Locomotive Roster: SNCF BB 15000; Minitrix 12134

At the risk of starting to be predictable, here is yet another video review of another French locomotive.  This time around its the iconic 'broken nose' of the BB 15000 series from Minitrix.
Not only does this locomotive have that iconic "Nez Cassés", it also features one of the most interesting and dynamic liveries ever to grace a train.  The paint scheme (and locomotive as well) was designed by Paul Arzens, who was an important industrial designer and a true ground breaker in that field.  Apparently the idea for this paint scheme is to incorporate the idea of a sprinter at their running blocks before they start their run.  Somehow it really works for me!

These models from Minitrix are still easily available and are a great value.   You can often find them for around $100 USD and feature terrific operation, great detail, and easy conversion to DCC through the NEM 651 interface.
 This design also made it across several borders, including the NS Class 1800 (which I covered here).
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this video review! Please feel free to leave a comment to share your knowledge and correct my ignorance, or just say 'hi'! Thanks for reading!


  1. Hi.

    Nice post. I just would like to say that we also have that locomoitve here in Portugal. Just Googlefor "CP 2600"!

  2. Thank you Luis! Sorry for the oversite! I must say the locomotive looks terrific in the CP livery! Thanks for sharing!

    Does Portugal use the same track gauge as France and the rest of Europe? I think I heard that the gauge was broader on the Iberian peninsula?

  3. My favourite face in my favourtie livery...

    I'm sorry but the small windows on the side of the CP version just kills the overall very sleek design of the French and Dutch locos

  4. I just have bought the same loco this week for about 55€ on a local second hand website (belgium). It's indeed a beautiful locomotive!

  5. Hi Jerry,

    As ever I'm a huge fan of your video reviews and am always excited to see another one. If I may suggest, one aspect you may wish to discuss is the running characteristics of these engines. I have some that look lovely, the dcc install is a snap, and on the track they turn from beauty to beast! Stalls, finicky starts, trouble on inclines, trouble on switches, etc. Given that you are covering so many models and have the same track to test them all on you have a wonderful level playing field for comparison. Your earlier review of the Minitrix RAM TEE train scared me off that model, a purchase I would surely have regretted- yet on paper it looks like a steal. So, your advice and comments are appreciated, and I'm sure lots of us want to hear your observations on running characteristics too.

    Keep up the great work!


  6. Thanks everyone for all the kind comments! I really enjoy making these reviews/videos, so I'm glad others enjoy them as well!

    @ Jaggy/James: That's a really great idea! I'd love to add mroe information on operation. Do you have any good ideas for what a good test would be? Perhaps one of the reasons I haven't done too much on operation yet is that, with the excpetion of the Duwag tram, all of these locomotives haver performed really well....so nothing to complain about! Maybe a run-by of the locomotive/train without any music and the same number of cars? Going through switches? I'm thinking it would be the same scenario each time so it would be a fair comparison in each video. Let me know if you have any thoughts on how I could do this! Thanks for the idea!

  7. Hmmm. Some ideas:

    - low speed test to see how slow it can go without a stall
    - pull power test of how many cars can it pull up an incline
    - start stop test of can it crawl, stop, crawl, stop crawl reliably
    - how many wheels are powered/what does it weigh=weight per powered axel ratio....maybe that's getting silly.

    Not sure what else. It's hard to quantify a gut feeling. My most expensive locomotive is also one of my worst, it's built in decoder is erratic, it stalls, it surges, and between use it forgets its address and requires regular reprogramming. It's built in sound degraded over time, now it's silent if I'm lucky and random if I'm not. I really should update its review on my site. It's that kind of thing, or rather the more common lesser defects, that I'm thinking of. Amoung my best performers, some are still smoother than others, and those too deserve special acclaim.

  8. @ Jaggy -

    Great ideas! The low speed test is something I'd really like to see and will try something like that. The others are good ideas, but might be a lot of extra work and mean fewer videos.

    I agree with you that discussing the 'problem children' is a great idea. I've been thinking of a post that goes through my biggest disappointments/problems as well. Another thing I've been thinking of is a 'total scorecard' of my entire fleet one on page that ranks each locomotive/set. These are great ideas!

    By the way, you didn't mention which locomotive is your biggest disappointment?

  9. Great video. Thanks for that.

    I just got this loco in the mail today. Really like the look of it (reminds me of an old winnebago).

    Have you attempted to change out the couplers? Would love to swap out the rapido coupler for kato. Looking for the right ones, but it's a bit bewildering...

  10. Hi Vin!

    No I haven't tried to change the couplers...I assume you are looking at the Kato 'knuckle' style couplers? Interesting...I believe these Minitrix lok's have the NEM socket, but not sure if that works with Kato. I know a lot of the UK people use a version of the knuckle coupler to replace Rapido's with the NEM coupler socket, so perhaps take a look at some of the UK hobby sites like Gaugemaster or MG Sharpe? Good luck!