YZ25K Class Hard Seater Car
The 25K class passenger cars are a further development of the 25 series of passenger cars. The hard seater variants have a typical capacity of 118 seated passengers in a 2+3 club seating arrangement. Toilets and washrooms at the end of each end of the car. 25K rolling stock is easily distinguished (in most cases) by their attractive white, blue & red livery, although since early 2015, it seems the class is undergoing a rapid repainting program to the classic green & gold livery. They are rated to 160kph and typically operate on T (fast express) type trains, however they are becoming less common as the CRH high speed system becomes more prominent.
Bachmann China's second passenger car was the common YZ25K hard seat car. There were ten (questionable) road numbers available under two bureaus. All cars share the same livery. Bachmann had not designed their interior lighting kits by the time of their release and were hence not made available.
The body shell is a single casting with a clip on roof and floor section. The interior is a one piece casting in dark blue with the correct number of seats. Like Bachmann's first green /yellow hard seat passenger cars, the YZ25K's have a very visible separation line between the roof and body on the car ends. Bachmann's 25K are based on the version with electrical sliding plug doors, as opposed to swing doors.
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.
Packaging is a thin cardboard carton with display window with the typical foldable plastic clamshell, lined with foam pieces to protect the model. Inside the box is the warranty information, schematics and QC label. The second series was released with an updated aesthetic design.
The paint work is reasonably sharp with good fine lettering, but the blue in my eyes is the wrong shade being a more purple color. Air conditioner detailing is not overly intricate. The car ends look bare with minimal detailing and the rubber corridors are pretty awful. under carriage details are OK. Bogie detailing is also minimal, however the wheels have disc brakes attached to the axles.
These were the first passenger cars from Bachmann China to include separate plastic destination boards and a sticker sheet showing car numbers (not to be confused with road numbers) which are to be affixed along the between the left hand door and first window.
Even though the main body is the same on the second series as the first, a number of details and the paint work have been improved which has increased their realism exponentially. 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 the bogie has been upgraded and the result is much higher detail a better overall look of the carriage. It is nice to see Bachmann have even applied some painted on details to further accentuate the look. The rest of the undercarriage is nigh on identical to the first run.
All of my examples roll nicely and are nicely weighted.
The YZ25K's are the only ones in the Bachmann passenger car range not to be offered with interior lighting, although they 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).
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. Note, in the review all photos of the first series cars have Bachmann EZ-mates installed and the second series cars have Fleischmann 6515's fitted.