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Bachmann Ivatt class 2 2-6-0
Review by David Blythman

The prototype


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.

Train Wheel Vehicle Rolling stock Motor vehicle

Vital Statistics

Weight. Locomotive - 47 tons 2 cwt (~48000kg)
Pressure: 200psi Superheated
Driving Wheels: 5' 0"
Cylinders: 2
Valve Gear: Walschaerts
Tractive effort: 17,410lbs


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.

In service

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 service.

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 Pennines.

Detail variations

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.

The model


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.

Train Vehicle Motor vehicle Rolling stock Rolling

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 tender.

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.

Train Vehicle Wheel Rolling stock Rolling

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 and reverse.

How does it run?

For many people this is the most important aspect of a model - does it run well?


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 havent 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 to lose.

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.


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 standard.

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 from Bachmann here 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 thats 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

Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Automotive lighting Tire

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 inside.

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 post.

- 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 didnt 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:

Train Vehicle Wheel Rolling stock Locomotive


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:

Circuit component Hardware programmer Electronic component Electronic engineering Electrical wiring

The underside of the tender body reveals a spacewith 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 later.

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

Other features

Weight: 300 grams.

Couplings: Standard Bachmann hook and bar coupling mounted in NEM 362 coupler boxes.

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.

Kadee couplings

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.

Camera accessory Gas Audio equipment Electronic instrument Auto part

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

Train Automotive tire Rolling stock Gas Rolling

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

Train Wheel Vehicle Rolling stock Track

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 cant 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:

Hood Automotive tire Vehicle Grey Automotive design

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.


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 its pretty close

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?


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 convincing.

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 there anyway.

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 Railway Summit

Online 'in service' photos of the prototype can be found at:
Steam Galleries - 46446 at Rugby
Steam Galleries - 78028 at Nottingham

- May 2007
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