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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings!

Perhaps someone can help.  I am trying to decide which passenger cars to purchase.  There are three options: 1. USA trains; 2. Aritstocraft; 3. MTS??   Anyway, I don't live anywhere near a place where I can go and compare the various rolling stock among the different manufacturers.  So, my question is, which passenger cars are the most detailed, best quality around?  From pictures, USA looks impressive but they are almost 3ft long!  Aristocraft makes a shorter version but how is the detail?  Bottom line: which passenger cars would you recommend or advise to stay away from?  Many thanks in advance.  You guys have been most helpful in the past and it is greatly appreciated.

Hans 
 

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A Steamed Elder
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Hans,

I own five of the Aristo Streamliners to go with my ABBA LGB F7's. They are very similar to the Lionel passenger cars of the early fifties-short and little detail. They are a facsimile. The USA cars are highly detailed, scale length, heavy, fragile and expensive. I don't own them, but I know many who have them. The Aristo's will take a sharp radius curve- 4 feet  or less, the USA need at least a minimum 5 foot radius.

The MTH are 1/32 scale. The USA is an accurate 1/29. Aristo is 1/29 or there-abouts.
 

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Posted By UncleHans on 03/28/2008 10:24 PM
Greetings!

Perhaps someone can help.  I am trying to decide which passenger cars to purchase.  There are three options: 1. USA trains; 2. Aritstocraft; 3. MTS??   Anyway, I don't live anywhere near a place where I can go and compare the various rolling stock among the different manufacturers.  So, my question is, which passenger cars are the most detailed, best quality around?  From pictures, USA looks impressive but they are almost 3ft long!  Aristocraft makes a shorter version but how is the detail?  Bottom line: which passenger cars would you recommend or advise to stay away from?  Many thanks in advance.  You guys have been most helpful in the past and it is greatly appreciated.

Hans 


Hans,

I have four Aristocraft 'heavyweights' and I'm very happy with them.  They are well detailed and slightly shorter than scale, but that allows them to run on sharp curves, and you'd never know they were short if I didn't tell you, as they are 30" long or so.  The couplers are too far apart (those R1 curves again) so most folk who don't run 2' radius have cut 1/2" off the mount and re-bolted them at a more prototypical distance.  The 6-wheel trucks are said to have more drag than the 4-wheel version, but i think they look great and I've had no problems. 
 

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Depends which you like!

If you like old-style shorty wood: Bachmann has some nice ones. Aristo are heavier, nicer detailed and more expensive.

If you like heavyweight style: Aristo has very nice full length ones.

If you like smoothside style: I think you're looking at Aristo. They're nicely detailed and full length.

If you like the ribbed aluminum style: Aristo's are nice, but short. USA Trains are beautiful and full length, but sometimes hard to deal with on tight curves or turnouts, which is why Aristo decided to keep theirs short.

(I don't know the MTS products well.)
 

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Hans

First off, I can recommend you read my article on Passenger Service (they are not moved yet to the new forum software but are available in the archives at http://archive.mylargescale.com/articles/articles/ )

You did ask for what were the most detailed.

I do not know the MTH line so will refrain from comment on those.

The Aristo heavyweights are generally fairly decent models of the CNJ Blue Comet - in other words they are not representative at all of the heavyweight fleet that were in general use. The principlal defect is that they are a scale 72 feet in length which makes them too short for standard Pullman built cars. The exception to the well detailed comment is the sleeper - it is an abomination and does not resemble any sleeping car ever built by Pullman. Short of the expensive custom car offerings, these are the only heavyweights in town.

The USAT cars are scale lengthlightweight cars and infinitely better detailed (and much more expensive) than the rather toylike Aristo lightweight cars. The USAT cars are models of Santa Fe cars but are made without regard to whether the prototypes were built by Budd, ACF or Pullman-Standard. The lack the road specific details of most streamlined era passenger cars. But that criticism aside, they are the best detailed and most accurate by far.

You did not mention LGB. Their cars are quite nice appearing but as we have come to expect from LGB, made without regard to prototypical accuracy.

If your plan a road specific name train you will have to settle for some rather unpleasant compromises or be prepared to do some significant bashing and modifying.

Regards ... Doug
 

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Here is a set of Aristo Streamliners running at Marty Cozad's.

They may not be prototypical length, but they still look good to me.

On my home track which has lots fo 8ft diameter curves, the streamliners look and operate quite well.
JimC.
 

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Like Jim C. (pimanic)...  We run a set of 8 Aristo Crafts. pass. cars on our 10 ft dim tracks going up a 2 % grade. 



And  Aristo, Hy. wts.


Sorry about the bad photos,  but Aristo's for the money, there not bad.  and can pull them with just about anything.  :)
 

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I try to run prototype scaled cars, not a rivet counter, but passenger cars are way longer than an F unit, from my memories. The shorties just don't look right to me, so have the USAT streamliners, run them on 10' diameter curves, and I have the Aristo heavyweights, which look long enough, although as mentioned a bit short. I want to make a smoothside streamliner, Aristo made some nice pretty-scale length cars, but never completed the set, they say they will make more cars, but already changed what "will" be built, so will probably buy a set of USAT smoothsides and have them painted.

My USAT streamliners have very nice METAL knuckle couplers that look very nice.

Regards, Greg
 

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USAT cars looks like this on 10' dia curves


then on Utube under NTCGRR has video of the USAT pass train
20' dia is best for these.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for your replies!
I really like the "USA passenger cars, but from this picture that you sent, I am really reluctant to purchase some. My curves are about 10 diam. Is there anything out there that looks as good as the USA stuff but not as long?

Hans
 

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I haven't seen any, but the new generation Aristo streamliners and not-yet-released smoothsides are supposed to be lowered and have interior detail. I lowered and put some interior details in my streamliners.


JimC.
 
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