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Bachmann WD 2-8-0
Paul Johnson.


Bachmann WD 2-8-0 32-252 as no 60445 in BR late crest black.
Looks and measures up correctly. Neatly painted and numbered. It’s ‘right’ as a model except that these things were rarely clean. Have fun adding the filth yourself in huge quantities: look at some photos of the type in service to gauge the horribly neglected appearance typical of this heavy goods type.

Very well detailed, and it stays put -  after over 10 years continuous use on the layout nothing has dropped off. (There is a good user add-on detail of the tender fire iron rack applicable to most of the class, available from 247 Developments. This needs to be metal to be strong yet fine enough, and has the potential to inflict puncture wounds on the unwary – most likely why Bachmann left it off).
Good smooth runner, after an hour or so of running-in at medium speed, half and half forward and reverse. Will perform a dead slow crawl, and runs at a realistic maximum speed for the type. Pick up is excellent from all eight driven wheels, two sprung driven axles mean contact is well maintained. The sensible choice of a reduction ratio of about 40:1 gives  the model the  good low speed performance essential to this type of heavy goods machine. The loco is a little light as supplied to pull a prototypical load, with 60 four wheel wagons or thereabouts in a slow mineral drag, tended to slip a lot on curves and slight gradients. (Had all the mazak boiler weight out of it, replaced in lead to much increase the loco weight. Now pulls very well indeed, the motor and good gear reduction are well up to the job).
Use small quantities of grease lubricant on all moving parts. No significant wear after 10 years service -  and bear in mind it is near twice the weight it left Bachmann’s factory. This model predates provision for a decoder, and wanting the loco as heavy as possible I put it in the tender, carrying the wiring across to the loco. A decoder can be fitted above the motor with some care, by removing the small circuit board and hardwiring on fairly short leads.


When dismantling for the first time, note that the cab handrails need to be unclipped from the cabside holes to allow the body to come off, and the tender drawbar withdrawn once the rear securing screw has been removed.  The representation of the lifting links come up through holes in the metal footplate and can be a little tight on first attempt at body removal. Once all three body securing screws are removed, the drawbar is out, and handrails unclipped,  help the lifting links through the holes to get the body off the chassis.
This was one of the first Bachmann Blue Riband models, and immediately on release in 1999 was one of the best RTR OO locos available. Still looks good alongside the best of recent releases.
Overall ranking
9 – loses a point for being a little light in weight. (Have bought two more, both as good and trouble free as the first).

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