Passenger car advice needed

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by spitfire, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    I'll give a "me too" to the Rivarossi plug. You can still find NIB Rivarossi sets on Ebay pretty easily. They're 60' cars, so if you're a rivet-counter, forget it. BUT with 22" curves, I don't think you can afford to be purely prototypical AND run passenger service... If I had the luxury of 30"+ curves, etc., I probably wouldn't use the Rivarossi's, but with 22" radius myself and the desire to run passenger, "shorty" cars with truck-mounted couplers are the best option. They do run pretty nicely. I have a set of the Spectrum 80' cars with swiveling body-mount couplers that do okay with the low-radius curves, but they still have a tendency to decouple on grades (I run 2% grades), as would any 80'+ car on my layout, I think.
  2. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    Hey Val, I too use the MDC and Athearn cars both. The Athearn cars, while they may be a tad on the short side, when detailed up, look really nice but require a lot of "tuning" to make them work ok. IM 36" wheels and body mounted Kadee couplers are the single biggest improvements. I also cut pieces of 3M masking tape and lay over the roof painted a semi-gloss black to represent Tar-Paper roofing, which really improves the look of a kinda rough tar passenger car roof so common on varnish. However, the MDC cars.... I LOVE 'em. They too require a little tweaking, but add some weight, body mounted Kadee's and IM wheels, and they can't be beat IMO. Being a WP modeler, they are a god send. I need to find the time to kitbash one into a six axle diner as per WP prototype, but, the cars I do have, coupled to Athearns recent WP/PFE Express reefer, look great behind my brass WP 4-6-0 until I sold it recently. Sadly, there is no call for my older "green fleet" passenger cars, as I have yet to finish my new WP 2-8-2 passenger engine, but one of these days....

    The 4-6-0 was just too expensive to have it repainted as WP 94, and even at that, if I did, nobody makes decals for it in it's 1909 appearance, so, I'd have to have a run made. And it ran like #$&%^ :D

    Good luck,

  3. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    "They're 60' cars, so if you're a rivet-counter, forget it."

    Actually that isn't true...the coach and combine are quite accurate models of C&NW's "Utility Coach" and "Utility Combine" cars, which were really only 60' long. They were used on branch lines and sometimes to fill out mainline passenger trains. I remember Walthers offered a craftsman kit version of these two cars back when I was in O scale (1970's-80's), in their catalogue they always played up the fact that these weren't "shorties" but fullsized models of real 60' pass cars.

    Of course it's true that the CNW coach and combine may be the only ones of the available coaches and combines that are correct at 60' (but maybe not, CB&Q had some 40' heavyweight passenger cars afterall !!) but many railroads used 60' RPO and baggage cars very similar to these (which are apparently based on C&NW cars too).
  4. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Thanks, Stix. Just goes to show you can find a prototype rationale for most anything!

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