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Choice of equipment

Choice of equipment

Bachmann can now supply a variety of 2 and 3 function DCC decoders (EZ Command Accessories page)

Other main brands available are Digitrax, Roco, Zimo and ZTC and all four have websites and distributors.

Dealers can be found advertising in the model railway magazines, and they attend model railway shows.

Our recommendation would be to view and compare system to see if you like it. At the small layout end, an out of the box unit from the cheaper end of the market will suffice, but on a larger layout advice should be taken about the precise equipment requirements: for example on the numbers of handsets and power units needed.

In the end, your choice may come down to something as simple as the look and feel of the handset.

Warranty issues

Before fitting a decoder to a Bachmann locomotive, check that it is not faulty and that the product in well run in under DC operation. Only then move onto decoder fitting.

This is particularly important if modifications will be made to the locomotive chassis to fit the decoder. Fitting a decoder per se will not invalidate any warranty on the fitness for purpose of the manufacture.

We obviously will not repair or replace any customer damage as a result of, say, a botched chassis modification.

Any locomotive returned to the Service Department for attention should, if possible, have any decoder removed: if sent with decoder, service may be restricted. Bachmann Europe plc will only accept liability to the value of a standard model: this applies too to body modifications/detailing.

Decoder fitting

We are not able to recommend a decoder for each locomotive, both for reasons of impartiality and also because the market is fast changing and new smaller decoders are coming on the market all the time.

DCC is an open system and the US model railway body the NMRA has set standards. There are many makes of decoders, some small and some specially shaped and sized for particular locomotives. There should be no problems using any decoder of any make with EZ Command provided it states that CONFORMS to NMRA standards. If it does so, it will carry this logo:

NMRA logo

Be careful about loose expressions such as 'DCC compatible'. EZ Command programs locomotives addresses using a technique called 'programming on the main' (See the FAQ’s for more details). Recently produced decoders support this feature. Check with your decoder instructions that any decoder you are using does support this.

You will find that smaller decoders (typically intended for N or Z scales) are easier to find space for but tend to be more expensive than those intended for OO/HO, even though functionality and quality are similar.


It is essential that the motor be completely isolated from the chassis under DCC operation. This particularly applies to Bachmann split chassis locmotives.

The Orange and Grey wires from the decoder are connected to the motor, and they must be sleeved so that there is no contact with the chassis block.

Remember that the decoder acts as the 'controller' and so must be the only point of contact between the pickups and the motor.

The fitting method will depend upon the chassis type of the Loco:

Split chassis

Definitely the most difficult. The tank engines may have space in the cab to secrete a decoder, but the tender engines will almost certainly require removing some of the chassis block or placing the decoder in the tender.

You will also need to make some contact points on the chassis in a similar manner to the bogie pickups below. Either drill and tap, or use the plastic chassis nuts to secure a tag to the side of the block.

Solid chassis diesel

The classes 24 and 25 have a socket, so simply remove the blanking plug and insert the decoder plug.

In the case of the Peak, the easiest fitting is to use circuit board replacement decoder that are often fitted to American diesels - referred to as 'Plug and Play'. As this cuts down on excess wiring within the locomotive it is a good choice for the classes 24 and 25 too.

Split chassis with bogie pickups

Some chassis block may need to be removed as in above, but the bogie / pony tags against the chassis can be used to collect the input to the decoder.

Blue Riband Steam

Those with a space and decoder socket present no problems.

Remove body, fit decoder and replace body.

A popular approach on other locomotives is to completely remove the factory fitted circuit board as it‘s not needed for DCC and use the space to fit a small decoder. Otherwise, locate the decoder in the tender.

Open chassis diesel

Those where the motor locates from the top of the chassis are straightforward.

Simply remove the wires from circuit board to motor, and connect the decoder in their place. The suppression coils and capacitor should be removed from the board if the locomotive or unit has them. Decoders themselves are suppressed.

The Bachmann range of Locomotives is listed below under the appropriate chassis type and whether or not a DCC Socket, Decoder or Sound Decoder and Speaker is already fitted

Branchline Locomtives DCC provision by Chassis Type
Chassis type: Blue Riband
32-001 Hall Class 6937 'Conyngham Hall' BR Green L/Crest Ready
32-002 Hall Class 5960 'Saint Edmund Hall' BR Black E/Emblem Ready
32-075A Class 56xx Tank GWR Green Ready
32-075B Class 56XX Tank 6606 GWR Green Ready
32-076DC Class 56XX Tank 6671 BR Lined Green L/Crest (DCC On Board) OnBoard
32-081 Class 56XX Tank 5660 BR Black E/Emblem Weathered Ready
32-105 08 Diesel Shunter 08800 Intercity No
32-106 08 Diesel Shunter 08585 Freightliner No
32-107 08 Diesel Shunter 08648 BR Departmental Grey No
32-108 08 Diesel Shunter 08683 'EWS' Ready
32-110 08 Diesel Shunter 13029 BR Black Early Emblem Hinged Door Type No
32-111A 08 Diesel Shunter 08375 BR Blue Hinged Door Type Ready
32-112 08 Diesel Shunter D3336 BR Green Hinged Door Type No
32-113 08 Diesel Shunter D3032 BR Green Hinged Door Type Ready
32-116 09 Diesel Shunter 09006 Mainline No
32-135 4575 Prairie Tank 5531 GWR Green No
32-136 4575 Prairie Tank 5555 Great Western Green No
32-156 N Class 31844 BR Lined Black E/Emblem Weathered No
32-162 N Class 31401 BR Black Late Crest Slope Sided Tender No
32-163 N Class 1404 Southern Green With Smoke Deflectors Slope Sided Tender No
32-177 Crab 42789 BR Lined Black L/Crest With Coal Rail Riveted Tender Ready
32-178 Crab 2715 LMS Lined Black Ready
32-179 Crab 42942 BR Lined Black E/Emblem Weathered Ready
32-200B 8750 Pannier Tank 3715 GWR Green No
32-202A 8750 Pannier Tank 9753 BR Black L/Crest No
32-202B 8750 Pannier Tank 9753 BR Black Late Crest No
32-203 8750 Pannier Tank 4666 Weathered BR Black L/ Crest No
32-211 5700 Pannier Tank 7739 BR Black E/Emblem No
32-212 5700 Pannier Tank 5757 BR Black L/Crest No
32-225 3F Jinty 47410 BR Black L/Crest No
32-227 3F Jinty LMS 7524 Black No
32-228 3F Fowler Jinty 47266 BR Black L/Crest No
32-229 3F Fowler Jinty 47279 BR Black E/Emblem No
32-250X WD Locomotive Dutch Livery No
32-258 WD Austerity 90423 BR Black E/Emblem No
32-259 WD Austerity 90630 BR Black L/Crest Weathered No
32-275 K3 LNER 2934 Black Group Standard Tender Ready
32-277 K3 61949 BR Lined Black L/Crest Stepped Tender Ready
32-305 Collett Goods 2217 BR Black E/Emblem Churchward Tender Weathered No
32-350DC 4MT Standard Tank 80009 BR Black Lined E/Emblem (DCC On Board) OnBoard
32-355 Standard Class 4MT Tank 80136 BR Black E/Emblem Ready
32-357 4MT Standard Tank 80079 BR Black Lined L/Crest Ready
32-475 Class 40 Diesel D368 BR Green Indicator Boxes Ready
32-475DC Class 40 Diesel 40129 BR Blue Corner Indicator Boxes (DCC On Board) OnBoard
32-476 Class 40 Diesel 40075 Indicator Discs BR Blue No
32-477 Class 40 Diesel D325 Split Head Code Green Ready
32-478 Class 40 Diesel D210 'Empress Of Britain' BR Green Indicator Discs Ready
32-479 Class 40 Diesel 40169 Domino Head Code BR Blue (W/O Tanks) Ready
32-500 Standard Class 5MT 73068 BR Green L/Crest BR1C Tender Ready
32-503 Standard Class 5MT 73030 BR Lined Black E/Emblem BR1 Tender Ready
32-504 Standard Class 5MT 73014 BR Green L/Crest BR1 Tender Ready
32-505 Standard Class 5MT 73069 BR Black L/Crest BR1C Tender Weathered Ready
32-506 Standard Class 5MT 73110 'The Red Knight' BR Lined Black L/Crest BR1F Tender Ready
32-525DS Class 55 D9007 'Pinza' Two Tone Green (Digital Sound) Sound
32-528 Class 55 Deltic 55013 'The Black Watch' BR Blue Ready
32-553 Class A1 60161 North BRitish BR Blue E/Emblem Ready
32-555 Class A1 60130 Kestrel BR Green Late Crest Ready
32-578 Ivatt Class 4 43038 BR Lined Black E/Emblem Double Chimney Ready
32-579 Ivatt Class 4 43096 BR Lined Black L/Crest Ready
32-650 Class 44 Diesel D1 'Scafell Pike' BR Green Ready
32-700 Class 46 Diesel D163 'Leicestershire & Derbyshire Yeomanry' Ready
32-725DS Class 66 Diesel 66022 'Lafarge Charnwood' EWS (Digital Sound) Sound
32-731 Class 66 Diesel 66407 Direct Rail Services Ready
32-732 Class 66 Diesel 66532 'P&O Nedlloyd Atlas' Freightliner Ready
32-750 Class 57/0 Diesel 57008 'Freightliner Explorer' Ready
32-750DC Class 57/0 Diesel 57010 'Freightliner Crusader' (DCC On Board) OnBoard
32-752 Class 57/6 Diesel 57602 First Great Western 'Restormel Castle' Ready
32-753 Class 57/0 Diesel 57011 'Freightliner Challenger' Ready
32-760 Class 57/3 Diesel 57307 'Lady Penelope' Virgin Trains Delner Coupler Ready
32-775DC Class 37/0 Diesel 37114 EW&S 'City Of Worcester' Split H/Code Boxes (DCC On Board) OnBoard
32-779 Class 37/0 Diesel 37035 Civil Engineers (Dutch) Grey/Yellow Corner Indicator Boxes Ready
32-780 Class 37/0 Diesel 37239 Coal Sector 'Coal Merchants Assoc' Centre Head Code Ready
32-825 Ivatt Class 2MT 2-6-0 46521 BR Lined Green L/Crest Ready
32-826 Ivatt Class 2MT 2-6-0 46440 BR Black E/Emblem Ready
32-827 Ivatt Class 2MT 2-6-0 6404 LMS Black Ready
32-875 Fairburn Tank 2691 LMS Black Ready
32-876 Fairburn Tank 42096 BR Lined Black E/Emblem Ready
32-877 Fairburn Tank 42073 BR Lined Black L/Crest Ready
32-900A Class 108 DMU 2 Car BR Green With Speed Whiskers No
32-901 Class 108 DMU 2 Car 'Network Southeast' Ready
32-902A Class 108 DMU 2 Car BR Blue/Grey No
32-910 Class 108 DMU 3 Car BR Blue/Grey No
32-911 Class 108 DMU 3 Car BR Green Yellow Warning Panels No
32-950 Standard Class 4MT 2-6-0 76053 BR Black Brib Tender E/Emblem Ready
32-951 Standard Class 4MT 2-6-0 76069 BR Black Brib Tender L/Crest Ready
32-952 Standard Class 4MT 2-6-0 76079 BR2 Tender L/Crest No
32-953DC Standard Class 4MT 2-6-0 76020 BR2B Tender E/Emblem (DCC On Board) OnBoard
Chassis type: Solid chassis diesel
31-562 V2 60834 BR Black E/Emblem Stepped Tender Weathered No
31-952 A4 4468 Garter Blue LNER With Valances 'Mallard' (National Collection) No
32-025 Class 20 Diesel BR Blue Indicator Discs 20 063 Ready
32-025A Class 20 Diesel BR Blue 20 058 Disc Headcode Ready
32-026 Class 20 Diesel BR Blue Indicator Boxes 20 192 Ready
32-026A Class 20 Diesel BR Blue 20 217 Box Headcode Ready
32-027 Class 20 Diesel BR Green Indicator Discs D8000 Ready
32-027A Class 20 Diesel BR Green D8046 Disk Headcode Ready
32-028 Class 20 Diesel BR Green Indicator Boxes D8134 Ready
32-028A Class 20 Diesel BR Green D8169 Box Headcode Ready
32-032 Class 20 Diesel D8307 BR Blue With Indicator Boxes Weathered Ready
32-040DS Class 20 Diesel D8113 BR Green With Discs/Tablet Catcher (Digital Sound) Sound
32-041 Class 20 Diesel 20028 BR Blue With Discs/Tablet Catcher Recesses Ready
32-379 Class 37/5 Diesel 37678 Red Stripe/ Railfreight Ready
32-380 Class 37/5 Diesel 37671 Railfreight Tre Pol And Pen Ready
32-404 Class 25/3 Diesel D7667 BR Blue Snow Plough Ready
32-412 Class 25/2 Diesel 25 083 BR Blue Weathered Ready
32-413 Class 25/2 Diesel D5237 BR Two Tone Green Ready
32-428 Class 24 Diesel 5087 BR Blue Ready
32-675 Class 45 Diesel D67 'The Royal Artilleryman' BR Green Ready
32-676 Class 45 Diesel 45114 BR Blue With White Roof Ready
Chassis type: Open chassis diesel
31-507 158 2 Car DMU Scotrail No
31-509 158 2 Car DMU 'Northern Rail' No
31-513 158 3 Car DMU Transpenine/ Arriva No
32-050DC Class 42 Warship Diesel D809 'Champion' BR Maroon (DCC On Board) OnBoard
32-057 Class 42 Warship Diesel D870 Zulu BR Blue No
32-061 Class 42 Warship Diesel 812 'The Royal Naval Reserve' BR Blue No
32-460 170/5 Turbostar 3 Car DMU Central Trains No
32-462 170/3 Turbostar 3 Car DMU Strathclyde PTE No
32-470 168/1 Clubman 3 Car DMU Chiltern Railways No
32-471 168/1 Clubman 3 Car DMU 'Chiltern Railways' No
Chassis type: Split chassis with bogie pickup
31-514 159 3 Car DMU Southwest Trains No
31-609A V3 Tank 67669 BR Lined Black E/Emblem Hopper Bunker Westinghouse Pump No
31-610 V1 Tank 67645 BR Lined Black E/Emblem With Straight Sided Bunker No
31-612 V1/V3 Tank 67682 BR Black L/Crest With Outside Steam Pipes Hopper Bunker No
31-960 A4 60015 Quicksilver D/Chimney BR Green L/Crest Weathered No
Chassis type: Split chassis
31-058 J72 Tank 68727 BR Black L/Crest Weathered No
31-159 Jubilee 5711 Courageous LMS Lined Black Fowler Tender No
31-307 Manor 7813 Freshford Manor BR Plain Black E/Emblem No
31-308 Manor 7825 'Lechlade Manor' BR Green Lined L/Crest No
31-336B 04 Diesel Shunter D2294 BR Blue No
31-337B 04 Diesel Shunter BR Green With Wasp Stripes (Weathered) D2228 No
31-827A 43xx 4377 BR Green Lined L/Crest No
31-830 43XX 5321 GWR Green No

Page Last Updated January 24 2013 02:24:55 PM

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