Author Topic: First thoughts on the MT RBB&B Circus Train.  (Read 3235 times)

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learmoia

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First thoughts on the MT RBB&B Circus Train.
« on: May 08, 2010, 11:05:14 AM »
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Well I recieved the first 3 cars of the circus train.  At first thought, they look pretty good.  Looking at the sample photos of the Flat car and Stock car runner packs and the 6 car set, I'm excited to see this train come together.

I looked at Youtube for videos of the actual train.
First.. The make up of the train seems to be roughly follows.
-- This was the video with 2 Ex UP FEC SD40-2s
~28 Sleepers (14/Generator/Kitchen/14)
~28 Stock Cars (14/Generator/14)
~ 2 Generator cars
~ 1 Kitchen Car?
28-30 flats.
2 "Container cars"

The Prototype video raised some questions.

- Sleepers:  Why have 3 axle heavyweight trucks when the prototype sleepers have 2 axle trucks.
--- Why use coach bodies as sleepers?... Not a huge deal, I'll just swap them out with LW trucks.

- Will some Concor Budd cars be used for additional courrogated side cars per the prototype?
--- The prototype seems to have a mixture of smooth side and courrogated cars.

- Stock cars: Will some future stock cars be released with the Red banner / Lettering?
--- Some prototype cars have it, some don't.

- Why have bentendorff trucks on the container car.

- Could decals be made available to allow us to paint some of our own equipment to match the train set?

Obviously I saw a late 2000s video, and I'm not sure what era MT is trying to model with this train.
With the pole car and autorack, I'm guessing 80s or 90s.  And some of these quesitons could be addressed with prototype photos from that era.

Just my 2 cents.. Great start on a very fun train!  ~Ian


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Denver Road Doug

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Re: First thoughts on the MT RBB&B Circus Train.
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2010, 04:54:02 PM »
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Good info.  So I guess the set is already out and now the first runner pack?  Guess I missed any commentary on the set but I thought it was more than 3 cars so it must be out and about by now.  I wish I'd bought the set and runner packs....goof ups aside I bet it will be a nice looking train.  They just announced it at an odd time where I couldn't commit to it and I'm sure the set is now a bizillion dollars in the collector market.   It does seem odd some of the things they've done though.  I did read a topic somewhere that said the sleepers were actually modified coaches but I didn't pay real close attention to the facts or whether the MTL model is workable in that respect or not.

I guess if I got the 3 runner packs I would only need a generator car, kitchen car, and maybe an extra flat or two to have a "pike size" circus train.
NOTE: I'm no longer active on this forum.   If you need to contact me, use the e-mail address (or visit the website link) attached to this username.  Thanks.

ljudice

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Re: First thoughts on the MT RBB&B Circus Train.
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2010, 05:02:49 PM »
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I'm sure it's well done and of course they had constraints on the cars they could pick, but it still seems they could have gotten closer by picking a mix of Con-cor and Kato cars - which may not have been an option anyway.

Still think Kato could do a very close model - you wonder if the tooling costs would exceed those of the Broadway or Cal Zephyr and if sales of a modern circus train could make it as a profitable project.

Just wondering here...


CoalPorter

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Re: First thoughts on the MT RBB&B Circus Train.
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2010, 06:32:41 PM »
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I have paid zero attention to the circus cars until the other day when I read a bit about them. I was more than a bit surprised and depressed to learn MT is just printing on other makers producst, like Con-Cor. I always thought MT would do their own tooling on everything and not stoop to this level. They need to print fantasy collector sets so bad they will use anybodys stuff.  ;) ;D :-X :-[ :P
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fulltritty

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Re: First thoughts on the MT RBB&B Circus Train.
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2010, 08:45:09 PM »
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I think the problem with doing RBBX cars is that the real ones come from so many different railroads that there may be too many differences out there to be absolutly prototype correct in the model railroad realm from a manufacturer. I don't believe I have the specifics for this years' trains, but I do have the heritage list for the two trains from last year. The Red train was 59 cars and the blue train was 61 cars. Here are links to the pictures I have been able to amass of them:

http://www.jeffstrainsite.com/railfan_pics/Circus/blue_index.html

http://www.jeffstrainsite.com/railfan_pics/Circus/red_index.html
Check out my website (listed under the web tag) for railfanning pictures from 32 states, D.C., and Ontario. Current locomotive count: 5772!

Robbman

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Re: First thoughts on the MT RBB&B Circus Train.
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2010, 09:01:02 PM »
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fulltritty lives!

SkipGear

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Re: First thoughts on the MT RBB&B Circus Train.
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2010, 12:07:46 AM »
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Just to clarify....

The original set was delayed and will not be shipping till the end of May or maybe June. Not sure on the reasoning. The first  3 car runner pack has arrived. They quite honestly look better than I expected after learning they were using Con-cor for the car bodies. As mentioned above, the real cars have come from so many sources that close enough is going to have to be good enough. A 51 car train with probably 30-40 unique car types would be an unreasonable expectation from any company.

The printing is excellent and the retail of the 3 car runner pack is cheaper than the retail of 3 Con-cor cars with the MT trucks to go on them.
Tony Hines

bbussey

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Re: First thoughts on the MT RBB&B Circus Train.
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2010, 02:14:28 PM »
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One thing to remember is that MTL is doing the painting and printing, so that alone raises the quality of what we normally see on these car bodies.
Bryan Busséy
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www.bbussey.net


Nato

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Re: First thoughts on the MT RBB&B Circus Train.
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2010, 01:48:40 AM »
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   Painting is nicely done. Some of the Con Cor  recient run coaches have slightly warped roofs so they do not fit tightly to the car body. RB did purchase some former UP Coaches similar to Kato's UP cars that were converted to sleepers. Yes photos and DVD views show six wheel trucks only on the former baggage cars and then even those are the more modern viariety like under a Bachmann Dome car or the Kato El Cap diner. My biggest gripe is MT should have put some kind of partition down the center of the car so it didn't look like a coach inside where you see the windows arcoss the isle on the other side.                     Nate Goodman (Nato).

jmlaboda

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Re: First thoughts on the MT RBB&B Circus Train.
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2010, 02:25:26 AM »
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Something that folks need to understand is that over the past 10 years or so there has been significant changes to how the cars look with many of the old windows removed to better suit what the circus train needed, but honestly I am like some of you... MTL could have done something far better than 35 year old Concor cars.

RBBX 40000 - 40007, 40015 - 40017, 42001 - 42022, 43001, 43009, 43010 and were nearly identical to the Kato 44-seat leg-rest coach with the only difference being that the small window on the side with the vestibule to the left is full height instead of shallow as on the prototype.

RBBX 42105 was nearly identical to the Rapido 6 Sect - 6 Double Bedroom - 4 Section sleeper (with skirting), save for one less bathroom window.

RBBX 41301 - 41309 and 41315 - 41317 are exactly like the Kato Budd 21 Roomette sleepers, which PRR converted to commuter coaches as the need for Roomette space declined.

RBBX 60001, 60002, 63004 - 63011 were all built from the same series baggage car as the Kato baggage.

That's 58 cars that could have been done for the circus train just from Kato models, though the 60000- and 63000-series would require work to make them more accurate.  Honestly, for me at least, this would be the way I would go if I were to try modeling the circus train.  While there were a few odd balls most of the cars were straight off the UP roster, and if you add to the mix those cars that could be done using etched brass car sides or kitbashing the number increases by roughly a dozen or more cars.

To me when I saw that they were doing them on the Concor cars I knew right then I wasn't interested... some others, well, they are willing to pop for the Concor cars and there is nothing wrong for that choice.  It's just the way I am... if I was going to model the circus train I would want something close even with a good bit of work.  

But I can't blame any who would choose to go the route of the MTL cars since it would at least provide for an interesting train and that without a lot of the hassles of doing it my way.  I just wish that MTL would have chosen this route themselves... would have made for a nicer train overall for modelers to have.

« Last Edit: May 10, 2010, 02:27:12 AM by jmlaboda »

jmlaboda

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Re: First thoughts on the MT RBB&B Circus Train.
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2010, 02:33:03 AM »
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"Yes photos and DVD views show six wheel trucks only on the former baggage cars and then even those are the more modern viariety like under a Bachmann Dome car or the Kato El Cap diner."

Comparing photos of the former UP Storage Mail cars trucks to the Kato diner shows that they are the same trucks.

FrankCampagna

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Re: First thoughts on the MT RBB&B Circus Train.
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2010, 07:00:14 AM »
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They probably got the old tooling cars at a reasonable bulk price. I suspect any other way, including making them themselves, would have made the cost of the project prohibitive.

Frank
"Once I built a railroad, made it run......."

Denver Road Doug

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Re: First thoughts on the MT RBB&B Circus Train.
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2010, 09:06:11 AM »
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Jerry, thanks for the Kato comparison.  I guess the obvious problem is (a) securing the individual Kato models separately as opposed to the sets, and (b) decals.  Are there decals available for the RBB&B cars?
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wm3798

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Re: First thoughts on the MT RBB&B Circus Train.
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2010, 09:32:15 AM »
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I haven't seen the models, and it's been decades since I've seen the actual circus train.  But I'm going to venture a guess to say that MT is well within its right to use whatever's available to them to make up a reasonably good looking train as a starting point.

You have to remember, that they aren't selling this only to high-end, detail oriented modelers.  The main market will be collectors, the secondary market is the N trak crowd pleasers, the third tier is model railroaders who want a circus train.  Those who are concerned about the window arrangement on a particular car number and the diameter of the wheels on the lion cage are down around the 9th or 10th level.

Their goal is to make a set that looks reasonably like A circus train, not necessarily THE particular circus train you have in mind.  It sounds like so far they are hitting their target with well executed paint schemes, and economical and reliable rolling stock.

As with all things, if you want to something more accurate, you're welcome to make with the Squadron Green and have a ball.

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Nato

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Re: First thoughts on the MT RBB&B Circus Train.
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2010, 02:45:24 AM »
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   Con Cor still owns the tooling and is still selling versions of these in various roads. MT just made a deal with Con Cor to either supply complete undec cars or cars without trucks.                                            Nate Godman (Nato).