The Class 9F was in many respects Robert Riddles ultimate development of his BR Standard classes with the 2-10-0 wheel arrangement, a major influence from the success he had achieved with the WD 2-10-0 built during the Second World War. Initially designed as a freight locomotive, it was soon found that they were ideally suited for passenger train service as well.
The ‘Evening Star’, which is now part of the National Collection was not only the last of the class but also the last steam locomotive to be built by British Railways, leaving the Swindon Locomotive Works in March 1960. Attached to each of the locomotive’s smoke deflectors are special commemorative plates situated just below each nameplate highlighting that it was the last steam locomotive built at Swindon and that ‘Evening Star’ was named by K. W. C. Grand, a member of the British Transport Commission.
The Tri-ang Hornby model of ‘Evening Star’ was announced at the British Toy Fair in 1971. The model was the first locomotive produced by the company with a Ringfield motor installed in the tender. Similar motors used in models produced by European manufacturers had no doubt inspired the Tri-ang Hornby Ringfield motor design. Branded as part of their ‘Silver Seal’ range, the model was released into the UK market towards the end of 1971 and was the last totally new locomotive to be released carrying the brand name Tri-ang Hornby.
Since its first release the model has undergone several modifications, the most important of which was the removal of the Ringfield motor from the tender and with a more conventional 5 pole motor being installed in the locomotive itself.
The Tri-ang Hornby Class 9F ‘Evening Star’ forms an important part of Hornby’s history, which is why it has been included in the Hornby Centenary Collection and celebrates the 1970s decade by using pack artwork inspired by the Tri-ang Hornby packaging style of that period.
Not only is the model supplied with a numbered certificate confirming that the model is one of a limited production run of 1000 but also included is a cast resin miniature replica of the commemorative plate denoting that ‘Evening Star’ was the last steam locomotive to be built at the British Railways Swindon Locomotive Works.