Today’s model of the week is a little earlier in the week in usual, in anticipation of the joint locoyard/UK Heritage Hub announcement of the most famous steam locomotive in issue 21 of UK Heritage Hub. Today we feature the second of three Southern liveried M7 tank engine’s to be found at Locoyard. Built from 1897 to 1911, LSWR’s M7 class were a very successful type. The origins of this 0-4-4 tank engine can be traced back to the North British Railway’s 157 class of 1877. 42 was built in 1899 at Nine Elms and was a short-framed type – note the short distance between the bufferbeam and smokebox.
Unlike 357, 42 was built as typical of most members of its class and has its’ sandboxes located above the splasher, but is also a short-framed variant.
Short framed M7 tank engine’s such as 42 were built for light passenger work but were not fitted with pull-push equipment. The picture below shows 42 in the foreground next to long-framed 51 in the middle and 357 at the back.
This locomotive passed into Southern Railway ownership and eventually into BR service. It lasted until 1957, when it was scrapped at its’ home-shed; Eastleigh.
Two M7 tank’s survived into preservation – short framed LSWR 245 in the National Collection and long-framed Southern 53 at the Swanage Railway.
42; as with its’ other Locoyard classmates is an ideal model for the layout, being big enough to be interesting, but not too big to be out of place. Unfortunately the model is not as powerful as the prototype (these were rated 2P by BR), but are happy with a couple of Maunsell carriages in tow (click here for the Hornby M7 review).