The Wainwright C Class 0-6-0 from Bachmann – a review

Built between 1900 and 1908 the eventually 109 strong Wainwright C Class 0-6-0 tender locomotives were one of the first three new designs introduced after the creation of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway following the legal union of the South Eastern Railway and the London Chatham and Dover Railway. The class was long lived with only two not passing into British Railways ownership. The last members of the class were not withdrawn, mainly as a result of the Kent Coast electrification, until 1962 (although three  survived into departmental use as Ashford Works shunters until 1966).

With excellent riding qualities the C Class were often found on passenger and excursion duties as well as their primary role on goods trains throughout originally the SECR and subsequently the Eastern Section of the SR. Number 592 is now preserved on the Bluebell Railway.

Bachmann C Class in SR post 1937 livery

Bachmann first announced their intention to produce a C Class  in 2011. Initially three versions are now available and hitting the retailers:
31-460 as number 592 in SECR Lined Green as preserved on the Bluebell Railway
31-461 as number 1256 in post 1940 Southern Railway Black
31-462 as number 31086 in BR Black with Early Emblem

Bachmann have certainly done an excellent job in capturing the looks of these engines and the initial impression is very positive.

The lovely SECR livery. Picture courtesy and copyright A York

The SECR livery application  is extremely fine, pretty much second to none, capturing nearly all the intricate lining and lettering including the tiny SECR lettering on the tender axle boxes. The steam reverser however should also be lined but is in plain green on the model presumably due to limitations in the printing process. The other limitation of the livery application in model form is the finish of the brass dome does not quite match the highly polished original.

3/4 view from behind shows the tender detail and the cast metal coal load

Bachmann have also tooled for the correct taller original pattern chimney on the SECR livery version which is different to the other two releases.
I am sure many sales will / have occurred just because it looks so pretty.
On the post 1940 Southern black version illustrated here the lettering and numerals, shaded in green, are nicely applied and correct in that the numbers do not have the same inside black line as the lettering on the tender. They certainly look very comparable to my usual preferred use of HMRS decals for most of the SR post 1937 black locos in my fleet.

The underframe detail including the brakes, sandpipes and guard irons are all finely moulded including those on the tender. Brake rigging is supplied for the purchaser to fit to the locomotive and tender, although this is quite fiddly especially on the loco needing to take care around the sanding pipes.

The face of the C Class

The loco to tender coupling is a semi permanent fixed bar and is adjustable to shorten the gap between the loco and tender. The DCC plug location is in the tender so the wires between the loco and tender are connected via a small plug, very similar to that used by Hornby for a while now, which will make splitting the tender and loco apart if necessary much easier. It should be noted however that no pick ups are included on the tender itself which is a shame.

Bachmann’s usual use of a cast metal coal load helps give some weight to the otherwise quite light tender however if the load is removed it leaves a flat topped tender with a two locating holes rather than any representation of the albeit very small coal space, I assume that this is compromise to leave enough space inside the tender for the fitting of a DCC Sound speaker. I am not personally convinced by the coal effect this gives and will be adding a layer of real crushed coal once the loco is weathered.
On the all over black livery versions the fine details unlike that of the SECR livery are sometimes lost and some light weathering will actually help accentuate this detail.

The slight protrusion of the motor and gearbox in front of the firebox can be seen

The motor and drive is very well concealed within the firebox and it does protrude slightly forward of the front of the firebox, which is more noticeable on the SECR green version due to the prominence of the end of the polished boiler band but less so on the black versions. This does leave the correct daylight under the boiler but it is a shame that Bachmann have not included, unlike some recent models, any representation of the inside motion between the frames here as just a flat plate is visible.

Excellent detail and painting within the cab

A lovely wealth of detail is present  including lubricating and control pipework especially around the steam reverser, hand rails and lamp irons. The detail inside the open cab is excellent and Bachmann have recently upped their game with such detail including the painting and printing. Like some recent Hornby models there is even representation of the letting and needles on the pressure gauges. Curiously all versions have the protruding top of the firebox inside the cab painted in brass. Whilst this is likely to be correct for the SECR livery version I am not convinced it would have looked that way in later life as per the other livery variations.

As well as the brake rigging already mentioned for the purchaser to fit the model also comes with nicely moulded screw couplings one is factory fitted to the Loco and a spare for the tender if the tension lock coupling is removed; cab doors that will need to be glued in place as there does not appear to be any locating devices for them; and a nice set of fire irons for the tender. The only thing missing these days from the main manufacturer’s products are loco crew, but I assume that these ideally would need to be painted and would therefore increase costs too much.

Overall this model of the C Class is a sure fire winner and hopefully it will convince Bachmann to consider other such southern area pre grouping prototypes in the future.

38 thoughts on “The Wainwright C Class 0-6-0 from Bachmann – a review

  1. Mine’s on route from Hattons and I can’t wait to see it in all it’s glory! ‘Course I might just have to buy another for my 50’s layout…………….

  2. Nice review of a lovely loco the SECR liveried version was an impulse purchase on my part because it is nigh irresistible, lovely little loco and performed sweetly straight out of the box.

    1. Hi Mike

      Thanks for the comment. Glad yours performed well, I will be testing mine at HWDMRS tomorrow evening. I am sure you are not the only one whom has found the SECR version irresistible!

  3. I does look very nice. Makes me want a couple and to backdate a North Kent Lines idea I’ve formulated to accommodate them 🙂 (rather than the ’90-’92 era with 465/466/4EPB).

  4. Excellent review! I’m looking forward to receiving mine in the next few days. The C class is a beautiful machine and without doubt a favourite of mine. Let’s hope it leads to more pre-grouping southern models!

  5. The SECR version of the model is great, but performance wise I’m not so sure. Compared to Hornby models the loco is a little noisey even after considerable running in. It also has an annoying clumping sound with each revolution of the driving wheels. Have I purchased the one in a million faulty ones I wonder?

    1. Hi Stephen

      I would suggest returning it to the retailer you purchased it from as it does sound to me like you have ‘Friday’ built model. Mine certainly ran very nicely straight out of the box.

  6. Mine runs very smoothly, all the loco pickups are touching correctly. I have almost finished fitting tender pickups as well and will fit a DCC Concepts decoder at the same time. I have noticed that there is provision for a speaker in the tender so I assume a sound version will be available later. It’s a shame they don’t sell the sound decoder as a spare as you have to purchase a loco you may not want just to get the sound decoder. I know a lot of people did this with the Schools. That is assuming of course they use an authentic sound recording.
    Has anyone been brave enough to renumber one yet as I want the earlier livery on mine and I have not plucked up the courage to have a go yet?

    1. Hi Alec

      Mine also runs smoothly and I will how she continues to run before I perhaps fit tender pick ups. Most new RTR locos being produced these days have a space for the speaker included but that does not mean the manufacturer themselves will issue a sound fitted version but I am sure it will not be long before the aftermarket suppliers come up with a suitable chip especially as it can be a real recording from 592 on the Bluebell.
      I am aware of a couple of people whom intend to backdate to pre war livery and that shouldn’t be too difficult knowing how simple Bachmann printing usually comes off with a little thinners on a cotton bud.

  7. The coal space on the real thing is minimal – the top of the water tank is only about 9″ below the top edge of the tender sides and it’s flat topped, finishing about 3′ short of the footplate end bulkhead, thus forming a coal well. There’s no slope. If that’s how Bachmann have modelled it, they’re quite right. Incidentally 592 will quite happily do a return trip to Kingscote on what’s in the well, and can sometimes be seen departing Sheffield Park on the last run of the day with the tender tank top swept completely clean!

    1. Hi Tom

      Thanks for your interesting comment and information. I am aware of the very small coal space but Bachmann have chosen not to model any coal space at all.

  8. Dear All,
    I have received my SECR C class from Hattons. It looks like it has already sold out there and at Rails of Sheffield so people are finding an excuse to run it
    on their layouts. It has some excellent reviews and is excellent value for money at about half the price of a Hornby M7. The SECR had maroon coaches at one time so I might be able to get away with using some Hornby LMS clerestory coaches on occassional passenger duties. I will try running it on my Corfe Castle layout at the model railway club on Wednesday. It will also look good with my Kentish private owner wagons from model shops in Hythe and Tunbridge Wells. It makes a good companion for the Hornby-Dublo R1 and the Tri-ang L1.

  9. Got mine last week. (BR Version) Lovely model. Runs very smoothly straight out of the box. Will be buying the Southern version when funds allow.

  10. Got mine at Warley as a birthday pressie. Like most it ran well straight from the box. I was also dissapointed at the lack of coal space as I prefer tenders to be filled with real crushed coal and the modelled coal looks too shiny. If the tender to loco gap is adjustable I cant see how and its not in the instructions.

    What I crave now is a SECR 4-4-0 such as D E or L and the 1 versions *i.e.L1 etc)

  11. Both the SECR and the BR black cycling lion versions run well with a few wagons on my layout that has second radius curves and Peco Setrack points. My layout is based on the Swanage Railway and I have received comments that a C class has not run there yet. Is it acceptable to run an ex SECR locomotive on an ex LSWR layout or should I stick rigidly to running locomotives that have been spotted on the Swanage Railway?

    1. Robin – Are you modelling for yourself or the pundits? Personally I model for myself. I model the eastern section Southern Region and most locos are eastern section. However I run a Lord Nelson which didnt run outside the western section after the war, I also run King Arthur which has a cab too big for the eastern section. Sir Lamiel has a smaller cab.

      There is one rule of thumb in all cases when following the prototype – if it might have happened it probably did. You could always concoct a test run story.


  12. Very smooth runner straight from the box- is there a site which shows where all the bits fit please? Perhaps someone with BR experience could tell us how bright the firebox was then, ie was it kept metallic clean? From photos it seems that Hither Green Cs at least were often well cleaned to glossy even in the late 1950s- quite difficult to achieve from plastic…Excellent value- deserves its sales

      1. Thank you- a bit of fiddling and fitting to while away the rainy days! If renumbering, check the position of the steam reverser- it looks as if at least one had an air brake pump, hence 2 fittings on rh side looking forward on the Heathfield freight in Branch Lines Around Tunbridge Wells, and just by 3/4 view the position of the reverser used to vary slightly on other engines. Intere4sting idea to convert to O1- wheelbase may be problem, otherwise the centre of boiler is same height- who dares repaint the secr long chimney version? Golden Arrow do a resin O1 with tender – will report back whhen I’ve tried to fit this to c chassis….

      2. I too have the Golden Arrow O1 body and will be interested in your findings on fitting it to the C class chassis. As the loco pick ups go via the DCC socket within the tender this will have to be taken into account when using the chassis on the O1.

  13. Dear all

    Chris Leigh has written a review on pages 28 to 30 of Model Rail and given it a rating of 88%. The only criticisms seem to be that the brake rigging is difficult to fit and it has not got a crew. His sample pulled 11 Hornby Mk1 coaches. It has sold well. I have a theory that people will buy locomotives as long as they cost less than £100. There is no point in sacrificing full lining, sprung buffers and separate handrails if people are prepared to pay for them on small locomotives.

    I have also found some pictures of the C Class on the front cover of Locomotives Illustrated 64 March-April 1969 by Ian Allan and on pages 15 – 18. These include a passenger train, a milk train and a goods train.

    I have only tried it with four goods wagons so far but it ran well all evening on my Corfe Castle layout in the club room at Furzebrook. I am very impressed with this blog and the level of knowledge displayed by Graham Muz and the other contributors. Merry Christmas and a happy new year everyone.

  14. There are some more pictures of the prototype C class in Southern Counties Branch Line Steam by Michael Welch published by Capital Transport. On page 5 31588 with the cycling lion emblem is leaving Paddock Wood on 10th June 1961 with a Maunsell pull-push set. On page 6 the same engine is taking an empty hop pickers’ special bound for Hawkhust on 11th September 1960. There is another C class shunting some wagons at Cranbrook on 20th June 1961.

    1. Hi Robin,

      One of the reasons I have a C class is that I have plans in place to build Hawkhurst in the future and now have most of the rolling stock and even some of the builds built.

  15. Following previous comment, Branch Lines Video now DVD Classic Southern Region Vol 1 has a good shot from Paddock Wood footbridge which seem to show the cab brass? semicircle much muted in usual service- last train, so it was bulled up externally.There are some good shots on the Allhallows line too, showing the tendertop from above, fireirons, spikes etc. Locos absolutely filthy, from the last days, as the Cromptons are in evidence. I’m told the airpumps by the cab on a few were for shiftimg electric stock- certainly one was operating on the Maidstone West linein the last days, using normal stock. 31086 is illustrated by St Pauls in London after its move from Gillingham in one of the colour mags this month..

    1. Whilst air brake capability may have been usesful to move electric stock the fitting pre dates electrification by decades. The SECR was the operational merging of London Chatam and Dover, an air braked railway, and the South Eastern, a vacuum braked railway. Some of the C class were dual braked. In Locomotives Illustrated 64 “Pre Grouping Southern 0-6-0 (1989)shows 712 and 721 dual fitted

  16. Thanks, Dave- think it’s 31716 I’ve seen dual fitted. Further to Graham’s comments re O1, I’ve offered the Golden Arrow kit up to the C chassis. The wheels are a reasonable fit. However, I was hoping to achieve more daylight under the boiler, and this won’t occur due to the placement of the motor. The resin would need careful filing away to achieve a fit, and in my view this would leave it too thin for my big fingers! On the whole I think I’ll go for Chris’s original suggestion and use a Hornby 0-6-0 chassis. The difference in length is marginal but noticeable, I think. Good luck to anyone more dextrous!

    1. Thanks for the information about offering the C class chassis to the O1 it makes sense about the motor ending up more visible due to the shorter firebox.

      1. Has anyone else tried to fit a crew in the C class. I found it quite difficult as the cab is quite short. I got a driver in but found that the lack of a fall plate left the fireman suspended over the gap to the tender. This is not unusual as the tender forms part of the working area and I have read tales of firemen having one foot on the loco and one on the tender as they fetched a new shovelfull.

        Re air brakes all the fots of dual fitted I have found are in the 700 series but none in BR livery so probably only a small batch were so fitted. I dont think the kit would have been removed as nearly all pictures of ex Brighton locos show them to remain dual fitter right up to the last days of steam. For those interested in such things LC&D air, SE vacuum, LB&SC air and LSW vacuum. The Southern standardising on vacuum.

    2. I’m quite suprised,considering the amount of Southern expertise on here that people have overlooked the fact that a ‘C’ class is a much larger loco than an ‘O1’,and would even begin to imagine that the chassis would be similar enough to fit,even the Hornby Jinty chassis that Chris designed his kit to fit is 2mm too long in the wheelbase..

      1. I agree that either route is a compromise and indeed is with many of the resin body kits designed to fit on an available RTR chassis. Yes the C class would be more over length than the originally specified Hornby generic 0-6-0 chassis but the Bachmann chassis is without doubt finer and at this stage it is worth a simple look to see which compromise looks better in the end.

  17. I have bought the Southern Black version to use on the layout of Westerham that I am building. I can’t fd ind any evidence that a “C” ever ran there although it was hoped that 592 would go on the proposed preserved line that wasn’t to be! I really need the pre 1940 lettering on my layout. I have looked at the possibility of using it for a conversion to an “O1” but discounted it because of the size discrepancy. I am looking at using a mainline Collett chassis as it appears to be close but until my O1 arrives won’t know.

Leave a Reply to Dave ScottCancel reply