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121  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Which Tsunami for the ALCo S2? on: December 02, 2012, 05:45:39 PM
Hi, I have now looked inside a Sound Value S4, and the decoder is 3.8" long x 0.7" wide.  The SoundTraxx website says that the TSU-1000 is 1.7" long x 0.67" wide.  This suggests that the body is wide enough and the difficulty in fitting a TSU-1000 into a DCC ready S2 or S4 lies in finding a fixing point for one end of the decoder.  Is this correct, or are there other problems?

On and S2 / S4 body swap, it would also be necessary to swap the bogie sideframes, but that looks to be straightforward, as they seem to be a clip-on plastic moulding quite independent of the wheels, gears, etc.

122  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Which Tsunami for the ALCo S2? on: November 30, 2012, 01:14:42 PM
Hi, Tom, thanks for your reply.  I was specifically seeking the sounds appropriate to switching which the Sound Value unit does not have, especially brake squeal and coupler clank.  Maybe the TSU-750 unit is the way to go?  The Soundtraxx decoder selector points to the TSU-AT1000 for the Bachmann S4, but the MB Klein website says this is "designed specifically for recent production Bowser-Stewart HO diesels", which I am not familiar with.  But the Soundtraxx selector also recommends an oval speaker for the Bachmann S4, which clearly does not look like it would fit the round mounting location shown on the Bachmann S4 service sheet on this website, so I am sceptical of the Soundtraxx recommendations.  I had assumed that as the S2 / S4 body is designed to house a Tsunami of some kind then one or other of the 750 or 1000 might be a simple drop-in.  An alternative for a small WP silver and orange switcher would be the Bowser Baldwin VO-1000 with a Tsunami already fitted, and which is also available with two road numbers, so I could get two for Christmas!!

123  Discussion Boards / HO / Which Tsunami for the ALCo S2? on: November 30, 2012, 08:19:17 AM
Hi, my on-line hobby shop now has the DCC ready Bachmann #63307 ALCO S2 Diesel Switcher Western Pacific #562 in stock.  However, when I looked at the MB Klein website, I found two Tsunamis for the ALCo S2 / S4.  These were:

SoundTraxx Micro-Tsunami Decoder 827012 (TSU-750) for Alco 539 Turbocharged Diesel Engines

SoundTraxx Tsunami Decoder 828049 (TSU-AT1000) for Alco 539 Turbocharged Diesel Engines

Can anyone advise on which is the most appropriate for the Bachmann S2?

I assume the TSU-1000 is better than the TSU-750, but will it be a straightforward fit in the Bachmann S2?  This will be the first loco I have fitted myself.

Grateful for advice,
124  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Alco S2 CP Rail on: November 17, 2012, 07:14:27 PM
The difference appears to be that whilst Bachmann released the S4 both DCC ready and with DCC and sound-value for each road name covered, just with different road numbers for the different versions, the S2 is to be supplied DCC ready for some roads and with DCC and sound-value for others.  Despite asking the B-Man, I have not had an answer on whether those roads covered DCC ready this year will be covered DCC and sound-value next year.  However, despite being very pleased with my UP S4 with sound value, I am beginning to think that as this loco spends most of its time shunting, it would be distinctly better with the brake squeal and coupler clang available with a full Tsunami, so if you plan a lot of shunting your best bet may be to get the DCC ready version and fit a full Tsunami yourself.

I have looked at the photos of the UP S2 model and the only difference between that and my S4 seems to be the trucks.

Hope that helps,
125  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Atlas S2, S4, RS3 bodies on Bachmann sound value chassis? on: November 11, 2012, 12:46:54 PM
Hi, folks, thanks for all your advice. 

My UP S-4 arrived Saturday, and I have been trying it on a yard of track attached to my Dynamis, which is not yet attached to a layout.  In fact I got last years model, Bach 63205 UP #1156 in a close-out sale. 

My first thought was - It Doesn't Work!  But investigation showed that the track connection clip supplied with the Dynamis does not touch the bottom of the rails of my Peco flexitrack, as the little spring bumps are not high enough.  So I used wires attached to crocodile clips and the square plug connector that also comes with the Dynamis and all was well. 

It is a neat little loco with excellent slow speed and impressive sound quality, but my first reflection is that as I will be doing a lot of switching, brake squeal and coupler crash would be major assets, so my next loco may be the DCC ready WP version which I can fit with a full Tsunami.

I have not yet taken the body off to see if it fits an Atlas body, but if I wanted a full Tsunami as my standard then body-swaps with sound value locos would be a less viable option.  I think the main problem with simply adding DCC and sound to the Atlas S2/S4 may be where to put the speaker, as the cabs are occupied by solid metal up to the level of the windows.  Also the rear facing headlight on the Atlas is non-operational, so there would be quite a few jobs to do.

My immediate next tasks for UP 1154 are to add a crew and fit metal Kadees.  Also, I was a bit apprehensive as the UP looked a bit toy-like in illustrations because of the bright colours.  Actually the model looks much better, but I think it would look better still with weathering.  It also needs the hand / foot rails fitted to the right side of the nose.

Thanks again for your help,
126  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Atlas S2, S4, RS3 bodies on Bachmann sound value chassis? on: November 05, 2012, 06:47:30 AM
Mr. B, thanks for the info.  If you are looking for liveries for next year, how about the New Haven orange and green balloon livery?

Hi, JWard, My present layout is an Inglenook, so pulling power is not an issue.  It is DC but was wired for easy conversion to DCC, and is designed to be any location with a change of removable backscene, hence the variety of railroads, mainly inspired by their liveries!  My main interest in going DCC is to add sound, and whilst I too love the weight and reliability of the Atlas locos there would be a lot of work in converting some of their chassis to DCC and fitting a speaker.  I may instead build a second switching layout for DCC and sound, and perhaps choose yet another RR!  It would be an excuse to use some of the classic building kits from my stockpile.  The Bachmann UP S2 and S4 look good, and with mergers there might be excuses for SP and WP units to visit.  However, I don't want all my units to sound the same, so I will need to find something bigger to complement them.

127  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Getting Bachmann UK products in the US on: November 03, 2012, 03:48:24 PM
For info, Hattons (of Liverpool) do not take Paypal, but Rails (of Sheffield) do.  But whilst Hattons on-line catalogue is reliable in showing numbers actually in stock, Rails on-line catalogue does not link to their stock control system, so you are best to check by email that they have an item in stock before you buy.  Both have good reputations.

Hope this helps,
128  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Atlas S2, S4, RS3 bodies on Bachmann sound value chassis? on: November 03, 2012, 03:30:52 PM
Hi, Mr B, no offence meant!  I was not suggesting that you copy other manufacturer’s products.  But rather that your parent company, Kadar, produces tooling and models for other manufacturers.  For example, several of the Bachmann range of British prototypes were originally produced by Kadar for Mainline (Palitoy), or Replica Railways, before being absorbed into the Bachmann range when Bachmann decided to launch its own British range.  I have several examples of the same model in a Mainline box and a Bachmann box (Class J72 0-6-0T, Class 57xx 0-6-0PT, Class 43xx 2-6-0, Class 2251 0-6-0 Collett Goods, Jubilee Class 5XP 4-6-0, Rebuilt Patriot Class 4-6-0, Rebuilt Scot Class 4-6-0, Parallel Boiler Scot Class 4-6-0, Standard Class 4MT 4-6-0, and the ex-Replica Class B1 4-6-0.)

“In 1925 a man called Ting Hsiung-chao bought a battery manufacturing company in Shanghai for $500. ….. imprisoned for political reasons …. forced to flee to Hong Kong …. established what became a thriving business in North Point, Hong Kong.  His Company, Kadar, was founded in 1948 and went on to become the largest manufacturer of toys in the Far East.  In the mid 1950s his company started manufacturing for Bachmann and by 1987 Kadar had bought Bachmann outright.  One British company it manufactured for was Palitoy (Mainline).  By the late 1980s Kadar were looking at the European market … formed Bachmann Industries Europe … acquired a number of famous European names including Liliput …  (info courtesy

My hope was that if Kadar had made the original bodies for the Atlas-Roco S-2 or the Atlas-Kato RS-3 the dimensions and fixing points might be the same for it to fit over your new chassis. 

However, those old bodies do have moulded-on detail, so if you would like to produce a GM&O S-2 and RS-1, a Central of Georgia RS-3 and GP-7, a BAR GP-7, a MEC S-4, GP-7 and RS-11, and a New Haven RS-1, RS-2, and RS-3, all with sound and to todays standards, I will be just as happy!

BTW, will the DCC ready S-2 liveries appear with sound in due course if I wait long enough, or if I wanted a Western Pacific S-2 with sound should I buy the DCC ready version and upgrade it?  Grateful for advice, Bill.
129  Discussion Boards / HO / Atlas S2, S4, RS3 bodies on Bachmann sound value chassis? on: November 03, 2012, 08:51:03 AM
The new Sound Value S2, S4 and RS3 locos look very good value and sound good judging by you-tube clips.  I am wondering if their chassis are the easiest way to upgrade my old Atlas Classic locos, several of which which are not even DCC ready and all of which require serious modification to fit sound, and which have liveries Bachmann may never reach.  Has anyone done similar body swaps, and if so are there any tips?

I did hear that the Bachmann S4 body was an upgrade of the old Atlas tooling, in the way that many of the Chinese products for different brands come from the same factory, though my Atlas S2 originated from Roco in Austria, but tools travel around.

Grateful for any advice,
130  Discussion Boards / HO / How do you safely remove the domes from the Baldwin Modern 4-4-0 boiler, please? on: October 19, 2012, 06:01:51 PM
I have asked this before, but not got an answer, except for a chearful "if you wreck the boiler you can buy a replacement"!  Surely you can tell us, Mr B, or why do you put an alternative set of domes in with the Baldwin?

131  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Web Site Information on: October 19, 2012, 05:43:12 PM
"Will it stop people from buying Bachmann products if this information takes some time to research when another companies information is readily available in one location, maybe (That is called good marketing)."

I think your suggestion is helpful.  I also think that the product info on competitor websites is much more comprehensive, e.g. Atlas, especially their past products lists, and often has bigger product photos e.g. Athearn.  I would have thought Bachmann would naturally want their website to outshine their competitors.

Bachmann do, of course, have this forum, in which they do lead their competitors.

132  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Spectrum 2-8-0 issue on: August 24, 2012, 06:32:19 PM
I had problems with too-tight screws when trying to remove both the loco body and the tender top on the Spectrum MEC 2-8-0.  I got the tender top off, but gave up on the loco for fear of damaging it.  I also had problems when dismantling the non-Spectrum WM 2-8-0 to fit sound.  I suggest that Bachmann should adress this issue in the factory, as the ability to dis-assemble locos is essential for maintenance and for, e.g., fitting DCC and / or sound.

Also, all my Bachmann engines come with detailed parts diagrams, but no dis-assembly sequence.  First time around I often remove a screw only to find that it is not actually the one which secures the body, and need not have been touched.

Off-topic I know, but I also never got an answer to my question about how to remove the boiler domes from the Baldwin 4-4-0 without damaging the loco, in order to fit the old-time alternatives supplied with the model.  If Bachmann supply alternative parts they should also provide instructions on how to use them.  Are these domes glued on, and if so, how strong is the glue?  Can they be removed?  I don't want to destroy an expensive loco in trying the wrong approach.

133  Discussion Boards / HO / Question for the Bachmann – your policy on sound for new non-Spectrum locos? on: August 19, 2012, 07:30:00 PM
Dear Mr Bachmann,

On 30 March 2012 in response to a question on sound you said:

“The new sound module setup was initiated with the HO scale EM-1 and the new On30 Heisler. Starting with these two items all Spectrum locomotives will be equipped with a dual mode decoder and a premounted speaker . The user will have the option of purchasing a sound "module" that will mount on this decoder for sound (creating a full SoundTraxx Tsunami). In other words Bachmann will now offer one version of a Spectrum locomotive with an optional sound module available for it. There will no longer be three versions of the same locomotive offered (DCC Ready, DCC on Board or DCC Sound on Board).”

OK, that is clear for Spectrum, but what is the policy for new non-Spectrum locos?  You introduced the S2 in your 2012 NMRA leaflet, but for some railroads they are DCC Ready and for others they have Sound Value.  This seems a change in policy from previous recent non-spectrum locos, e.g. the S4 and the ALCO Mogul, which had both options for each railroad.

To make this specific, if I wanted a Western Pacific S2 with sound, should I be waiting for an inevitable Sound Value version to be released, possibly in vain and see all the DCC ready versions sell out, or buying the DCC Ready version and sourcing my own sound unit, or maybe you will be releasing a Sound Value conversion kit for the DCC ready locos?

The current position seems a bit strange.  If I want a Western Pacific with sound should I feel cursed that there is no Sound Value version, or blessed that I can fit a full-spec Tsunami without being left with a redundant sound value chip?

134  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Spectrum Ma & Pa, SAL and general 4-4-0 / 4-6-0 questions. on: July 11, 2012, 06:40:27 AM
Hi, I have now found that:

The real SAL #159 (the number used by Bachmann for the “Richmond”) was one of a pair (159 & 160) built 1898 by the Cooke Locomotive and Machine Works of Paterson, New Jersey for the Florida Central & Peninsula Railway.  These two seem well inside wood burning territory, and I have also found a photo of an FC&PRR 4-4-0 with a straight chimney and a tender loaded with wood, so I know I don’t need a spark arrestor for a wood burner, though most of the FC&PRR wood burners shown do have spark arrestors fitted.

The real SAL #106 and 108 (the numbers used by Bachmann for their “Baldwin”) were a pair built 1889 by the Rhode Island Locomotive Works for the Seaboard. I don’t know where they operated.  I assume that as Bachmann used the numbers they may have started from photos, and I wonder if anyone has references?  The info I have is that many SAL coal burning 4-4-0s which moved south when relegated to branch line work were converted for wood burning, but I don’t know what the conversion entailed.

That leaves my remaining modelling question, how are the domes on these 4-4-0 models secured and how easy is it to swap the domes without damaging the engine or paintwork?

135  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Spectrum Ma & Pa, SAL and general 4-4-0 / 4-6-0 questions. on: July 09, 2012, 07:22:49 AM
Hi, thanks for advice so far.  I have now received my SAL Baldwin and Richmond 4-4-0s, the jumpers are included and converting to plain DC looks straightforward, but I have further questions. 

Very nice models!  And a nice contrast between domes, chimney, fittings, tenders.

How easy is it to swap the boiler fittings without damaging the loco or paintwork? 

The Baldwin comes fitted with what I term medium fluted domes on the boiler, but has a packet containing a set of what I term extreme fluted domes.  The exploded diagram suggests that the domes sit on pegs which are part of the boiler casting.  There is no indication of how the domes are fixed, but I assume they are glued.  Is that correct and how firmly are they are fixed?  And are the boiler and domes painted before assembly or sprayed afterwards?

I don’t necessarily intend to do any dome swapping, as I have not yet found a photo of SAL #108 and so for the present I am assuming that those fitted are correct, but it might be an option if Bachmann re-issue the 4-4-0 with new numbers, as using the extreme fluted domes would further distinguish the engines.

Should the Baldwin have included wood and oil bunker loads for the tender?
Should a wood burner have a spark arrestor chimney?

My Baldwin only had the coal load, and the exploded diagram only shows that the Great Northern should have an oil bunker, and the wood load is not mentioned at all, but the description on MB Klein’s website said the SAL model should include all three options, and when I contacted Klein’s they generously sent me a wood load taken from another model. 

The importance is that the SAL 4-4-0s were mainly used on branch lines and some did burn wood until quite late as it was cheaper than coal the further you got from Alabama!  But I am not sure if it is enough just to change the tender load from coal to wood.  I have not yet found directly relevant photos.

What is the provenance of the Bachmann choice of road numbers? 

I cannot find Baldwin 4-4-0 #108 or Richmond 4-4-0 #159 in the Seaboard loco rosters or in any google searches.  Has the Bachmann invented these engines, hence my inability to find them, or have I just not looked hard enough?  #108 might be an ex-Georgia & Alabama engine with its pre-1911 number, or #108 and #159 might represent engines after 1911 when surviving 4-4-0s were renumbered into a single 100 series.

I appreciate this may be the wrong site to ask some of these questions, but as Bachmann produced the models, presumably based on some research, it seems the place to start.

Any chance the Bachmann will re-issue the Baldwin 4-6-0 as a SAL engine? 
The 4-6-0 was the most numerous SAL type at one time, and was used both for passenger and freight.

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