Douglas Drummond’s first locomotive class built after his appointment as Chief Mechanical Engineer to the London South Western Railway (LSWR) in 1895 was the 30 strong 700 Class of 0-6-0 goods engines later to be widely known as ‘Black Motors’. They were in fact very similar to a previous class of his built for the Caledonian Railway some years earlier. Eventually the class had many parts standardised with the Drummond’s later classes the M7, C8 and K10’s. such as the boiler, firebox, cylinders and motion.
Although known as the 700 class the first locomotive delivered was in fact number 687 and although originally number in sequence from 687 to 716, in 1898, numbers 702-16 were renumbered, somewhat haphazardly to make way for members of the T9 class. Although intended as goods locomotives they could often be found on passenger turns and were allocated widely across the LSWR system with general at least five members of the class allocated to Salisbury.
In 1919, number 316 was modified by Urie by being superheated this changed the over look of the engines as it included extending the smokebox, extensions to the frames, raising the boiler pitch by 9 inches and modifications to the cab design. The rest the class of the class were similarly modified and superheated in Southern Days between 1923 and 1929. Wholesale withdrawal of the class took place in 1961 and 1962, although 30697 survived until January 1964.
In model form a number of kits have been produced, with the first being a white metal version by BEC Models, as illustrated in both original and modified superheated versions left. The design of this kit unfortunately appears to be stretched in the vertical dimension giving the model a distorted look especially in and around the cab. Since then etched brass kits have also been available from the likes of Jedenco/Falcon Brass and PDK models.
In December 2013 Hornby announced as I reported here, and a subsequent update post here, that it was to produce a ready to run version of the superheated Black Motor. Pictures of the latest Engineering Prototype taken a couple of weeks ago are also shown left. The model has a cast footplate and boiler, similar to their T9 model to give weight for traction and the level of detail looks very good from what we can see so far. Hornby have also indicated that they are to produce both the 13′ and 14′ wheelbase tender versions as well.
All being well the latest availability information we have from Hornby is that they are aiming for deliveries in October this year.