Bachmann Motive Power Main Page

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Overview

Bachmann makes many different locos, and is, as far as I can tell, the largest manufacturer of trains worldwide.

Trains are made by Kader in China and Bachmann itself is owned by Kader.

Kader recently bought Sanda Kan, who made USA Trains and Aristo-Craft.

In 2009, there was a rumor that Kader will purchase LGB from Marklin (who is bankrupt and bought LGB). Nothing came of this. It was probably because some LGB molds were in China. LGB got them back (unlike Aristo) and LGB now also produces in Hungary.

The most famous "G" scale Bachmann loco is the "Big Hauler" which is in it's 7th version I believe, and close to 1:24. The "Big Hauler" sets of battery powered, and later track powered old time ten wheeler and cars, loop of track and tiny transformer are pretty well known.

After this success, Bachmann started making a quality line of basically exact scale 1:20.3 narrow gauge rolling stock. It's definitely not cheap toy like junk, but great detail and fidelity to scale. It's also no longer inexpensive.

Be aware that the older "Big Hauler" locos and cars are not very well made or sturdy, and this includes the trucks and wheels.

The "new" locos like the 2-6-6-2 Mallet, K-27, and Forney are pretty much exact scale and are good locos. As with any loco, there are some mechanical quirks that may need to be corrected, but overall good locos.

Here's a link to how to replace the gear on the main drive axle for the 4-4-0 or 2-6-0 , which is the most common problem with these locos: http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/board/index.php/topic,19904.0.html

DCC in Bachmann locos

Another step forwards is the incorporation of plug and play sockets in the newer locos, although there have been some variations. The K27 has backwards chuff switch polarity, and needs some external circuitry. The C-19, 2-6-6-2 mallet though are truly plug and play with QSI Titan decoders. The installation takes about 10 seconds.

The older locos have pretty messy wiring, where not only are the track pickups hard wired to the motor, but often the track pickup wires are "tapped" for lights or other things BEFORE those wires get to the main circuit board.

Given the size of the circuit board and how difficult it is to "untangle" the wiring, as well as errors in the schematics from Bachmann, I normally recommend disconnecting the circuit board, and ensure the individual wiring step by step.

An additional suggestion is that if the DC/DCC switch is left in the circuit (especially in the plug and play locos), put a dollop of hot glue on this switch so it cannot be moved. A well know modeller ran a loco off an open drawbridge, and it fell 2 feet. The DC/DCC switch was dislodged in the fall, and this caused damage to the decoder in the socket (in DC mode the motor is connected directly to the track, which is the cardinal sin in DCC decoders, it creates a dead short across the output transistors).

Sub-Pages

Click the links below to go "deeper" into details on indivudual motive power by manufacturer

  4-2-2 Emily     2-6-0 Mogul    4-6-0 Big Hauler    4-6-0 Annie 
  2-8-0 Consolidation    2-8-2 K-27    Rail Truck    2 Truck Shay 
  Peter Witt trolley    3 Truck Shay      C-19    45 Tonner 
  Climax       
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