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I wonder how difficult it's going to be to replace these tyres when they wear down, as they will eventually do. The procedure will require the coupling rod to be removed.

As regards pictures of the locos in service, there is an excellent free web-site www.southern-images.co.uk that has many pictures of both T9s and Schools locos at various times in the careers.
 

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Manfred - let's not discourage Hornby and others from producing models like this. The problem with these 4-4-0s (and indeed the M7 0-4-4) is getting enough weight over the driving wheels to provide the adhesion in our small gauge. My M7 struggles with more than 3 Maunsell coaches so it's only fit for branch-line work, rather than for station pilot duty which I had intended - that's now a 2-6-4 tank. You can't pack the front of the boiler with weight as that reduces the weight over the drivers. Hornby have explained in detail that there is no real alternative to traction tyres other than a motorised tender, which the previous version of the Schools had. I'm sure we don't want to go back to that, so I'll put up with tyres for having the model in the first place. I do want some variety on my layout - ie I don't want all 6-coupled (or more) engines only. Perhaps Hornby will provide a service to replace tyres at a reasonable cost.

Of course, if you're in to modern image and like the idea of having a Schools on railtour duty with a reasonable load, you could always plonk a diesel on the back and run as a "double-header" ....
 

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Between them Bachmann and Hornby already provide a J39 for LNER fans, Dean Goods and Collett 2251 for the GWR, Q1 for the SR and LMS 4F so I think that area is pretty well covered ...
 

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OO gauge tenders are large enough to hold the complete motor - as with the old Hornby Schools and the current Hornby 9F. And no worries about traction tyres on the tender as the loco can have pickups on all wheels including front bogie. The M7 picks up from its rear bogie. I think I'd rather have that than some complex shaft drive between the two. These models are aimed at the toy market so they need to be robust enough to work reliably in that environment. Thus you need to keep the engineering simple. In fact with motors so small these days you could have motor in both engine and tender which would be relatively simple although the cost would go up, which I believe is the real issue. I suspect Bachmann and Hornby are making models to a price rather than a spec, but a very good job they do nevertheless.

As to other type of models that H and B might produce I think we need to remember they're really in the toy market not the finescale one. I find it remarkable that you can buy a new Bachmann 9F for little more than £90. Fleischmann produce superb models - and wouldn't we love it if they produced a British OO range to the same standards? But the Fleischmann HO equivalent of the Bachmann 9F costs between £250 and £400..
 
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