passenger cars

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Rath150, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. Rath150

    Rath150 Member


    Could anyone tell how to tell me if passenger cars cme in different lengths?
    I have been looking at some on ebay but can't tel how long they are.
    Longer cars don't run wellon my track.
    Is there a way I can determine how long a car is?
    By the pix, they all look longer than my regular cars.

  2. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Yup, passenger cars are usually pretty long. 85 feet is the length I see most often, though I do see some scale 72ft. HO cars offered by various makes too.

    What era are you looking to model?
  3. Seaboard

    Seaboard Member

    Yes they do. It depends on the time period and what kind of passenger cars they are. I have Athearn Passenger cars and they work well on 22" track. What size track are using and what type of passenger cars do you want or have?
  4. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I believe there are some 60 footers available from Walthers also. You might check their website. Passenger cars definitely need large radius curves to both prevent derailing and to look reasonable.
  5. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    MDC/Roundhouse, Life-Like Scene Masters, Tyco, and older Penn Line and Varney made what are called shorties, cars that scale out to 60-65 feet in length as a nice compromise for sharp curves. I have several and found they are not at all objectionable so long as one runs a shorter locomotive with them. I usually run an IHC Premier Series 4-4-0 American with my Scene Master shorties, a series of cars made from older Penn Line molds. While not full pics, here are two that I did Kadee conversions on.

  6. liven_letdie

    liven_letdie Member

    Some of the models I know of:

    Roundhouse: Old Timer 34' cars
    Harriman set 60' cars

    Walthers 72' steel cars

    Rivarrossi 40' wood cars
    72' steel cars

    Athearn 60' and up heavyweights and steels
  7. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    In addition to the above list:

    Roundhouse Old Timer 50ft cars (new production, from the old Overland series)

    Model Power has the old Mantua/Tyco line under Mantua classics. The following should be available in new production at some point (if not already), and are often available on eBay
    - old time cars for the General (1870s, about 40-50ft I believe, arch roof)
    - old time cars for the Ten Wheeler (1890s, about 50ft, celestory roof)
    Bachmann also had some old timer smaller passenger cars. As far as 19th century plastic models go, the Roundhouse Overton and Overland series are the best of the lot and my favorites.

    Labelle makes some 19th and early 20th century models in wood kits; and F&C makes very nice models of early 20th century passenger cars in resin kits. These latter 2 are quite a bit more complex to assemble (often 3-4 evenings minimum including painting and decaling), but make in to very nice models.

    my thoughts, your choices
  8. liven_letdie

    liven_letdie Member

    I forgot about IHC too. They put out steel cars as well. Streamlined and heavyweight series. I'm not sure on their length but they would probably be in the 72' range. Thanks for the heads up on the 50' overlands Fred, Im going to have to go buy some now!
  9. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Most of the IHC stuff are actually 85-footers..

    BTW Toy Train Heaven has some MDC Roundhouse RTR old-time Overland 50' sets of 4 cars for $50.. Not a bad deal. ;)

    For the record, I got Walthers Horizon commuter cars in both NJT and Metro North paint, plus Bachmann Amfleets among my rolling stock. These are all 85ft passenger cars, and they work fine on 18" radius. Looks ridiculous, but works fine. :D
  10. Rath150

    Rath150 Member

    I am not too concerned about the era? From the 60's on, I guess?

    I guess I have a 22" curve?

    I ahve pix in previous thread that would give an idea what I have.
    New Layout 1/7/2007
  11. Rath150

    Rath150 Member


    Poat was on 1-11-2007.
  12. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Athearn has some nice 72-footer streamlined cars which might work good for your situation.

    Ought to look good behind some of their Super Weight F7A locomotives. :thumb:
  13. Rath150

    Rath150 Member

    Sure appreciate it!

  14. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    Just make sure you weight them. Athearns are always underweight I had to add a bit to my heavyweights to get them to track properly.
  15. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Amtrak Horizon cars won't work. their truck side frames bump the side details.
  16. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I will go out on a limb and say that almost all passenger cars built since WW2 have been 85-footers. (give or take). The exceptions I can think of are the all-baggage RDC4s, cars for streetcar and subway lines, and cars converted for tourist lines.
    However, model manufacturers are ingenious and they have made large numbers of plausible shorter than standard cars e.g. Athearn's.

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