S11/12/13

1:87 Scale

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Rating
9/10

S11 / S12 / S13 Class Caboose

Bachmann China

Prototype Information

Cabooses were mandatory on mainline freight trains in China up until the late 1990's and rather abruptly ended service. There were a few provincial railways that held onto theirs, most notably the Ji-Tong railway which lasted up until the end of steam around 2005 and the Hekou-Nan branchline west of Lanzhou up to 2007. At least one railway in China uses Cabooses to the current day (2022), the Fengtai–Shacheng railway west of Beijing, which uses DF7B diesel-electric locomotives and a mix of S12 cabooses and a hybrid type with a caboose body mounted to a flat car. 

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General Information

The first run of Bachmann Chinese caboose offered ten individual versions, eight being the S12 class and one each of S11 and S13 (although apart from the lettering on the models, they are identical in every way; even the boxes show them as S12's). The later run gave us four new numbers. 

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Packaging

The S11, S12 and S13 class caboose were sold in a thin cardboard box with display window. The model is supported by a two piece plastic clam shell.

Details

These are extremely well built cars with even paint work and extremely fine lettering. All cars have full interiors. There is a small bag of parts included which includes some plating to cover up some of the windows, as prototypical in the later years of prototype operation, and some fine wire handrails to be installed by the owner over the end handrails. If anyone has successfully applied these, I'd love to hear from you! I managed to install one of them before giving up, although being black cars, you wouldn't really notice they were missing unless you looked really hard.

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Performance

The cars have a nice weight and roll very freely. These were the last freight cars to use low profile wheels, which was fortunately needed due to the low floors on the car, otherwise I'm sure the notorious pizza cutters would have been used.

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Couplers

Bachmann EZ mates can be replaced with Kadee #5/58/158 (medium shank) or #53/153 (scale head, short shank).