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Interesting review - especially since this loco is the most likely next candidate on my personal "WANT!"
list. Hoping I can make it to the Amhearst Railway Society show in Springfield, MA in about 2 weeks (if "Old Man Winter" permits!
- he's had a REALLY NASTY
disposition around here so far this year!) to view it first-hand. Bachmann usually has a booth there with their latest wares on display
- I've usually been able to talk to the "Bach-man" himself about product issues. (Been there with the 3-truck Shay - which although it pulls like a horse, has required far MORE maintenance & modifications than my 2-truck Shays to keep it reliable.

In spite of some of the listed problems & shortcomings, I'm still VERY
interested in getting one. The "Meyer" (vs. true "Mallet") suspension I can live with; it might even be a substancial operational asset for me, even with relatively broad (69" min radius, 11.5 foot diameter) curves, I have one curve (even wider, 80" radius, 12 foot diameter), that still came close enough to a chain-link fence post (which also supports the roadbed!
- my railroad's elevated @ 2 feet off the ground), that the normal Mallet boiler overhang was a potential issue. (I had used my Bachmann GE 45-ton diesel - which is a model of a standard-gauged sized cab riding on 3-foot gauge trucks - to check clearance at that point when building the line!
). I suspect some of those who hoped to "bash" it into a "normal" tender engine may be a bit disappointed with the boiler/ saddle tank construction method
- but then who's to say you can't add an "auxiliary tender"
to it! (In a fact from the prototype, Sumpter Valley Railway found that when they converted the former Unitah 2-6-6-2T's to tender engines & removed the saddle tanks, they suddenly became VERY SLIPPERY
beasts! - SV Ry. wound up installing lengths of rail under the running boards
to make up for the weight loss from the saddle tank removal to restore tractive effort to them!

I'll also agree that the valve gear phasing / loose screw issues are annoying
QC issues on Bachmann's / Kader's part; this is one of the reasons I didn't RUSH to buy one like I did with the 3-truck Shay. However, before people "bash"
Bachmann too much on this - where else in model railroading are you going to find a loco of this size (& level of detail!
) for a "street price" of @ $600
every time I come across one of the LGB / Aster Shays on eBay at @ $4500 typical asking price
- that's more than I paid for ALL SIX Shays (4 Bachmann's & 2 Accucraft LIVE STEAM Shays
) currently on my roster!
For the price the Mallet is going for, I'm willing to go on a "screw tightening" expedition.
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