Bachmann Trains circus gondola car

A Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus car in 1:22.5 scale
Marc Horovitz
1:22.5 scale, gauge-1 circus gondola car
Bachmann Trains
400 East Erie Avenue
Philadelphia PA 19124
Price: $99

All-plastic gondola car (#92718); working, truck-mounted knuckle couplers; hook-and-loop couplers also supplied; metal wheels; soft-plastic grab irons and other detail parts. Dimensions: width, 4"; length, 151⁄8"; height, 4". In 1:22.5 scale, this works out to 7'6" x 28'4" x 7'6", respectively

Pros: Good representation of a high-side gondola based on a stake-side flatcar; good graphics: free rolling trucks; working knuckle couplers

Cons: Plastic grab-irons and other details very soft and easily bent (see text); plastic detail lugs visible in car interior
Marc Horovitz
Bachmann has released a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus gondola. This is a new addition to the company’s extensive line of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus stock (including a complete Big Hauler set decorated for the circus—check out the company’s website). The car body is molded in bright yellow plastic, with the words “The Greatest Show on Earth™” emblazoned on each side in red, along with the circus’ logo in black. Gray plastic archbar trucks with metal wheels support the car. Bachman’s working knuckle couplers are mounted to the trucks, talgo style. LGB-type hook-and-loop couplers are also supplied and can be easily swapped with the knuckles.

The detail level, while not high, is acceptable. Details, including grab irons, cut levers, brake wheel and staff, stirrups, and truss rods, are molded in a soft black plastic. Remaining underbody details appear to be molded in a harder black plastic. The soft-plastic parts can be easily bent. The brake-wheel staff on our review sample had been severely bent in packing and it would not stand up straight again.

The press-in mounting lugs on the soft detail parts are visible on the inside of the car body. The cut levers, while moveable, are not functional—the couplers would have to be body mounted for them to work properly.

On the track, the car rolls along smoothly and easily. The knuckle couplers also work well. They spring open when the pin is pressed upward and close and lock when coming into contact with a mating coupler.

Those of you who are modeling a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train using Bachmann equipment will welcome this colorful new addition to the line.


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