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Being new to model rail layouts iam looking at the current passenger/fright layout. I am looking at a class 66, i see a frightliner parked up at cardiff central most mornings an like the look. But i want to no which is better a hornby or bachmann? an what if anything i have to do to the train to get it up and running so boxes i have noticed a bag off bits but have no idea what they are? hope some one can hep
 

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The Bachmann 66 is definatly the better of the 2 models in terms of what features it has (Working directional lights, Cab lights on the low emission versions and a far more superior motor). I have not personally tried the Hornby 66 to see what its like but if its anything like the 59 then it will generally be a reasonable model to run, but if you can spare some more english notes then i would recommend going for a Bachmann version.

Both models are ready to take out the box and run. The Bachmann does only come fitted with 1 coupling in the box, but another is enclosed in the bag of bits (Also contrains air pipes and replacement snowploughs) - But this is only an issue with if you are planning an end to end layout / Anything where running round a train may occur.
 

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The Bachmann 66 is about 10 years newer, a lot better detailed and a more powerful mechanisim. The Hornby one is the ex Lima model and has a nice paint job but if you can afford the Bachmann one I would leave this one.
Both models have the front skirt as a separate piece that is a push fit, but you can't fit it and the couplings on the Bachmann model as it is fixed to the body rather than the bogie like the Hornby one. Air pipes are supplied but thay can interfere with the coupling as the bogie swings so are really more for a display model than one that's run a lot.
Both can be run staright from the box without adding any details and they still look good.
Other prototypical trains for the 66
Freightliner
Bachmann produce the twin freightliner flats for the 66 ,
Bachmann produce the Heavy haul bogie coal wagons.

EWS
Bachmann produce bogie 100ton tanks
Bachmann & Hornby produce 4 wheel TTA tanks, (sometimes run as only 4 or 5 wagon short trains).
Bachmann & Hornby produce 4 wheel engineers wagons, MTA, MHA etc.
Bachmann & Hornby make the seacow and sealion bogie hoppers again seen in trains of 4 or more.
Bachmann make the bogie JHA coal hoppers.

(I fitted kadee automatic couplings to my bachmann 66's but this involved cutting away part of the skirt to allow them to swing with the bogie).
 
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