5.5mm Association

The Harold Minkwitz Archive

Bachmann's 55n3 Outside Framed 2-8-0

How does the Bachmann's On30 Consolidation relate to 55n3?
The Bachmann On30 engine scales out to a 10-28-E from the 1900 Baldwin catalog in 55n3. It mechanically matches those built for the NdeM in 1900 and 1921. The 187 is one from the 1921 run. If you download our PDF's and "ruler" you can check for yourself.
The cab is not typical but still works in 55n3. It is a scale six inches taller than most narrow gauge cabs but is shorter than the seven feet of the Uintah Mallets.The depth corresponds to those on D&RGW K-27's of the same time period. The air pump and other fittings scale out to Scale 55.

Click here to download our PDF of the Bachmann 55n3 OF 2-8-0.

Click here to download our PDF of locomotive 187.

Click here to download our "Scale55" ruler.

Getting it running

My loco was missing instructions about how to hook up the tender wires. I guessed they were under the ashpan, indicated by the red arrow. Squeezing the pan and rolling the front out first got to the wire board.

How does it run?

The locomotive is smooth at all speeds on DCC. It ran better on DCC after I tested its performance on DC. I guess things like that are the mysteries of life. It ran great on DC using the cheap power pack from the Bachmann train set. I didn't add the DC jumpers for DC.
The wire connectors have lugs on them to prevent removal. They work quite well. I remove these lugs with a sharp knife. The connectors friction fit together quite nicely.
The stock ashpan had this dinky opening for the wires from the tender. I test ran the locomotive without the ashpan. Before putting the ashpan back on I doubled the size of the opening with a file.

Running on radii less than 18"

This is the loco running on the old defunct On30 PcalRwy. The instructions advise 22 inch radius curves. I had two short sections of 15 inch radii. The loco scurried through them with no problem. It had no problems on my 18 inch radii and Atlas #4s and Snap switches, if they were laid well.

Negotiating Bad Track

I had several sections of questionable track. I had to adjust the bad track to accomodate the Bachmann 2-8-0.
.030 thick styrene shims were added to elevate the outside rail.
The most likely problems with long wheelbase locos is the outside flanges jumping the outside rail on tight curves. Shimming to make the outside rail slightly higher eliminates derailing.
Atlas Code 100 switches have a loose gauge tolerance and the pilot wheel would derail at the points. The points are shimmed up so the points are level with the rail.

The need for more clearance

The cab corner is a concern when backing on 18 inch radii.
The footboards and tender steps are the same width and need clearance down low.
This is a larger locomotive than the previous Bachmann releases. I found some of my rock formations had problems.

This is a great locomotive. If you are interested in mainline 55n3 narrow gauge, this locomotive will get you into 55n3. It runs great and is highly detailed. It's street price makes it a real bargain.
The following are links to articles on my old 0n30 site.

Installing a Soundtraxx Tsunami

Click here to go to an article on installing sound in the Bachmann OF 2-8-0.

Installing a Crew

This is the On30 article on crews. Arnold there is 6'-5" in Scale55. I probably won't change him because his proportions are right. The other crew members were reduced to get in the cabs.

Click here to read the article.
Here is Arnold our fireman. He is a 1/50 Preiser. He could be made shorter but looks fine in Scale55. The left guy is a small O scale Magnuson logger he scales to six foot. The guy in the middle is a Blue Moon 28mm figure and is 5'-9" tall.

Backdating to 1905

Click here to read about installing a 1900 era acetylene headlight.

This article is the crux of 55n3. Finding models that are Scale55 from other sources. That is the fun of this endeavor.