ND2 Class Diesel-electric Co-Co
The ND2's were built in Romania by Electroputere from the early 1970's to the mid 1980's. By the end of production, China had received nearly 300 examples. They were very useful locomotives working primary passenger trains, before being used on lesser workings as they began to ageand more modern and powerful locomotives became available. They continued to operate passenger, freight and maintenance trains in the Guangzhou and Shanghai areas. The entire class has now been withdrawn, with many sent back to Romania where for a new lease of life. The final locomotive of the class operated on a mine railway near Hangzhou up until 2020.
Bachmann China graced us with the Romanian built ND2 class in 2008 and for the time, this was one of the best models I have ever come across. It is extremely well engineered with beautifully recreated details and stellar performance. They made ten road numbers, each with their own subtle differences and one version has a special livery as per the SS8 electric locomotives.
The ND2's were sold in a high quality two-piece cardboard outer box with the model protected with a form fitting sleeved plastic clam shell.
The ND2 locomotives bring about a new standard from Bachmann China. While the models have ultra fine details, Bachmann have also made them robust enough to be handled. Each of the 10 road numbers released has unique details, mostly being in the horn arrangement and colour and the pilot style/colour. The wheels on these engines (although deep flanges, yet again) are particularly well done being of a spoked design, and the bogies themselves look terrific with the separate springs, although I'm not too fond with the material they've started using to cast them. It's very brittle stuff, so no bending! The windshield wipers are extremely fine, the best we've seen yet from Bachmann. The staff exchangers (those little parts included in the box) are now etched brass rather than plastic. The paint work is pristine and extrmely sharp, I especially like the tiny red stripe inside the center chrome band around the locomotive.
These are very heavy locomotives, despite their compact size. Wheel pickup comes from all 6 axles, and even with the shorter than usual wheel base, users should not experience any problems electrical pick-up problems. They are very smooth, although they give off a bit of a grumble that should disappear after an hour or two of running.
The lighting is directional, although unlike any of the other diesels from Bachmann China, these have no red colored rear lights as per prototype. The main headlight is the typical light blue LED, while the two side lights have a much yellower hue. There is plenty of room inside the engine to add a decoder. As per typical Bachmann practice, there is an 8-pin plug for the decoder.
To remove the shell, four small Phillips head screws need to be removed on the underside of the frame. They can be located under the centermost axles.
The ND2's have the easiest coupler exchange I've yet come across. They will accept Kadee #58 (scale) or #158 (scale w/whisker). The pilot simply screws off and the coupler drops out.