Bachmann LNER A1 (60163 Tornado) class review

Bachmann BR LNER - Peppercorn A1 - 60163 - Tornado - Apple Green

Today we review of a very much appreciated Christmas present (thank you Mrs Locoyard!)  Without further ado, we look at Bachmann’s LNER A1 class.

Class: Peppercorn A1 Pacific

Use: Express Passenger

Region: London and North Eastern Railway

Era: 1948-1966 & 2008-present day

Preserved examples:

None, but one new build:

60163 – Tornado (The A1 Steam Locomotive trust)

Blog post entries

Apple Green 60163 Tornado – 2010

60163 – Tornado – BR Brunswick Green 2011

Mid-Hants Autumn Steam Spectacular 2011 – The Visitors

60163 Tornado – A BR Blue Christmas

Apple Green is the most popular colour Tornado has appeared in to-date!

A Study of A1 class 60163 Tornado

It’s the early bird that catches the train

Riders on the storm – capturing steam giants in bad weather

Manufacturer: Bachmann

Model Reviewed – Bachmann 32-550A (click here for more)

Motor: 3 pole Loco-drive

Power: Heavyweight

DCC options: 8 pin dcc ready/fitted/sound – click here for DCC fitting guide.

Locoyard Review

Bachmann BR LNER - Peppercorn A1 - 60163 - Tornado - Apple Green (cab)



Overall the model has excellent details including many unique to 60163 Tornado such as the air pump behind the smoke deflector and it’s purpose-built tender (below).  Good cab details (if not quite as good as some, see above), hand rail, lamp irons, lights (non-working.  No speedo cable is present.

Bachmann BR LNER - Peppercorn A1 - 60163 - Tornado - Apple Green (tender)

Outline/Looks: 4.5/5

It really looks fantastic and has the same imposing look as the prototype.  The model tooling has been designed with the original A1 in mind, rather than the new build so it is not quite 100% Tornado-esq and a little too high.



Excellent finish with brass nameplates included to fit if desired.  The lining is really well done, especially on the wheels.  The Brunswick green version is also excellent and if Bachmann’s BR blue version is anything to go by, I expect an excellent BR blue version before too long!  The ever-present moulding split line across the top of boiler is present, it is small but along the whole length of the boiler – I wonder if model manufacturers will ever realise that this should go?

Bachmann BR LNER - Peppercorn A1 - 60163 - Tornado - Apple Green (7)

Running Qualities:


It is very quiet and smooth.  As with most 4-6-2’s it can be a little sensitive to poor trackwork, but that said it’s not better than most.  It does not have pick-up’s on the tender wheels, which is a shame.

Bachmann BR LNER - Peppercorn A1 - 60163 - Tornado - Apple Green (front & back)

Relative Power:


Having an 8P power classification means that the prototype was very strong!  I’ve read elsewhere that Bachmann’s Tornado is not quite as strong as Hornby’s version and could do with more pulling power.  I have to say that it’s not a deficiency that I’ve noticed and the reviewed model pulls very well indeed.



It has everything that you would expect from a modern 00 scale rtr model including NEM coupling’s, detail’s, a good motor excellent decoration.  A DCC sound version has been produced of an original A1 class.  DCC fitting is a fairly simple task – click here for a guide.



This is not a cheap model and it’s popularity will keep it’s selling prices fairly high.  That said, it can be found for less than £100.  Indeed, many retailers are selling the Bachmann model for less than Hornby’s “special edition” version and the Hornby’s does not even have window’s!  Bachmann’s earlier A1 class models had poor haulage capabilities, so be careful if buying second-hand.

Bachmann BR LNER - Peppercorn A1 - 60163 - Tornado - Apple Green

Overall Locoyardometer Score: 4.6

Bachmann’s A1 class is in no way been a disappointment.  It is consistently very good in all aspects – looks, decoration, performance and value and deserves it’s five star rating.

Detailometer 4.5, Outlineometer 4.5, Finishometer 4.5, Motorometer 4.5, Powerometer 4.5, Specometer 5, Valueometer 4.5, Locoyardometer 4.6