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Bachmann's Great Train Robbery!

8388 Views 21 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Gary

In the early hours of the 8th of August 1963, an ambush by robbers on a mail train at Sears Crossing between Leighton Buzzard and Cheddington relieved it of a staggering £2.5million, in what later becomes known as the 'Great Train Robbery'. The locomotive heading the ill-fated train is Class 40 No. D326. The full story of the robbery can be found below:-


The Great Train Robbery

Now for the first time modellers will have the opportunity of recreating their own Great Train Robbery as Bachmann have announced that they are going to produce a limited edition of the loco, Class 40 No. D326, that was ambushed by the robbers on that fateful day. The loco, of the type featured below with a different number, will be available later this year.

Bruce Reynolds, nicknamed "The Mastermind", and Ronald Biggs, shown below looking approvingly at the Bachmann pre-production sample. An insider says that each have one on order apparently!

As D326 had been scrapped by 1987, the loco below, 40106, gained world-wide attention in a brief film career. Cleverly disguised as D326, the loco was used in a re-enactment of the Great Train Robbery for the hit movie "Buster" . Filming took place at the Great Central Railway on 29th October 1987

If you want to hear what the loco sounded like as it pulled out of the station on its way to meet the robbers then click the link below. You will need a media player and it is an mp3 file:-

Class 40 on its way to infamy!

Just a few words on another subject. It does take a bit of effort to gather news and create an interesting story. Whilst Model Rail Forum does not mind visitors telling their friends about this story, and other stories that may appear here from time to time, we would like to feel that you would stick around and support Model Rail Forum by commenting on the story here, and supporting Model Rail Forum directly, and even registering as a member! If you do mention this story to your friends then please credit Model Rail Forum with bringing it to your attention!

And please invite all your modelling friends to Model Rail Forum. The more the merrier!
Thats all folks.

Happy modelling

PS Maybe Bachmann would consider doing the loco that featured in "The Great St Trinians Train Robbery" next!
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My better half, on reading the story said:

"Were those pair at the Ontracks show that you went to last week then?"

And of course Warley Model Railway Club have invited this pair to open the Warley Show at the NEC later this year! "Never mind Pete Waterman, we'll just get Ronnie and Bruce...."

Happy modelling
Is this going to be a Bachmann standard release, or has this model been commissioned by a Bachmann dealer somewhere in the UK?
We have put our best detectives on the case!

Happy modelling
Bachmann should remember that a railman died as a result of injuries received during the robbery and some folk might take a dim view of the choice of prototype.

In case you think I am biased I did get to know one of the gang after his release and living under an alias in Gloucestershire....! Nice guy, but....

Just my opinion.

The Bachmann reference number is 40-0326 and its listed as a future release at Rails of Sheffield.


I've had this reply from Rails of Sheffield:

"Hello Gary, It is indeed a 'Rails of Sheffield' limited edition from Bachmann , it is due for release in the early New Year. A price has not yet been advised but the limiteds usually run at £15-20 more than the standard issues (£50.00) ie: £65-£70.We are taking advanced orders for these locos . Thanks for your interest, Alan"

Happy modelling
I think 60134 has a point. The driver never recovered from his injuries and subsequently died. The whole robbery has, over the years, been elevated to "cult" status with little thought for the fact that it was a criminal activity with tragic consequences for a railwayman and his family.

I think Bachmann are a little wide of the mark on this, especially with the publicity shot above. Unless they choose to make a sizeable donation to a suitable railway charity...???
The story above was not prepared by Bachmann and is designed to inform whilst at the same time entertain.

The link to the story of The Great Train Robbery makes the following comment towards the end:-

QUOTE It must be said that the Great Train Robbery was brilliantly planned and executed. Apart from the attack on the train driver it was non-violent and no firearms were used.

Clearly some members have expressed a view. That is what a forum is for.

It is really up to railway modellers to make up their own mind but I do suspect that there is interest in this model allowing for the considerations expressed above.

Should we not have a model produced simply as a result of an association?

For all we know the packaging may include some reference to the driver so we cannot judge either Rails of Sheffield or Bachmann yet until we have seen the final product.

Happy modelling
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It's plain contradictory to first invite members to,
"stick around and support Model Rail Forum by commenting on the story here",
and then as soon as they do, to follow up with,
"we cannot judge either Rails of Sheffield or Bachmann yet until we have seen the final product"

We most certainly can judge those responsible without seeing the final product.
This Limited Edition is a cheap publicity stunt in very poor taste.
Of course, poor taste often sells, but I can barely believe the lengths some people will go to to make a quick buck.

QUOTE Apart from the attack on the train driver it was non-violent
That's equivalent to saying "Apart from the paper being black, it was white".
The phrase is quite senseless and would be better not said.
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The reference is on the official website of the British Transport Police.

Clearly this is a sensitive issue with some members.

As I have said:-

QUOTE Should we not have a model produced simply as a result of an association?

Even if the model was produced without the association then modellers and the modelling press would probably make reference to the association.

So is it the view that we should or should not have a model of this locomotive?

Clearly the driver of the loco, Jack Mills, did struggle with the robbers and was attacked. Given that there might be a few words on the packaging in memory of the driver then would this address concerns?

There is a link to the story of Jack Mills below:-

Jack Mills

Many locomotives have been involved in incidents and may be sensitive subjects to model as a result. Think of the recent spate of tragedies on the railways.

Should we have models of these locomotives?

Happy modelling
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It's all about how the train is presented. Has the Great Train Robbery tie-in been confirmed by Bachman or is this as I suspect just some local unofficial marketing done in bad taste?

If taken to the extreme will we see a series of death camp trains produced by Fleischmann? I think not and I hope Bachman has enough sense to not further glorify a criminal act.
Lets get a sense of proportion here folks.

Lots of people have made lots of money out of the historic events described above. Film makers, book writers, publishers and the media in general. And all this by direct association with all historic events good and bad. There have been several films based on the Great Train Robbery. "The Great St Trinians Train Robbery" was produced just after the actual event itself. And then there was the film "Buster". "Shindlers List" and so on.

Even the Sex Pistols made money out of the association with one of the criminals involved. And the BBC.

Its not bad taste to produce something that has historic interest for people. Sean Connery starred in a film based on an earlier train robbery.

Yes, things happen.

1500 souls lost their lives on the Titanic and yet this incident featured in one of the most successful films of all time. Should people not make models of the Titanic out of respect for the souls that lost their lives?

A company wishes to produce one model of a locomotive that has historic interest and they get panned for it. This seems unfair (to me anyway).

Happy modelling
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I believe that most of the 'folks' here are exhibiting a fine sense of proportion.

Bad taste is bad taste and doesn't absolve itself by making a lot of money.
QUOTE No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.
H L Mecken
Quite where The Titanic or Schindler's List fit in to a model rail topic is beyond me, other than trying to divert attention away from the obvious faux pas. Railway modellers generally tend to avoid sensationalism and I would like to think that neither Rails nor Bachmann are responsible for the disproportionate publicity material above.
I may ask them.
That would be the only question I have here. I would like to know what Bachman's position is. Beyond that I'll let my wallet do the talking.
Well if anyone wants to criticise me they can.

Around 2 years or so ago, I bought a Blue Class 25. It's not important what the Running Number is or the manufacturer.

I didn't know it at the time of purchase, but after a short time, it came to light that it was in fact the Locomotive which failed hauling a passenger train in October 1979 at Invergowrie, Scotland.

Circumstances which I won't go into led to the following train hauled by a Class 47 to run into the rear of the failed train, killing 3 passengers I think, and the Driver and Secondman on the Class 47.

Being a newly qualified Secondman at the same depot, I didn't really know the Driver at all, but the young Secondman was an aquantance of mine, and in fact I still see his brother from time to time.

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I don't see anything to be critical of. Now if the manufacturer called the product a limited edition "Death Train Special" there might be room for criticism.
I have to agree that glorifying a criminal act is in extremely poor taste - this really is not on!
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Interesting. Should all toy shops and Corgi be condemned for selling this?

Now I am not taking sides. I am just fanning the flames a little.

Happy modelling
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Yes, they should be taken to task but what would that would that entail? What would be a commensurate level of outrage?
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