Bachman Big Hauler

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by Vic, Aug 24, 2002.

  1. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Guys, I was out making my usual Sat. foray to some yard sales and picked up a Bachman Big Hauler train set and some extra cars for $5.00. I really didn't know what I was buying but I figured that it would be something to mess around with. The loco is a 4-6-0 painted and lettered for ET&WNC (Tyson will like that:D ) The thing is battery powered and radio controlled and runs on plastic track. I figured that I had bought a "pig in a poke" but when I got home I put a 7.2V race car battery in it and a 9V battery in the controller and the darn thing works:eek:

    Now its obvious that this thing was made for the toy market rather than the serious model railroader but it seems to have some possibilities:)

    Would it be worth my time, effort and expense to try to convert this thing into something better? Obviously the motor in it is poor quality. A lot of detail parts would have to be added and a better electrical and control system would have to be added. (I already have a Futaba 2-channel radio and receiver.) Would it be better to make it battery powered and radio controlled or convert it to track power??? Or should I (generous soul that I am) give it to the neighborhood kids to play with so they'll leave me alone for awhile!!!!???

    Just wondering if anyone here has any first hand experience with this. Thanks for your input:) :):D
  2. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    It is said that you can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear, but you certainly can make a sow's ear look a lot less like a sow's ear!
    Radio controlled narrow gauge,,,,,,, You might be in for a heap of scratch building, but it might be a welcome diversion.
  3. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Pete, Well I found a guy in Las Vegas that makes a replacement drive for the thing but the price is $189:eek: I think I'm just gonna re-paint it, add a few details and make a display out of it.:) :D By the way...he reccomends adding 10 pounds of weight to it!!!!!!:eek: :eek: :eek: Man! Thats a long way from HOn3!!!:D :D :D I'll post a pic if and when I ever get "round to it":D :D :D This ain't a high priority project:D :D :D
  4. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Vic,you'd be surprized the difference a paint job makes in that little(?) critter.I've been messing around with some New Brite stuff(G gauge 1/32 scale) and a liitle time and paint makes a HUGE difference.
  5. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Tyson no got da room fer sumtin dat big!!!!!!!!!!! :(
  6. pcentral

    pcentral Member

    Hey Vic,
    Welcome to the big show. Next time your at the newsstand reach just past your normal magazine and pick up the Garden Railways, you will be surprised to learn many people use battery powered trains on their garden rr's. The advantage is no track cleaning before you run the trains. I just bought a tack cleaner car at a show today, boy is it going to speed up things for me. Also the Bachmann engine is used quite often for customizing and kitbashing into all sorts of variations.

    Hey Katt, you did it. I am officially hooked on On3. I've always liked the Bachmann stuff but have resisted due to no room for ANOTHER scale. I almost bought some today. At $18 for cars and $55 for the engine who wouldn't be tempted. My wife said I have to sell the 4x8 layout first, then I can start buying more. Anyone need a nice O & S gauge layout? Steve
  7. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Hi Vic, Two years ago I bought a Bachmann set which included the track powered version of the same loco. I found it funny that you're asking whether to convert to track power because I've wondered if it would be a good idea to convert mine to battery! Getting decent reliable power thru the rails requires frequent cleaning, at least in my case. My garden railroad isn't built for operation, I built it to share a project with my wife (the gardener). It's just an oval and I want the train to run continuosly during barbeques and such. I pay little attention to it except to glance at it once in awhile. Track power is better for this as battery life (without sound) is about 4 hours max. I do want to add sound and am trying to decide if I should put DCC sound in (I could use my existing DCC although it is only 5 amp) and use track power or convert to battery. If I convert, I would need to be able to swap batteries easily. Just last week I bought one of those sheet rockers sanders, a pole with something like a ball joint for the sanding pad. This, with fine mesh sheet rock sander, has made track cleaning much easier. Now if I could find CRC2-26 perhaps I would be happier with track power. Home Depots by me don't seem to carry it.

  8. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    If batteries were installed in box cars, say three of four cars, with connectors to route power to the tender/loco,,, as the "boxcars" were "unloaded" they could be swapped out with a "full"one, and the "empty" recharged at the workbench, or through contacts at a designated siding.
  9. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hey Pete, Your boxcar idea..."isa gud un":D

    I won't be trying it though but a fully charged 12V 6 amp gel cell battery with an average current draw of 2 amps on it would give 3+ hours of operating time....and it would easily fit in a G scale boxcar.:)
  10. SilverState55

    SilverState55 New Member

    Barrys Big Trains

    The gentleman in question is Barry of Barry's Big Trains...there are videos on his site (Windows Media Player) showing a guy in Wisconsin that used his drive unit in a Bachman Big Hauler and it could pull nearly 50 cars!! And he also has a video showing 2 double-headed Bachman 10-wheelers pulling 75 cars!! It's incredible, and it is worth every cent....

    I'm using 2 drive units in a Garratt 1:25-scale articulated (4-6-4+4-6-4)....I'm also building a test track for this monster with some significant grades to really "stress-test" it!

    Check out Barry's goodies at And NO, I'm NOT Barry...but he's well-known to G-scalers here in Vegas, and has a custom 2-8-0 drive unit, and tons of good info on these drives units & all the modifications he does to improve the performance.
  11. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Silver and thanks for the information. I've checked out Barry's site and it looks like that would be the way to go. He's got a well thought out plan and excellent parts to do it with.

    For now though I've had to relegate that project to the "round-to-it" box...just too many other projects in the way right now:D
  12. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I'd like to check out the site but when I clicked on the link I got "future site of Bobs..." Is ther a currant site?

  13. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hey Gray, I get the same thing but its says "future home of barrytrains"...I had looked at the site several months ago when I got the Big Hauler and it was up then. Must be redoing it????
  14. mhampton

    mhampton New Member

    Yeah, I know I'm a little late, but I just ran across this thread. For about the same cost as a drive unit from Barry, you can also get an updated, track-powered version of this locomotive. I don't know if the new ones have the pulling power of Barry's drives, but it will be miles ahead of the battery-powered unit you have in hand. I've got two Bachmann locos (a 4-6-0 and a 0-4-0) that are track-powered and run very well - but once I get my backyard layout finished, they'll be converted to batteries. I don't want to have to put up with the hassle of cleaning the track.

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