Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0 question

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Bachmann_I10sa, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. Hey again gauge'rs, I was wondering if any of you own a Bachmann Spectrum Series 2-8-0 Consolidation and run it on your layout, and what you think of it. I've been thinking about buying one, but am a little apprehensive about the belt-drive. For some reason, having a belt instead of a gear drive doesn't seem very reliable to me. Are they good engines, though? Good speed? How many cars can one pull?

    I can squeak 21 cars out of my older 2-8-0, my much-mentioned I-10sa. Just wondering how the belt-driven 2-8-0 that Bachmann currently makes will compare to that.
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I have a few friends who have them. One has two, each with a sound decoder, and they look and perform great, when they are running... He seems to have some issues with reliability, but I do not know if it is the decoder or the loco. The other firend has one, and his only caution is that they have to be run regularly to avoid getting a kink in the belt. Apparently if they sit too long, the belt forms to the shape, and then running becomes jerky...

  3. oh wow. thanks for the info, MasonJar
  4. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Andrew, That's interesting. I have one for probably 3- 4 years now, I rarely run it but whenever I do I am very impressed with it. Pulls better than my Athearn 2-8-2 (that's not hard tho) always runs smooth and slow speed is good. I regard it as the turning point where model steam began to run as well as diesels.
  5. Gary, how many cars can you pull with yours? Are new belts readily available, just in case what Andrew mentioned does indeed happen?
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Gary and Bachmann I10sa,

    I do not know exactly what he means by "regular" running, nor do I know what conditions he stores it in... But Gary does have a good point - it really represented the beginning of the "new" plastic locos, and is an excellent engine as far as I am concerned. if I didn't get a Bachmann Spectrum 4-6-0 recently, I would go for the 2-8-0.

  7. If you guys say it's a good engine, then it may well be worth a try. I was just weary about a belt-driven engine, you know, because of problems from rubber deterioration like cracking and slipping and stiffening and all that. But I'll give one a try if I come across one within my current budget. Thanks again, guys.
  8. Ignore this one, it was a duplicate. Stupid slow computer.
  9. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

  10. 36 cars? Very impressive for that little 2-8-0; a lot more than I expected it would handle. Thanks for that thread, Gary!
  11. Alan B

    Alan B Member

    I have a Spectrum 2-8-0. I rarely pull more than 12 cars and a caboose with it, but it seems to handle that just fine. It goes through my Atlas switches without much hesitation. That's impressive for a loco without dual flywheels. I have not had a chance to run it on a layout with Peco switches. I expect it to do very well on those.
  12. ChadYelland

    ChadYelland Member

    I'm pretty green at this hobby and the 2 consolidations and 2 ten wheelers i have, have only run about 2ft out of the yard as the rest is under construction but so far i enjoy them, very quiet and quite smooth, Bachman i assume has some special material for belts that last a long time, I had Lego yrs ago that had white belts that never stretched, cracked or peeled, I hope that technoligy is still around LOL!
  13. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I have seven Spectrum Consolidations, and all are smooth runners and strong pullers. The drive belt is supposedly from the computer industry, and I've not noticed that the belts take any "set". They seem to be a lot more durable than all of those cracked gears that we hear about. :rolleyes: :-D

  14. iis612

    iis612 Member

    I had a 2-8-0. It was a great runner. It would handle all of my rolling stock (28 weighted cars) without a grade and never break a sweat. It had smooth low speed characteristics and stayed smooth to the top of the throttle. It was quiet and very reliable.
    I recently had one mine for sale on Ebay, but somehow a large heavy box dropped on it. It did not take that too well.
  15. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Another old thread - resurrected! ;) And I commented in it...!

    And now, an update. :D

    I now own a 2-8-0, and it is a strong, reliable runner. The belt drive is not an issue, although it did take a little fine tuning the decoder to get nice smooth starts. On DC, it was good out of the box, and benefitted from some "run in" time.

  16. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I've had both one of the older Bachmann 2-8-0s as well as the Spectrum 2-8-0s. While on flat track the spectrum 2-8-0 is 2x as powerful, it is more like 10x as powerful on steep the older 2-8-0s were poorly balanced (imo). Further...the older 2-8-0s ran at around 150 scale mph...only around 3x too fast, while the spectrum engines are less than half that.

    And in terms of noise, the spectrum definitely is much quieter.

    Lastly, the Spectrum 2-8-0 is a far more typical 2-8-0 than the older ones. It is based off of an Illinois Central locomotive, but with all of the distinctly Harriman details changed...and the result is a great model for many different railroads 2-8-0s (2-8-0s were hardly standardized...almost every roads' were unique right from delivery). While not being distinctly a Reading locomotive, they also have 2x the level of detail or more than the older engines.

    I think you'll fall in love with it, even if you're a Reading fan. It was arguably the most important plastic steam locomotive ever introduced and represented an enormous leap in affordable steam locomotives.
    New steam locomotives could be described in terms of pre-spectrum 2-8-0 and post-spectrum 2-8-0...just like dreadnought battleships of 100 years ago.
  17. hd8091

    hd8091 Member

    I have four of the Spectrum 2-8-0 's and love them. They run smooth and quiet and pull a decent load about 17 cars.
  18. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    My only steam engine is a Bachman Spectrum 2-8-0, and it is a great runner. Even came with DCC, but it can run on DC too. My only problem with it is the tender. It's so light, that the wires connecting the engine and tender are actually manageing to LIFT the tender up, causing a major derailment. My only solution at this point is to drop a socket wrench head into the coal bay, which imediatley fixes the problem, but looks totaly unrealistic.
  19. Don7

    Don7 Member

    Could someone clarify for me if the Spectrum 2-8-0 has a 3 pole or a 5 pole motor.

    The specs on the Bachmann site indicate it is a 5 pole, however some one else insists that is probably a mistake, as they have or had one and it was a 3 pole Mabuci motor and that for Bachmann to have changed over would have been a major modification.

  20. wilbro47

    wilbro47 New Member

    I believe the 3 pole motor is n scale only.

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