New Bachmann Spectrum N&W Class J review.

Steam-Monsters Dec 19, 2006

  1. Steam-Monsters

    Steam-Monsters TrainBoard Member

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    Theres a new photo album I put together, the link will be at bottom of the review. Click on the picture, then next page click under the picture, Click To Zoom for a very large picture and some information.

    First off this engine and tender is Heavy !
    Split metal frame, metal engine shell, tender metal under carrage. Spoked driver wheels with solid one piece axles w/1 set of drivers with traction tires. Also has low wheel flanges and runs great on code 55 as I have a code 55 test track.
    Engine and tender coupled together with attached drawbar with wires comming from tender to engine.
    Has the new solid plastic knuckle couplers Bachmann will be offering.
    Bachmanns new knuckle couplers hook right up to Katos, MTs and the others I use with the exception of Unimates. (Unimates require just a slight bit of fileing with a jewelers file)
    My N&W passenger set consists of seven cars, needless to say my baggage car has a Unimate but only took me less then a minute to file it to work great.
    First run was on my forth level on the longest run. I use Atlas code 80 flex track as well as Atlas electric switchs. This new Spectrum pulled the cars as if there wasn't anything behind it as well as run great on my code 80 track as well as all the Atlas switchs, no derailments after 25 runs !
    Then I got curious and lashed up a set of 10 Con-Cor SP Daylight cars, again the engine pulled them just as easy.
    Got more curious and lashed up a set of 14 Kato NYC cars, again the engine pulled them just as well with no slippage at all !
    I bought the 611 with the aux. water tender, authough my layout is Transition era I won't be running it but wanted it anyways !
    I love the way this engine runs and looks now I have to get road # 608.
    I place this engine as good as any others out there, and better than other new steamers I have bought over this past year !
    Ernie

    PHOTOS:

    http://www.villagephotos.com/pubbrowse.asp?folder_id=1799559
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2006
  2. Powersteamguy1790

    Powersteamguy1790 Permanently dispatched

    That's good news to hear. It's a very pleasant surprise coming from Bachmann.

    Stay cool and run steam.....:cool: :cool:
     
  3. wig-wag-trains.com

    wig-wag-trains.com Advertiser

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    Your photo link requires a user name and password.
     
  4. Steam-Monsters

    Steam-Monsters TrainBoard Member

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  5. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    I've already sounded off on how I feel about Bachmann. This may be the 180 or turn around we've all been hoping for, from Bachmann.

    Based on what you shared I would rate this locomotive as worth the investment. Perhaps the first evidence of quality from Bachmann. In todays world there's no need to make junk.

    One question. Did you pull any 2% grades with the passenger cars in tow? I'm curious as to its performance working a grade.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2006
  6. Steam-Monsters

    Steam-Monsters TrainBoard Member

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    BarstowRick, good idea as I have many interchange grades. Will have to do some grade pulling and see what happens. Will report later --------
    Just received the engine today and was chomping at the bit to see how it ran and pulled.

    Ernie
     
  7. AB&CRRone

    AB&CRRone TrainBoard Supporter

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    Should be no problem since it has traction tires. Cheers to Bachmann for listening about that!

    Ben
     
  8. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Traction Tires?

    Ben and all tuned in,

    Disclaimer: Further statements are no reflection on you Ben,...just Bachmann. Grin!

    Traction Tires?

    Just my not so humble opinion... that is one mark, against the new unit. And, I'm glad you shared this with us.

    Here is a think it through for all of us: It is such a pain to replace traction tires and once they have worn out the traction tires are often hard to come by, rendering the engine virtually useless. Another point to consider, as the traction tires wear the engine may begin to lope and produce a less then smooth appearance, as it makes the pull. I've been calling for locomotives with plenty of weight to provide the needed traction and stronger motors to give it the pulling power minus the traction tires!

    Another way to look at this.: How many of our prized diseasls have traction tires? On my roster it's only the early products that have traction tires and today, they are useless. The point I'm attempting to make here is...none of my diseasels have traction tires and most are more then adequate pullers. I have one Atlas GP7 Santa Fe with Torpedo Tubes that will out pull two Atlas SD 24's, that are lighter. No traction tires...period.

    Despite this one hitch, the J4 #611 is most likely a keeper and I will purchase it. Just a reminder: If I haven't made this clear,...I would have preferred NO traction tires!

    However, that won't stop me from purchasing the J4, as the unit meets most of the criteria I'm looking for.

    By the way: Wig Wag says they are in...get your orders in before I do...but save me one..OK!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2006
  9. N&W

    N&W TrainBoard Member

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    What's a J4?

    I don't like traction tires either. But soon I'll have my hands on one of these - looks like they at least fixed two of the major problems with the old Bachmann J:

    1) The boiler was too small
    2) The shell sat too high on the chassis
     
  10. N&W

    N&W TrainBoard Member

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    BTW, did anyone else notice that Microscale DISCONTINUED their 30-391 N&W Passenger Car decals?

    It looks like we now have a decent N&W steamer, but no passenger cars to pull behind it ...
     
  11. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    What's a J4?

    To N&W and all tuned in,

    I had to chuckle when I read your question. Either I just made that up or I've been wrong for years.

    My understanding is... that in the J Class there was three different distinctions made the J2, J3 and J4. J4 being the engine Bachmann has modeled.

    I just grabbed O. Winston Link's book off the shelf and after a brief look here's what I found. Page 9, upper left hand corner, ""Culminating in three classes--the A, J, and Y6--these "Finest Steam Engines Ever Built"....The J was a 4-8-4 high-speed streamlined passenger engine...""
    Throughout the book the author refers to the engine by Class, no other distinction is given.

    I did find reference to the K2A a passenger engine, that resembles the famous J - Class, it too was a 4-8-4 (edited add on: or so it appears to be).

    Perhaps, what has happened here is at some point the 2, 3 and/or 4 designation is something we (rail fans and model rails) dropped off and lost sight of. When we use J it is in reference to the Class type and the locomotive may actually have a specific numbered designation. Ahh, not the number on the engine Ie., #611, 610 and so on.

    Santa Fe was famous for putting engines into a class by number IE, 3,000 class. You could have Northerns or Mountains in the same number class. I only mention this to confuse you.

    Anyway, I'm not the Norfolk Western expert. You may need to turn to someone who is. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks for asking.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2006
  12. N&W

    N&W TrainBoard Member

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    Rick,

    There is no N&W J2/J3/J4.

    All 14 were simply class J.

    The only exception is during WWII a few were built unstreamlined to conserve metal for the war effort - these were designated J1 until just prior to the end of the war when they too were streamlined and redesignated simply J class.

    Here's the J1:

    [​IMG]

    Mark
     
  13. N&W

    N&W TrainBoard Member

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    Rick,

    N&W K1, K2, K2a, and K3 class locos are all Mountains (4-8-2).

    Mark
     
  14. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Even this version looks powerful. Look at the massive siderods compared to other 4-8-4's. Beautifully designed machines.:)
     
  15. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I wonder if the J would be a good start to build a kitbashed engine? Since the chances of an M-64/M-68 class 4-8-4 in D&RGW are as likely as a snowball in Phoenix in July, I wonder could the engine be a good start to build your own? I know, it would be a tough build, but there are those out there that could do it.
     
  16. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wow, what a configuration of locomotives.

    Ok, I stand corrected.

    I don't expect O. Winston Link's book to be the authority on the trains. He was a phtographer who knew how to set-up a great picture and loved his subject.

    Thanks for the come back. J What? Grin!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2006
  17. N&W

    N&W TrainBoard Member

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    'tis ok, just don't ask me about Santa Fe locos! ;)
     
  18. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    The J Thing.

    Aw come on, it wouldn't be sporting if I didn't.
     
  19. David Leonard

    David Leonard TrainBoard Member

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    The reason why a K2a might be mistaken for a J is the streamlining. I don't know how close the measurement are, but maybe someone could kitbash a K.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. N&W

    N&W TrainBoard Member

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    The K2 and K2a are USRA Heavy Mountains in design.

    The Bachmann light USRA Mountain would be a good starting point as the USRA light and heavy mountains both shared 69" drivers.
     

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