Bachmann diesels...good deal?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by thedowneaster, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. thedowneaster

    thedowneaster Brakeman

    Hi all,

    Just looking online at some of bachmann's diesel offerings...wondering if any of you own and like them...

    My nephew has one of the new FT locos, and after seeing it run I was very impressed! Much better than the old pancake motor f-units of the past. The details on the FT seemed fairly limited, but the paint looked fantastic.

    Are there any drawbacks to FTs? What about the hood units (geeps) they all share similar mechanisms?
    Are they good runners?

    Thanks for your input!
  2. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    Bachmann has redone most of their diesels with a metal frame and a mid-mounted can motor. The smaller ones don't have flywheels, but they still run much better than the pancake or power-truck motors of old.

    They've also improved the paint and the detail, especially the handrails on the hood units. For the price, they're a pretty good deal.
  3. Nick8564

    Nick8564 Member

    Get a Bachmann Spectrum. I think most locomotives they sell individualy are Spectrums, but the Spectrums are the ones with good drives and have the light boards.
  4. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Spectrums are better, to be sure. They have much more detail, a better motor and flywheels, so they'll run smoother and quieter.

    But the basic Bachmann locos are still OK. Not everyone wants to shell out $100 for a loco.
  5. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    The Spectrum locos are quite good but if you're on a tight budget the standard line diesel locos are good. The DCC line is usually $10 to $15 more.
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think Bachmann has dropped all of the old pancake motor units. The difference between standard Bachmann and Bachmann Spectrum is just details. The drive is the same for both. Lifelike did the same thing with P1k as the base models and P2k as the more highly detailed models. Since Walthers bought Lifelike I think they now sell the P2k as Walther's P2k and the P1k has been added to the Walther's Trainline series.
  7. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    No, it's not. Compare the diagrams for the standard SD40-2 and the Spectrum SD45. You'll see the Spectrum has a more substantial chassis, and a flywheel drive. The motor is of better quality than the standard line as well.
  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Squidbait, have you taken any of the new Bachmanns apart to inspec the drive? I noticed in the drawings that the standard units have no flywheels, but the motor looks identical in the drawing, just flywheels added to the standard can motor. I haven't bought any Spectrum diesels since the original offering of the gp30. My most recent Spectrum was the 2-8-0. I made the mistake of presuming that the standard Bachmann was what used to be Bachmann Plus. I think the Bachmann Plus f7s that I have were built with flywheels, but I'm not sure.
  9. thedowneaster

    thedowneaster Brakeman

    Thanks guys!
    This is great information for me! I guess now, I'm having trouble deciding which engines are spectrum and which are not... The two major online retailers I use do not seem to distinguish that for me. Do you know which of their Geep offerings are from the spectrum division?

  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You could check the Bachmann web site. I may be mistaken, but I don't think Bachmann makes a Spectrum version of the same engines available in the standard Bachmann line. If they do, the web site should show it. If the web site gives the msrp for the models, then figuring in a similar discount for both lines, the price the online dealer is charging should be an indication of which he is selling.
  11. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Bachmann is alright. there newer stuff gets better, there spectrum E33 and HHP8 stand out to me, and not just because they are electrics. Some bachmann spectrum can really use the work, there C40-8/Ws being a prime example. they could look MUCH better.

    even some standard line is good. their new E60CP isn't that bad.
  12. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Don't forget that those locos are close to 15 years old. They've come a long way since then.
  13. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    Yes, I've been under the hood of a few of the new Bachmanns and the Spectrums. The Spectrum motor is a "better" motor than the one found in the standard models. It's a beefier motor with carbon brushes, while the standard motor is lighter, with (I believe - I haven't pulled one apart) metal brushes.

    The Bachmann Plus line had some decent units. I had a pair of B23's for awhile, and they were quite decent runners. They had dual flywheels and a 2-piece clamshell chassis.

  14. thedowneaster

    thedowneaster Brakeman

    Thanks guys! I think I'll be saving some cash on my next engine purchases and trying a few bachmanns!
  15. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Who are you looking at? If they've got any sort of a search function, you should be able to plug in "spectrum" and get the list. If you go to the Walthers website and use the advanced search, you can look in "Locomotives" under manufacturer "Bachmann" and use "Spectrum" as a keyword. Viola!

    AFAIK there are no Spectrum Geeps. Bear in mind that "Geeps" generally refers to GP7/9/18/20s. Spectrum used to have a GP30, but it looks like they've moved it down to the standard line. They've also got a GP35, GP38-2, GP40 and GP50 that're pretty decent.

    If you want a "Geep" GP, you need to look at Proto2000.
  16. kokoracer

    kokoracer Member

    I have about a dozen or so diesels on the SSR. A mix of Bachmanns, Atlas and Atherns. I try to keep my price point under $100. The two Bachmanns in the fleet are okay. The only cheaper locos i plan on avoiding are Model Power and Life Likes. Model power does not care about being proto oriented and the LLs are CHEAP! John
  17. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    A Correction is needed.

    The term "Geep" applies to all Geeps from a GP7 to the GP60 since EMD use GP before the model number.
  18. Also, Bachmann moved the GP30 to their PLUS line, not to their standard.
  19. phoneguy

    phoneguy member

    I have 2 GP35 and 2 GP30 Bachmann with DCC on board. These don't have the flywheels. I also have the Spectrum GP30. This one has a better motor and flywheels. The bodies on both types of GP30 are the same level of detail; they are the same bodies and chassis just different motor. I also have the Spectrum SD45. This one has much better detail and is a much better runner.

    I also have many Atlas and P2K engines, but the Bachmann run ok and I think are a good deal for the money. I'm not real happy with their DCC on board decoders but it got me into DCC for not much money.
  20. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    Bachmann diesels

    My experance with Bachmann diesels they look pretty good and run well. They are forgiving when handled, as to say P2000 diesels that you must be carefull where you hold them when you pick them up. Details seam to fall off of them.

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