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Bachmann narrow gauge debuts at Alexandra Palace

Andy Y

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Bachmann narrow gauge debuts at Alexandra Palace

(OO9 Scale)



Bachmann revealed its first OO9 models at Alexandra Palace today (24th March 2017) with the appearance of EP (Engineering Prototype) samples of the Baldwin locomotive, covered bogie van and open three plank wagon. These eagerly awaited products are the first OO9 models to be produced by Bachmann for the British market. OO9 scale runs on a track gauge of 9mm, which covers those lines that were 2ft or 2ft 6” gauge (nominally 9mm = 2ft 3”).


The models that featured at Alexandra Palace were used during World War 1 where narrow gauge railways were used extensively in France and Belgium to convey equipment, munitions and men to the front where they were needed. They were also utilised on the return journey to carry injured troops.


The EP samples received so far are for 391-025 Baldwin 778 in ROD black livery and 391-027 Baldwin ‘Peggy’ in Ashover light railway crimson. Two other versions being produced represent locomotives that ran on the Ashover Railway (‘Hummy’ with extended cab) and the Welsh Highland Railway (No. 590 with extended cab) to whom they were sold after the end of hostilities in 1918. The loco features:

• 8 wheel pickup

• coreless motor

• working lights (778 only)

• Next 18 DCC socket

• speaker chamber for DCC sound located in the bunker

• runs on 9 inch radius curves

• NEM coupling pockets

• detailed cab interior

• prototypical daylight under the boiler

• 4 cab styles

• 3 chimney types

• 2 styles of vacuum exhaust pipe

• 2 styles of vacuum train pipe

• With or without water lifting apparatus and hose

• With or without Ashover style balance pipe

There are several detail differences between the two EP samples displayed at Alexandra Palace. These are:

No. 778 (391-025) has:

Open cab with spectacle shields

Working headlights

Chimney with cover

Water lifter with hose and hose tray


‘Peggy’ (391-027) has:

Open cab without spectacle shields

Steam pipe from dome to cab for vacuum ejector

Original style vacuum brake exaust pipe to Smokebox

Ashover style vacuum train pipe

Ashover style balance pipe between tanks

Water lifter without hose and hose tray

Lamp iron on Smokebox

Chimney with cover


Wagons features include:

• Metal spoked wheels with pin point bearings

• NEM pockets fitted to bogies with Standard 009 couplings as used by Liliput and Bachman USA

• Working four side and two end doors that slide to open (ambulance wagon only)

• Stretchers fitted in ambulance van where relevant

• Detailed open framed bogie design, brakes in line with wheels

• Bogie with or without hand brake equipment

• Finely moulded detail, all chains and latches represented

These models should be available from Bachmann dealers at the end of the year.

Prototype Notes

Baldwin Trench Locomotive (OO9 Scale)

The Great War was the first to be contested over a 400 mile front line, the mud and poor conditions not furthering the cause. The supply lines for the British forces were weak. The British used Lorries and horses, but the going was tough as the land was battle scarred. The French were prepared with a 60cm narrow gauge system, the British high command by 1916 realised that this was the way forward and placed orders for a limited (soon to increase) quantity of railway equipment. British manufacturing was geared up for war production and was unable to meet the eventual need for locomotives; so attention turned to the USA.

The Baldwin locomotive works of Philadelphia possessed a perfectly suitable machine in their catalogue, namely the 10-12-D a 4-6-0 tank locomotive then under production for the French Moroccan military railways. Some alterations were specified and an initial order for 45 locomotives was placed. Eventually 495 locomotives were supplied.

The Baldwin was notoriously rough around the edges and found less favour than the British built Hunslet or Barclay tanks also in use. What the Baldwin did have was numbers; just the sheer number built meant this locomotive bore the brunt of the work on the western front. Casualties were cannibalised to keep others serviceable, the more severely wounded locomotives were returned to the UK for repair at Bagnalls of Stafford, they were then fitted with extended cab roofs. These locomotives were believed to have not returned to the western front, instead, after the armistice ending up in the surplus dump at Purfleet before being offered for sale.

After the war, the surplus locomotives were offered for sale, 11 ended up with British Narrow gauge lines and 50 went to India to work in various industries.

British Standard Cement purchased the only Baldwin to serve in industrial service, the locomotive was a standard Bagnall rebuild and retained its War Department number (No. 560)

The Snailbeach district railway acquired two Baldwins. One being an earlier locomotive and one is a later build. Both locomotives were standard Bagnall rebuilds.

The Welsh highland railway purchased a single locomotive, number 590. This retained its number throughout their service. This was another Bagnall rebuilt locomotive and only differed from standard towards after years when it had a wooden cab back fitted. This locomotive was originally in standard WD black livery until repainted maroon for the last couple of years of its life

The Glyn Valley tramway also bought a single locomotive. This was probably the most expensive Baldwin to date. It was sent to Bagnalls for rebuilding and re-gauging at the hefty price of £3000. It emerged with a few further detail differences including a copper capped chimney, and enclosed cab and new buffing gear. It carried a lined black livery and was regarded as one of the best looking of the narrow gauge Baldwins.

The Ashover Light Railway owned a total of six Baldwins, although only five were operational at one time. Some locomotives carried lined maroon livery from the lines opening before being repainted in the standard plain black livery. These locomotives sported a range of modifications, including a new chimney, alternative cab backs and a few minor pipe work changes.

Fifty locomotives were sent to India. Once in India they worked for various industries over their long working lives, some remained in service until the mid-1980s. The Indian locomotives were a mixture of those from Bagnalls and those returning from active service. In service some remained as standard but some received all manner of modifications, including larger tanks, modified cab, lights and even conversion to tender locomotives.

There are currently 4 preserved locomotives in the UK and one in Australia (converted to a tender locomotive) The UK locomotives are all ex India, one, number 778 has been restored to original WD condition and operates on the Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway, whilst another is being rebuilt as WHR590 in its Welsh highland guise and is owned by the Imperial War Museum. The two remaining locomotives are currently stored awaiting overhaul and are in as withdrawn ex India condition. There is no suggestion as to what they will be restored as.

OO9 Scale Wagons and vans

To compliment the trench locomotive, two World War 1 wagons are being introduced.

D Class open wagon

These wagons were built to a standard design by Hudson’s for use during the first world war, and were probably the most useful of all ‘types’ constructed. They were manufactured by various British engineering firms to a single design, but did carry small differences between builders.

After the war some of the wagons along with other rolling stock and locomotives were sold on to a number of private owners Due to their high numbers, the wagons survived long enough to be preserved by various narrow gauge railways. Some were converted to coaching stock, others for further industrial use.

Ambulance Van

Sometime during 1917 an order was placed for a covered goods wagon with ambulance fittings. Unlike the previous D class wagon the goods van had a longer wheelbase and required a new design of steel under frame although utilising existing WDLR bogies. Due to the high centre of gravity the wagons were not used much for the conveyance of goods, but used for their secondary role; carrying injured soldiers.

After the war a some were sold in to industry, including a number to the Nocton Estates railway. These were used for the conveyance of produce from the fields.



Images to follow.

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Delightful, as is the imaginative setting. I also enjoyed the comprehensive description, although admit I did suffer a moment of dark humour when reading that "casualties were cannibalised", in the context of the horrors of trench warfare. Fortunately this was only the locomotives!


Bound to be a great success, and lure more people into NG modelling.

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These look very nice but two things strike me. It sounds odd that it has eight-wheel pickup when it’s a 4-6-0T. Also, it is stated that it will run on 9" radius curves, which is Peco 009 Setrack. That is excellent (well done, Bachmann) but we have been assured that the Heljan locomotives will also run on 9" radius curves and that Heljan and Peco have co-operated on narrow gauge. Now, however, we are told that the Heljans need a minimum  radius 10·5", although “if  driven  carefully” they will negotiate 9" radius. Something seems to have gone slightly wrong.

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The L&B locos weren't intended for set track as they will have a huge overhang, much like big Pacifics will run on R1 but not particularly well.

Peco have the mainline and crazy track ranges to cater for the bigger 009 locos.

Most models of the L&B locos have either no frames around the pony trucks or are restricted to large radii curves, Heljan and Bachmann managing to get them round 9 inch and look like full scale models is a remarkable achievement I'd say :)

Edited by PaulRhB
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Well when you see the 'clever' solution Tillig came up with to get their Harz 2-10-2 round 350mm radius and how fickle it is you will probably be glad no such clever fixes have been applied to the Heljan ones ;)

Anyway back to the Baldwin, this might be an interesting page to peruse if you've ordered a WD version ;)


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All fair points but I do recall being informed that the Heljans would run on 9" radius. Well, they will, sort of.

The Heljan loco has been found Owen's Bridge laid with Peco settrack. The overhang is significant, but it ran.


Of course this makes the layout the only one to be operated by both RTR 009 locos...

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Of course this makes the layout the only one to be operated by both RTR 009 locos...

Better find a Minitrains Bagnall to get the third one too ;)

Please see if you can get some official details of the speaker space as the expert on it is there tomorrow. :)

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This is one of the developments in model trains that I'm most interested in as it opens up so much potential to combine two hobbies, military dioramas and model railways. I know there is plenty of opportunity to have wartime layouts or military themed layouts but the field railways of WW1 went veryclose to the front and were part of the battlefield landscape. With so many excellent 1/76 figures and accessories available at pretty modest prices, and the micro-layout/diorama friendly nature of narrow gauge I think we could see all sorts of fantastic layouts when these beauties arrive.

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Now I'm back at the desk I can access the great pics that Bachmann provided of the Baldwin and the wagons.












391-027 & 391-025.EP.01.jpg










Whilst filming video I had chance to have an extensive play with the loco and really is a superb stable runner. The wagons were noticeably 'wobble-free' too in running; I'm looking forward to seeing decorated samples in a few months and hopefully the final product by the end of the year.


Narrow Gauge 009 Wagons EP 1.jpg


Narrow Gauge 009 Wagons EP 2.JPG


Narrow Gauge 009 Wagons EP 3.JPG


Narrow Gauge 009 Wagons EP 4.JPG


Narrow Gauge 009 Wagons EP 5.jpg


Narrow Gauge 009 Wagons EP 6.jpg


Narrow Gauge 009 Wagons EP 7.jpg


Narrow Gauge 009 Wagons EP 8.jpg


Narrow Gauge 009 Wagons EP 9.jpg


Narrow Gauge 009 Wagons EP 10.jpg


Narrow Gauge 009 Wagons EP 11.jpg


Narrow Gauge 009 Wagons EP 12.jpg



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Tantalising! One version of the loco even has a headlight – presumably to help the German artillery spotters. I’m pleased to see that the wagons have metal wheels. That’s one job I have to do on the Peco stuff which I won’t have to on these.

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Tantalising! One version of the loco even has a headlight – presumably to help the German artillery spotters. .

I think that's the 'Peggy' Ashover version according to Andy's first post not WW1 ;) Edited by PaulRhB
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It's worth noting that to make the swing of the front bogie work that rather than the model actually being a 4-6-0 the rear bogie axle is part of the main chassis so it's almost a 2-8-0 (or possibly 2-2-6-0) but it looks good and works very well. The gear drive from the coreless motor is wholly concealed within the firebox to the rear axle so that there's daylight beneath the whole of the boiler, as can be seen in the side-on shot where the loco goes over the bridge in this video of a few clips I filmed yesterday to include in an interview Phil Parker had with the project's designer which will feature in the May issue of BRM.


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What an amazing product!

I like the idea with the bogie wheels; bogie swing is a bit critical in my 7mm scale versions, so must be REALLY awkward in 4mm. 

So will  we see an 009 layout from you Andy?

Cheers, Dave.

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