Product Highlight: OO Scale Class 20/3s

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Product Highlight: OO Scale Class 20/3s

The Class 20 has been a key part of the Bachmann Branchline range of OO Scale models for the last few years, with a number of models already available. This range is continuing to grow with a slightly more modern twist on this classic locomotive, as models of the Class 20/3 in Direct Rail Service‘s liveries are set to arrive soon.

The bodies of these new models are adorned by several metal detail parts, including handrails, grab handles, and etched fan grilles, whilst the roof displays a rotating radiator fan (unmotorised). The cab end features working marker lights for the first time, along with separately fitted GPS aerial and windscreen wipers. Sprung metal buffers are fitted at both ends and optional snow ploughs, which mount to the bufferbeam, are supplied in the accessory pack. Under the solebar, these models are equipped with diecast metal chassis blocks, bogie towers and gearboxes. The models also all share the following features:

  • Equipped with a Plux22 DCC Decoder Socket – recommended Decoder item No. 36-570B
  • Five pole, twin shaft motor with two flywheels providing drive to both bogies
  • Electrical pickup from all wheels
  • Detachable coupling pockets to NEM362 standards fitted to each bogie
  • Directional lighting, switchable on/off at either end on DCC or Analogue control
  • Day/Night Mode, selectable on DCC or Analogue control
  • Cab lighting, switchable on/off on DCC or Analogue control
  • Each model supplied with a full set of decorated, model-specific bufferbeam pipework and accessory parts

There are also SOUND FITTED versions of each model. These versions are fitted with a Zimo MS450P22 DCC Sound Decoder that has been pre-programmed with an exclusive sound project containing over 25 functions. The SOUND FITTED locomotives may also be used on most Analogue (DC) layouts, where they will play normal load running sounds as well as other automatic or randomised sounds when power is applied.

35-125A(SF) 'Gresty Bridge' and 35-125B(SF) 'Class 20 'Fifty'' Side View

The Class 20s are a product of the 1955 BR modernisation plan. A pilot scheme batch of 20 mixed traffic Type 1 diesel-electric locomotives were built by English Electric (EE), numbered D8000-D8019, powered by an EE 8CSVT engine producing 1,000bhp. These entered service in 1957 and proved far more successful than other Type 1s. A total of 228 locomotives were built from 1957 to 1968 between the EE Vulcan foundry and Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns at Darlington.

The class have been used the length and breadth of the network and were a true mixed traffic locomotive. The introduction of the new Brush Class 60s from 1990 started the gradual but progressive withdrawal of the fleet from their mainstream work with BR, the survivors going into store or private ownership. Direct Rail Services (DRS) acquired 15 of the redundant locomotives to haul nuclear fuel traffic. Being perfectly suited to operate in pairs, they provided government-owned operator DRS with a perfect solution for hauling nuclear traffic which required double heading in the event of a loco failure, preventing a nuclear train from being stranded. The first five locomotives (Nos. 20301-20305) underwent extensive refurbishment and modification at Brush Traction Loughborough, the first emerging in 1995 as a new sub-class, the Class 20/3.

The rest of the fleet (Nos. 20306-20315) were overhauled by RFS(E) Doncaster during 1997-1999 and were distinguishable by their additional top headlight. The whole fleet was outshopped in DRS’s smart blue livery, rebuilt with flush ends with current spec BMAC light clusters. The cabs were refurbished with toughened windscreens and new side windows, along with new radio and multiple working equipment. Larger 22” buffers and extra fuel tanks were also fitted.

35-125A(SF) – Class 20/3 20310 ‘Gresty Bridge’ DRS Blue

35-125A(SF) - Class 20/3 20310 'Gresty Bridge' DRS Blue

Our first model is 35‑125A, which depicts Class 20/3 No. 20310 in DRS Blue. This locomotive is named ‘Gresty Bridge‘ and is equipped with a one-piece radiator shutter, with the bogie at the nose end sporting early-type fluted equalising beams whilst the nose end bogie has the later type of fluted equalising beams. A SOUND FITTED version is available as product code 35‑125ASF.



35-125B(SF) – Class 20/3 20311 ‘Class 20 ‘Fifty” DRS Blue

The next model, and the perfect partner to 35-125A(SF), is 35‑125B, which is Class 20/3 No. 20311 in DRS Blue. This locomotive is named ‘Class 20 ‘Fifty’‘ and features a two-piece radiator shutter on one side and and both bogies feature the early-pattern of fluted equalising beams. Etched nameplates are supplied with both of these named Class 20/3s. The SOUND FITTED version is available under product code 35‑125BSF.

35-125B(SF) - Class 20/3 20311 'Class 20 'Fifty'' DRS Blue



35-127A(SF) – Class 20/3 20309 DRS Compass (Original)

35-127A(SF) - Class 20/3 20309 DRS Compass (Original)

Our penultimate model is 35‑127A, which depicts Class 20/3 No. 20309 in DRS’ original compass livery. This locomotive is equipped with a bonnet roof aerial, one-piece radiator shutters and is fitted with bogies which each have the early-style fluted equalising beams. A SOUND FITTED version is available as product code 35‑127ASF.



35-127B(SF) – Class 20/3 20308 DRS Compass (Original)

The next model, and the perfect partner to 35-127A(SF), is 35‑127B, which is Class 20/3 No. 20308 in DRS Compass (Original) livery. This locomotive features a bonnet roof aerial, two-piece Radiator Shutters and drilled equalising beams can be seen on both bogies. The SOUND FITTED version is available as 35‑127BSF.

35-127B(SF) - Class 20/3 20308 DRS Compass (Original)



Class 20/0 Models

As well as these new Class 20/3s, there are several Class 20/0 models also available:

NumberHeadcodeLiveryStandardSOUND FITTED
D8133BoxBR Green (Small Yellow Panels)35‑35335‑353SF
20158BoxBR Blue35‑35435‑354SF
20048DiscBR Blue35‑355RJ35‑355RJSF
20072DiscBR Blue [Weathered]35‑35635‑356SF
20100DiscBR Blue35‑356RJ35‑356RJSF
20010DiscBR Railfreight (Red Stripe)35‑357A35‑357ASF
20173 ‘Wensleydale’ BoxBR Blue (Red Solebar)35‑35835‑358SF
D8308BoxBR Blue35‑35935‑359SF
8156BoxBR Green (Full Yellow Ends) [Weathered]35‑36035‑360SF
20088DiscBR Railfreight Sector Unbranded35‑36135‑361SF

Some of these Class 20/3 models are already available, whilst the others are currently expected to arrive over the next few months; for more information, head to the Bachmann Europe website. Once you’ve selected your models, get in touch with your nearest retailer to order yours! 

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