Learn About Bachmann Model Trains

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A Brief History of Bachmann

Bachmann model trains are one of the largest sellers of model railroad equipment worldwide. They produce high quality, lower-cost, beginners train sets. They also make the “Spectrum” line, which is a more expensive one. Founded in the 1800’s by Henry Carlisle, in Philadelphia, PA, the company is currently owned by a Chinese company based in Hong Kong. Their products are now manufactured in China.

In 1899 the original firm merged with a competing firm run by Henry G. Bachmann, and the new firm was called Bachmann Bros. This firm became the first American manufacturer of sunglasses, which eventually were used by the US Army and Air Force during WWII.

After WWII, Bachmann created a product called “Plasticville USA” which was a kit of homes, stores and other buildings that you could make yourself, all for model train layouts. The original kit was in O scale, manufactured in Philadelphia. Collecting Plasticville has become a hobby unto itself, and the Plasticville Collectors Association came into being in 1999. The Plasticville line was expanded to include HO and N scale kits.

Bachmann Scale Model Trains

The Bachmann company began producing N scale model trains in 1968. Production of HO scale model trains started in 1970.

Bachmann went worldwide in 1981, beginning with the European model train market. By 1992 all their train cars were manufactured in China.

The “Big Haulers” were introduced in 1990. These are G scale sets, the most famous is the Emmett Kelly Jr. circus trains, which came out in 1993.

In 1988 Bachmann began production of the “Spectrum” line of equipment. This is a higher quality line, and it includes updated motors, realistic paint schemes and better detail. In 1998 their Spectrum HO scale 2-8-0 Consolidation was selected “Model of the Year” by readers of Model Railroader magazine.

Bachmann now also produces On30 scale trains.

In collaboration with Lenz Elektronik, Bachmann designed DCC modules and systems. Their DCC controllers follow all relevant standards, and are compatible with other manufacturers locomotives.

Bachmann now manufactures in HO scale, N scale (1:480 and 1:160), On30, OO scale, HOn30 (that’s HO scale on N gauge tracks), and also G scale.

You can also get scenery including figures and landscaping materials from Bachmann, in O and HO scales.

write by Harding


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