1.23.2009

Locomotive Roster: SBB Class 450; Fleischmann 775301


This locomotive, and its matching cars, quickly became a favorite of mine. I had the good fortune to spend several days in the beautiful city of Zurich in 2007, and during my time at there this was one of the striking trains that I had the pleasure to see in person. I was very pleased to see that Fleischmann has produced not only the locomotive, but the matching double deck cars.

The locomotive feels very solid, and if this (along with the V100) are any indication of the type of quality that Fleischmann produces, then I am very impressed. It runs like a charm. It is a powerful and smooth runner, I am really not sure what else can be asked of these N scale locomotives.

This engine was also a textbook example of how easy it should be to install a decoder. Of course it comes with the wonderful NEM 651 socket, and a straight-out-of-the-box Lenz Gold Mini D fit perfectly and was easily programmed. No problems fitting, or having to go with a version with a wire harness, etc...

I did learn something about this locomotive. While the Class 450 was not my first Electric Loco (that was the Thalys), it was the first locomotive I had that power capable pantographs. When I first put it on the track, I could not get it to work. Before I panicked, I sent a quick mail off to the hobby ship where I purchased it and was pleased to get a quick reply to check the screw at the bottom of the locomotive that selects between track or catenary power. I checked and it was set to the pantograph and was no problem to fix! It does seem that the pantographs reach much higher than the Thalys (which has decorative, non-working pantographs) as this is the principal locomotive that I have to lower the pantographs when going under the Kato Elevated Station (see this post for more details on that).


Another observation. The double-deck matching passenger cars are on the long side, about 164mm long, which was a problem with the Kato Unitrack single track viaduct walls (see the same post). Interesting that the same set was the source of two 'incompatibilities' with some of my track and structures. However, these are completely minor inconveniences at best.


My sole complaint, and you can be the judge of this by looking at the photos, is the very weak LED lights in both the locomotive and the control cab passenger car. Not sure why Fleischmann selected to go with an arrangement that has such dim lighting, but it is sort of distracting and is my one disappointment. If I ever have the time and motivation, this is a prime candidate for an LED upgrade project!

Other than that, an excellent job by Fleischmann!

7 comments:

mvanclev@tds.net said...

Hi!

Thanks for the tip concerning the only source for the replacement coupler between the EuroStar power car and coaches. I too have both the Eurostar and Thalys trains and I love to run them at our NTrak shows in Wisconsin. Problem is my coupler broke on my Eurostar, and I just couldn't get a replacement here in the States.

Your blog is excellent. I am interested to find out how you are going to solve the dim lighting of the LED headlights. This SBB Class 450 is a terrific looking set, and I'm going to see if I could find one for myself. Now I would recommend you check out Richmond Controls. The link might be just what you are looking for... http://www.richmondcontrols.com/

Marc in Madison, WI

Jerry said...

Thanks Marc! Glad to be of help when I can! Those couplers are REALLY annoying! :-)

The Richmond controls link looks really interesting, I've never heard of them. I think I'll have to try them out!

Spiff@jns said...

Once again your blog is draining my bank account lol

I have the number for the loco and end car but not the middle coaches. Do you by chance have them? Did buy this train as a set or individually?

I like the hobbytrain version also but dont want to deal with the clearances issues.

Thanks

Jon

Jerry said...

Hi Jon!

Well, this is a bit old, and I've since discovered that pretty much every locomotive with a pantograph will NOT clear the Kato Overhead station! :-)
I love this locomotive! I thought I saw a lot of the coaches for sale for what I thought were great prices on eBay...I forget the seller, but there seemed to be a healthy supply of these a while back! Yeah, this is a really cool train! And one of the few I actually got to ride on!

Spiff@jns said...

Sadly it seems like most of the Fleischmann version of the IC2000 are unavailable. The loco and end car can be found but that's it. That's too bad as I prefer the blue livery.

I saw that Tecchan on JNS was having issues with low clearances on the underside causing derailments with the Kato/Hobby train version. Seems like Kato/Hobbytrain have 2012 releases (same white livery). I'm thinking of getting those but don't want $500 for a 5 car train just to have detailing issues.

Jon



Jerry said...

@ Jon

Yeah, I had a the Hobbytrain IC2000 (loco and two coaches) set for a while, and had the exact same clearance problems. It was really surprising as these sort of issues are not ones that you expect with Hobbytrain! I tried a similar solution to what Teccan tried, but ultimately decided to sell it off from my collection. Too bad, as its a sleek looking train!

Spiff said...

Thanks for the info.

Spiff