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Bachmann China L18 Cylindrical Hoppers

Prototype Information

The L18's are very common cars in China's north east. They provide grain/wheat and corn transport from the farming collectives along the line as far as Hegang near the Russian border to Mudanjiang. The grain is then transported to various docks in Dalian for export.

Model Production Summary

Release Date Production Number Production Run Scale Road #s Bureau/Owner
March 2007 CF00601 1st HO (1:87) 0237592 Dalian North Liang Company Ltd
" " CF00602 " " " " 0237721 " "
" " CF00603 " " " " 0237638 " "
" " CF00604 " " " " 8101331 Dalian North Liang Company Ltd / CNR
" " CF00605 " " " " 8100493 Dalian Guang Consolidated
" " CF00606 " " " " 8100254 Yingkou Central Grain Storage Co. Ltd / CNR
" " CF00607 " " " " 8100140 China Rail
" " CF00608 " " " " 8100054 " "
" " CF00609 " " " " 8100000 " "
" " CF00610 " " " " 8100295 " "

Model Review

General
There were ten versions of the L18's produced, each with individual variations in the lettering/owner. The main four are China Rail, Dalian North Liang Company Limited livery, Dalian Kuang Consolidated and Yingkou grain Company Limited. Some of these types have minor differences such as color in the lettering, with or without CNR logos, etc.

Details
Physical details such as step ladders, brake wheels, handrails and ladders are really very nice. The under body hatches, although non-functional, are nicely reproduced. The roof walks are the only thing I really don't like about these cars. They are far too thick, and are unfortunately cast on as part of the main body shell, making removing them to replace with etched metal walkways near impossible. A few of my cars lost brake wheels and ladders soon after purchase. I checked some of my other cars and sure enough it appears that there is no glue holding the parts in place! All the lettering is beautifully applied and the metallic paint work is particularly nice with minimal 'grain'.

Performance
The cars have a nice weight and roll very freely. The deep wheel flanges don't like Peco code 83 turnouts, but I think we're all getting pretty used to these shenanigans.

Coupler Conversion
Bachmann EZ mates can be replaces with Kadee #5 (standard), #58 (standard, scale head) or #158 (standard, scale head, whisker).

Other Notes
These modern cylindrical hoppers will fit right at home on most modern layouts in China.

Review Summary


The Good News

The Bad News
An interesting model of choice Deep wheel flanges
Very nicely detailed... ...apart from the roof walkways which are far too thick
Very crisp lettering and good variety of car markings Some components have a tendancy to fall off

Model Photos

Model image below show some custom changes to stock model;
- Wheel flanges have been machined down with a lathe
- Bachmann EZ-Mate couplers have been replaced with Kadee #158's


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