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Bachmann China JS (b) 2-8-2

Prototype Information

The JS's were the middle of the three standard steam locomotive classes in China (the QJ's being the heavy weights, and the SY's being the light industrial locomotives). They were used in heavy industry and branchline work, but saw mainline service and passenger work also. A handful still survive today, the last major concentration found at Sandaoling used in the large open cast coal pits. Almost 2,000 of these engines were built at various locomotive factories. The JS Bachmann have based their model on is the later (improved) JS b variant which had improved running gear with single slide bar and a toned down cowling around the smokestack.

You may find photos of the real JS locomotives by clicking here.

Model Production Summary

Release Date Production Number Production Run Scale Road #s Bureau
June 2009 CS00301 1st HO (1:87) 8057 Pingdingshan Coal Rwy
" " CS00302 " " " " 8384 Shanghai
" " CS00303 " " " " 8419 US export version
" " CS00304 " " " " 8181 Jingzhou
" " CS00305 " " " " 8380 Shanghai
" " CS00306 " " " " 8377 Sancha/Liucheng
December 2015 CS00307 2nd " " 8294 Shanghai
" " CS00308 " " " " 8418 Yuanbaoshan

Other notes;

- CS00301, 302 & 306 have a single main headlight

- CS00303 was exported to the US (Scenic & Boone Rwy) upon completion of manufacture and was not used on Chinese rails in revenue service

- CS00304 & 305 have twin main headlights

Model Review - 1st Production Run

General
The release of the JS was the final model released of the three major classes of modern steam locomotives in China. Most versions sold out very quickly. Bachmann chose to model the 'improved' JS model, known as the JSb, spotting differences which include a more simplified design in the running gear and small differences in the cowling. They are very nice models, capturing the beefy looks that the JS locomotives have.

Details
The cowling around the smoke stack is sheet metal (I presume brass) which not only looks great compared to the thick cowling of Bachmann's QJ, but also provides some of us with an easy option of customizing our locomotives (some locomotives had no cowling around the chimney). There are a stack of tiny little details like fine steps, air horns, side cab lights which are very nicely done indeed. Infact the only details that I have found that are incorrect are a series of small pipes that run on the left hand side of the engine from the cab to the cowling. These pipes are cast under the boiler bands, where they should run over the top of them. A small quibble, but could have been easily rectified. (See bottom right photo)

Performance
Model steam locomotives will never equal their diesel counterparts as the weight just isn't there. Nevertheless, I think these are the strongest Chinese steam models available, being a tiny bit more powerful the the 'Zhu De' QJ 2-10-2 model with improved drive. Gratefully received are the low wheel flanges, which is most likely done as the clearances between wheels are so limited. They run very smoothly, although they are not overly quiet due to a very annoying squeal from the motor.

Electronics
The wheel pickup is taken from the drivers and tender wheels. The tender wheels have a new three-prong wiper pick up system on both axles, the same as used on the 'Zhu De' 2-10-2 QJ locomotive. There is plenty of room in the tender for a standard HO scale decoder, and even a provision for a speaker and sound decoder. Sound holes are pre drilled into the bottom of the tender.

Coupler Conversion
As with all of Bachmann's steam locomotives, couplers on the back require a NEM European fit (clip). I recommend Kadee # 17's for these locomotives. The clips don't quite clip in place, but with a sharp hobby blade, a tiny sliver from the front of the coupler box will see they click in nicely (be careful when doing this and take off only a very small amount and more again if needed). I use a #153 (scale sized head, short-shank, w/whisker) for the front coupler.

Other Notes
An absolutely gorgeous model of one of the most important steam prototypes is here. Serious modellers and steam fans should not miss out on these.

Review Summary


The Good News

The Bad News
The last major gap in Chinese steam rosters is hereby fulfilled! Some details are molded incorrectly on the body shell
Very even and relatively strong performance An annoying motor squeal
Incredibly well detailed Coal load molded into tender
Each road number with specific details Unrealistic head light color

Model Review - 2nd Production Run

Coming soon!

Model Photos

Model image below show some custom changes to stock model;

- All models shown below have had front Baachmann EZ-mate couplers replaced with Kadee #153's (trimmed magnetic pins)

- JS 8419 has original Bachmann EZ coupler on the rear

- JS 8057 has rear coupler removed


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