Bachmann SDJR 7F 2-8-0 Class Review

Bachmann S&DJR 7F 88

There have been almost two months of teasers that this model would be reviewed soon – so here it is – the S&DJR Bachmann 7F 2-8-0!

Class: SD&JR 7F 2-8-0 class

Use: Heavy Coal and Goods

Region: Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway

Era: 1914 – 1964

Preserved examples:

No. 88 (53808) – West Somerset Railway

53809 – Midland Railway Centre – Butterley

Blog post entries

SDJR 7F No88 (2011)

Bachmann S&DJR 7F 88

Manufacturer: Bachmann

Reviewed Model: Bachmann 20-2012 S&DJR 88 (click here for more info)

Motor: 3 pole loco-drive

Power: Heavyweight

DCC options: 21 pin DCC Ready – socket in tender – click here for DCC fitting guide

Locoyard Review

Bachmann S&DJR 7F 88



This is a beautiful highly detailed model.  The cab is bristling with detail (see above), including a wooden floor and is only very slightly upstaged by the Hornby T9 and Bachmann C class.  Rivets, lamp irons, smokebox door dart, handrails, coupling hooks and factory-fitted brake rigging are some of the many details, but my personal favourite feature is the Walschaerts valve gear that is a delight to watch!  Tender’s specific to prototype’s have been produced as appropriate.  The half- minus point is (as with the C class) due to the blank plate between the frames.  It’s not a major fault but noticeable none-the-less.  Another minor omission is that the cab roof does not open.

Bachmann S&DJR 7F 88 (rear view)

Outline/Looks: 5/5

This is a brilliant representation of a prototype that has so much character!  The high mounted large cylinders, beautiful motion and Belpaire Firebox all help the model look as it should.  Well done Bachmann!

Bachmann S&DJR 7F 88



Most examples of this model are produced in unlined BR black and they have been done very well!  This reviewed version is a limited edition S&DJR lined Prussian blue and has beautiful fine lining and printing – a version that has definitely been worth the wait.  The model has been marked down due to the visible line along the top of the boiler from the moulding seam and a shiny, metal coal load on the tender.

Bachmann S&DJR 7F 88

Running Qualities:


The motor is smooth and easy to control.  The chassis copes well with most track and is not particularly sensitive.  The lack of electric pick-ups on the tender does not adversely affect the model’s performance, which is superb.  Unlike Bachmann’s BR Standard 9F class the motor is a little noisy, though still a little more quiet than Bachmann’s ex-WD 8F Austerity 2-8-0 class.

Bachmann S&DJR 7F 88 (tender)

Relative Power:


I’ve yet to give the model a task that it has not coped with, handling a five coach train around Locoyard’s small and tight 2nd radius oval with no problem.

Bachmann S&DJR 7F 88



It is ready for the digital age with a 21 pin DCC socket.  There are no DCC sound or DCC fitted versions yet.  It has excellent detailing, NEM sockets and a modern, smooth motor.

Bachmann S&DJR 7F 88



This is not a cheap model.  As of January 2013, you may be able to get a BR black version for a little under £100, but don’t hold your breath!  It is a big, well performing model of a distinctive prototype that many never expected to see as a Ready-To-Run scale model; especially considering the relatively limited area of operation.  Considering this and the quality of the model, the price tag is fair.

Bachmann S&DJR 7F 88 (4)

Overall Locoyardometer Score: 4.6

This model receives a well deserved 5 star model rating.  It looks great, is well finished and runs well.  Unfortunately a large well-detailed model of a prototype with a relatively narrow area of operation means a three figure price tag, but all things considered this is not a bad price.  The flat area between the locomotive frames, moulding seam across the top of the boiler and growling motor are the only minor criticisms – overall this is an excellent model.

Detailometer 4.5, Outlineometer 5, Finishometer 4.5, Motorometer 4.5, Powerometer 5, Specometer 4.5, Valueometer 4, Locoyardometer 4.6