Steve Johnson Modelmaker
|Back to British Rail Home||
Baldwin 10-12-D 4-6-0PT
The Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, USA, built 495 1ft. 115/8in. narrow gauge 4-6-0 pannier tank locomotives for the War Department Light Railways between 1916 and 1917, for use in France during World War 1. After the war, many locomotives found use on various railways around the world.
Bachmann decided to enter the OO9 narrow gauge market with the Baldwin being the first locomotive produced. Delivered in several liveries, I had to wait for the second batch, released in 2020, to get a locomotive in original un-weathered War Department black. Even then, everybody had almost sold out! My version is numbered 542.
It is a small locomotive of course, but shows Bachmann at its best. It's a lovely little jewel of a model and everything seems just right about it. Although the originals were 4-6-0's, Bachmann have actually made it as a 2-2-6-0. The clearances between the pony truck and the cylinders is tight on the real thing, even tighter on the model, so to allow it to run round small radius curves, Bachmann have made the inner axle of the pony truck rigid in line with the driving wheels, only the front axle swivels. You wouldn't know to look at it and it is an ingenious solution to a problem.
The model is fitted with a coreless motor and a Next 18 DCC socket. Some of the models available even feature sound decoders! Performance is smooth and powerful and it is a delight to see the miniature valve gear at work.
My particular version has a working headlight. Although I'm not intending to use DCC on my narrow gauge section, the headlight on the model comes on almost immediately as forward power is applied. Full cab detail is visible through the backless cab, so is crying out for some suitable footplate crew. A fret containing etched number and work plates is thoughtfully provided. Custom etches of different numbers can be obtained from other suppliers such as Narrow Planet to personalize the model. The only downside perhaps, and it seems churlish to criticize, is the plastic coal in the tender, but what else can Bachmann do?
All in all, a great little narrow gauge engine.