Bachmann Class 04 Diesel Shunter
Bachmann Class 04 0-6-0 Diesel Shunter
The Bachmann Class 04 Diesel shunter model has been produced by adapting the former Mainline class 03 diesel shunter tooling. The class o4 model up until 2013 had a split chassis & not fitted with a DCC decoder, meaning that any conversion of the model will require hardwiring of the decoder & some removal of the metal split chassis to create space for a DCC decoder. In 2013 Bachmann made a welcome upgrade to the model by using the newly retooled class 03 chassis, this newer chassis is DCC ready with a 6 pin DCC decoder socket. This making conversion to DCC much easier to carry out.
The model originally was produced by Mainline as mentioned, With Bachmann acquiring the tooling & making the necessary changes to produce the class 04 version of class 03, with the first class 04 being released it into the Bachmann range in 1997. For its age, the model has a good level of detail, though without the finesses of the new class 03. The split chassis can be problematic on the older tool model version.
The model features fine-scale wheels, all-wheel pickups, flush glazing, separately fitted handrails, Sandboxes, brake pipes & horn, sprung buffers, small tension lock couplings. The motor is a five-pole can type motor which drives the central axle wheelset. The cab lacks interior detail but is fitted with a driver figure. The couplings on the older version are of the non-NEM type which can be removed or fitted by a holding screw. As per Bachmann’s usual high standard, the livery & fine print details are excellent.
For its size, it’s well-weighted which gives reasonable haulage traction for this small locomotive. Some factory weathered versions have been released such as the one shown & featured in the photos of this article.
This model is ideal for small micro layouts, yards, docksides, as well as rail-served industrial/factory scene based layouts.
The BR Class 04 forerunner originated from a diesel-mechanical shunter, which was built in 1947 by the Drewy Car Company for the LNER shunting trials. LNER rejected the prototype though it was purchased by BR (SR) for departmental use at Hither Green Depot.
In 1952, with the railways starting to favour diesel power for shunting purposes. Orders were placed with the Drewry Car Company and also the Vulcan Foundry to meet the demand for small versatile locomotives that could operate on light lines, such as tramways, docks & private sidings. Four of the class was built for use on the Wisbech & Upwell Tramway, these had side valances & cowcatchers fitted.
- Fine-scale wheels
- All-wheel pick-ups
- Heavy diecast chassis for a good level of traction/haulage
- Newer version 2013 onwards has the DCC 6 pin DCC decoder socket
- Fine printed decoration
- Good level of details
- Driver figure fitted in the cab
- Era 1952 to 1971
- Liveries: BR Black, BR Green, NCB Yellow, Weathered versions also offered.
Model featured in this article is 31-337B D2228 in BR green with weathered finish
- 31-339 BR Black 11217
- 31-343 BR Black 11219
- 31-341 BR Black 11222
- 31-335 BR Black
- 31-337A BR Green D2223
- 31-337B BR Green D2228
- 31-337B BR Green D2228 (Weathered finish)
- 31-342 BR Green D2264
- 31-337 BR Green D2280
- 31-338 BR Green D2282
- 31-338 BR Blue D2254 (Weathered finish)
- 31-336A BR Blue D2258
- 31-340 BR Blue D2267 (Weathered finish)
- 31-336B BR Blue D2294
- 31-344 NCB Yellow D2332 (Weathered finish)
[wordbay]Bachman Class 04 shunter[/wordbay]
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Summary Model good for its age but eclipsed by the newer better-detailed class 03 shunter. Model versions from 1997 to 2012 need to be hard-wired if converting to DCC. 2013 version onwards has a 6 pin DCC socket as standard. A great model for small layouts.