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Hornby SR Schools
Tim Davies
Hornby R2742, SR Schools class 903 “Charterhouse”, Maunsell green, and
Hornby R2745, SR Schools class 902 "Wellington" Bulleid green, smoke deflectors,
both with 5 pole skew wound motor, loco drive. DCC ready. Made in China. 12/14* wheel pickup, and fitted TCS UK decoders from new. Both £62 on special, a bargain. Other versions can be over £100.
Hard to fault. They have sprung buffers and cab detail maybe even better than the N15. Paint finish and printing perfect. The prototypes had a cut down version of the N15 boiler and this really shows in the models when placed side by side. Note that there are various other combinations of chimney, tender steps, smoke deflectors, liveries etc, each with its own product ID code.
This is a super detailed model, and items like lamp irons are easily broken, especially on the tender. For maintenance use a Peco service cradle or the like.
Starting and slow running (down to 1cm/sec) are perfect, as there is electrical pickup on every wheel, including tender, but as 2 driving wheels have traction tyres*, electrical pickup is only partially effective on these. Insulfrog points are absolutely no problem, nor is not-so-clean track. Top speed is about right, depending on operating voltage. Running light or with a load, the motor is silent, all you hear are wheels on track. No derailment problems. I have hauled 13 free running coaches, and 7 up a 1 in 50 grade, with some slip on the latter, just like the real thing. This test was carried out with 902 which was new. 903 is a few months older and seemed to have lost some haulage performance. Cleaning the wheels, including traction tyres, reduced the slip. The result then for 903 was 11 and 6 on the grade.
Careful oiling at 100 hours or six months. Clean the wheels and the pickup contact areas on the backs of the wheels. Use clip leads to the tender wheels to run the driving wheels while cleaning them. A service cradle is almost essential for this. Some locos may have excessive spring pressure on the bogie, reducing the weight on the traction tyres of the front drivers. To check if this is affecting traction, you can remove the spring which is held in place by a small white plastic tube. Loosen the bogie carrier bar first. This whole operation can be tricky! If the loco pulls much more without the spring, shorten it. Not too much, or pickup from the front wheels will be affected. Use pointy pliers to reassemble the tube onto the bogie rod with the spring. 902 had a shorter spring than 903, but 903 did not haul significantly better without it. Download a Service Sheet at http://www.hornby.com/_assets/files/hss-330c-schools-class-locomotive-471(1).pdf
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