5.5mm Association

The Harold Minkwitz Archive

Reviewing the 55n3 Bachmann 4-4-0

Bachmann makes a small 4-4-0 in On30 which is perfect for 55n3. In Scale55 it represents a late 1880's 4-4-0. The deckless design is not typical of most narrow gauge 4-4-0's, the firebox extends through the cab. Most narrow gauge locomotives had the firebox stopping before the last axle. See below for the fix.

The locomotive matches up with a scaled photo of a small three foot narrow gauge 4-4-0.

The drivers scale out to 38" diameter.
The cab has a detailed backhead. This is a "deckless" cab with the firebox extending through the cab. See Bill Allen's conversion below.
The locomotive comes with a set of accessories to make a woodburner or oil burner and steps for the pilot.
Bachmann's 55n3 4-4-0 matches our lowered Bachmann 55n3 boxcars.
The locomotive also looks good with Bachmann's 55n3 Passenger cars.
Larger drivers can be added. These are Bowser HO 69" diameter or Scale55 44".

Click here to go to the section on adding larger drivers to your 4-4-0.

How does it run? Great, the locomotive looks good on 18" radius curves and will handle 10 to 12 freight cars and three or four passenger cars easily. It has an eight pin plug and a dual DCC/DC decoder. It has a socket for a 28mm(1 inch) diameter speaker in the tender frame.

The Bachmann 55n3 4-4-0 makes it possible to model in 55n3 easily with a fine piece of motive power.
How does it compare to later narrow gauge 4-4-0's. Matches this 1897 Rogers 4-4-0.

Found this S Scale cab at the "Willy Monaghan S Scale" shop on Shapeways to replace the funky original cab. Much closer to the Rogers.

Bill Allen's 4-4-0 Modification

Bill Allen's Bachmann On30 4-4-0 conversion was posted on Railroad-line Forum as On30 in the fall of 2010. Sure looks like 55n3. It is possible to model early narrow gauge with an inexpensive 4-4-0.

Bill's conversion eliminates the deckless configuration that was rare on narrow gauge 4-4-0's.

Click here to go to the Rail Line Forum article.