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M7 to Caledonian Class 19

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For a while now I've trying to get hold of a Hornby M7 to to use as a basis for a Caledonian Railway engine. I've seen a few conversions of the older M7 into the classic class 439 (as preserved at Bo'ness) but I thought I'd try building the earlier class 19. Ten of these condensing engines were built in 1895 for newly opened Glasgow Central Railway. Originally painted in the normal blue passenger livery they were repainted black around 1900 due to the conditions in the tunnels which is the condition the model will be finished in.


I can't find any freely avalible pictures of a class 19 but it similar to a class 439 but with lower side tanks and a full width coal bunker, but still the narrow cab inbetween. The main alterations to the M7 will be a new rear bogie (shorter wheelbase and smaller wheels), rebuilt cab and coal bunker, round off the tops of the side tanks and replace/add some of the fittings. I've been able to source most of the parts needed from the ever helpfull Caley Coaches but still require a dome and a few other small parts.


I've made a start stripping the body and fitting a decoder, not as easy as it could have been! It would appear that Hornby have made a few changed to the model since its first production run. Instead of the side tank wieghts being held in by a screw under the filler cap, they are now glued in place making them rather difficult to remove to create space for the decoder. Despite this I still couldn't quite get the Hornby decoder to fit so ended up hardwiring it in instead.




I've also made a start on building a new rear bunker from an old tender top (not sure where it came from) that I found in my scrap box.






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Hello Ross, I'm looking forward to this build and after I've seen how you've done it (I very much like the idea of the old tender back for the bunker) I might put it on my list of future projects if you don't mind. In the mean time I'll go through all my books as I'm sure I've got some pictures of class 19 I can copy for you. In the mean time I've sent you an email. Regards Steve


PS for any one else who doesn't know the subject


Edited by Londontram
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The following may be of use:-

Class 19 0-4-4T that made it to BR days were, (LMS numbers), 15116, 15117, 15121,15122, 15124 & 15124. (Substitute the 1 for a 5 for the BR number).


I have found the following photos:-


55124. BR Steam Locomotives from Nationalisation to Modernisation. Vol 3 London Midland. It is a small front left view of the loco.


15118, 15116, 15117 & 55119. Plates 87-90 in An Illustrated History of LMS locomotives, Vol 3. (ISBN 0-86093-266-4).


The first book does not show 55119 as being in BR service, but it clearly was as 2nd book shows it in BR livery in 1952 at Grangemouth.


Ist book is out of print but the 2nd book gives more views and a brief history. I think you can still get the 2nd book.


Locomotives Illustrated no 144 has views of, CR no: 24, 15115, 15118 & 55124.



Edited by andytrains
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Hi Folks. The Railway Modeller many years ago (may be March 1972) included drawings by W.D Stewart of the Caledonian 19 Class, together with some brief notes.

If any of your are interested, please PM me and I will pass on a copy.


Meantime I am slowly struggling with my own attempts to convert an old Triang M7 to look something like a 439 Class.




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Thanks for the replies guys.


Progress has been a bit slow recently (been trying to stop the garden fence blowing away!) but managed to move things on a bit more today, using the Railway Moddler drawings as a guide. I removed the cab and rear bunker and shortened the frames by 4mm cutting just behind the bufferbeam so that the join would be under the new bunker to try and give it a bit of support. The rear bogie wheelbase was also 4mm too long so I took 2mm out either side of the mount and fitted new smaller wheels. The bogie needs to be mounted a few mm further forward so the bottom of the chassis had to be cut out (see pic) to accomodate the move. I've temporarly reassembled the model to see how it looks. The motor still needs put back in and pickups fitted to the bogie but at least its getting there. The M7 cab is not quite the right size so I think it would be easier to build a new one than to try and modify it.


Those picures will be very useful Andy. I've struggling to find many decent pictures from those angles. I'm planning on finishing the model in a similar condition to the works photo that Steve posted. I'm not too sure when the coal rails were added but I have seen a picture of one fitted with them in CR livery. I've only ever seen pictures from that side of the engines in Caledonian days but I believe that both sides were mirror images of each other (westinghouse pump etc on both sides). It looks like the condensing equipment was removed at some point on 55124, can't have been any need for it if the engine moved to Edinburgh. Prototype information and decent pictures do seem rather had to come by for my chosen period of 1900-1914!






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  • 9 months later...
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And a year or so later still..........! I don't know about the cheaper way,  but certainly the easier in some respects, I recently acquired a completed kit of the DJH class '439' (OK not quite a class 19) model at a price not much more than the price of the current kit alone! It has been rather nicely built, and I am at present waiting for news that a certain professional modeller has completed the painting/lining and weathering job on it. It will be numbered 55210, a 64C (Dalry Road, Edinburgh) loco, and its planned use will be as a pilot/shunter on vacuum-braked stock. One of the above comments refers to a works photo supplied to this thread. If that is the photo of 55124 via the link provided in their contribution to the thread, I think you will find that it was taken at Dalry Road shed (with roofs of Dundee Street tenements in the background) in the very early 60's, during the engine's last days. She was not a 64C engine really, based originally (or earlier) at Motherwell if my memory serves me rightly. Not had any further news on the M7 conversion project. Is it still on-going, or as often seems to happen, have other life-related considerations intervened? 

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Having also missed this up until now, I have a Hornby M7 tucked away with a 439 in mind, and I don't generally even model steam outline but I do like the 439 along with many of the routes they worked in latter days so maybe one day......so following for any further updates on peoples 19s or 439s! 

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