The Bachmann outside frame 2-8-0 gives us mainline oriented On30 enthusiasts some real freight motive power. It ties in well with their original On30 Mogul for passenger service.
Since it is based on a 30" prototype I was expecting a small "hinky" little loco. Instead it is a great piece of mainline motive power. It is larger than the Broadway Limited C-16, shown at left.
It has every detail imaginable. It is a true bargain at under $160 dollars on the street.
Compared to the Bachmann Mogul and an On3 consolidation drawing
My loco was missing instructions about how to hook up the tender wires. I guessed they were under the ashpan, indicated by the red arrow. Squeezing the pan and rolling the front out first got to the wire board.
The wire connectors have lugs on them to prevent removal. They work quite well. I remove these lugs with a sharp knife. The connectors friction fit together quite nicely.
The stock ashpan had this dinky opening for the wires from the tender. I test ran the locomotive without the ashpan. Before putting the ashpan back on I doubled the size of the opening with a file.
Running on Radii less than 18"
The instructions advise 22 inch radius curves. I have two sections with short sections of 15 inch radii. The loco scurried through them with no problem. It had no problems on my 18 inch radii and Atlas #4s and Snap switches, if the were lain well.
I had several sections of questionable track. I modified my BLI C-16's to traverse these sections by exchanging the 3&4 drivers. I adjusted the bad track to accomodate the Bachmann 2-8-0.
.030 thick styrene shims were added to elevate the outside rail
The most likely problems with long wheelbase locos is the outside flanges jumping the outside rail on tight curves. Shimming to make the outside rail slightly higher eliminates derailing.
Atlas Code 100 switches have a loose gauge tolerance and the pilot wheel would derail at the points. The points are shimmed up so the points are level with the rail.
The need for more clearance
The locomotive is smooth at all speeds on DCC. It ran better on DCC after I tested its performance on DC. I guess things like that are the mysteries of life.
It ran great on DC using the cheap power pack from the Bachmann train set. I didn't add the DC jumpers for DC.
This is a larger locomotive than the previous Bachmann releases. I found some of my rock formations had problems.
The cab corner is a concern when backing on 18 inch radii.
The footboards and tender steps are the same width and need clearance down low.
This is a great locomotive. If you are interested in mainline 1/4" narrow gauge, this locomotive will get you into On30. It runs great and is highly detailed. It's street price makes it a real bargain.
Installing a Soundtraxx Tsunami