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N Scale - Bachmann - 51-530-11 - Locomotive, Steam, 2-8-0 Consolidation - Great Northern - 1257

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Stock Number 51-530-11
Brand Bachmann
Manufacturer Bachmann
Body Style Bachmann Steam Engine 2-8-0 Consolidation
Prototype Vehicle Locomotive, Steam, 2-8-0 Consolidation (Details)
Road or Company Name Great Northern (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 1257
Paint Color(s) Green, Black, Red and Silver
DCC Readiness No
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Steam
Model Subtype 2-8-0
Model Variety Consolidation
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era NA Era I: Early Steam (1835 - 1900)
Scale 1/160



Specific Item Information: Early version. Not likely DCC anything.

Model Information: Bachmann first introduced this model in 1980 and it was a bit of a dog, so they improved it in 1983 (introducing a higher quality motor) though it was still a bit of a dog. Bachmann overhauled this model in 2001 with tender pickup and made it DCC-Friendly. Later, in 2010, they added a DCC version. The 2001 model is Bachmann's first 'modern' steam locomotive model. It shares nothing in common with the earlier 1980s vintage 2-8-0. The improvements have made a fair amount of difference

For the early models they don't look too bad for 80's vintage product. The paint schemes in particular stand out as being eye-catching. This doesn't offset the relative low running quality but does help a little. For the 2001 and later models, the detail work is superior to the Kato Mikado. There are more detail parts and they seem to be better designed to withstand handling. I have lost *multiple* parts from my Kato's whereas everything seems really well glued on with the Bachmann units. Pickup comes from the 8 driver wheels on the loco (though not the pilot) as well as the front truck on the tender. It runs smoothly and can pull a lot of cars. It is quiet and runs well at low speeds.

DCC Information: The 1980s version is not DCC-anything. I have read that the 2001 version is DCC-Friendly, but to be honest I don't see it on my early version. The later version stores the decoder in the tender and is connected with wires to the locomotive. An odd-design, but I am assuming this is due to cramped quarters in the loco shell.

Prototype History:
Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives, 2-8-0 represents the wheel arrangement of two leading wheels on one axle, usually in a leading truck, eight powered and coupled driving wheels on four axles and no trailing wheels. In the United States and elsewhere, this wheel arrangement is commonly known as a Consolidation.

Of all the locomotive types that were created and experimented with in the 19th century, the 2-8-0 was a relative latecomer. From its introduction in 1866 and well into the early 20th century, the 2-8-0 design was considered to be the ultimate heavy-freight locomotive. The 2-8-0's forte was starting and moving "impressive loads at unimpressive speeds" and its versatility gave the type its longevity. The practical limit of the design was reached in 1915, when it was realized that no further development was possible with a locomotive of this wheel arrangement.

From Wikipedia

Road Name History:
The Great Northern was born in 1881 with the consolidation of several railroads of the northern plains under the leadership of James J. Hill. By 1893, the mainline from the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River to Seattle was complete.

The GN had two distinctly different characters. The eastern half was a largely flat, grain producing region serving cities like Fargo, the Twin Cities, Grand Forks, Duluth, Sioux Falls, Sioux City and even Winnipeg in Canada. The east end also included the iron ore rich regions of Minnesota. Half of North Dakota was blanketed by GN branchlines (21 in all) serving every imaginable grain elevator.

The western half is the mountainous portion that most people identify with Great Northern. This included crossing the northern Rockies and the even more difficult Cascade ranges. Cities on the western half included Billings, Butte, Helena, Havre, Spokane, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. In 1931, a connection to the Western Pacific was completed from Bieber north to Bend, Oregon. This line was disconnected from the rest of the Great Northern. They used trackage rights on the Oregon Trunk and SP&S to bridge the gap. The Cascade Tunnel, the longest on the continent at 7.8 miles, wasn’t completed until 1931. Construction included a massive sluiceway and hydro-electric power station to feed the electrified line through the tunnel and several miles of railroad on either side. This replaced the original Cascade Tunnel which was a third as long but 500 feet higher up the mountain. That replaced the original route that was another 700 feet higher, had 4% grades and 50 miles of snowsheds. All told, Great Northern had about 8,300 route miles.

The steam era was especially unkind to the Great Northern. They seemed to go out of their way to make their locomotives ugly. Belpaire fire boxes were the norm (made famous by the Pennsylvania, made hideous on the GN.) Headlights were often mounted just above center giving them a spinster look. Cab fronts were often at odd angles. The tender coal bunkers were often taller than the engines. But it wasn’t just aesthetics. GN had a knack for buying the wrong engines for the job. 150 Prarie type 2-6-2’s were so unstable at speed that they were busted down to branchline duty almost straight away and none survived after about 1930. Their first 4-8-2 Mountains built for passenger and fast freight were such a disaster, they were rebuilt into 2-10-2’s. Many railroads had built Mountains out of Mikes but no one had ever started with a Mountain and had to build something else from it. The first 2-6-6-2’s were so under-powered, the boilers were used to make Mikados instead. They did manage to build the largest, fastest, and most powerful Mikados in the country however. Their articulated fleet included 2-6-6-2, 2-6-8-0 (later rebuilt into Mikes), 2-8-8-0, 2-8-8-2 types as well as a pair of Challengers originally delivered to SP&S. Many engines were dressed up with green boilers and boxcar red cab roofs.

For the first generation of diesels, GN bought like many large railroads did: a sampling from everyone. Cab and hood units from EMD and Alco and switchers from EMD, Alco, and Baldwin populated the roster. GN’s first generation geeps and SD’s were delivered with the long hood as the front. This included their GP20’s which had high short hoods and the long hood as the front. Aside from an early black scheme for switchers, the GN fleet was delivered in Omaha Orange and green with yellow piping.

Beginning with the arrival of GP30s in 1962, the paint scheme was simplified by dropping the bottom orange band and the yellow piping. For the second generation, General Electric replaced Alco as a supplier of new road engines.

In 1962, some GN freight cars began to appear in Glacier Green which ran along side the vermilion paint adopted in 1956. In 1967, they went for a major shift. Sky Blue, white, and dark gray were joined by a new version of the Rocky the goat logo. There was talk that this would become the paint scheme for Burlington Northern. The GN name and logo was painted on a steel panel bolted the the hand railings of hood units, making it easier to remove after the merger. For whatever reason, they went with green, black and white, a version of which was simultaneously being tested on the Burlington Route. In 1970, Great Northern, Northern Pacific, Spokane Portland & Seattle, and Burlington Route merged to form Burlington Northern.

Brand/Importer Information:
Bachmann Industries (Bachmann Brothers, Inc.) is a Bermuda registered Chinese owned company, globally headquartered in Hong Kong; specializing in model railroading.

Founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the home of its North American headquarters, Bachmann is today part of the Kader group, who model products are made at a Chinese Government joint-venture plant in Dongguan, China. Bachmann's brand is the largest seller, in terms of volume, of model trains in the world. Bachmann primarily specializes in entry level train sets, and premium offerings in many scales. The Spectrum line is the high quality, model railroad product line, offered in N, HO, Large Scale, On30, and Williams O gauge all aimed for the hobbyist market. Bachmann is the producer of the famous railroad village product line known as "Plasticville." The turnover for Bachmann model trains for the year ended 31 December 2006 was approximately $46.87 million, a slight increase of 3.36% as compared to 2005.

Item created by: gdm on 2018-03-07 11:05:57. Last edited by gdm on 2020-05-28 11:36:47

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