The Great Iron Horse Train Robbery
Finding itself on the cover of the 1976 Bachmann product catalog and given
a the above two page spread at the beginning of HO-Scale train set offerings is The Great Iron Horse Train Robbery.
This train set serves as the launch for Bachmann's "Old West" line.
The Great Iron Horse Robbery set included Bachmann's 4-4-0 steam engine
and tender dressed in Central Pacific "Jupiter" scheme as its power. This little 4-4-0 was new in 1976 and available separately
in the Bachmann line as item 0670 for $30. The "Old West 4-4-0" as its called in the loco section of the '76 catalog also
was offered in Union Pacific paint (#0671).
Two Old West passenger cars dressed in red with yellow trim Central Pacific
paint were also present in this train set. One car was a Coach and the other was a Combine. These two passenger cars were
not among Bachmann's Old West rolling stock in the 1976 catalog, but were later offered as separate items. The Central Pacific
Coach (#1423) is listed in the 1977 catalog, along with a Union Pacific Coach (#1421). The Old West Combine is first cataloged
as a separate item in the 1978 catalog with both the Combine and Coach cars retailing for $5 each.
It should be noted
though that this train set example Central Pacific Combine was an action car and would differ from separate rolling stock
versions sold later. The Combine featured exploding side panels that opened to reveal the gold box desired by the robbers.
The action was under the control of a small plunger box operated by the user with the press of the level. Additionally, the
Central Pacific Coach in this set included a trap door on its roof to allow a robber entry. One wonders why the CP would have
considered this option when having these cars built.
The initial set displayed in 1976 appears to include one Combine
and one Coach. The set returns in 1977 and carries the same 1870 stock number, however an additional non-action Coach appears
in the set. The set with the additional Coach appears again in the Bachmann 1978 catalog and again is their #1870 selection.
The set is gone as of the 1979 catalog.
The set's track plan was Bachmann's large 45" x 36" deluxe oval of track,
which included an uncoupling ramp. The catalog states the uncoupling ramp is necessary to allow the engine to escape the robbers
and head into two to collect the sheriff. A standard Bachmann power pack was included and hooked up via the company's "Simplimatic"
plug-in wiring system.
Also included in The Great Iron Horse Robbery set was a "Moving Platform with 5 Cowboys," a
complete storybook and instruction manual
Introduced in 1976 with The Great Iron Horse Train Robbery train set was
a collection of Old West Plasticville U.S.A. building Kits. Pictured above is the Old Time Station (#2910). Bachmann
also added the Old West Livery Stable and Blacksmith (#2909); Marshall's Office and Restaurant (#2911); Saloon and Barber's
Shop (#2912); General Store and Bank (#2913); and Rock Assortment (#2917). Click on the image of the Old Time
Station above to view the line of Old West kits.