07 February 2024
The new Class 31 (and Class 30) locomotives follow in the footsteps of the all-new Class 47 from Bachmann Branchline which was first released in 2021, setting the blueprint for a new generation of Bachmann diesel locomotives which is apparent in these new Class 31s.
With the Class 47 Bachmann introduced two brand new innovations to the British market – these being the first models to feature a motorised fan system and the first to have glazing which is specially treated to replicate the tinting of the prototype’s windscreens. These features adorn the top-of-the-range sound fitted deluxe models and with the new Class 31, Bachmann has added another new feature to its deluxe format models – and another brand-new innovation never before seen on a British-outline model – automatic DCC uncoupling.
Bachmann’s Auto-Release Coupling System is fitted as standard to all sound fitted deluxe models and this DCC-operated feature provides hands-free uncoupling with the press of a single function button. Compatible with all standard tension lock couplings, each sound fitted deluxe model comes with Auto-Release Couplings fitted at each end of the locomotive as standard. The couplings are mounted via the standard NEM coupling pockets, with a miniature plug allowing easy removal should it be required, to facilitate the fitting of accessory parts for example.
In addition to the Auto-Release Couplings, sound fitted deluxe models also feature a motorised roof fan which is synchronised as part of the sound project allowing the fan to operate at varying speeds depending on the engine status and speed settings of the locomotive. The tinted glazing meanwhile is applied to the Driver’s and Second Man’s windscreens only, leaving the smaller central windscreen un-treated as per the prototype. Every Class 31 will also be available in standard format or with sound fitted. Like all Bachmann products, sound fitted and sound fitted deluxe models will operate on both DCC and analogue control straight out of the box. When used on analogue control, a range of authentic sound effects can be enjoyed when power is applied, along with the operation of the motorised roof fan on sound fitted deluxe models.
David Haarhaus, Managing Director of Bachmann Europe Plc said: “The Class 31 has been a rather obvious omission from the Bachmann Branchline range for many years now. Ever since the launch of the Graham Farish Class 31s in N scale, the company has been inundated with requests to scale those models up to OO. Knowing that we could make a model befitting the Branchline name, and one that suits Bachmann’s beliefs of supporting independent retailers and the industry as a whole, meant this was an easy project to give the green light to.”
David continued: “Every Bachmann product is a team effort, drawing on the skills and expertise of many colleagues both in the UK and abroad to create our award-winning products but at the same time, every project of this magnitude requires a figurehead who really knows their subject to lead the development process. For the Class 31, we were very lucky with the timing of Graeme’s arrival at Bachmann, as he was able to take over a project that was already at an advanced stage and make his mark to ensure we reached this point with a fantastic, high-fidelity and extremely accurate model to show for all of our efforts.”
Concluding his thoughts, David said: “I am very proud that time and time again, Bachmann has been at the forefront of introducing new features, new innovations and new standards to the British market, and we see this again with the new Class 31 and its Auto-Release couplings. In general, uncoupling has been one of the most unrealistic aspects of model railway operation so to make this process hands-free and automated, I think is going to be a real game changer for our consumers and one that I am sure our customers will enjoy demonstrating in their stores, alongside our new Kinesis DCC system which will provide a powerful tool to model railway operators.”
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