l Review of SNCB Class 22 by Neil Sutton

The Pictrure shows the Trix Model

By Neil Sutton
The following is a short review of the Marklin/Trix model of the Belgian class 22 electric in HO scale.
The class 22 general-purpose locomotives were placed into service on the Belgian State Railways (SNCB/NMBS) commencing in 1954. At that time they were classified as class 122, when SNCB renumbered on the 1/1/1970 they became class 22. Fifty locomotives were built of which 49 are still in traffic today and are among the oldest locomotives in Belgium. They have been very reliable and are regarded by SNCB as indestructible!
Marklin's first model was of an era III locomotive numbered 122.028 this was released in 1999 only one production run was made and was awarded model of the year by Febelrail the Belgian Railway Society. In 2000 Marklin announced an era IV model in yellow and blue livery. As soon as I read about this model I decided that I must have one, the good news was Trix were producing a 2-rail model (Cat no. 22723). Which saved me the hassle of buying a 3-rail locomotive and then having it converted to 2-rail DC. The UK list price for the Trix model was over £160, however I purchased my one from a shop in Germany via the Internet for about £110 including postage!
The model looks excellent in its yellow and blue colours, I am surprised Marklin chose this numbered locomotive to model as it was repainted to standard blue and yellow livery in 1992, where as some (e.g. 2220) lasted until 1998. The model runs very, very smoothly, the pantographs, are the most realistic I have seen in model form. It is powered by the standard Trix/Marklin DC 5 pole motor which is fitted to one of the bogies. Current pickup is either from the pantographs or the track. The switch to change between track and overhead wires is located inside the body shell on the main circuit board. To aid adhesion, two traction tyres are also fitted on the power bogie.
The model is finished in ex-works condition with very clear crisp lines. Printing details are very fine, and are all of course readable including "revision dates" and even the works plate. As supplied the loco is fitted with NEM pockets, so it will take any coupling you choose to fit. Should you not want to fit couplings, a front valence is supplied, as are air pipes for you to fit. These are the only bits that are included (not the large pack that comes with a Roco model these days).
Dimensionally the model is nearly spot on as the table below shows: -

Prototype HO scale Model
Length including buffers 18000 mm 206.8 mm 207 mm
Distance between bogie centre’s 8600 mm 98.9 mm 97.5 mm
Distance between axle's 3450 mm 39.7 mm 39.6 mm
Wheel diameter 1250 mm 14.4 mm 15.6 mm
Between buffer centre’s 1755 mm 20.2 mm 20.4 mm
Body shell Width 2915 mm 33.5 mm 33.3 mm
Height 3775 mm 43.2 mm 43 mm

The model has proved very popular, and there have been 2 production runs so far. This years version of the model is produced as a class 23 in green livery, I have one of these on order, again from a shop in Germany as the UK dealers are charging "silly money".
Models produced so far: -
1999 release
Number: 122.028, Era: III (1954 to early 1960's), Livery: 2 Tone Green.
Versions: -
3-rail AC: Marklin 33231, 3-rail Digital: Marklin 37231, 2-rail DC: Trix 22596.
2000 release
Number: 2201, Era IV/V (mid 1970's to 1999), Livery: Yellow and Blue.
Versions: -
3-rail AC: Marklin 33232, 3-rail Digital: Marklin 37232, 2-rail DC: Trix 22723.
New for 2001
Number: 2321, Era IV (1970 to 1992), Livery: Dark Green, with silver band.
Versions: -
3-rail AC: Marklin, 3-rail Digital: Marklin 37233 Twin Loco Pack (2321+2372), 2-rail DC: Trix 22749.
If you are interested to learn more about the class 22 family I can recommend the book "Les locomotives electriques, Series 22, 23, 25 et 25.5" published by Marklin, priced at 995 Bfr.
I would expect that over the next few years Marklin will bring out a class 25/5 which will be obligatory for all you Dutch modeller’s!