Thoughts on N scale Bachmann Steam Engines

TrainGuyRom

Member
Apr 28, 2008
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Madison WI
I love steamers, but there are very few affordable engines out there. I go to most of the train shows in the area, find some good deals, but the best steam engines I have found, at a decent price, are by bachmann. I have a 0-4-0T and an 0-6-0T by unkown manufacturers. One looks almost European(0-6-0T), the 0-4-0T looks american. both are nice, but the problem with both is that the heat up so fast(I think it's becouse they are so small) I can only run them for a few minutes. 30 minutes or so fries it. Now, I have only two other steamers, both bachmann. they run GREAT!!! I have a New York Central 2-6-2, & a Union Pacific 4-4-0. What are your thoughts on your Bachmann steamers? Do you know a better manufacturer for a low cost?
 

TrainGuyRom

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Apr 28, 2008
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Madison WI
My UP 4-4-0 Looks nice, but it is tini. that is not a huge problem, but the guiding wheels are hard to get on the track, and it appears to have some mechanism in the tender. it runs best backwards. it takes a couple of hours to fry, which is good for when I run it on the club layout (becouse it will run for a while on that layout). All in all it is a good engine
 

GWoodle

Member
Nov 1, 2008
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Nashville TN
Bachmann has improved their standard line locos the last few years. Best ones may be the 0-6-0 & 2-6-2's. Both share the same mech. Both may benefit from newer Bachmann tenders & pickup. The 4-4-0 can be a good one if you take the time to break it in. The motor is in the tender. The front wheels can be finicky. I'd like to see Bachmann upgrade the American. Having the new knuckle coupler would be a first step. It's time for the Rapido to RIP.

Atlas imported 2-8-0 Mogul is a similar 18th century small loco, high on the cute factor.

Athearn/MDC 2-8-0 & 2-6-0 are fine engines. Athearn has done a good job updating the MDC design with new decoration & couplers. Looks great pulling a set of the Athearn/MDC passenger cars.

I've almost forgotten the LifeLike 0-6-0T Little Joe. It can be a fine little switcher. You may also find the 0-6-0 Bachmann little Plymouth switcher.
 

TrainGuyRom

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Apr 28, 2008
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Madison WI
My Bachmann New York Central 2-6-2 Is my favorite. it looks good, runs well, andis a good size. Only once has it fried, and after sitting for about a month, I tried it again, and it ran well. What I don't like about it is that it uses Repeto couplers. All in all, it is a very good engine
 

Cannonball

More Trains Than Brains
Dec 4, 2006
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St. Joseph, MO
Personally, I won't run another Bachmann steamer on my tracks unless it's a Spectrum. I've had too many bad experiences with their "standard" steamers. They are just not up to par. I had a really nice Spectrum 2-6-2 that I let go way too cheap awhile back. It ran like a striped ape but for some reason I thought I could get better. I'm still kicking myslef over that one.

The desiels I've never had any problems with.
 

Wiredup

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Dec 9, 2007
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I own quite a lot of n-scale steam... and so far my fav runners are actually Bachmanns!

My Consolidation 2-8-0 is a fantastic running loco and pulls like crazy! It has great slow speed creep and fantastic turnout performance. A very well detailed loco, and DCC install was a complete snap with a TCS n scale decoder.

I got two Heavy Mountains 4-8-2's with Vandy Tenders from the Spectrum line. These are also fantastic runners and come DCC equipped! My only is that the decoder does not communicate properly with my MRC controller for programing on the main. It had to be programmed off the programing tracks. These also run very smoothly, quietly, and have fantastic slow speed creep/turnout performance.

I also got a J class. A very easy DCC install (much easier than the Consolidations!) and will pull like the dickens! In fact my J-Class will pull 18 Life-Like box-cars up a 6% grade without stalling out! Now thats something!


I also have a Kato Mikado that has been DCC'd and has had 2 pairs of traction tires installed (Driver sets 1 and 4). It pulls like a mad man, and is so smooth and quiet it's quite unbelievable. This loco is pretty much legendary in n-scale steam, and everyone who likes steam should own one!

The follow up to that is my best performing loco ever... My Kato GS4! Pretty much take everything that was wrong with the Mikado (royal pain of a DCC install, some slight pickup issues...) and fix them ten fold! Not to mention improve on an already incredible engine. This thing will HAUL and looks fantastic doing. Best looking loco ever!

I also own an Athearn Challenger... which is a beast! 22 cars up my old layouts 6% slope! I got a vid of it on youtube!
 

TrainGuyRom

Member
Apr 28, 2008
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6
Madison WI
WOW! I like my two Bachmann steamers, but hearing about those other manufacturers they seem like childrens' play things. I have had a little trouble with the B-mann steamers such as frying (but after sitting a few weeks they went back to out-of-the-box-running) and like I said, the
4-4-0 is not as good as it could be, but meets my reqirements. The 2-6-2 Runs much better(probobly becouse the guiding & trailing wheels are bigger).

If you have other comments, please post them
Thank you
TGR
 

Kanawha

Member
Apr 1, 2007
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Glendale, AZ
Holy Pizza Cutter Flanges, Batman!!! :eek:

Seriously though, those older steam engines were remarkably good quality, they run forever, and with a little work can have amazing detail. :)
 

TrainGuyRom

Member
Apr 28, 2008
75
0
6
Madison WI
I'm sorry. none of those are either engine. Actually the 0-4-0T is an
0-6-0T, and you can see a few pics of the american style at http://www.flickr.com/photos/train_guy_rom

And by the way, this site contains lot's of pics I took(it also show some pictures from other intrests of mine.)

There are only two pix of the U.S. style engine NOT the others. The others are pix I took of other model/prototype engines. These two pix are labled as on my N scale layout(which is a portable N-Trak layout, taken to trainfest)

TGR
 

TrainGuyRom

Member
Apr 28, 2008
75
0
6
Madison WI
Thanks, Triplex. It is a nice engine, other than the fact it fries so easly. ...thinking about it, Life Like sounds about right,
considering it's detail, running capabilities...:sleeping:

Thanks again

TGR