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Hornby T9 and Schools Class

16943 Views 75 Replies 34 Participants Last post by  neil_s_wood
A few weeks ago I e-mailed Hornby asking for the release dates of these two locos, I got no answer; so at Warley I asked the Hornby rep and he said early December. Today I received an e-mail from Hornby apologising for their delay in reply and informing me that both models would be available towards the end of December and they could not guarantee before Christmas.

Anyone else have any info on this?
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*** I have no doubt it will be a nice model overall as there's no reason to think not.

But... Based on the tyres being mentioned I think it fair to comment on that issue:

I certainly don't like the use of traction tyres, and wonder why they are needed when the body is supposed to be cast metal... So I hope Hornby will do as many manufacturers do and include an alternate set of drivers without tyres in the box.

I'd certainly never allow a traction tyre fitted loco on my layout.

QUOTE (John H-T @ 1 Dec 2008, 22:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Performance wise it managed a 25 coach train with its combination of Metal boiler and traction tyres.

**And the point of pulling far more than the real loco ever was asked to do (more than double really) is what?

is there any point in it at all... especially as with most UK home layouts shortened trains are the norm, and larger layoiuts are often more prototype oriented so wouldn't want to pull that many anyway.

It seems very strange to me that a production loco can't be built to haul a prototypical load without adding the horror of tyres to the wheels. All it takes is reasonable chassis accuracy and reasonably proper weight distribution... If I can do it with an average brass kitbuilt loco which is far lighter than the T9, why can't Hornby with this particular many wheeled metal bodied loco?

(after all the Hornby Duchess, 8F etc etc have no problem with good sized trains)

Having said that overall it is an excellent model, let down only by this abberration. I have emailed them to see if a non-tyred driver set will be made available. I hope so.

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*** Tim, why should we need to see it - looking at it will not vapourise the traction tyres! I simply do not comprehend your post... which part about not wanting it to have traction tyres do Sol, Torrington or I have to have patience about.

I'm genuinely pleased you are happy with your purchase but one mans meat is anothers poison, I (we) object to the presence of traction tyres on the loco and I for one will undoubtedly replace the wheels if I buy one.

Nobody has criticised the loco on anything other than this point, which is both valid as a subject for on list comment and important to those who mentioned it.

As I said, I'm pleased yours runs well and you are happy with it, but as it is, it could jump through hoops on your layout and it would still be totally unacceptable on mine. Its all about personal choices and preferences.


QUOTE (72C @ 18 Dec 2008, 21:46) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Did I mention traction tyres? I merely cannot understand how anyone can dismiss anything based on prejudice rather than actual examination and testing.

It seems strange that you accuse me of focussing on the issue of traction tyres whilst my last post did not even refer to the issue. You inability to comprehend my post is only matched by your ability to insert text where none exists.

An apology is expected.


Hello Tim.

Please look more carefully at your own post.

You chose to not attribute it properly but you clearly quoted a final summary line from Torringtons post which was very specifically about traction tyres. To quote it literally in full


Torrington, 10:59 yesterday


Just got off the phone to hornby and was told that the T9 would all be sold with traction tyres and would not have new wheel sets.
I have now stoped my order for the two i wanted!!! How come bachmann can make all thier locos with out loctraction tyres , it seem to me Hornby have gone back to the 80's when the put traction tyres on all their locos.
Have been waiting a long time for them to bring out the T9 and now they go and do this , i agree with Richard why the hell do you need to pull 25 choaches !!!!.
So why did they bother to put a metal body on in the first place , also having traction tyres will mean that the T9 will bounce along and how long will they last before you have to order new ones .
Hornby have let them self down big time on this loco


You edited and removed attribution but used his last line literally. To quote your own post

"Hornby have let them self down big time on this loco"

Therefore you did indeed quite clearly allude to traction tyres, as that was the reason that line was originally posted.

Tim, I have absolutely no interest in arguing with you and was, in my post, both polite and specific - I happen to agree with him and have consistently stated any time they have been mentioned on list that to me, traction tyres are an abomination... however I did not dismiss or make negative comment about your acceptance of them or your loco - in fact I took the trouble to express pleasure that you were enjoying your new T9.

I will happily wish you a Merry Christmas but there is absolutely no need for apologies from anyone.


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QUOTE (Ravenser @ 18 Dec 2008, 22:09) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I don't like traction tyres, but apparently this decision came after some practical tests , and I gather the decoder is in the tender , so Hornby may well have provided tender pickups? - something they've done on a lot of recent steam engines. That would address the pickup issue well enough

Before we lay into them too hard - how many other RTR 4-4-0s with extended smokeboxes and open cabs have been done rtr by any manufacturer? I'm not sure there's much in the way of engineering precedent for how you tackle this one, so saying "well X have done it for years" may not be applicable

I have a feeling other 4-4-0s like the Compounds, D49s, Schools, or even Directors, City of Truro and the like have more at the back (like roomy enclosed cabs) and less at the extreme front making them potentially easier to balance

*** Yes, that is in fact all quite reasonable: I do not think however that it precluded the provision of spare drivers, even if at extra cost, for those who do not like the tyres. It is a precedent that I so sincerely hope is not general on new loco's of any arrangement.

There are two quite simple ways to help balance on a 4-4-0 - using the tender as a balancing weight on the drawbar and using a simple balance beam between front bogie and front driver to transfer weight towards the rear. Both are low cost and extremely simple engineering and would still work on second radius curves.

The balance beam would also help the bogie to track realistically and its use in combination with the front driver would actually have further improved pickup and would have significantly aided traction without real added cost compared to the need or complication of grooving drivers and creating/stocking tyres too.

In the end whats done is done: Providing others have the same positive experience as Tim, given the quality of the loco in other areas and the time saved compared to a full kit build, I will probably eventually buy the T9 as is and simply make a whole new chassis, leaving those happy with tyres to enjoy it as it is.

kind regards

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*** I noted this comment on another e-list a moment ago and wonder if it is true or not, as I am certainly not an expert on this loco (which frankly to all intent and purposes looked OK to me in all the images I saw).


Those of us who have purchased the new T9 from Hornby appear to have bought a bit of a pig in a poke! With the tender frames glued on the wrong sides and seemingly the injector etc pipework also on the wrong sides it says a lot for Chinese Quality control. Or were they given the wrong instructions!!

Apparently Simon Kohler has been informed of this latest fiasco so I will await his comments with interest.

I bought one with a view to converting it to EM but the clearances within the tender frames and the splashers are very tight.


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*** Actually a realistic profile should assist grip, not negate it. My finescale kit built locos which are not all that heavy have no traction problems at all.

The real culprit with the wheels is the material chosen - nickel silver or nickel plate. Nickel silver is nortoriously slippy and if the wheels were changed to finescale Alan gibson wheels in steel the grip would be much much better with no other mods at all!

So.... a simple change that would work a treat would be a set of alloy steel driving wheels to replace the ones there. Even better - stop using nickel silver for rail too - its actually a bad choice for several reaasons when an austenitic stainless steel would look better, solder well and NOT corrode/oxidise as easily as NS does. Even modern steel rail is a far better choice in many cases, but still not OK for damp layouts of course.

There are other very easy solutions to the 4-4-0 problem - a very simple beam suspension to shift load from smokebox/bogie to drivers would be cheap and very easy to produce. Its cost would be negligable.

It would transfer the weight from the front bogie back to the drivers and would have the advantages of better pickup, better traction, better loco balance, better tracking of the loco through curves etc.

Its only downside would be that first radius would be a no-no. No big deal as first radius looks silly with anything bigger than a small shunter.

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