What is EFE Rail?


By Howard Smith

04 August 2020

With its 2020 new range announcements, Bachmann Europe has unveiled a new umbrella brand of products. Here's what we can expect...

Bachmann Europe has launched a new brand called EFE Rail. It's aim is to re-introduce previously-released models by third-parties and distribute them through its retail channels to a wider audience. Welcomely, most of the EFE Rail items are due for release this August, to be made available from any Bachmann stockist. So, why the new brand?

Bachmann Europe added the Exclusive First Editions (EFE) brand to its portfolio in 2016, EFE specialising in the production of die-cast model buses, trams and related accessories. It also released a 1:76 scale model of the 1960 Northern Line stock London Underground Tube Train. Despite being un-motorised, the models proved popular with collectors.

Launching the EFE Rail range, Bachmann has opted to motorise the original un-powered EFE model, welcome news for fans of London Underground.

EFE Rail Underground stock

The underground stock will feature a PluX22 DCC decoder interface, requiring two decoders, providing control of the interior lighting. This model and the 'Mermaid' wagon aside, all other items from the range will be delivered this month.

Joining the umbrella brand are models previously released or proposed by now-defunct manufacturer, DJModels. Its J94 'Austerity' for OO gauge, and proposed Class 17 'Clayton' for N gauge are to be upgraded and released (or re-released) in new liveries via Bachmann Europe's stockists. The J94 will be treated to a Next-18 decoder interface and new motor, seeing six new liveries, while its Class 17 will be treated to an impressive 11 liveries. These models are produced in association with Kernow Model Rail Centre. Joining these will be Heljan's OO gauge Class 35 'Hymek', also in EFE Rail packaging, sporting four new liveries.

Heljan Class 35

Heljan's Class 35 will be re-released in new guises through a larger retail network in EFE Rail packaging.

Class 17

The brand will permit the delivery of a previously announced, but undelivered model – the Class 17 'Clayton' for N gauge.

J94

Featuring a new motor and Next-18 decoder socket upgrade, the J94 'Austerity' 0-6-0ST returns.

Rolling stock for OO and N gauges is to be released too, with Kernow Model Rail's previous 'exclusive' JIA wagon, which emerged from the retailer between December 2011 and February 2012, selling-out by 2017. Re-introduced in Imerys blue livery with a choice of pristine, weathered and heavily-weathered finishes, or ECC International white with or without weathering, an impressive 14 variants are proposed of the models.

JIA

Kernow Model Rail Centre's previously 'sold-out' model will be made available to purchasers who missed out on the first iterations.

Mermaid

The 'Mermaid' will see a re-release. The models received favourable reviews when first released.

A familiar sight will be the ZJV 'Mermaid' two-axle ballast hopper for N gauge, to be produced in olive green, black, 'dutch' grey and yellow, and red oxide.

Bachmann aims to support traditional model and hobby shops, launching the EFE Rail for its stockists to gain access to products they wouldn't have been able to stock. The initial range has products which have been produced in collaboration with third parties, such as Kernow Model Rail Centre and Heljan.

Communications Manager for Bachmann, Richard Proudman, commented "Branchline and Graham Farish items are designed by Bachmann Europe from the wheels up. Manufactured in our own factory to the award winning standards that our consumers have enjoyed for many years. The whole R&D, production, after-sales process is in-house. EFE Rail products are purchased from various suppliers purely as a distribution line, from proven, well established manufacturers."

For this reason, Bachmann has created the brand name to differentiate it from its main Graham Farish N gauge and Branchline OO gauge ranges. This isn't new, however – companies such as Woodland Scenics and Proses have been distributed through Bachmann Europe for a number of years, as were Heljan items for many years, particularly its buildings.

Richard continued, "Bachmann Europe Plc has a long tradition of distributing quality products from around the world. It has always been an avid supporter of local bricks and mortar Hobby shops. We are delighted to make more models, available to more local model stores under the EFE Rail Brand. These are predominantly items that have not been available to the wider market, and the custodians of these fine models having selected Bachmann Europe Plc to market them through an established hobby store network."

To see the full list of new EFE Rail models, read the story here.

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