Bachmann Climax


As of 2016, there are two versions of this unusual geared locomotive. The first version was released about 1999 or earlier. A newer version with the Aristo-Craft derived "PNP" socket was released about 2014 or earlier.

Version 2 has:

  • has the modified Aristo socket
  • the frame is longer
  • the bunker is longer
  • 4 wires from the truck to the chassis as opposed to 2 (helps DCC install and remote control)
  • the electrical parts to bring the power from the trucks to the chassis have changed.
  • most gears are now metal
  • an improved method to power the drivlines that power the central gearbox that has the counteweights and connecting rods.

Version 1 pictured below


Taking it out of the box / tips

Like many other large Bachmann locos, you need to pay attention how to take it out of the box the first time. Once you have opened the foam "clamshell". Once you remove the foam blocks at each end, you put your fingers under the front platform (NOT UNDER THE STEPS!), and then grab the cab sides in front of the windows.

For the newer version, there is a smoke DC-OFF-DCC switch behind the smokebox door. Be sure to rotate the latch on the left side to allow the door to open.

Also there are two metal tanks for sand on the back bunker. The manual says lift and pull out. WRONG, if you lift first all you can do is break off the locating tabs. Use a small flat blade screwdriver to pull the top end away from the bunker, and you will clear the top 2 brackets, THEN you can lift and continue to pull away.

Be sure to set all the switches the way you want. There is one more switch in the bunker to do the 2/4 chuffs per revolution.

Someone reported that springs come out of the truck, he was not supporting all 4 axles on rollers, and one of the heavier (outer) springs fell out of the truck.

Notes on The socket (Version 2)

 Notice that the 2 ends of the socket are offset, and there are different number of pins...

more to come on the tweaks needed to power the circuit board, when not powered from the decoder.

Chuff contacts

There are 2 chuff switches, but often they are wired in series, i.e. won't work. (Heisler almost always wired wrong). You can re-wire the contacts, but they are crappy, and need tweaking, just like the Shay and Heisler.

Construction and spotting guides:



Version 1 trucks:

Underside of Version 1 truck truck, notice no center square raised section. Notice no sideframe springs or plate are installed. This is how factory replacement trucks were shipped.

Climax Truck Version 1 004



Same Version 1 truck with the lubrication plugs removed. This one has the sideframe springs and bolster plate installed.

Climax Truck Version 1 002




Below shows a Version 1 truck top view, with sideframe springs and bolster plate installed. Notice the 2 brass pins that are connected to the motors/track pickups

Climax Truck Version 1 001


In the picture below, you see the 2 brass contacts that engage the above power pins.

137443 bebe4981202f63d76ef10cee99c75312


The picture below shows a Version 1 truck from the top without the sideframe springs and bolster plates.

Climax Truck Version 1 003



 The picture below is to show the gears.

You can see the brass worms on the motor shaft that drive the axles.

On the left side, you see a helical gear to the left of the brass worm, it is grayish and has grease on it, but you can see the helical teeth.



Climax Truck Version 1 005

 bottom cover, notice the "saddle" on one end. You can put this cover on either way, but the saddle engages the hub on the helical gear. Do this wrong and you destroy the helical gear. 

You cannot get these replacement gears.

 Climax Truck Version 1 007


Version 2 trucks:


The picture below is of a 2nd generation Climax. Spotting guide: the raised square area between the axles.




Notice the new circuit board on Version 2. Also the gearboxes are completely different. Metal gears on the axles, helical gear gone and replaced with bevel gears.




Removing fuel bunker of first version

Pictures and procedure courtesy of TOC (Dave Goodson)

How the #@$! do you remove the bunker? See the 2 small valves in the front corners of the bunker?

climax 1


Lever them out carefully.

climax 2


 Hey, there are screws down there!

climax 3


 Lift the front edge of the bunker A LITTLE, you are NOT done yet, relax.

climax 4


 There's still 2 tabs holding it in place, you need to push them each forwards, but do NOT use a sharp blade, a thin putty knife, or a ground-down x-acto blade. Do each corner separately.

climax 5


Bingo! Thanks Dave!

climax 6


Read this thread for an excellent example of an R/C installation in the version 2 Climax.

Pictures below courtesy of Tony Walsham:  RCS website:

 Springs come out of the truck: I was not supporting all 4 axles on rollers, and one of the heavier (outer) springs fell out of the truck.

Weather Underground PWS KCACARLS78