Railfreight for Class 37

Bachmann releases its sound-fitted ‘Tractor’ in new colours.

Bachmann 37693

THERE WAS SOME surprise when Bachmann announced just one refurbished Class 37 for 2008, centre-headcode Class 37/5 No. 37693 in original Railfreight livery, and with DCC sound on board to boot.

This, incredibly, is the fifth example of this sub-class to be produced by the Barwell-based firm, but only the third to be made as a standard release, the others being limited editions. A sixth locomotive, of course, No. 37688 Kingmoor TMD in DRS colours, is due to be delivered in September as a RAIL EXPRESS special.

Bachmann 37693

Essentially, No. 37693 (Cat Ref. 32-376DS, RRP £163.95) is identical to the previously released No. 37698 Coedbach in Railfreight Coal, right down to the on board sound. The only differences are the original Railfreight grey livery and the beefed up brake cylinders on the bogies. This includes the detail configuration, and the model features ‘split’ nose grilles at all four corners, welded boiler roof panel and EE/Vulcan cantrail grilles.

Bachmann 37693

The sound decoder is also unchanged. While it provides a fairly effective number of Class 37s sounds, the execution is somewhat flawed straight out of the box. The main engine noise is somewhat out of sync with the locomotive’s movement and never got above much more than an idle on the RE test track. The manual ‘Notch Up’ (F5) and ‘Notch Down’ (F6) functions take 20-30 seconds to take effect and are only suitable for a ‘Tractor’ in full chat! Many of these issues can be corrected in the CV settings, but this is not an ideal set up.

Despite this, 37693 is a fun entry level into the world of DCC sound, and it also provides an excellent base model for detailing. For more details on this new product see the next issue of RAIL EXPRESS Modeller.

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