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Bachmann 9F
Class 9F 2-10-0 standard 92192 with double chimney and BR1F tender in BR black with late crest
Review & DCC Decoder installation - by Doug Teggin

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Prototype Info

After experience gained with the War Department locomotives during the Second World War, the newly formed British Railways under R.A. Riddles opted for a 2-10-0 heavy freight locomotive as part of its range of Standard locomotive classes.

Design work commenced at Brighton and Derby in 1951. A total of 251 locomotiveswere ordered. 10 of these, 92020-92029, were a different design known as Franco-Costi with an additional boiler that ran under the main boiler, taking the firebox gases back from the smokebox to a chimney on the right side of the locomotive forward of the cab.Crew built 198 and Swindon 53, with construction spread over several batches. Numbered 92000-92250.

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Class 9F - Photo ©Paul Pettitt

After the publication of the "Modernisation of British Railways" in 1955, the emphasis changed towards diesel and electric traction. Steam locomotive construction continued and in 1960 the last 9F and the last steam locomotive to be built for British Railways emerged from Swindon Works. As befitted such an occasion this locomotive, No. 92220, was the only one not to carry unlined black. Instead it was turned out in the lined passenger green livery and named 'Evening Star'.

Although officially freight locomotives; they could also be found on passenger trains, particularly over steep graded lines such as the famous Somerset & Dorset line between Bath Green Park and Bournemouth West. 92220 'Evening Star' operated the Capital's United Express between Cardiff and London in July 1960, reaching 90mph. Concerns about the durability of the locomotive brought this to a rapid end.

The first 9F was withdrawn in May 1964 and by June 1968 the last of them had been laid aside. Fortunately Nine 9Fs have survived, these being 92134, 92203 Black Prince, 92207, 92212, 92214, 92219, 92220 Evening Star, 92240 and 92245.

Bachmann Class 9F - Model Info

Three 9F models have been released. They have been eagerly awaited and at the time of writing are being snapped up rapidly. 92220 "Evening Star" seems to be the most popular at it was the last of the BR Steam locos and is well known.

Model # 32-850

Class 9F standard 92220 "Evening Star" with BR1G tender in BR green with late crest.

Model # 32-851

Class 9F standard 92192 with double chimney and BR1F tender in BR black with late crest.

Model # 32-852

Class 9F standard 92116 with single chimney and BR1C tender in BR black with early emblem.

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The model I chose is the # 32-851 Class 9F standard 92192 with double chimney. It has a 'workhorse' look and feel. Dirt and grime will add to the charm of this powerful loco. It can be put to good use hauling freight around the layout.

It was built as an exercise in function over form, but ends up looking strong and sleek. It has a
job to do and there is no question that it will be carried out as required.

The detail kit was added. It comes with some optional parts: cylinder steam pipes, hoses and front loco steps. These would interfere with coupling from the front and running on tight radius curves with the coupling hook attached.

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Train Wheel Vehicle Rolling stock Steam engine

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This loco has a good amount of detail. I imagine that the high retail price of this loco has something to do with the intricate chassis and level of detail on the loco itself. It must have taken quite a while for some dextrous hands to assemble this model.

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We have been spoiled by Hornby with their detailed cabs, so we feel slightly let down when we come up close to the Bachmann cab details. I honestly don't mind, but a detailed cab ads 'wow' factor to any model.

The tender on this particular model comes with a full load of coal. The tender coupling arm has two positions to attach the tender which allow a close couple and another a little further apart for tighter radius cornering. There is no electrical pickup from the tender.

DCC Decoder Installation

The choice of decoder is the Lenz Gold-JST Silent-Back EMF DCC Decoder (Article Nr. 10433).

The decoder can handle a continuous current draw of 1.0 Amp with a peak current for short periods of 1,8 A. Some of the main features are:

  • Super smooth and silent high frequency back-EMF motor control.
  • Supports the industry proposed enhancements to the NMRA DCC
  • Bidirectional data communication RPs
  • USP with optional power module for operation on dirty track
  • Asymmetrical DCC support including directional stopping
  • Adjustable precision stopping control
  • Low speed gear for switching operations
  • Motor and function outputs protected
  • Four function outputs rated at 200mA each with advanced function mapping
  • Directional or independent lighting with dimming and special effects.
  • Support for Advanced Consist Control and Extended Addressing
  • Support for programming on the mainline (operations mode programming)

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Above, the Lenz Gold-JST Silent-Back EMF DCC Decoder 10433. Note the harness with the 8-pin NEM-plug that fits the NEM 652 (NMRA Medium) socket.

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The model with the body removed showing the ballast over the motor.

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Ballast removed showing the motor and brass flywheel. Very compact and efficient. Note: two more capacitors that should be snipped off to ensure trouble free DCC operation.

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The NEM 652 socket with the blanking plug removed. Note the capacitor that has to be snipped off.

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One of the capacitors and the blanking plug.

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The decoder fitted. Orange wire to pin number 1.

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The decoder fits into the boiler well, but the Lenz decoder is too wide to fit in to the opening if it is secured flat on to the chassis. It has to be secured to the inside of the boiler using double-sided sticky sponge.

Passive circuit component Circuit component Hardware programmer Electrical wiring Computer hardware

Decoder secure. Fold the wires between the decoder and the NEM plug and replace the body to the chassis. It fits well with no problems.

DCC CV Settings for the Class 9F (92192)
Adr2192Long loco address
CV13Default Address
CV20Minimum Speed
(V Min at step 1)
CV36Acceleration delay
CV45Brake Delay (0-15)
CV5200Max speed (V High)
CV646Acceleration Curve
(V Mid)
CV17200Long address Hi bit
CV18144Long address Lo bit
CV2938Decoder Configuration
The rest of the CV's are left untouched (factory default).

- July 2006

Update (August 2006)

I did have a problem with the loco, a broken drive gear, but it arrived like that and was easy to fix. I've documented the repair on the forum here.

So now I have run the loco up and down my new track that is slowly being built. I spent about an hour gently running it up and down my 1:40 gradient. I added some load (1, 2, 3 & 4 wagons with loads of screws) and it went very well. There was a bit of juddering, but I suppose it was more to do with all the man-handled running gear being pushed around whilst I was taking the thing apart and working on it. I gave it an oil and it went much better. I noticed that the loco by itself is very smooth. Add the tender and it waggles a bit. Perhaps the tender has an axel that is not 100% straight. The loco managed to out pull a Hornby A4, but still failed to match the paired up Class 20's which is understandable as they do have 2 bigger motors, bigger fly-wheels and all-wheel-drive. The 9F uses a smaller, less powerful motor - obviously so that it fits into the body of the loco.

Overall impression: A great looking loco. Runs well and is an efficient work-horse for any late period steam or transition layout. This has been an eagerly awaited model. And I can't remember a model getting so much press on it's release. I'm sure Bachmann are happy and hopefully they will continue to produce exciting models such as this.

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All text, model photos & graphics ©2006 Doug Teggin - All rights reserved.
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