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Quick Look: Bachmann On30 derrick car

Read this review from the May 2018 Model Railroader
Bachmann On30 derrick car
Price: $99

Bachmann Trains
1400 E. Erie Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19124

Era: 1900 to 1950s (or later on a tourist railroad)

Comments: Fans of O scale narrow gauge can keep the right-of-way clear with this derrick car from Bachmann Trains. The On30 (O scale, 30" gauge) car is a freelanced model that isn’t based on a specific prototype. However, its overall look resembles some of the smaller derrick cars used on narrow gauge lines.

The plastic model features crisp molded detail, including ladders, roof grab irons, and planking. Separate parts include a plastic brake wheel and a wire brake staff and end handrails.

The underframe features sill and bolster details. The brake cylinder and truss rods are separate parts.

The plastic boom swivels but is otherwise non-functioning with string rigging to simulate cable.

The paint scheme on our generic maintenance-of-way sample has clearly printed lettering. The weathered gray applied to the deck looks realistic. The car is also available in gray and yellow M.O.W. schemes as well as decorated for Durango & Silverton and White Pass & Yukon.

The model rides on archbar trucks with a 3'-7" wheelbase, a common prototype truck for narrow gauge equipment. The plastic truck sideframes have molded spring and journal details.

The factory-installed E-Z Mate Mark II knuckle couplers are at the correct height per National Model Railroad Association standards (S-2). Mounted on insulated metal axles, the chemically blackened metal wheels are in gauge.

The NMRA doesn’t have a specific Recommended Practice (RP) for On30 rolling stock, but RP-20.1 does offer a recommended weight for On3 (O scale, 3-foot gauge) equipment. According to that recommendation, the Bachmann car’s 3.2 ounce weight is about 3 ounces too light. However, when I placed the car in a train and ran it around curves and turnouts, it performed flawlessly.

Narrow gauge equipment often served for decades, and some continues in service today on tourist roads. The Bachmann derrick car would make an interesting addition to an On30 fleet.

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Two great beginner layouts.

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