Bachmann Christmas Train

f2shooter Aug 13, 2014

  1. f2shooter

    f2shooter TrainBoard Member

    Morning all,

    I was looking at a Bachmann Christmas train the other day at the local Hobbytown and started wondering. I think but am not sure that it is part of the Heavy Haulers line. I am planning to do the Christmas train again this year at a local hotel and wondered about using this for that application. A couple of questions come to mind. First, what is the sharpest radius this 4-6-0 locomotive can handle reliably? The track layout changes each year but in the past has included a couple of very tight radius curves. I've used two axle Eggliners with good results for motive power and four axle flatbed cars in the consist and they handle these curves easily. I suspect a 4-6-0 would not stay on such tight rails but am I wrong? Second issue is durability. This train will operate about 18 hours a day for 32 days for roughly 575 hours or about 1700 miles. I use metal wheelsets on the cars and they show reasonable wear but are going into their third year of this use without concerns. A single Eggliner will run for about 850 hours before needing serious work, mostly a new motor. Will this 4-6-0 give similar or better service or will I wear it out after 100 hours or so? The price for the new set is pretty good, under $250. I would hope the transformer would operate properly over a long days use without overheating but I can test that. Has anyone got experience with this set? We have a couple of Bachman 4-6-0 locos on battery power but they don't see nearly this much use in a year, probably 20 hours of run time in a season. An alternative is to either continue using Eggliners (I have several) or repaint an Aristo Little Critter which would probably work on the tight curves and which I have NIB. My Dad thinks I am nuts for going to all the trouble of set up and and maintenance not to mention wear and tear but I enjoy it, don't ever use this trackpower equipment elsewhere anyway, and it shows model railroading in a good light to literally thousands of kids and adults. Opinions or past experience is appreciated. Thanks.

    Rick H.
  2. J911

    J911 TrainBoard Member

    Those curves would be too sharp. The motor would probably hold up if you greased and oiled every so often. The reliability should be better now than what Bachmann had in the past. Aristo is always good! or usa trains.
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    If you keep on top of maintenance, I would hope the loco could make it OK.
  4. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

    4-6-0's were designed for R1 (2' radius) curves. Do they like bigger curves? You betcha.
    Is this new?
    Last two catalogs have had virtually nothing new in LS from Botchman.
    Supposedly a kit passenger car, one tank repaint, a Toby, and four 1:29 trolleys.
    If this is make sure what version the loco is.
    Bottom cover of the engine...hump and a bump is 5, which is the oldest you want.
    Hump for the gear, bump for a removable plug for greasing.

    Oil is your friend. ESPECIALLY the motor bearings.

    Keeping drivers clean can be a real PITA. I ran 3 of these last season for 4-5 hours a night for a month on a display...indoors...and the wheels were black and non-conductive by the end of the second day.
    The roughness of the plating seems to exacerbate the arcing to the track.

    If the track provided is tin, just plan right now on buying new track.
    I used to have photos of the tin stuff on an abandoned grade on my pike....can't do it now, as all you'd see would be ties. Rails are gone...dust to dust, rust to rust.

    Keep the axles on the cars lubed. You want to keep the overall loading light.

    Then find a decent power supply, as the one provided, if it works, may not hold up to continued usage.
    We may expect a visit shortly from someone who has one that works just fine.

    Get it cheap.

    The last sets I bought out of Costco, 25 years or so ago, were $85 for one (complete) and $90 for the other (complete).
    Threw track and power packs out. Pitched the bobber cabooses or gave them away.
    Cars are still in use (gondola, Gramps tank, F&CC box, probably a flat), engines exist today, but as BBT 2-8-0's.

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