Hornby LSWR T9 – the best looking ready-to-run model yet?

Todays post is a piece my favourite model (in terms of looks) in my collection.  Making a decent model of such an elegant prototype was always going to equal a nice model, but the lengths that Hornby went to, to made this look absolutely fantastic are incredible.

It’s difficult to know where to start in justifying my claims, but let’s start with the cab.  The level of detail is astonishing.  It is one of Hornby’s party tricks, but in the T9’s exposed it is so obvious.  I’m yet to find a Bachmann model that can match this yet, though they are slowly catching up.

Another detail that makes it stand out is the representation of inside valve gear.  Again, I’ve yet to find a Bachmann model that has this detail (in fact they tend to have a shiny sheet of plastic instead).  I’ve had this model for 18 months now and still I stare at it in wonder!

The 8 wheel tender has a removable coal load, making it easy to add your own, as I have.  My only criticism of the model’s appearance are it’s tender wheels, as they look a little too plasticky.  But overall I am yet to find a better looking model.

I purchased this LSWR liveried model around the same time as my Bachmann City of Truro.  It was almost half the price of the City of Truro, but looked better (if only marginally).  At the time I had no layout and when I put the two National Railway Museum 4-4-0’s side by side, the T9 always came out trumps.   This isn’t the case when it comes to performance however.

You see, the model isn’t such a cracker on the track.  The City of Truro easily out-pulls it and is also far more reliable.  As is common with my other Hornby 4-4-0, the schools class; the T9 does not like my second radius curves one bit and sometimes derails at these and at points.  The model is prone to wheel slippage and struggles with four carriages or more.   So although this is my favourite model in terms of looks, it is a long way from being my favourite model overall.  It is a rare performer at the Yard as it isn’t reliable enough.  I’m sure on a larger layout with less-tight curves and mainline points it will work well enough, but for me, putting it on the track was a real disappointment.

The T9 raises and highlights the debate over the question: what is most important in a scale model?  Accurate and convincing looks are great, but performance is far more important for those of us with a layout.  Otherwise we can’t sit back with a cup of tea and watch the trains go by!  As soon as I finish writing this, I’ll be putting the T9 in the best place for it… the display cabinet!

Locoyardometer update! 8th May 2012.

Class: LSWR T9

Use: Express Passenger

Region: (London & South Western Railway) Southern

Era: 1899-1963

Preserved examples:

30120 – National Collection (working on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway)

Manufacturer: Hornby

Model Reviewed – R2892 LSWR 120 Pea green (click here for more info)

Motor: 5 pole Loco-drive

Power: Welterweight

DCC options: 8 pin dcc ready/fitted

Locoyard Review



Fantastic cab with no compromises.



Excellent, as elegant as the prototype



All version’s LSWR, SR, BR all as good as it gets with perfect fine lining.  Tender wheels are a little plastiky at close inspection but do not detract from the wow factor!

Running Qualities:


Smooth, quiet, but fairly sensitive on 2nd radius track

Relative Power:


This may seem harsh, but the T9 was classified as 3P, and the model is a long way off this mark.



Pretty good.  NEM pockets, DCC socket/fitted versions but no DCC sound version yet.  DCC socket in tender with plenty of space.  The tender has a removable coal load.



Prices are very good with some heavy retailer discounts.  However its poor performance lets it down in this area

Overall Locoyardometer Score: 4.1

Beautiful, fantastic detailing.  If only its performance was a little better!

Detailometer 5, Outlineometer 5, Finishometer 5, Motorometer 3.5, Powerometer 2, Specometer 4.5, Valueometer 4, Locoyardometer 4.1

4 thoughts on “Hornby LSWR T9 – the best looking ready-to-run model yet?

  1. For me the best looking locomotive I own is my City of Truro but thats not bad looking either 😉 Tho the wheels on the tender remind of the ones of the Great Bear GWR locomotive which i will have to remember if I ever scratchbuild one


  2. I think this model would be best for an early 1900’s display or a branch line setting with gentle curves and gradients 🙂


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