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Bachmann China KD (Kongtiaofadianche) Generator Cars

Prototype Information

until recently, KD cars are were a neccessity on most Chinese trains which require power to operate the airconditioning, however some locomotives are able to power the train with their own generators. They output 380volts AC. The 25K models were built between 1996 and 2003, while the 25G variants started in 2001 and are still being produced to this day. The 25K variant is used for 25T class passenger trains, usually painted in the same color scheme as the rest of the train, although some 25T type exist also - notably the dark green variants for the Tibet train (not a model option yet). This review covers the 25G and 25K types.

Model Production Summary

Release Date Production Number Production Run Scale Road # Livery Bureau Lights Details
November 2013 CP01801 1st HO (1:87) 998571 (25K) Blue, White, Red Shanghai No lights Round roof vents
" " CP01802 " " " " " " " " " " Lights " "
" " CP01803 " " " " 998279 (25K) " " Shenyang No Lights " "
" " CP01804 " " " " " " " " " " Lights " "
" " CP01805 " " " " 998503 (25G) Red/Orange/Grey Beijing No Lights Square roof vents
" " CP01806 " " " " " " " " " " Lights " "
" " CP01807 " " " " 998715 (25K) Blue/White/Red " " No Lights " "
" " CP01808 " " " " " " " " " " Lights " "
" " CP01809 " " " " 998713 (25K) Blue/White " " No Lights " "
" " CP01810 " " " " " " " " " " Lights " "
" " CP01811 " " " " 998503 (25G) Red/Orange/Grey Shanghai No Lights " "
" " CP01812 " " " " " " " " " " Lights " "

Model Review

General
These are Bachmann China's latest model for their passenger trains, which is ironically my first review of the passenger cars! (All the others will come soon!) The KD's fill a huge gap for modern passenger trains and are a very welcome addition. Indeed, if you run 25K, G or T rolling stock - you should have one of these in the consist (with a few exceptions). Packaging is the face-lifted cardboard carton with the usual holding plastic clamshell type plastic inner. While cost is a very subjective topic, I believe these cars are priced substantially over what they should be.

Details
True, to keeping in line with their drive for higher quality models, Bachmann have truly knocked this one out of the park and set a new bench mark for passenger cars. Generally speaking, I've never been so impressed by a new model as I have with these. They now use superb color coded brass steps and ladders. The under carriage detail is amazing, as are the car ends. Roof and side details vary between model. The most obvious differences are the roof vents - either round or square type. The type with the round vents also have some protruding intake fan panels on the car sides. While this is a very nice touch, I believe some of the detailing on the car sides could have been done better - particularly said intake fans (protruding type) and some of the louver vents. Destination boards are included in the box to be installed by the owner.

Bogie detail is absolutely superb, each class with its own type. The white/blue version (CP01809/10) has T type bogies and I'm starting to question whether or not this should be a 25T KD, rather than the purported 25K. Either way, they look fantastic and this is really splitting hairs.

The interior is brilliant. Each car with three separate generators would excellent details. included in the package are four arm chairs, presumably to be installed inside the car. Unfortunately much of this excellent detail will never be seen unless you enjoy running your cars around without their roofs on - not likely.

Performance
These cars are shorter than the other passenger cars, yet heavier - just like the real thing! They roll very well, and the lighted version doesn't offer much resistance with the wheel pickups than their unlit cousins.

Lighting
The lighting units in these cars are VERY disappointing. just when I thought Bachmann had cracked it in getting the right color in their most recent YW22's and CA23's, they come along and put in an absolutely AWFUL deep orange color LED. The real cars use fluorescent tubes - almost a white light, so I've got no idea what they were thinking when they did this. Considering Bachmann are going after higher quality models, this is a big failure.

Coupler Conversion
Bachmann EZ-mates are fitted to the models which should be replaced at the earliest opportunity if you don't like huge air gaps between cars. Bachmann have included their usual semi-permanent drawbars which work well enough, yet are a pain to attach and detach. While I usually advocate the use of KD couplers, on my passenger fleet, I use a Kadee coupler at each end of a rake of cars (type 362 NEM) and Fleischmann 6515's throughout the rest of the train. These couplers offer a spot on length and flawless operation between the cars around corners. I find the KD's don't work well with certain types of cars and are a bit too short for my liking.

Other Notes
The nicest passenger cars to date with superb details at a premium cost.

Review Summary


The Good News

The Bad News
The best passenger cars yet built by Bachmann China Ridiculous color LED's in the lit versions
Superb and unique details between road numbers Very expensive
Nicely weighted and good rolling characteristics

Model Photos


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