The Ivatt class 2 is a late LMS design. Sir William Stanier’s brief when
he was appointed Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LMS in 1932 was to
resolve the shortage of high powered locomotives available to the company.
During his twelve year tenure, some of Britain’s most ubiquitous
locomotive designs were produced including classes 5, 8F and Jubilee
(6XP). By the time of George Ivatt’s appointment as the CME of the LMS in
1945, some of the less powerful locomotive classes had come to the end of
their useful lives and needed to be replaced.
The first class 2 2-6-0 was wheeled out of Crewe works in 1946 numbered
6400, the first of 10 locomotives built that year. A further 10
locomotives were built in 1947 before the LMS became part of the newly
nationalised British Railways in 1948. Crewe continued to build class 2s
to a slightly modified design. The cab was cut down and used standard BR
fittings. In all, Crewe produced a further 15 locomotives in 1948 and 30
in 1950. Darlington built 38 locomotives in 1951/52 for service on the
Eastern and North Eastern regions. Swindon built 25 locomotives for the
Western Region in 1952/53.
No further examples of this type were built, but the BR Standard Class 2,
the 78000 series, is a development of this design.
With a low per axle loading of 13 tons 15 cwt (14000kg), this design was
intended for cross country and branch line working. The covered tender
with inset coal bunker was designed to provide good visibility and weather
protection for the crew when running tender first.
Areas of operation
In 1955, class 2 locomotives were allocated to sheds in the North West,
Pennines, East Midlands, West Midlands, East Anglia, South Wales and
Bristol. The last five Crewe built locomotives, 46460 – 46464, were
allocated to the east coast of Scotland at Aberdeen, Dundee (east Fife)
and Edinburgh. There were two allocated to Willesden.
By 1959, some locomotives had been reallocated to West Yorkshire and 46401
had moved to Gloucester.
Photographic evidence for the area I model – West Yorkshire – suggests
that despite the Mixed Traffic designation, the class 2 was only used on
passenger workings, an example being the Bradford Foster Square – Skipton
An indication of the power available from these locomotives can be deduced
from a photo of 78014 by E.E.Smith hauling 8 coaches with the assistance
of a banking locomotive in the rear while on the climb to Stainmore Summit
on the now closed line from Barnard Castle to Kirkby Stephen in the
Photos of the locomotive in service show that Darlington built examples
had narrower chimneys fitted than those built elsewhere.
The Swindon built locomotives were initially turned out in lined black,
but subsequently were repainted in lined green as they passed through the
shops for overhaul.
From 46465 onwards, the first Darlington built example, the cylinder bore
was increased by half an inch to 16.5 inches. This increased the tractive
effort to 18,510 lbs.
The class was withdrawn from service during the period 1961 to 1967.
Photographic evidence shows that a reasonable number of class 2s survived
in the North West until at least 1965 / 66.
Seven members of the class have survived the cutter’s torch and are in
preservation, though none are from the LMS built batch. These are at
various stages in the “preservation life cycle” – Rescued – Restoration –
Static display - Certified and Running – Overhaul. At the time of writing,
only 46443 on the Severn Valley Railway is in operational condition where
it is often used on the “Severn Valley Railway Footplate Experience”; in
other words, not only can you drive the model, you can drive the real
thing as well.
Bachmann is producing three variants of the class 2
32-825 is 46521 in BR lined green livery with a late crest
32-826 is 46440 in BR lined black livery with an early crest
32-827 is 6404 in LMS unlined black
This review is of 32-826, BR 46440.
Opening the box
The locomotive comes in a standard Bachmann box. The photo inside the
window is of 46443 in lined BR Black with a late crest. There are two
stickers on the outside – “Blue Riband” and “DCC Ready” – proclaiming a
high level of detail and “solder free” conversion to Digital. “Ease” of
conversion will be covered later.
Upon opening the box, the one piece polystyrene packing slides out to
reveal three compartments. The largest of these contains the engine
wrapped in a thin compressive material and covered by a tissue paper. The
other two contain detail parts for self fixing.
The “add on” parts supplied are two sets of brake rigging; front footplate
steps; cylinder drain pipes; cab doors; vacuum pipes and an alternative
shorter loco tender coupling.
The one piece design of the packing means that you have to tip the model
out sideways. There are two finger holes at the back to help you apply
extra pressure, and the foam packing can be pulled, but it is a procedure
that carries the worry that some of the finer detail might get knocked
off. It compares unfavourably with a recent Hornby acquisition where the
primary packing came in two parts split along the line of the footplate
allowing you to lift the model straight up and out.
Removing the model from the box was not too difficult. As it came away,
the two shaped packing pieces for the smoke box, and rear of the tender
fell away. The shaped and padded packing piece between the tender and cab
was easily removed by gentling joggling the locomotive relative to the
First sight Once out of the box, you realise just how small this locomotive is and
understand why it was given the nickname “Mickey Mouse”. This smallness
makes the “standard” train set gap between locomotive and tender seem even
larger than usual, which is probably why Bachmann have included a shorter
coupling bar along with the detail pack.
Preparing the model for use
Bachmann recommend running their models in before they are put to use. The
2MT is no different with a suggested 30 minutes light running in forward
How does it run?
For many people this is the most important aspect of a model - does it run
Trackwork The first point to make is that Bachmann state that you need radius 2
curves or larger. Super compact radius 1 curves may give problems.
My layout is a mixture of Peco code 100 and code 75. The circuit I used to
run in the class 2 included two single slips and a double slip, all of
them code 75. There were no derailments. These slips are also electrofrog
and I haven’t yet got round to wiring up the crossings. This means that
there is a long dead spot (approx 2 inches) on one side at each end of the
crossing. At speeds higher than a crawl, the class 2 passed through
without a hint of a problem. One slip did present a problem at low speed,
but close examination suggested that the adjacent track work was not quite
level. The result was that the one wheel which could have supplied current
to the class 2 was airborne. This is my problem, not the class 2 and will
be resolved when the frogs are wired up and the underlying cause of the
unevenness is removed.
Performance on the level
Top Speed. The model covered a distance of 72 inches in approximately 3
seconds. This equates to well over 100 miles per hour which is quite
enough for most people. Speed fiends may be disappointed as most large
model express locomotives will dash this distance off at scale speeds in
excess of 120, so in a straight race, the small wheeled class 2 is going
Low speed As I am restricted to a venerable H & M Duette, low speed
performance is hard for me to measure. I think the class 2 probably out
performs the controller in this regard.
Haulage The class 2 managed the following coach sets without any problems
on the level:
A rake of four Hornby Pullmans (the newest variety)
A rake of five Bachmann Mk1s
A rake of six Hornby Gresleys
Performance on a gradient
Whilst my layout is not yet complete, there is a short six foot stretch
which rises to a height of 1.5625” from the level. This works out at just
under 1:50 or 2%. The class 2 was assigned the Gresleys are they were
nearest to the incline. The class 2 was fine until the sixth coach was on
the incline and then wheel slip set in. This does not seem to be out of
step with other models of similar size.
Fitting the extra bits and pieces Many modellers will be happy with the straight forward “out of box”
experience the class 2 provides. Others, myself included like to go
further, so it’s time to move on to the extras that Bachmann provides as
Shorter tender drawbar The minimum radius on my layout is 24”, so I feel safe in going to the
effort required to reduce the large gap between the locomotive and tender.
The instruction sheet supplied with the locomotive provides few details on
how to go about this, so it is not surprising that Doug posted an update
with fuller instructions. In the end I found that a slightly different
method worked well for me; yes, you’ve guessed I had to do it over again,
but if you read on, you won’t have to.
- Don’t apply the brake rigging until you’ve done this!
- Disconnect the two plugs under the tender. You might need a thin nose
pliers to get a grip at first. Label the two connectors left and right as
the wire colours are the same for each plug.
- Loosen the screw at the very back of the locomotive body. It’s the one
hidden under the thin plastic pipe which Bachmann refer to as “the
simulated brake actuator”. Don’t try to take this screw right out, it’s
very difficult to get it back in.
- Remove the last screw holding the base plate to the chassis. This is the
first visible screw nearest the rear of the locomotive footplate
- Loosen the next screw along the base plate about half way.
- Very gently grip the rear drivers and pull them gently away from the
locomotive. The base plate will ease away. There is a moulding on the rear
of the baseplate that acts as a retaining post for the drawbar. As you
pull the base plate upwards it will also pull the rear retaining screw
with it. Before too long, the tender drawbar will drop out.
- Now that the tender has been separated from the locomotive you will find
that nothing on this earth will hold the drawbar in place on the tender,
it will just drop out; or maybe that’s only when you want to keep the new
one in place ;).
While the locomotive and tender were separated I took this photo showing
the interior detail
It’s not the most highly detailed cab in the world and I may be mistaken
but I haven’t been able to make out the regulator. Against that, I am
impressed by the way the bars on the rear cab windows appear in the photo.
These aren’t readily apparent from the outside and the plastic is just
moulded with a Z shape but the effect is quite stunning when seen from the
Fitting the shorted drawbar is just a reversal of the process with the
following additional step first.
- Place the shorter drawbar in place on the tender. It won’t want to stay
in place, so fold a piece of paper to a tight fit and use it to lightly
wedge the bar into a horizontal position. This can be done by placing the
paper wedge between the front edge of the tender and the drawbar mounting
- Now follow the original steps in reverse.
While the two drawbars were on the workbench I measured them to discover
the difference between them. As far as I was able to estimate, the shorted
drawbar has almost 4mm less between the two mounting holes than the long
version. That’s one scale foot less for the fireman to shovel coal.
Fitting the detail parts
Some of the parts are just a push fit; the rest look as though they need
to be glued or cemented in place. As I want to convert to DCC at a later
date, I have not added any of the parts which need gluing, so the front
steps, cylinder drain pipes and the vacuum pipes have not been fitted. The
brake rigging fits into sets of holes in the chassis.
The cab doors are a push fit and do appear to stay in place though a spot
of glue might be a wise move. I didn’t fit the cab doors while the
locomotive and tender were separated. This was an oversight, though
fitting them afterwards wasn’t too much of a problem.
With the shorted drawbar and the cab doors fitted, the improvement in
appearance is quite dramatic:
DCC The DCC plug is located in the tender. To gain access to it, you first
have to remove the coupling mounting by removing the two screws which hold
the mounting to the chassis. Once this has been removed, you will see the
silver coloured screw which holds the back of the tender body to the
chassis. When this screw has been removed, the body is still held by two
small plastic lugs at the front. The easiest way to disengage the body is
to jiggle the body back and forth along the chassis. It will come away in
your hand. The lugs do not appear to be designed to be bent backwards.
Once the tender body has been removed, you will see a DCC 8 pin socket and
blanking plug as shown in this photo:
The underside of the tender body reveals a space
with the following dimensions:-
31mm wide, ~40mm long from the back of the mounting pillar to the point
where the coal shute intrudes and 12mm deep. Part of this volume is taken
up by the blanking plug – which reduces the 40mm to about 27mm. Another
chunk is taken by the weights and wiring harness which take about 6mm off
the depth. That leaves a space about 31 x 27 x 6 for a decoder. The Lenz
gold is 23 x 16 x 6.5; the ESU Lokpilot 3.0 DCC is 23.5 x 15.5 x 5.5; the
Zimo MX63R is 20 x 12 x 4. Any of these “top of the line” decoders should
fit without too much trouble. Since these decoders are packed with
additional features, standard decoders should fit without any trouble at
all. In a such a small locomotive, this is a welcome innovation in British
outline models from Bachmann. (Yes, I know the continental manufacturers
have been doing it for years).
Anything larger is going to require some rearrangement; more on that
Summary of operating characteristics
Recommended radius 2 or larger
Sealed for life can motor
Current pick up from all six driving wheels.
Permanent loco – tender connection
DCC connection in the tender
Weight: 300 grams.
Couplings: Standard Bachmann hook and bar coupling mounted in NEM 362
Third party “add-ons”
One of the most exciting accessories you can buy for this model is an
authentic DCC sound decoder from South West Digital. The decoder is an ESU
LokSound decoder and if you want to know how it sounds, check out
this thread in the Forum.
The downside is the size of the LokSound decoder (31 x 15.5 x 6.5) and a
20 x 40mm speaker mean that some surgery is going to be required to get it
all to fit inside the tender outline. It is unlikely that the neatly
modelled coal bunker is going to remain. Personally, I would remove the
weights and replace them with something else; fit pickups to the tender
wheels and sacrifice some of the coal bunker.
Equipping the model with NEM 362 coupling boxes makes a coupling change a
piece of cake provided that the boxes are in the right place. Bachmann
have taken some flak in recent years for the variable mounting heights
they have employed on some of their products but the class 2 is fine as
you can see here. The gubbins on the right is a Kadee height gauge.
What surprised me was that a No 17 Kadee coupling was perfect for the job.
This is the shortest NEM coupling that Kadee do with a shank just 7.11mm
long. Just to make sure that there would be no danger of buffer locking, I
hooked up a Parkside fitted mineral wagon
I don’t think those buffers are going to meet and if they do, the working
buffers on the class 2 will take the strain. I used a No 18 on the front.
How does it measure up to the prototype?
General appearance The starting point for this discussion is “Does it look like the real
thing?”. To my eye, the distinguishing features of the class 2 are the
tall (for its time) chimney; the wide spread of the steam pipes and the
bracket supporting the valve gear (very reminiscent of the Crab). To help
make this judgement I took the photo below from a similar angle to the
Severn Valley photo shown earlier
In my opinion, each of the characteristics I listed above has been
captured well. The one thing I miss is the mass of copper tubing connected
to the box a few feet back from the steam pipes. The valve gear looks
pretty good to a non expert like me.
There are one or two details on the model that my failing eyesight can’t
make out such as the builder’s plate and the plates on the rear of the
tender. I took some close-ups to see what I could see:
So now I know this locomotive was built at Crewe in 1950 which is
absolutely correct for 46440. Now I’m wondering if there are different
plates on the models of 6404 and 46521! ;)
Like many other Bachmann tender locomotives, the tender has loose fitted
coal covering which can be removed to reveal an empty coal bunker complete
with sloping sides. There is also a water scoop modelled underneath the
tender in the retracted position.
Dimensions The only external dimension I have is the 5’ 0” driving wheel diameter. A
quick measurement came in at 19.5mm over the wheel treads, so it’s pretty
Other models The Bachmann Ivatt Class 2 is not the first model to have been produced.
Hornby introduced a model of 46400 in 1974 as catalogue number R857. The
features proclaimed for this model were glazed windows and vacuum pipes.
The motor was in the locomotive. It was not a highly detailed model even
by the standards of its time and it would be unfair to compare it with
Bachmann’s Blue Riband offering.
According to the Hornby Railways Collector Guide, it was only listed in
four catalogues, not appearing in the 24th edition of 1977. I can confirm
that it is not present in the 27th edition of 1981.
It would be unfair to compare the Hornby to the Bachmann. Standards have
come on leaps and bounds since 1974. Examples of the Hornby model do
appear on eBay from time to time but now that you can have a model with
separate handrails, an outside bracket on the valve gear and see daylight
under the boiler, apart from price and child proof qualities would a
modeller choose the thirty year old Hornby?
Conclusion When I started this review, the class 2 was just a small locomotive bought
partly to adjust the balance in my locomotive stud away from the ex LNER
pacifics and 9F to something nearer reality and partly as a chance to fit
some authentic British steam sound. Running the locomotive in “out of the
box” condition, I liked its running capabilities but it still wasn’t
“doing it” for me.
Going through the pain of changing the tender coupling bar and fitting the
cab doors have really transformed this “toy” to a model. The side on
photos are starting to look convincing; I expect to see a crew in the cab.
Maybe if I fitted a fall plate from the tender they might reappear?
Perhaps some real coal might entice them back; plastic coal is rarely
Some people have commented on the red connecting wires clearly visible
between the locomotive and the tender. I don’t think they’re a big deal. A
spot of paint will tone them down. You expect to see lots of stuff down
Am I pleased I bought this model? Yes. It’s got that indefinable something
that keeps me hooked on railway modelling.
Links and References Severn Valley Railway
Hornby Railways Collector Guide
Hornby Railways ‘OO’ Scale Model Catalogue: Edition 20
Hornby Railways ‘OO’ Scale Model Catalogue: Edition 27 LMS Ivatt
class 2 2-6-0 George Ivatt BR
Standard Class 2 2-6-0
British Railways Locomotives – 1955. Chris Banks. Published by OPC. ISBN 0
86093 560 4.
British Railways Locomotives & Locoshed Book 1959. Published by Ian Allen
ISBN 0 7110 0726 8
“On Lancashire & Yorkshire Lines”. Tom Heavyside. Published by Ian Allen.
ISBN 0 7110 2494 4
“North Eastern branch lines since 1925”. Ken Hoole. Published by Ian
Allen. ISBN 0 7110 0829 9 (Photo of 78014 page 66).
“Pennine Steam” Kenneth Field & Brian Stephenson. Published by Ian Allen
ISBN 0 7110 0793 4
“Rail Centres: Leeds & Bradford” S. Batty. Republished by Booklaw
Publications. ISBN 1-901945-22-7. Stainmore