l Model Review - Trix NS Class 6400
Picture awaited

By David Halsall
Trix HO 22545 NS Cargo Class 6400 MaK Bo-Bo 6513 in red NS-C livery
Trix HO 22722 NS Class 6400 MaK Bo-Bo 6503 in yellow grey NS livery
(Technical details from Marklin, ‘Export models 2000’.)
These two locos (together with a further Trix model in the NS/DB Cargo Railion red livery; and further identical [Marklin HO models AC operation]) represent the standard ubiquitous diesel freight locos of the Netherlands. They are a welcome addition to the range of modern motive power available to modellers. It is pleasing to have otherwise identical models with different running numbers and different liveries. Indeed the choice of 6513 in NS Cargo red is ideal, as this loco has worn this livery since new. This provides an extended period of reality of model and layout use, both with the standard range of yellow/grey liveried diesels and electrics, including the few yellow/grey survivors of the Class 2200 Bo-Bo's, and the single NS Cargo red machine of this class, 2384. (Roco HO 43749).

For the enthusiast, these locos are very attractive purchases singly or together. Fitted with a ‘special motor with bell-shaped armature and flywheel, they can operate realistically on all types and levels of freight traffic. Thus they are as ‘at home’ on a large modern traction layout with overhead catenary and wiring as they are on a small freight layout without overhead electric facilities. This makes them a very attractive and useful basis of Dutch modern motive power for the beginner in modelling as well as the long experienced enthusiast. If you wish to model the 21st century in the Netherlands, and can only afford one freight loco, one of these is strongly recommended, in either livery.

The models are noticeably heavy owing to the importance of metal parts in their construction – including metal frame and mainly metal body, with 4 powered axles, all with traction tyres. This gives good adhesion and a powerful hauling capacity, ideal for pulling a heavy freight train. Moreover through effective gearing and smooth responses to the controller, slow shunting speeds are well represented in the locos’ abilities. Indeed, straight out of the boxes, both engines performed very well, and their respective speeds were well matched, and consistent. Scale, quality of build and detailing are superb. Accuracy is well matched to the prototype; for example, representation of doors, fan and ventilator covers, lights, bogies and handrails is excellent. The locos are 16.5 cm long over buffers. What a relief that Marklin factory-fit most small parts to their products! After struggling (with my large hands) with another manufacturer’s locomotive where a small bag contained a quantity of small and flimsy handrails, grabs, lamp irons, lights, steps, vacuum pipes, etc, all of which seemed to bend or crack in the wrong places, or fall and become invisible, in obscure places on desk, table or floor, I am delighted that 6503 and 6513 come fitted with all such parts. Two blanking plates for the buffer beams, coupler pockets are included if the fitted auto couplings are not required. In particular, the firm, well-fitted Marklin metal handrails increase confidence in the durability of the products in use. All printing of lettering and numerals is clear, appropriate and legible; paintwork has a smooth durable surface and the colours appear accurate, I have yet to see the Railion livery models. The locos are fitted with working forward and reverse lights, which illuminate appropriately according to direction of travel; these contribute to the overall quality and enjoyment of these fine models.

This review focuses on two Trix models; the Marklin versions are also included in the price estimates given below. Most members are probably aware that Marklin and its subsidiary, Trix, supply such ‘identical’ models to satisfy two groups – for those who are relative newcomers to European HO modelling, the 2 groups are those who use AC (Marklin) or DC (Trix) according to their power supplies for their models. Most model manufacturers also provide some of their HO products with the AC option.

Marklin and Trix prices in UK, indicated in recent dealers’ price lists, are as follows:
Marklin 33641 6513 red £117.50
Marklin 33644 6503 yellow/grey £137.00
Marklin 33646 ? red (NS/DB Cargo, Railion) £145.50
Trix HO 22545 6513 red £151.00
Trix HO 22722 6503 yellow/grey £179.00
Trix HO 22739 ? red (NS/DB Cargo, Railion) £189.00

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