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Author Topic: The Bumble Bee  (Read 3112 times)

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« on: September 10, 2009, 09:45:42 AM »

My father-in-law sent us an item #90032 Big Hauler Bumble Bee set that is (very approximately) 30 years old.  The box indicates a 4-6-0 locomotive with coal tender, 2 highly detailed cars ("baggage" and "salida"), 20 feet of steel alloy track, operating headlight, electronic steam sound & realistic smoke.  Can you tell me ANYTHING about this set?  When it was made, etc?

Thanks so much!

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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2009, 12:26:55 PM »

I don't think Bachmann started making Big Haulers until the late 80's, so it can't be much older than 20 or so.
All the Big Haulers are pretty much the same except for drive train upgrades to the locos over the years (and cosmetic upgrades to the Anniversary, "Annie" locos).
You can look at the bottom of the loco and compare it here for which of the five generations of drive train it might be -
The track is only good for indoor use and the power supply is on the feeble side.
The sound is simple huff-n-chuff and is better than nothing.
The early cars used a 9 volt battery for the lights.
The smoke unit will work at higher speeds (voltages) and will burn out if left on when empty.
The loco is a prime candidate for a Barry Big Trains heavy duty drive train upgrade if you wanted to use it in a garden railway.


President of
Joe Satnik

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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2009, 12:58:22 PM »

Dear mgaddis,

Here is a link to Loco Bill Canelos's Big Hauler list:,7151.0.html

which shows that the Bumble Bee was introduced in 1999.  My 2001 Bachmann catalog still lists it.

Brain has given you good "Big Hauler" advice. 

All that I can add is that if you want to keep your set, you might want to change the passenger car interior and drum-head incandescent lights to warm-white LEDs in series with resistors. 

The stock incandescent lamps quickly drain the 9 Volt batteries, which can get expensive.

JD has some instructions for the conversion.,9755.0.html

Hope this helps.


Joe Satnik

« Last Edit: September 11, 2009, 11:33:45 AM by Joe Satnik » Logged

If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
the Bach-man

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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2009, 11:39:58 PM »

Dear All,
Joe (and by extension Loco Bill) are correct. The oldest Big Hauler is the battery powered loco from 1989.
Have fun!
the Bach-man
Loco Bill

Model Railroading since 1947

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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2009, 02:55:02 PM »

Hi All,   

Set 90032 was actually introduced in 1999, and was in the catalog from199 til 2002.  The locomotive has the latest Version 5 chassis and is a great runner. 

This set is one of the nicest that Bachmann came out with and should give you excellent service when properly cared for as noted in the instructions, and with the guidlines noted by Brian & Joe's great info on the lighting.

Enjoy your set!!

Loco Bill,
Roundhouse Foreman
Missouri Western Railway

Unnofficial Historian of Bachmann Large Scale Products
Joe Satnik

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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2009, 05:53:38 PM »

Dear Bachmann and Loco Bill,

Thanks for the kind words.

Dear All,

I own a Bumble Bee set and thoroughly enjoy it. 

I missed getting a Great Northern Express set (90031) at the same time. 

A friend got one for his family's Christmas tree, though.   

Unfortunately, his wife threw the set out (couldn't get it working) before asking me if I could fix it, or if I wanted it.

Yee - Ouch!!! 


Joe Satnik 

If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
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