Home Page Modelling Projects Prototype Pages Contact Links


Return to the encyclopedia as sorted by - Manufacturer - Prototype - HO Scale Only - All Other Scales

Bachmann China DF11

Prototype Information

The DF11's are the most recent single unit passenger locomotives in the Dong Feng (East Wind) series. Production started in the early 1990's and ended around 2005, with around 450 units built. They were principally designed to haul express passenger trains between China's major cities and have proven themselves very well. Despite this, double units (DF11G), electric traction and the latest trend of high-speed fixed unit trains have put many of the DF11's on secondary passenger trains. Large concentrations of these locomotives are used in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing areas.

Model Production Summary

Release Date Production Number Production Run Scale Road #s Bureau
Late 1999 n/a 1st HO (1:87) 0001 n/a
" " n/a " " " " 0018 Guangzhou
2001 (?) n/a 2nd " " 0128 "Pioneer" Beijing
2002 (?) CD00101 3rd " " 0160 Beijing
" " CD00102 " " " " 0006 Shanghai
2003 (?) CD00103 4th " " 1898 "Zhou Enlai" Shanghai
Mid 2004 (?) CD00104 5th " " n/a n/a
August 2008 CD00105 6th " " 0452 Beijing
" " CD00106 " " " " 0451 Beijing
" " CD00107 " " " " 0441 Shanghai
" " CD00108 " " " " 0448 Jinan
" " CD00109 " " " " 0406 Shanghai
" " CD00110 " " " " 0437 Shanghai
" " CD00111 " " " " 0414 Harbin
" " CD00112 " " " " 0418 Beijing

Model Review - 1st Production Run

General
The DF11's started the Chinese model railway movement way back in 1999. They were not particularly quick sellers in Western model markets at first, however many versions have since been produced. DF11 0018 was a limited edition of 5000 and DF11 0001 was released as a "special release", what ever that means (I think the amount of models made was exactly the same!)

Details
These were very nice models at the time, featuring metal handrails, see-through roof anchor points and very crisp color schemes. The bogie side frames are push fit style and details look a little on the shallow side. DF11 0018 was in dark blue/cream livery and DF11 0001 in the prototype colors of red/cream (same style). Lettering is very crisp and the paint work is very nicely applied. Staff exchangers (those little bits in the seperate plastic baggy) are to be installed (optionally) by the owner. Also to be installed are the couplers - a rather odd oversight, as the models won't fit back in their boxes after these have been installed!

Performance
These engines are extremely heavy - which is a good thing for pulling heavy trains. Electrical pickup is perfect, and they are very quiet, responsive and smooth. There are two very large brass flywheels to help with this. They have low wheel flanges - something most of us deeply miss.

Coupler Conversion
All versions will accept (#5/58/158) Kadee couplers.

Electronics
Electricity is moved around the engine via a PC board and wires. The lighting is directional, with the main headlight powered by a 12 volt incandescent bulb which looks very bright and has a good color. Unfortunately, these can get very hot after a period of time which is no good for the plastic body shells in the long run. They do have some heat insulation around the bulbs, but I'm not sure I would trust this (don't forget to turn them off when not in use!). The marker lights are nice, particularly the inner red ones.

The PC board has an 8-pin plug for decoder fitting and there is ample room inside the shell for most standard HO scale decoders (DXDC also offer a sound decoder replacement board, item #5301). DO NOT attempt to run these on any DCC layout without first removing the large capacitor inside. For some reason BC used a one-way type capacitor. After running for more than a few seconds, it will explode with a sonic boom loud enough to wake Chairman Mao, followed by a cloud of burnt mushroom smelling foulness that will fill your house/shed for hours. See image below...

Review Summary


The Good News

The Bad News
Gorgeous color scheme (the blue one, anyway!) On-board capacitor is only fun to startle your pets with
Extremely heavy, very responsive and smooth. Bogie side frames lack depth
Low profile wheels Model won't fit in the box after the couplers have been installed

Model Review - 2nd Production Run

General
The second release of DF11 was of decorated locomotive 0128 "Pioneer". This was limited to 2,500 pieces.

Details
The details were equally good as the first series. This version came with 16 airhorns!! Given the fragility of these, and considering how many of them there are, I think it would have been nice to have included a spare one or two for when the inevitable happens. The China Rail emblem on the side of the body is gold plated and on each cab end, there is a brass/red "Pioneer". There were also additional airhoses (which look a little chunky) and extra lettering below the marker lights.

Performance
As per first production run review.

Coupler Conversion
As per first production run review.

Review Summary


The Good News

The Bad News
A very nice locomotive to own

Model Review - 3rd Production Run

General
There were two new road numbers introduced with the third series, which were both released with very little fanfare and mostly limited to the domestic market and are thus very hard to find. (0160 was available for a short time through one of the Hong Kong retailers). As I've been unable to find any of these for sale, unfortunately no photos or further information is available.

Review Summary


The Good News

The Bad News
Two new road numbers Next to impossible to acquire

Model Review - 4th Production Run

General
The fourth series was a single highly decorated DF11. This version required the use of a totally new tooling set for the body shell. The headlights were placed lower than other DF11's and a depression in the cab ends was required to accomodate the large plaque of Zhou Enlai. Extra handrails were installed around the roof. These were made in very limited quantities and most sold prior to being made available to the public. (If anyone has one they want to sell, please contact me!) As I've been unable to find one of these for sale, unfortunately no photos or further information is available.

Review Summary


The Good News

The Bad News
Very rare version of a highly decorated DF11 Which is also almost impossible to find anywhere!

Model Review - 5th Production Run

General
The fifth series was the last to use the old DF11 tooling and mechanism.

Details
This was the first verison to come with side mirrors. It was an unlettered version. Included in the box was a sheet of decals with a considerably large amount of road numbers and beureau codes to be added by the owner.

Performance
Somewhere between the third series and this one, the chassis lost about a quarter of its weight. While this must have made postage marginally cheaper, it also sacrificed some of the tractive effort.

Review Summary


The Good News

The Bad News
Many road number/bureau options Lighter than previous series

Model Review - 6th Production Run

General
The sixth run of the DF11 was a totally redesigned model from the ground up. Eight road numbers were available and are readily available in the market at the time of writing (2013).

Details
Differences over previous versions include cut-out sections in the pilot to assist with cooling of the braking system. The wheelspacing is shorter and the bogie side frames have considerably more detail. Louvre vent details are sharper, with the small ones over the cab now painted on rather than part of the shell. Airhoses are nicer, and the windscreen wipers are now seperately applied parts, rather than cast into the window 'glass' - although these look a lot thicker than the previous version.

Performance
The model appears to use an identical frame to the retooled DF4B. In a nutshell the same great performance, but more fragile.

Electronics
LED headlights are now used - these are relatively weak in strength.

Coupler conversion
The supplied EZ mate can be substituted for KD couplers. #156 (long shank, scale head, with whiskers) is a drop in conversion. #158's (medium shank, scale head, with whiskers) can be used with modification to the coupler head. This can be achieved with a dremel tool/cutting disc. A small piece at the rear bottom of the head should be removed to clear the uncoupling rod.

Review Summary


The Good News

The Bad News
Many road number/bureau options Mechanism is not as bulletproof as the previous design
Detail is much nicer High profile wheels / Weak LED headlights.

Model Photos

Return to the encyclopedia as sorted by - Manufacturer - Prototype - HO Scale Only - All Other Scales


Chinese Model Trains.com is © Copyright 2013. Please read full CopyRight information here.