Bachmann 64ft Carflat

◆ GAUGE ‘OO’ ◆ MODEL Bachmann Branch­line 38-901 64ft FVV Carflat B745054, BR blue ◆ PRICE £36.95 ◆ AVAIL­ABIL­ITY Bachmann stock­ists

Model Rail (UK) - - Reviews -

Re­view­ing mod­els can be an un­en­vi­able task. Af­ter all, what can one re­ally say about some­thing that is, at the end of the day, lit­tle more than an un­der­frame on a set of bo­gies? Ac­tu­ally, quite a lot. The N Gauge So­ci­ety com­mis­sioned Bachmann to pro­duce 1:148 scale Carflats (re­viewed in MR246) cre­ated on re­dun­dant Mk 1 coach un­der­frames, so it made sense for them to be of­fered in the Branch­line ‘OO’ gauge range too. It also makes sense when your ‘OO’ gauge Mk 1 coach range is ar­guably the best and most extensive in the busi­ness. If you think there’s been some du­pli­ca­tion with the Ox­ford Rail range, don’t let the min­i­mal­ist na­ture of the ‘Carflat’ de­ceive you. Ox­ford’s 2017 model de­picted a type built on 60ft EX-LMS un­der­frames, whereas Bachmann’s new model fea­tures those built on ex-mk 1 ve­hi­cles. Our re­view sam­ple, B745054, was ‘built’ at St Rol­lox works in 1968 to Di­a­gram 1/088 (lot 3679) us­ing for­mer Western Re­gion Mk 1 W25145. We com­pared the new Carflat to a Bachmann Mk 1 – in this case Brake Cor­ri­dor Com­pos­ite M21026 (39-226C) – and it’s clear that far more work has gone into the new model than sim­ply mak­ing the coach frame to fit a new body.

NEW GEAR

The truss rods look fa­mil­iar, but all of the brake gear is new, mainly be­cause the brake gear on the real thing was mod­i­fied to in­clude a hand­brake. The vac­uum reser­voirs look finer than those on the coach. The bo­gies are car­ried over. They’re to Bachmann’s usual fine stan­dard, but are dated by the fact that the brake blocks are not aligned with the wheel treads. Un­like a Mk 1 coach, you get a de­cent as­sort­ment of ac­ces­sories with the Carflat. There are yellow chocks (on sprues), Mo­torail side boards, vac­uum pipes and dummy buck­eye cou­plers (NEM pock­ets are mounted on sprung cams). There are also air brake cylin­ders, which can be fit­ted to make your Carflat air-braked if re­quired. The body com­pares well to pho­to­graphs on Paul Bartlett’s web­site (https:// paulbartlett.zen­fo­lio.com). Bachmann has ac­tu­ally done a good job of sim­u­lat­ing BR’S blue, and the print­ing is ex­em­plary. Even the small­est text on the work­splate is leg­i­ble, al­beit un­der a mag­ni­fier. The FVV weighs in at 93g, which aids per­for­mance. Our sam­ple per­formed fault­lessly on our test track, with four Bachmann bo­gie coaches be­hind it. It han­dled tight point­work and cross­ings with aplomb. An­other ex­cel­lent ad­di­tion to the ranks of ‘OO’ gauge ready-to-run wag­ons. (RF)

It’s clear that far more work has gone into the new model than sim­ply mak­ing the coach frame to fit a new body

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