MinitrainS Introduction

Ready to run HOn30

HOn30 modelers now have available, ready to run, mass produced engines and cars. BCH has done for HOn30 what Bachmann has done for On30 by again offering the MinitrainS engines and cars. Many two foot and 30 inch railroads were short or industrial lines and the BCH engines fit right in.
These BCH engines were last sold as MinitrainS when they were first produced by the German firm, EGGER-BAHN. EGGER-BAHN was the first company to manufacture a narrow gauge railway in HO (1:87) scale on 9mm gauge track. This combination is HOn30 for an actual gauge of 2 ½ feet (30 inches) or in Europe, HOe for an actual gauge of 750 mm. Of course, this is not the same thing as N gauge, which also runs on 9mm track but represents standard gauge of 4 feet – 8 ½ inches in 1:160 scale.
Currently there are a four wheel Plymouth diesel engine, a four wheel Porter tank steam engine, a four wheel Koppel tank steam engine and another diesel and steam engine. There is also a variety of four wheel cars.

HOn30 Couplers
Like the originally produced MinitrainS all of these engines and cars are manufactured with European hook and loop couplers. These couplers are popular in Europe and England for narrow gauge model railroads. Although the couplers made by model companies and on the kit market are slightly different, they all use the approach illustrated by this Peco version.

Freight and passenger cars use this type of coupler. The coupler used on engines is simpler because it does not have the wire loop. The engines have only the vertical hook because only one loop (on the car) is necessary. In fact some modelers remove the loop from one end of their cars. Of course these cars can never be turned to be sure there is at least one loop between cars.

In North America most modeled HOn30 narrow gauge engines use the Micro Trains knuckle couplers.

These engines usually pull freight and passenger cars mounted on two, four wheel trucks fitted with the Micro Trains knuckle couplers. To enable their use with North American style cars the BCH MinitrainS Plymouth, Porter and the Koppel engines are available ready to run from Railway Models with Micro Trains couplers. Railway Models retrofits the Plymouth, Porter and the Koppel with the Micro Trains couplers.

In the BCH MinitrainS sets of engines with cars, all the engines and cars have the original hook and loop couplers