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Bachmann City of Truro – a clever design

Silver Sidelines


Flushed with success after fettling Bucklebury Grange I thought I would tackle some of the other unresolved locomotive issues.


Bachmann 3440 City of Truro

City of Truro arrived from the National Railway Museum in January 2010. I remember being well impressed by the livery and the detail. It ran slowly and smoothly and was carefully put away – too good (expensive) for day to day use. Fast forward to January 2014 and Bachmann’s Dukedog arrives. 9017 was a superb runner, smooth and rock steady. It had me thinking because City of Truro did have a tendency to swing from side to side. I would investigate.


Underside of City of Truro

The driving wheels on City of Truro are geared to reduce problems with quartering. I did wonder if the driving wheels were not true on their axles. I would try some replacements. Steve at Barwell indicated that the wheels could be removed without splitting the chassis and body. Also that the outside cranks simply ‘pull off’.


City of Truro Driving Wheels

The two pairs of Bachmann driving wheels are true to Prototype having different crank and balance weight positions front and back.


Crank fixing from the outside

The positions of the external cranks are mirrored on the face of the wheels.


Crank pin fixing

The cranks are located on the driving wheels with plastic split pins. I pushed these out of using a wooden cocktail stick.


Crank fixing

The cranks are a sliding fit on the extended axles. Removing the cranks from the extended axles and lifting the wheel sets out requires careful manipulation. The Bachmann design is very clever (as opposed to ’design clever’) and they have helped by forming the brake gear from a flexible plastic – part of which can be unclipped as shown below.


Flexible brake gear

With practice the wheel sets can be removed remarkably quickly. I tried a number of different combinations. Success – one replacement wheel set, one original wheelset (squeezed up by say 0.25mm). I have a near perfect runner.

It helps to remove the tender during this rebuilding process. A word of advice, when reassembling the bottom plate it is important to ensure that the phosphor bronze pickups have not been distorted and that they are still rubbing the back of the wheel rims – and not the spokes or balance weights!

It has been a good week. As has already been mentioned elsewhere on RMweb I also backdated Duke of Gloucester (Special Edition) to the 1960s.


Hornby Duke of Gloucester (my Special Edition backdated to the 1960s)

I would use a multipurpose black marker pen to colour the handrails and some dull black paint to cover the yellow Timken Roller Bearing covers.


Hornby Duke of Gloucester (my Special Edition backdated to the 1960s) with black handrails etc

I am well pleased, something that I should have done nine months ago.

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Interesting to see how easy it is to dismantle the wheels and cranks. Nice work by Bachmann to design it so. Thanks for the info and excellent illustrations as always!

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Thank you Mikkel

... Nice work by Bachmann to design it so.

So perhaps room on 'Farthing' or may be the City is a touch too new?





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Can someone enlighten me about Truro's larger sandboxes? I know when he was first restored to service he had the orange-Indian Red type colour on them to match the frames but the preserved era Bachmann model has green ones. This is also true with the real Truro in later days (1994 is the earliest coloured photo i've found it with green ones so far but my main reference book doesn't go much further past than after it was being dismantled following the 1894 BR livery April fools event but I have a black frame livery pic of him in 1989 visiting the Netherlands) so i'm wondering if the former colour was simply an erroneous assumption that was later corrected for the entwined monogram livery or if the decision was made to instead change it to green for different reasons and if so why?   

Also beside the presence of the frame strengthening lengths below the driving axel boxes am I correct to assume that George Heiron's painting of Truro during his 1904 hurricane descent to be erroneous in that it depicts him with painted numbers on the bufferbeam?

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Hello Steve



Can someone enlighten..... George Heiron's painting of Truro during his 1904 hurricane descent to be erroneous in that it depicts him with painted numbers on the bufferbeam?

Thank you for asking.  I am not an authority on things GWR so perhaps others will know far more.  However I have had a quick look through my copy of 'The Great Western Railway - 150 Glorious Years' edited by Patrick Whitehpouse and David St John Thomas and I have found two pictures that might be of interest.  The picture of Citu of Truro is from the 1950s and shows the locomotive in its 1950s preserved state.  I have to say that all that 'red' looks wrong and I much prefer the Bachmann rendition.  The second picture of 'Malta' hauling an express train compposed of clerestory coaches looks to me to be around the time of the 1914 -1918 war.  I can make out the engine number on the fromt buffer beam.



City of Truro late 1950s



3407 Malta City Class at Dumball


I hope that helps.





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