It took over a decade for a second try of these cars and anticipation was high. Only four road numbers were produced with three bureaus, again with the same livery.
Even though these models looked drastically improved, came with a price increase and new fancy packaging, most of the same tooling from the first run was used.
Despite the same body shell being employed on these models, many of the details have been drastically improved. The Air conditioners are much better detailed with very fine grilles and although the same height as the old ones, appear to sit better on the roof. Gone are the old rubbish corridors and replaced with much finer grey plastic type which even come with wire diaphragm guides. having said that, no attempt has been made to include car-end doors. End steps are now made from wire, rather than cast into the body shell. Electrical couplers (above the corridors) are very beautifully reproduced and sit nice and close to other coupled cars (provided coupler conversion has been made - see below) or at the very least using the somewhat awkward drawbar system.
The paint work is much improved, now with a much closer shade of blue and they've also applied a second (optional on the real cars) blue line between the roof line and body. More care has also been taken with painted details, including simulating black rubber seals around the doors. The folded up steps below the doors are also more defined (non-functioning). Road numbers are now prototypical and are applied in the usual very sharp high quality.
Wheels have been downgraded to the usual Bachmann high profile type, however bogie details are much, much finer and even now have painted details. Bogies appear to have the capability to employ a copper brush electrical pick up system for lighting kits (the two cut outs either side of the mounting screw), however none of the cars are available with interior lighting. The undercarriage is nigh on identical to the first run.
So has it worked? Well, in short, yes. The paint work in itself is enough to distract from the flaws in the old tooling. Even the annoying gap between the roof and the body on the car ends is partially disguised by the electrical connectors above the corridors. They match the earlier (but better) hard sleeper version YW25K's.
All of my examples roll nicely and are nicely weighted.
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.
Greatly improved version!