Budd Metroliner Electric
No. 1300 Powered -1972 Release
No. 1301 Non-Powered -1972 Release
The Metroliner first appears in HO scale listings in Bachmann's 1972 catalog. The first actual
appearance of an HO-scale model happens in 1974, prior years used N scale models for illustrations. The Metroliner remains
in Bachmann's HO scale line through the 1980 product catalog. Metroliners return in Bachmann's 1987 catalog and disappear
again. To date, they have not return to market.
First Run Metroliners in HO were sold in 4-car sets. Models had drawbar couplers, working metal
pantographs (made by a factory in Russia, I am told), and diecast metal underbodies. These early models also had small stirrups
at B end under the doors at the end. These were removed from later production runs and it makes these early models somewhat
more desirable, in my opinion. Inside, the interiors did not have the two pillars to keep the underbody from sinking higher
inside the body. These pillars were added on later production runs. Power units had early Bachmann can motor and eight-wheel
gear drive system. They had pulling power (according to a Model Railroader review in 1975) to pull 11 dummy units. Quite a
Second distinct production run was produced in 1975 and was similar to the first except that
the stirrup details were removed and the couplers were replaced by a new swivel gear system, a variation on which Bachmann
still uses today in other models. Paint on these units was also improved slightly. Also, the underbody was now a one-piece
plastic unit on the dummy cars.
Third distinct production run in the early 1980's featured a change in mechanism to a tower-gear power truck with a pancake
motor mounted on a plastic frame and a plastic pantograph on the roof. The front pilot and rear end bulkhead was cut away
partially to allow for a new Talgo coupler design. Interestingly, the truck center spacing on these new units was made correct
at a scale 59'6". Previous models were spaced wider, with the trucks closer to the ends, presumably to allow for tight curves.
This had the effect of making the earlier models look longer.
Walthers in the 1987 catalogue had a small batch of Metroliner HO body shells listed in the traction section. Presumably,
these were extra inventory shells from Bachmann, and I believe they sold out quickly. The 1987 models were essentially similar
to the early 1980's run, but with some slight modifications to the placement of the traction tires.
Mike Bartel of Imperial Hobby Productions provided the information on this page regarding the
variations of the Bachmann Metroliner.
IHP has a small selection of replacement and detail parts for Bachmann and GEM brass HO Budd Metroliner MU models. Visit:
Imperial Hobby Productions.