    proposed enhancements to the NMRA DCC
  • Bidirectional data
    communication RPs
  • USP with optional
    power module for operation on dirty track
  • Asymmetrical DCC
    support including directional stopping
  • Adjustable precision
    stopping control
  • Low speed gear for
    switching operations
  • Motor and function
    outputs protected
  • Four function outputs
    rated at 200mA each with advanced function mapping
  • Directional or
    independent lighting with dimming and special effects.
  • Support for Advanced
    Consist Control and Extended Addressing
  • Support for
    programming on the mainline (operations mode programming)

Follow the instruction supplied with the loco to remove the
body. Don't forget to disconnect the speedo (below left). I did this before I
added the detail pack and I used a Peco loco holder to work on the model when
upside down.

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Above right, you see the Lenz Gold decoder. I removed the
capacitor and taped up the wires running through the ferrite so that
there would be no shorts as the harness was pushed around. The decoder
plugs in easy enough.

Now for the fun. I started
this process with removing the loco from the box at around 2 pm. I
finished the whole thing - with detail pack on at around 6pm. The
first reason
for the long job is that the valve gear have two horrid
lubricators that attach to the chassis and come up through the footplate.
The China glue is pretty weak and plastic stuck to metal doesn't
hold very well. This causes the whole thing to spring apart just as
you're trying to do a delicate manoeuvre... Secondly and more importantly,
the decoder is a little chunky and the space in the
body is limited. I had a few trials before I got it right Where you think
it would logically go, it doesn't and where you think it would stick it
ends up going in...

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First try (above right) in the smoke box, didn't fit. The
decoder is too wide. Second try (below left) at the back of the motor,
blocks somewhere. I don't know where, I don't have a micro endoscope, but
it blocked. Third try (below right) on top of the motor worked. The space
in the body is wider there and there is enough space above the motor to
fit the decoder.

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Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Rolling Rim

The metal under the decoder
needs to be taped to prevent short circuits. Use black tape to secure
everything and to tidy up the wires.

The instructions that come with the loco say for DCC
installation: "DCC Ready - contact your specialist
dealer for advice" ... well he'll charge an arm and a leg
for doing this if you send it in. Learn from my
trials, either use a smaller decoder or
stick it above the motor.

Testing the installation

Place the locomotive on the programming
track (without its body on) and read
the loco address (CV1). If you have installed the decoder correctly, you should now be able to read the address
(3= factory default for the Lenz Gold). If you
are not able to do so, it is possible that you have made a mistake
when connecting the cables. Do not
subject the loco to full running track power until you
the correct "03" address read-out.
If there is a problem, recheck your
cables and connections.

Set the long address to
whatever you want. In this case it's 7003. You can then continue to
program on the programming track or do the rest of the settings on the
main if your system can handle PoM.

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See video after DCC decoder installation


DCC CV Settings
for '
William Wordsworth' Locomotive
using the

Lenz Gold-JST decoder
Adr7003Long loco
Minimum Speed (V Min at
step 1)
CV34Acceleration delay
CV44Brake Delay (0-15)
Max speed (V high)
CV680Acceleration Curve (V
CV17219Long address Hi bit
CV1891Long address
Lo bit
CV2938Decoder Configuration

The rest of the CV's are left
untouched (factory default).

Train Rolling Railway Rolling stock Gas


A very good model.

I had read that there were
some damaged examples around and this is an issue that Hornby needs to
address if it is going to produce more detailed models in the future.

Hornby also need to give
better instructions about installing a decoder. I don't see why they cant
test a few standard decoders and then give a few guidelines to the guys
who wish to install a decoder themselves. Not everyone is going to send
their locos in to get a decoder installed.

This leads to the issue of
DCC ready and DCC onboard. I would buy DCC onboard locos so as to prevent
all this wasted time, bust fiddly bits and frustration... but only if the
decoder was a good one. I am not interested in a bottom of the range
decoder in a model like this. I have a selection of decoders and I will
put an older one or one with fewer functions in one of my kid's Thomas
locos, but I am getting used to the nice features of the Lenz Gold and I
wouldn't expect anything less in a model such as this. I do not want to
have to remove a low-end decoder so that I can fit a better one myself.

I'll add some more info to
this review over the next few days. I'll test it's pulling power
and see about getting that coal loaded plus a few little vieos of the loco.
Please check the posts linked to the button below for these supplements to
the review.

Pulling test video


- October 2006

Many thanks to
OnTracks for
supplying the model.

All text, photos & graphics ©2006
Doug Teggin - All rights reserved.

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