K70 Class Hopper Car
The K series wagons in China are a family of open top hoppers with a rapid discharge system between the bogies. The K wagons are most often found in the mining sector, usually coal, however they can also be found on works trains hauling ballast. The K70 are a rarer type, found only in very select coal mines and have four chutes, which unload the contents of the wagon to the sides of the rail.
The K70 Bachmann have made is actually a USA wagon used in the 1940's - 1990's and simply painted in China Rail livery. They actually more closely resemble the K18 hopper in style and size, however have three bays which unload between the rails.
The K70's were from a series of hastily produced freight cars which were used as demostrator models to complement Bachmann China QJ's steam locomotives. The first production in year 2000 included a single version in red or black and can only be identified by the boxes which had a sticky label in the corner which extends over the perspex window. These are really quite rare as they were only available to dealers, however many were later sold under the table after the QJ's sold out. Essentially they are Bachmann Industries silver series freight car line (which make US prototype models), which was a marginal step above the low end of the model market. The second and subsequent productions included the same road number as the dealer version. Despite them being US cars, they initially sold very well due to a total market shortage of true Chinese cars and are still readily available through most Chinese retailers.
The K70's come in a thin white and blue cardboard box, identical to the American Bachmann "Silver Series" freight wagons. The model is supported in a thin plastic blister. The first production in year 2000 included a single version in red or black and can be identified by the boxes which had a sticky label in the corner which extends over the perspex window and unique road numbers that were only released with this version. These are really quite rare as they were only available to dealers, however many were later sold under the table after the QJ's sold out.
The details on these cars are a little better than the others in the silver series cars, which is also reflected in the slightly higher retail price. The molding is nice and sharp and there were four different shaped coal loads that as far as I can tell were randomly included.
Each car came with two metal weights which sit above the wheels and are hidden by a seperate plastic plate. Bracing parts can also be added depending whether or not one wants to run the cars as loaded or empty (note, the pictures below do not show these parts installed). The lettering is extremely sharp and the characters denote the car belongs to the coal mine railways in Jixi (Heilongjiang).
These cars have nice rolling chemically darkened metal wheels with low profiles that should be able to run on code 55 track. They roll much better with the weights added.
The models come with Bachmann EZ mates plastic knuckle couplers. They can be replaced with Kadee #5 (standard), #58 (standard, scale head) or #158 (standard, scale head, whisker).