Review by Bob Brown
Bachmann has introduced an On30 model of a World War I era 2-6-2T Class 10 Trench Engine. The prototype locomotives were 60cm gauge (1-foot, 115/8-inches) while the Bachmann model is 30-inch gauge. Because demand was so great on British and European locomotive builders during the war, the Allies turned to Baldwin to design and build a trench engine for use by the military. Baldwin designed the Class 10, 2-6-2T and built 195 of them in 1917. They sent 190 to Europe, kept two behind for testing and training, and three were lost, possibly when the ships they were in were sunk. However, even 190 locomotives was not enough, so Vulcan and Davenport began to build locomotives to Baldwin’s specifications.
The story of who built what and what happened to the locomotives after the war is told in detail by Richard Dunn in his book Narrow Gauge To No Man’s Land, published by Benchmark Publications and still available. Richard traced all the trench engines used by the U.S. Army, including steam and internal combustion, and has detailed rosters showing the disposition of each locomotive.
While none of the Baldwin locomotives returned to the United States, a large number of Vulcan and Davenports engines remained in the country and were sold as surplus. The Baldwins either stayed in Europe, or went to England, where they ran on several short lines. A number have been restored and can be seen running today.
One 2-6-2T went to the Winchester Lumber Company in Virginia and ran on their 2-foot gauge Lost River Railroad as #5. So, this Bachmann 2-6-2T could be operated on a free-lance logging, mining, or short line assuming it was a Vulcan or Davenport, making the Bachmann model very useful to On30 modelers.
The Bachmann models come in four liveries. They come in grey with black U.S.A. letters, grey with white U.S.A. letters, dark grey with white Q.M.C.U.S.A. letters, and black with no letters, and all have little builder’s plates.
The models feature DCCWOWSound™ with something called Chuffinity™ that increases the number of chuff sounds. This system also senses grades and load levels, and changes the chuff accordingly. There are also depot and battleground background sounds.
My sample is grey with black letters. It ran perfectly right out of the box. When I turned the sound off, I could hear no motor noise. The sound system includes chuff, bell, blower, injector, coupling sounds, ash pan cleaning, whistle, blow down, water fill, and cylinder cocks. The headlight and rear light work as does a firebox light. The locomotive will crawl, has EZMate™ knuckle couplers, detailed cab interior, coal load, removable siphon hose, non-operating lid for the chimney, perfectly applied paint and letters, blackened mechanism, glass in the hooded, round porthole cab windows, and is nice and heavy.
This model might be tricky to convert to On3, and would require a new frame to narrow it to On2. But the designers have kept the dimensions accurate even though the gauge has been widened by 6-scale inches.
Given the wide spread sale of surplus Vulcan and Davenport locomotives after the war, this model is very useful for freelance layouts. Richard’s book has a map of the United States with lines indicating where surplus locomotives went. Well worth looking at to inspire you to add one of these 2-6-2T Bachmann locomotives to your roster.
2-6-2T Class 10 Trench Engine
Bachmann Industries, Inc.
1400 East Erie Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19124