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Click click click, - Bachmann’s 15th Anniversary Set revisited

Continuing with my north east themed running sessions I have unboxed Bachmann’s 15th Anniversary Set.

 

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Bachmann D396 and 60143

 

Bachmann marketed the set in 2004 to celebrate the first 15 years of Bachmann Branchline (1989 to 2004). The set comprises two Gateshead shedded locomotives, A1 Pacific 60143 Sir Walter Scott and D396 Type 4 English Electric Diesel (later Class 40). Both locomotives are of types that would have hauled the Tees-Tyne Pullman around 1960.

 

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Bachmann 15th Anniversary Edition Set

 

Interestingly the Limited Edition Certificate contained in the set and shown below details the Type 4 locomotive as being D369 in contrast to D396 which was actually provided in the set.

 

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Bachmann 15th Anniversary Edition Set – close up of certificate

 

Coming from the north east of England I am well pleased with Bachmann’s choice of models. However I have not found any obvious link between the Tees-Tyne Pullman and Bachmann Branchline’s first 15 years. Perhaps the choice of the Elizabethan for Bachmann’s 5th Anniversary and the Gateshead duo for their 15th Anniversary simply confirms Bachmann’s appreciation of the north east of England.

 

There is a useful history of the Tees-Tyne Pullman provided by SeMG.(Southern E-Group). I thoroughly approve of their mottos “Information is for sharing and not for gathering dust.” “It costs nothing to share knowledge”
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Despite being predominantly ‘Southern’, SeMG have collected an immense amount of information detailing the particular locomotives hauling ‘East Coast’ Pullmans on individual days. Both Gateshead A1 Pacifics and English Electric Type 4s feature on the Tees-Tyne Pullman in my time frame of the late 1950s, early 1960s.

 

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Courtesy of the David Hey Collection - English Electric Type 4 D354 on the Tees-Tyne Pullman south of Darlington

 

Whilst unfortunately not an A1, SeMG have an almost identical view with A4 Pacific 60019 ‘Bittern’ in charge. I have guessed the date around 1961 because the majority of the train is composed of the ‘new’ Metro-Cammell BR Mk1 Pullman coaches which were manufactured during 1960/61. Much later and steam would have given way to a Type 4.

 

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Courtesy of SEmG / J.Wat Collection/Richard Barber - A4 Pacific 60019 Bittern on the Tees-Tyne Pullman south of Darlington

 

What about my Bachmann models?

 

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D396, English Electric Type 4 heads up a rake of BR Mk1 Pullmans

 

The Bachmann Type 4 is a superb layout engine, super smooth running with loads of power. The rivet counters however are not happy with the body side shape and details such as the front handrails on these early models. I would say a far better runner than its re-engineered replacement which arrived ten years later at the beginning of 2014.

 

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D369, English Electric Type 4 – Bachmann re-engineered model

 

Did Bachmann have their own little joke when they numbered the re-engineered model D369 as detailed on the Limited Edition Certificate with the Anniversary Set?

 

I have pictured models D396 and D369 heading a rake of Bachmann BR Mk1 Pullmans. The prototype coaches were built by Metro-Cammell in the period 1960 to 1961 as part of the modernisation programme for the East Coast Mainline. I like the Bachmann Mk1 Pullmans which I think are up with the best model coaches produced to date.

 

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Bachmann A1 Pacific 60143 Sir Walter Scott on a rake of Hornby ‘K’ type Pullmans

 

For completeness I have pictured Bachmann Sir Walter Scott at the head of a rake of the earlier Hornby ‘K’ type steel sided Pullmans and then again below at the head of a rake of Bachmann Mk1s

 

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Bachmann A1 Pacific 60143 Sir Walter Scott on a rake of Bachmann Mk1 Pullmans

 

I think Bachmann’s A1s are my all time favourite locomotive model and I was deeply concerned by a constant ‘click, click, click’ sound when I started to run Sir Walter Scott. My suspicions were correct and it was soon evident that the main drive gear had split.

 

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Click Click Click, main drive gear and axle from Sir Walter Scott

 

The obvious solution is a new set of wheels from Bachmann. In my case a cheaper solution was to take the gear (and axle) from a duff wheel set that I had left over from Blue Peter. I noted that the Blue Peter wheel set, in common with all more recent Bachmann models, utilised a white nylon gear in contrast to the failed black plastic gear of Sir Walter Scott. As if I needed further confirmation of what appears to be an inherent weakness of 60143 what should I see on eBay:

 

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EBay advertisement for Bachmann 60143 Sir Walter Scott

 

The driving wheels on the A1 have 20 spokes so quartering is straightforward, rotating one wheel five spokes relative to the other. Sir Walter Scott is back together and runs superbly. I still need to get some of this scenery finished.

 

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A1 Pacific 60143 Sir Walter Scott

 

Addendum 27.10.17

 

It seems impolite to ignore the running problems of D369 (Bachmann 32-481) I had previously corrected the 'lack of pickups' on Bachmann 32-480DS (D211 Mauritania) with the addition of extra phosphor bronze contacts left over from some improvements to Duke of Glooucester. Since posting the current Blog I have carried out a similar modification to the bogies of D369. This time I cut the required bits of phosphor bronze from the old pickups off a Dapol Castle.

 

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Additional Pickups

 

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Additional Pickups

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Lovely big green engines :-) 

 

Interesting how your old Type 4 runs better than the new one. If I had the choice between a good runner with a slightly incorrect body and a poor runner with a correct one, I'd choose the former every time.

 

Regarding your replacement of the drive gear, can I ask  what method you used to remove the wheels? I ask because I've been wondering whether it would be possible to re-wheel a Bachmann 64xx, but not sure if I need a wheel puller, and how it's done best on Bachmann models. 

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Hello Mikkel

 

Green engines and blue sky even better.

.Regarding your replacement of the drive gear, can I ask  what method you used to remove the wheels? I ask because I've been wondering whether it would be possible to re-wheel a Bachmann 64xx, but not sure if I need a wheel puller, and how it's done best on Bachmann models. 

I have had some success with Bachmann wheels by just gently easing the wheels apart by hand.   A piece of old towel can be useful to give a better grip.  In this most recent case it was my intention to separate one of Blue Peter's wheels and to pull off the nylon gear.  In the event the two wheels came off the axle before the gear would move.  So change of plan!  Similarly without a wheel press I have been able to press the wheels gently back together by hand.  Too much twisting and the splines on the end of the axle will damage the insulating sleeve between the axle and wheel and there will not be enough grip available to hold the wheels back together.  In the early days I made up cardboard packing and used a miniature G clamp to push the wheels back together.  You don't need that much effort - just a sympathetic approach.

 

Good luck

 

Ray

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I wondered what the story was when I saw your pics on Flickr! Your remedy is excellent and you must be pleased to have 60143 fully operational.

 

The Southern E group website I've found to be very useful. One of its stalwarts is Graham Muspratt, who also is involved with "Hinton Parva", a fine and entertaining layout that I had the pleasure of seeing at the recent Peterborough show. They have a class 40 hauled "Tees Tyne Pullman", so perhaps it was the research for this that you've seen on the website.

 

Without reopening the issue of the white handrails on D369 and other matters, I now have two of the first batch of Bachmann 40's with the mis-shapen cantrails and other faults. Both are excellent runners and have been detailed up and renumbered, I'm delighted to have them and have no intention of making an upgrade!

 

Best wishes,

 

John.

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Hello John

 

Thank you for the additional information.  No secrets then! 

I wondered .,.

Yes a benefit of being near people - there are shows to pop along to!

 

I need to revisit D369 - mine is not a happy engine.  It seems to take forever to gain speed.

 

Thanks again

 

Ray

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Hello Mikkel

 

Green engines and blue sky even better.

I have had some success with Bachmann wheels by just gently easing the wheels apart by hand.   A piece of old towel can be useful to give a better grip.  In this most recent case it was my intention to separate one of Blue Peter's wheels and to pull off the nylon gear.  In the event the two wheels came off the axle before the gear would move.  So change of plan!  Similarly without a wheel press I have been able to press the wheels gently back together by hand.  Too much twisting and the splines on the end of the axle will damage the insulating sleeve between the axle and wheel and there will not be enough grip available to hold the wheels back together.  In the early days I made up cardboard packing and used a miniature G clamp to push the wheels back together.  You don't need that much effort - just a sympathetic approach.

 

Good luck

 

Ray

 

Thanks very much Ray, that's encouraging. I might find an old loco and practice on first.

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Hello again John

Without reopening the issue .... D369 and other matters,.!..

I felt guilty at not attending to the running issues of D369 so spent some time last night adding additional pickups left over I think from a Dapol Castle.  If you haven't spotted the Flickr pictures they are attached here as an addendum

 

Regards

 

Ray

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Yes, I saw the pictures last night as we came back from a few days away.

 

Yours looks to be a straightforward and elegant solution, provided one is snappy with the iron and doesn't linger so as to melt the plastic. Presumably running is greatly improved?

 

I don't know why Bachmann went for this method of pick-up. Many years ago someone, I think it was Iain Rice, wrote that if a loco didn't have enough punch to cope with the resistance of rubbing pickups, it really wasn't much use at all, and this seems to me to hit the nail on the head.

 

Regards,

 

John. 

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Thanks John

... Presumably running is greatly improved?..,. 

Yes running is greatly improved - in all respects. Picks up speed quicker and possibly even more go at full power.  I did swap the blanking plate but cannot think that there would be an issue with that.

 

Ray

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