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Bachmann China ND5 (phase i)

Prototype Information

The ND5 locomotives were built by General Electric as the C36-7, and exported from the United States between 1984 and 1986. A total of 599 were built, with 422 of them sold to China. The Chinese received two batches of these locomotives. The first batch (as in this review) were standard C36-7's, the second saw improvements to increased visibility with the large front cab windows and a different arrangement of the air reservoir tanks next to the fuel tank. It has been running reliably on some of the busiest mainlines on China's rails for over 20 years.

Model Production Summary

Release Date Production Number Production Run Scale Road #s Bureau
August 2009 CD01001 1st HO (1:87) 0046 Shenyang
" " CD01002 " " " " 0171 Jinan
" " CD01003 " " " " 0001 Shanghai
" " CD01004 " " " " 0058 Shanghai
" " CD01005 " " " " 0135 Beijing
" " CD01006 " " " " 0142 Beijing
July 2011 CD01001E 2nd HO (1:87) 0046 Shenyang
" " CD01002E " " " " 0171 Jinan
" " CD01003E " " " " 0001 Shanghai
" " CD01004E " " " " 0058 Shanghai
" " CD01005E " " " " 0135 Beijing
" " CD01006E " " " " 0142 Beijing

Other notes;
- The second production run was identical to the first, but had factory weathering applied

Model Review

General
Despite the first product numbers in the ND5 series, these actually came out later than the phase ii ND5's.

Details
I was initially put off from purchasing one of these locomotives given the release photos of them where the color looked like it had been designed by Austin Powers, so Peter Oetterli became my guinea pig to make sure the color looked right. I'm very happy to report that my worries have been laid to rest and I'm very seriously looking at buying one of them very soon. The physical details are slightly different, but are equally impressive, if not more so. Some of the nicer features include see-through foot steps, etched metal grilles over the large radiator fans, very fine windscreen wipers, hollowed out brass airhorns and very fine handrails. A small bag is included with air hoses to be installed by the owner.

Performance
(Copied from ND5 ph ii review as information is the same) The performance is exceptional, even though they lose weight being a hood unit, these are very powerful models. Mine had no problems pulling 22 empty gondolas up a 3% grade @ 35% throttle. The motor is dead silent, although there is an awful lot of noise from the gear boxes, not especially surprising after seeing all the oil in the box. This doesn't go away after running in, and an appropriate gearbox lubricant is highly recommended. Top speed is just about right for a scale 120kph.

Electronics
(Copied from ND5 ph ii review as information is the same) The lighting is very nice, very bright LEDs for the main headlight and number boards, as well as marker lights. I would suggest the lights are too blue, but this can be fixed up by painting a tiny (really tiny) amount of "Tamiya Clear Orange (X-26)" on the surface of the LED's. The red reverse lights look fantastic and shine with a very good brightness level. It is a shame that the front and rear number boards can't be turned on at the same time.

Decoder installation is quite easy. The PC board has an 8 pin socket and I would recommend using a smaller decoder for these engines - for example Digitrax DZ125, or any N scale decoder - as the space inside is quite limited. Inside the fuel tank is a template for drilling speaker holes for those who would like to use a sound decoder.

Coupler Conversion
Swapping couplers is a little trickier on these locomotives, but is a pretty straight forward affair. Unlike the phase ii ND5's, these will accept standard shank Kadee's (#5/58/158's) as they have no in-built snow plough.

Other Notes
(Copied from ND5 ph ii review as information is the same) Yes, the wheels still have the deep flanges (when will they learn), but this hasn't dampened my enthusiasm for these terrific models and I highly recommend Chinese fans buy one or two at least! You will not be disappointed!

A factory weathered version was released in mid July 2011. These had identical roadnumbers to the first version, however the prefix 'E' was added to the product number.

Review Summary


The Good News

The Bad News
Model beautifully captures the prototype Deep wheel flanges
Excellent smooth & powerful performance Lots of gearbox noise
Crisp lettering and even paint work
Amazingly fine details, yet surprisingly robust

Model Photos


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