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Bachmann 4575 small prairie

6594 Views 17 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  andrewrg
Hey all - just getting back into railway modelling after a visit to the Didcot Railway Centre and the Steam museum at Swindon. My favourite type of loco is the 4575 small prairie so was really glad to find out that Bachmann make an RTR model of one. Does anyone know what this is like, ie for running etc? I plan to build a GWR branch line layout so would be used for slow running, and also have to manage quite a lot of points. Also, is there a colour difference between the models with GWR and Great Western on the side tanks? On photos i've seen, the one with GWR seems to be a fair amount brighter than the other, which seems to have more of an olive shade.

Cheers, Rob
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I have the Bachmann 45xx - I think it has the same/similar chassis to the 4575

I found that it is a lovely runner. Out of the box it was quite noisy, A drop on the worm, Jobs a good 'un (quiet now)
I also have a 45xx, BR late crest version, quiet as a mouse runs perfectly and copes with the poor trackwork on my loft layout which includes a large number of Hornby points some Bachmann locos don't like. I would highly recommend you get either a 45xx or 4575, I love mine. The colours are indeed different between the GWR and BR versions but if you pitch you layout at the beginning of nationalization there's nothing to worry about, it's not like they painted every loco over night ready for the birth of BR next morning.
i have the 45xx too.

Its a great runner despite the aging chassis that some are complaining about. mine has no problems with lousey trackwork. it will even run around my fathers layout that has very tight curves and lots of nasty points.

"I plan to build a GWR branch line layout"
dont worry too much about that. its your layout and you can run whatever you like. variety is the spice of life.

Dont go for the older LIMA praries as the mechanism is rubish.

Ageing chassis? I thought that it had only been out a few years, did they re-use a chassis from another loco when the did this little gem? It's got a metal footplate so I assumed it was the current thinking in Bachmann chassis design. Either way it still runs a treat.
QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 16 Jan 2007, 12:54) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Its a great runner despite the aging chassis that some are complaining about.

Err..,I'm not sure where you're coming from with this one Peter,-the Bachmann 45xx/4575 model isn't that old,-being in their 'Blue Riband' range,and up to current standards,-I've certainly never heard of anyone complaining about them!...

If it had one of the old Mainline-esque split frame chassis,like the V1/3 or the Ivatt 2MT,-then I would agree,-they really can be a cause for complaint!

BTW,Ultrascale do conversion wheelsets for these Bachmann locos if you're contemplating EM or P4..
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Yes they are split frame but can motors. some people are complaining that the split frame chassis are difficult to convert to DCC.
they are great runners though. smooth as silk.
They can be converted to DCC but they are a bit more involved than simply pulling out a plug and putting in the decoder.

QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 16 Jan 2007, 14:19) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Yes they are split frame

Errrmm...No they aren't
,I think you must be getting confused!
-like all 'Blue Riband' locos they're fitted with a solid one-piece cast chassis block,insulated wheels both sides and wiper pick-ups-if you don't believe me take the wheel keeper plate off and have a look!,or check out the Ultrascale conversion sets here:-Ultrascale
They don't make conversion packs for the old split-frame chassis....
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Cheers guys, looks like i'll definitely be getting at least one then! Unfortunately bought the Lima prairie many years ago when I was first into railway modelling, simply because it was the only game in town. Just out of interest, could someone measure the length of the prairie for me, so I can find the right length engine shed? Got in mind a few but need to make sure it fits first!
QUOTE (RobL @ 16 Jan 2007, 15:16) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>could someone measure the length of the prairie for me, so I can find the right length engine shed? Got in mind a few but need to make sure it fits first!

You could always cut and shut, it is unlikely the shed would have been built specifically for a paricular class of loco.


Mine measured 6.5"
Cheers - didn't mean the engine shed was to fit perfectly, but wasn't sure if the prairie would be too long for it. Looks like it'll fit fine though, thanks guys
sorry i was getting confused with the ivatt.

My mistake

Got mine this morning (opted for 5531 with GWR on the side). Fantastic model, just one thing - the smokebox door has a of a whiteish mark on it like it's been scuffed. Do you think it's worth sending back to Bachmann to get a new body or something? It's not a major mark, but seeming as i've forked out £47 on it (a lot of money to a student), it's a shame to have it ruined by a little mark that doesn't seem to be able to come off by rubbing it
I would take it back to the shop where you purchased it and get them to exchange it...
Initially when I was reading these posts I thought I was dreaming. My Bachmann 4575 small prairie was running nothing like any of these engines.
I have an incline on my layout and the prairie would not pull a rake of four coaches up it. The gradient is not very steep and all my other engines, even a little Jinty, seem to have not much trouble climbing it with the rake of four coaches.
I figured that it must be something about this engine. Of course I checked the back to back and adjusted it to various measurements but this made absolutely no difference.
Out of frustration I took the front and rear bogies off and replaced them with a pair from an Hornby prairie. The engine worked perfectly and pulled my rake of four coaches up the incline at a fast clip. I was happy with this but it did not seem logical to me. Then the penny dropped! To get the Hornby bogies fitted I had to remove the flat brass spring that applies downward force to help the bogies stay on track. I thought about it a bit and figured that these flat springs were applying too much downward force and in effect were reducing the downward force of the driving wheels enough so that they did not have enough pull.
I do not have any springs of either the back or front bogies and the engine is running like it should.
I am not mentioning this not to show how smart I am but to make others aware that this may be the cause of a lot of engine slip. Quite often the problem is overcome by placing lead in the engine which has the effect of making the driving wheels have firmer contact with the rails but on a lot of engines, including my prairie, there is not much room to put much lead in the engine and besides that it seemed to require heaps of lead to get the engine to pull at least half way decently.
I hope this is of interest and that it may even help someone with a slipping engine.
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I had one some time ago but I sold it. Very nice model indeed. One thing I seem to remember were problems with the pony trucks derailing. There is a lot of slop between wheel back and frame. Adding washers helps.

Edit: Just saw Mobi's post. I concur that the spring Bachmann uses to get their bogies and ponies to stick to the track can reduce tractive effort. Removing the spring will help with that but may result in derailments due to the very light pony truck. Try to put some weight in the pony/bogie frame. Comet Models do simple and easy etched bogie/pony kits that improve the look of the model.

QUOTE (RobL @ 16 Jan 2007, 16:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Cheers - didn't mean the engine shed was to fit perfectly, but wasn't sure if the prairie would be too long for it. Looks like it'll fit fine though, thanks guys

Hatton's website is useful for checking model dimensions. Their photographs include one of each model placed against a ruler.
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