The XL cars were released in September 2006. As usual, these are very good high quality models, similar to most of the range. The body shell is a one piece casting, with clip on roof and underframe. They are quite complicated to take apart, should one feel the need to do so, or if the coupler system gets snagged (don't try and force them back!). The couplers are on a swing system, like the old Roco system, which ensures close coupling cars around corners although I still recommend a coupler upgrade - see below). The interior is a one piece casting.
These cars have a generous amount of detail, much of it in the roof and undercarriage, with very nice roof vents, piping etc. Paint work is very nicely applied and the lettering and lining is razor sharp. Bogie details are good, although missing the extra painted details of the 2nd run. WC room windows are cloudy.
The lighted version is more roll-resistant to the unlit version due to the wheel brush electrical pickup system, however the effect is minimal. Those who operate more than 10 cars may see a noticeable difference. They do sport the typical deep flanges on the wheels, however they will go through code 83 trackwork (and possibly 75) with no problems.
The lit versions RZ22's are fitted with a circuit board with a series of small LED's.
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 bring the gaps closer together, yet are a pain to attach and detach. While I usually advocate the use of KD couplers, on my passenger fleet, I prefer a Kadee coupler at each end of a rake of cars (type 362 NEM) and Fleischmann 6515's throughout the rest of the train. The Fleishmann couplers offer a superb connection and provide flawless operation between the cars around corners. They are also well built and designed and very easy to couple/uncouple. I find the Kadee's don't work as well with certain types of passenger cars which can prove troublesome when blending different types of passenger cars.
Another great looking car by Bachmann!