The Tri-ang-Hornby M7 tank locomotive, model guide.

The Tri-ang Hornby M7 Tank locomotive model was in the Hornby range for over 40 years. Additionally, The model was also the first to feature a firebox glow and opening smokebox door.

The prototype

An M7 in action

The London and South Western Railway M7 tank engines were used on the intensive London services of the said company. Notably, 105 were built between 1897 and 1911. The designer was Dugald Drummond a Scottish engineer who had worked for three different companies.

Later the type was switched to branch line service using a primitive push-pull system.

The model

There are about twenty versions of the Hornby M7 model. Consequently, They were made between 1967 and 2011. Notably, the chassis and tooling underwent several upgrades.

The model is shown below in the 1970 Hornby catalogue.

The first model and chassis

The first model was R.754 using the X.04 3 pole motor. The running number was 30021. the 1969 version was renumbered 30027

Next came a colour revision in 1970, that was in Southern railway malachite green with a running number of 328.

1974 saw a chassis revision and a colour change to olive green with a running number of 245

The 1985 / 86 model

In 1985 the model was reissued using the 1974 chassis. That was in Southern Railway green with the running number 249. The catalogue number was R.103.

The 1987 / 88 model

Another number change came in 1987 with R.868. This was in BR black with a running number of 30111.

This was the last use of the original tooling, that was well past it’s use by date. Compare it to the image below, of the new tooling.

The 2006 models

A new chassis with a five pole motor and a new tooling appeared in 2006. Several liveries were released. The model also had separately fitted hand rails and much finer detail than the old Tri-ang moulding.

  • SR olive green, number 357, R.2503
  • BR black, number 30479
  • BR black weathered number 30108

Various other livery and number variations appeared until 2011.

More on Tri-ang here

I am an affiliate of AGR Model railways, you can support the free content on this site by buying an Oxford Rail N7 from them, Below.