JY290 Class Diesel Railcar
The JY290 are one of a series of railcars built by the Gold Eagle Heavy Construction Machinery Co. They have been in use for over 15 years and can be found all over China. They are powered by the Cummins NTC-290 supercharged diesel engine and have a power output of 294 horsepower. They are rated to run at 100kph. The JY290's are used on construction or maintenance trains and are commonly seen running in push-pull formation with a pair or more of flat cars.
These were the first and (as of April 2022), the only Chinese rail car in HO scale. A one piece plastic body sits on the allow frame. Two color schemes have been produced, the red version being the common type and the blue type that appears to operate predominantly in Jiangsu province. There are plenty of road numbers and bureaus to choose from and will fit right at home on any Chinese layout from the mid 2000's to the present.
N27's railcars come in excellent quality packaging, a solid 2 piece thick cardboard box with thick foam insert. The model is secured in a sleeved clear plastic clamshell. Inside the box are the instruction sheet, optional parts and a hand drill.
These are genuinely very beautiful models. Most details are plastic, although there are some brass parts as well such as the air horns and the super detailed windshield wipers. Handrails and grab irons are separate wire pieces (painted). The under carriage details is extremely good and bogies have a lot of depth. As per-prototype for much Chinese rolling stock, the side windows are tinted blue, while the front and rear windshields are transparent, these help to conceal the motor which sits half way along and half way up the windows. They don't quite cover up all of the decoder wires in my red unit however and I will try and tidy this up soon!
The model features a pair of optional air conditioners. The hand drill is used to drill holes into the roof to install the piping for the air conditioners. The instruction sheet shows where the holes are to be drilled and it is a fairly easy process to follow along, although best for those with steady hands with a lot of patience. Note that this is a permanent modification, so decide carefully whether or not you want them installed. I have left my blue version without the air conditioners as per photos above. Something N27 neglected to do was to add extra room in the clam shell packaging for those who install the air conditioners! I have overcome the problem by cutting small holes out of the clamshell and gently sliding the plastic sleeve over to prevent knocking them off.
The paint work is excellent and both liveries are done exceptionally well and the lettering is very crisp and sharp. The Gold Eagle badges on both ends of the rail car look amazing, as do the number plates (although some of these are glued on at a slight angle!) There are plenty of different road numbers and bureaus to choose from.
Both my examples run very smoothly and with a good speed range. The electrical pick up is from a copper strip brush system which is pressed against the inside of each of the wheels. They are very quiet models and can easily haul more wagons than one of the real ones would. The motor shaft is fitted with a pair of heavy brass fly wheels to further improve performance and reduce micro-dropouts.
The JY290's have an 8-pin plug for an 8-pin DCC decoder. The lights are very nice include twin globe headlights and white/red markers lights, all directional. There is a toggle switch under the larger roof panel to activate the lights and isolate the motor, a useful feature for DC operators.
Access to the inside of the shell to install a decoder is via a clip on the floor and a series of clips between the body and the frame. The two screws holding in the couplers and the small screws holding in the pilots should also be removed.
The plastic knuckle couplers can be replaced with Kadee #5, 58 (medium shank, scale heads) or 158's (medium shank, scale heads, whiskers). Both my examples shown in the photos are fitted with #158's. It is a very painless exercise requiring the removal of the pilot with a single screw gently remove it to prevent damage to the pressure-fit lug. The second screw can then be removed to remove the coupler box plate.