The NEW Bachmann E60CP

Discussion in 'Product Review Forum' started by green_elite_cab, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I just got mine ( #971) yesterday, and I am both pleased and dissappointed. Luckily, I think this is a great starting point for a super detailed E60CP


    Its still a beautiful model (if you like boxes of course!) for standard line bachmann, atleast in my opinion. The paint job is definitely more crisp, and somewhat improved. However, I feel the "Amtrak" on the side of the locomotive is to fat, and so in that respect, the old "951" E60CP was alittle closer. the New E60CP also has a little "F" denoting the front end, a detail the old model lacked. One other issue is that the insulators don't appear to be painted, they are just white plastic.

    There appears to be issues with #974, since it has been reported 974 never was in phase III until after its renumbering into the 600 series as an MA. #975 though appears to have been in the Phase III, so that might be an easy fix. I'm fairly certain #975 also had an AEM7 style pantograph on the "back" pantograph at one point, so that would make a unique model. ( the front end of the locomotive being where all the roof top vents are)

    The headlight is yellow ( thankfully not that ungodly blue LED bachmann has been using), although some claim it is to dim, but i think its fine. The headlight is correctly spaced (a problem with American GK E60s). The number boards are nearly flush.

    Speaking of flush, the windshields and windows are actually in the the windows, (if that makes sense to you), rather than being a plastic piece on the inside that didn't look right. Still, the windshield wipers are molded on.

    As far as molded on goes, there is still some issues with that. the grab irons are still molded on ( although they don't look that bad in my opinion). the wind deflectors are actually molded on to,( they were also molded on in the old model). Speaking of the old model, alot is the same (like the horns, and my personal favorite, the ULTRA BENDY CAB STEPS. Admit it, you like them to. they'll never break!) as far as the body shell is concerned, except for two details

    One- FULL PILOT! thats right, a totally correct pilot (American GK pilots were totally square, and not bevelled, which needs work). even though there are only bumps for MU hoses, they are in the right spot for future addition. the only thing that lacks in my opinion is that there is no pilot step. this could be made though.

    Two- upper headlights. This is dissappointing. rather than keeping them clear and painting them, its just solid plast (part of the shell) painted white and red. the class lights are also painted on bumps in the shell.

    as far as the Pantographs go, they are alright. In the folded position, i think they still stick up to much, but its not so bad. they are in fact springloaded, so they stay up. they look nice as well. My only real complaint is that the pantograph shoes are VERY limited in movement, because the "arms" of the pantograph extend enough to prevent the full motion of the shoe, which will make catenary operations irratating. there is extra insulator detail as well.

    So as far as appearance goes, I rate it pretty high up there, its definitely not a dinky model, it beats out Blue box kits, and some other things, but not Athearn RTR. If you like NEC locomotives like this one though, this shouldn't be a problem for you.

    I call it a Low A or a High B.


    Yeah, this is where the E60CP runs into problems. Like most bachmanns, it has a growly buzzy motor. it will run well at kinda slow speeds, and does do a good job zooming around at high speeds (in fact, the faster you run it, the quieter it appears to get). Keep in mind though that it is not broken in yet, so it will probably start working alittle better soon.

    It managed to pull an 8 car train of Walthers Horizon commuter cars, which is a real feat when you are pulling it through 22 inch curves (even my Atlas U34CH and other commuter locos can't seem to do it well. So far, only the GG1/Challenger has been so successful through a curve with 8 full length cars).

    It has Mchenry type couplers with a copper spring holding the knuckle in place (better than the plastic leaf springs!)

    Of course, the DCC on Board is a nice thing to have, especially since i don't want to be installing anymore decoders (i know i have to though, i need to finish my NJ transit E60CH).

    So as far as performance, its a solid B. Could have been better, and a little quieter. its on par with your average Athearn Bluebox.


    Don't be disheartened by the flaws mentioned, most can be fixed. AS with any model, there is almost ALWAYS room for added on detail. Things you can do the help this model out (or have fun projects with):

    1. Wire Grab Irons- just shave the old ones off with a hobby knife ( if you do it right, the paint job will be fine), and just get some thin wire of your choice, and a pinvise with appropriate bit. Problem solved.

    2. Pilot Details- Never a bad thing to add M.U. Hoses. Also, often times there are cables hanging from the pairs of HEP receptacles (the little ones on the pilot, not the larger pairs recessed in the "nose"). this can be modeled with fine guage copper wire that has been stripped and painted black, and then inserted into a hole drilled in the Hep Receptacle. use your favorite brand MU cable.

    If you want to kick it up a notch, you can try drilling a few holes in the pilot where the steps should be, and slowly filing it down to the right size. It take patience, but can be done.

    3. Real Wind Deflectors- On a boxy locomotive like this, anything that protrudes is an obvious thing. the E60CP (and ALL other E60 variants) is no acception. Detail associates makes brass wind deflectors that look great, but are a headache. Still cool in the end though! Believe or not, the model actually already has them. they look like barely noticeable protrusions from the "end facing" side of the large square windows

    4. Clear lenses for class lights and upper lights- Especially the upper lights. the red is like the rear marker on this thing. it should be lights. just drill the right holes, and have the right lenses. ( measure it out!)

    5. Correct numbers- These are models of E60CPs. However, not all E60s were the CP. Many more were the E60CH version. only 951-956 were actually a CP unit. Luckily, this means you only need to switch out the 7 with a 5 in the case of my model. the only problem here is if you have an old Bachmann and don't want double numbers, in which case, you will need to switch out the last digit to.

    6. Fix the pantographs- Shave off a VERY tiny bit in a diagnol fashion on the ends of the pantographso that the shoe is horizontal when the arm is fully raised. I think the arms are also metal. it seems possible to make them overhead compatiable if so desired.

    7. Underbody detail- Just add some cables from the axles going into the locomotive, like you would any GE-C type locomotive. adding air filters and other underbody details help to. this goes for most other RTR and kit locomotives as well.

    8. Get a new motor- I haven't opened the locomotive, but if a better motor can be had, i'd say go for it.

    9. ULTRA BENDY CAB STEPS- Yeah, this model has had these for the last 30 years. I just feel the need to call attention to how awesome they are. When you think about it, they are pretty resilient, and i'm surprised other companies haven't tried similar things on their models in such situations.

    Sadly, for those of you hoping to get an E60MA unit out of one of these ( or a CH for that matter), you have alot of work to do. the E60CP version has different roof detail than the E60MA or CH, the most noticeable being the two boxes right behind the cab, as well as a different rooftop fan arrangement.

    Hopefully, If you buy this model you will enjoy it. I know I will.
  2. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Excellent Review of an electric favorite. Top notch review. How about some large photos to top it off?
  3. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Here are some pictures to illustrate the new E60 better. I might make a video of it to.


    First up, a front shot. On the left is the American GK E60 kit (modified into an MA. In hindsite, i should have brought up my NJ transit E60CH, which is the kit built as is). the middle is the new Bachmann, and the right is the old on.

    even though you can't see it (they are filled in), the American GK kit's headlights are to far apart, while bachmann has it right. the upper pair of lights are painted on the new E60CP. The American GK is similar in that it also had a solid plastic upper headlight piece (although i added Athearn bulbs in mine). the old Bachmann actually wins here. with clear plastic, one could have lighted it correctly if they wanted. However, just like on my American GK E60 kit, you can also drill out the lights, and put new lenses in- problem solved.

    its alittle dark, but you can also see that the new E60 has accurate pilot detail, and even a bevelled bottom like the prototype. In fact, the coupler pocket hole is even more correct than the American GK one in size. while both models have a barren pilot to start with, the bachmann one i feel is more freindly when detailing. the mu spots are also correct, since on the E60MA, they moved the MU hoses. Bachmann made sure to get that part right, it's model matches the CP/CH configuration! the old bachmann E60 is clearly lacking a pilot, so i guess it doesn't count.

    The horns look better on the new Bachmann than they do on the old one. I didn't use the stock American GK horn on the E60MA, but i can tell you it is not as good looking as the new bachmann horn.

    However, we can see a few things haven't changed between bachmann incarnations. Unlike on the American GK kit, There are still molded on handrails and windshield wipers. The windshield/windows are one piece, as opposed to seperate. The good news is that the new Bachmann better fits in it's windows, so there is not any unrealistic spaces.

    You'll notice the new number boards are nice and flush. On both American GK kit and old Bachmann, they are recessed, although the American GK kit is not as much recessed. The Bachmann number boards are also in the right spot. I have a feeling the American GK numberboards aren't entirely in the right spot. (yes, i realize i covered it over on the E60MA).

    Another issue is the cab steps. One of the good things the new Bachmann inherited was the ultra bendy cab steps, which allow the train to handle some tighter curves, and for it to be alittle more resilient. the American GK on the other hand, has smaller steps. Not a problem now, i bet I can order new Bachmann parts for it.

    One improvement I only noticed now is that the new bachmann actually says Amtrak on the front, unlike the old bachmann, or the American GK kit (according to the photos in an old walthers catalog that you can see here: . note the NJ transit version. It has an incorrect paint scheme, the black should go farther down the nose)


    Note the similarities in the shells. they are almost the same, apart from refined details. however, this really allows you to see how oversized the new Amtrak logo is. I think you could probably erase it and put on a better sized decal. While you're at that, you can swith the number back to 951, since 971 is E60CH.


    Lets compare the Pantographs. other than the sommefeldt faively pans, this has been the choice for modelers. On the right is the pantograph fromt he American GK E60 kit, the middle is the new bachmann E60CP, and the left is the Old bachmann E60CP as far as appearances go, I think the new E60CP has better pans. technically i feel the old pans are more correctly shaped, but they don't function (period. it took forever to get it to stay up. how would it hold up under wire?). on the other hand, the American GK pans work, but they are horrifying. even if i added the correct framework in there, i don't think that would save it. Again... order the new bachmann pans, or the sommerfeldt ones in the case of the GK.


    Finally, for those of you wishing to build an accurate E60CH/E60MA from this model (or any other bachmann for that matter), this will be one of your challengers. Note the difference in fans. Remember, cutting away is easy, but adding back is tough.

    the top on (610) is an E60MA. the roof is as is from the kit in this spot, and is correct. the lower one is the new E60CP. the Old E60CP's roof is identical in this spot.

    You'll need to move those circular fans to the other box (which is possible if you have a steady hand, and a good blade). they might be alittle big, but no problem. At that point, all you have to do is complete the rest of the roof, using modelers puddy or something

    The other tough part will be removing the pair of box off the shell. since these are cast on, they may present a challenge. you'll probably need more modelers puddy and a good deal of sanding. Luckily though, if your aim is an E60CH, you might be able to save most of your paint job.

    On the E60MA/CH, there is only one other fan to the left of this picture, present on the AMerican GK kit, but not on the bachmann. its a round fan like the rest, but slightly larger.

  4. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

  5. platypus1217

    platypus1217 Member

    Very nice review. The picture and video make it excellent.
  6. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Nice review and interesting info. Those are HO scale, but it seems like I've seen Bachmann make a similar model in Nscale but "chromed". Did Amtrak ever have an electric engine and Amfleet cars "chromed" that way or did Bachmann just want to make a flashy marketing statement I wonder.
  7. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Flashy marekting statement. The amfleets thesmelves were that shiny when first built, but i don't think the E60s were.
  8. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Ah thought so. My LHS has the Bachmann Electric engine set with three Amfleet cars, track and power pack for a really good price and I thought about getting it just for the engine and cars. I'm certain the engine is not a Spectrum line and therefore probably runs just like you describe of the HO versions, but an engine and three cars is quite a good buy. Still, they sure are "chromed"...almost too much for me. I don't think I've ever seen anything that color that was outside in the elements.
  9. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I have several pictures of the equipment brand new, and even some real life Metroliner EMU that really are that chromed, so i figured the amfleets (based on the metroliners) would be just as shiny back in the day. the difference probably is in the unreal light conditions, and the grooves and things creating a slightly different appearance.
  10. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I thought i might update this alittle after running the E60CP around alittle. Others report that their E60CP hasn't been able to pull as much. Also, I've found that over time the pantographs have a hard time standing down, and are held down loosely by tabs on the insulator details. I'll have to work on a solution to this.
  11. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    If break-in hasn't reduced the noise level appreciably, my buddy got a pair of the Bachmann FT's. He pulled the motors, added a little 2-sided foam tape in strategic places, and now they're much quieter.

    I'll see if I can convince him to post a "how-to".

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