Author Topic: Quality Streetcar models in Nscale  (Read 5952 times)

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Narlie

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Quality Streetcar models in Nscale
« on: January 31, 2024, 11:00:40 AM »
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Does anybody do quality functioning streetcars in N scale? I do not consider the Bachmann PCC quality for the price they ask. Surely there is a market for the various streetcars that existed and the current modern systems (light rapid rail)we now see.  :)
Dave B

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Quality Streetcar models in Nscale
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2024, 11:08:06 AM »
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Philip H

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Re: Quality Streetcar models in Nscale
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2024, 11:09:28 AM »
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Kato, Tomy and Green Max have light rail vehicles and Japanese prototype streetcars, and mechanisms sold separately that you can put under all manner of Shapeways or other 3D printed shells. There are some older US prototype brass interurbans running around in the secondary market. 
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daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Quality Streetcar models in Nscale
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2024, 11:09:45 AM »
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The Bachmann Peter Witt is very nice with good speed control.

The Bachmann Jackson Sharp Open-Sided Excursion Car could be made into a street car, though unpowered.

Showcase Miniatures produces an N Pacific Electric "The Hollywood Car" Kit that works off a Kato powered chassis.
https://www.showcaseminiatures.net/n_scale/n_scale_locomotives/5010.html
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thomasjmdavis

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Re: Quality Streetcar models in Nscale
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2024, 11:18:13 AM »
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The Bachmann PCC is, well, essentially a toy train. Although the newer chassis is better than the original.

The Bachmann "Peter Witt" streetcar (not to be confused with the PCC or Brill trolley) is an entirely different animal. At least mine is. The DCC is fairly rudimentary, but smooth, quiet, runs well at low speeds. I bought mine from a dealer on eBay who was trying to get rid of an overstock and so I paid a fraction of MSRP. They haven't run them for a while, but likely available used.

See the Spookshow review here: http://www.spookshow.net/loco/bachwitt.html

You might also want to look at products for the Japanese market, especially for modern designs.

Another option is to mix Tomy chassis with shells available on Shapeways and other 3D printing markets.
Tom D.

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sd45elect2000

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Re: Quality Streetcar models in Nscale
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2024, 11:29:04 AM »
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I like trolleys. Tomix drive under an interurban models shell.

https://interurbanmodels.blogspot.com/

Randy
« Last Edit: January 31, 2024, 11:36:19 AM by sd45elect2000 »

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Quality Streetcar models in Nscale
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2024, 11:43:26 AM »
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The Bachmann "Peter Witt" streetcar (not to be confused with the PCC or Brill trolley) is an entirely different animal. At least mine is. The DCC is fairly rudimentary, but smooth, quiet, runs well at low speeds. I bought mine from a dealer on eBay who was trying to get rid of an overstock and so I paid a fraction of MSRP. They haven't run them for a while, but likely available used.

The Peter Witt is a nice looking car, but I know they have reliability issues too. My mother had one who's drivetrain just blew up (I think the gears cracked). Bachmann doesn't have parts, so if you return it for a warranty repair they'll ask you what else in their catalog you'd like.

Dwight in Toronto

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Re: Quality Streetcar models in Nscale
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2024, 12:48:00 PM »
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Many years ago, I picked up one of those Bachmann PCC streetcars - the Toronto Transit Commission livery was irresistible.  The darn thing had maybe 90 minutes total running time over the course of two weeks, and the gears went for a $#!¥. 

It was the final straw for me re: Bachmann products … not one penny of mine has rolled their way ever since.

Narlie

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Re: Quality Streetcar models in Nscale
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2024, 05:49:09 PM »
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Thanks for the quick response to my question.
I was hoping atleast one manufacture would be interested in doing a quality PCC streetcar.
They were and are everywhere.
Oh well looks like a roll your own build project.
Dave B :) 

MetroRedLine

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Re: Quality Streetcar models in Nscale
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2024, 10:40:45 PM »
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Showcase Miniatures produces an N Pacific Electric "The Hollywood Car" Kit that works off a Kato powered chassis.
https://www.showcaseminiatures.net/n_scale/n_scale_locomotives/5010.html

Although I'm a modern-era N scale modeler, I'm also a big PE history buff (though I haven't modeled any of it - yet). Thanks for posting that. It's an amusing interpretation of a PE trolley, though Showcase does have a disclaimer that it's "LOOSELY" based on a Hollywood Car. I have noticed though that the tide is slowly turning and we're going to see more N scale trolleys/LRVs on the market now that it's more feasible to produce smaller drivetrain systems for N scale traction vehicles. All someone has to do is release a more serious PCC or a Siemens S70 (the most popular North American LRV model in operation) and the flood gates will open.
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Caddy58

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Re: Quality Streetcar models in Nscale
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2024, 01:44:50 AM »
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DM Toys currently has quite a few Streetcars for sale:

https://www.dm-toys.de/en/list/category/rolling-stock_tram.html

Cheers
Dirk

randgust

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Re: Quality Streetcar models in Nscale
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2024, 11:51:22 AM »
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The performance of most of the Bachmann stuff is problematic, historically, let alone the gear issues.

But seriously, go onto Plaza Japan or any of the Japanese hobby websites and take a look.  And remember that many US transit and light rail systems are using european and asian derivative equipment.

Both Kato and Tomytec make wonderful little mechanisms.  The one that has still floored me for a 4-wheel chassis to put under a Birney or similar is the Kato 11-108 chassis.  Best engineering I've seen in decades with that equalized suspension, slow speed, low price, etc.  Everything BUT easy conversion to DCC.  If there's a blind spot in those guys, that's it.

R L Smith

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Re: Quality Streetcar models in Nscale
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2024, 01:06:50 PM »
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<start thread drift>  Bachmann has made great strides in recent years.  Their S-4's and RS-3s run extremely well.  I don't have the GP7 or FM unit they did, but those came out about the same time as the ALCO's did, so they likely have similar performance. The 2-6-0 is also a great runner.   

If you're running a steam-diesel transition era layout, those models are definitely worth a look.


My $0.02.   <end thread drift>

I'd also purchase multiple PCCs if that model was upgraded, since I've spent the last few years working on real ones.
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wm3798

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Re: Quality Streetcar models in Nscale
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2024, 01:14:45 PM »
+1
A little more thread drift, mostly out of curiosity...

With DCC and JMRI, is it possible to program your streetcar to slow down, pause, and accelerate to simulate frequent stops?  That's always been my beef with transit models...  Easy to fly around the loop downtown, but no practical way to show them actually "operating" while you're running your other trains.

Caveat:  I don't intend to build a trolley loop, nor do I intend to take on the learning curve of DCC/JMRI.  Just curious.

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greenwizard88

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Re: Quality Streetcar models in Nscale
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2024, 05:41:16 PM »
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A little more thread drift, mostly out of curiosity...

With DCC and JMRI, is it possible to program your streetcar to slow down, pause, and accelerate to simulate frequent stops?  That's always been my beef with transit models...  Easy to fly around the loop downtown, but no practical way to show them actually "operating" while you're running your other trains.

Caveat:  I don't intend to build a trolley loop, nor do I intend to take on the learning curve of DCC/JMRI.  Just curious.

Lee

Lee, there's ways of automating JMRI in order to run a streetcar. The biggest hurdle with most automation is that it somewhat requires the program to know where the train is, so some form of block detection. Otherwise you end up going by runtime, and the actual speed can vary wildly at the same DCC speed step, as the motor warms up.

Probably one of the automation jython scripts would be able to do this though.

<shameless plug>
I have a macOS app that interfaces with WiThrottle, that can run a train back and forth and uses time instead of block detection. If there's interest, I can look into adding a start/stop automation loop... mode... to simulate trolley stops after every so many seconds of runtime.
</shameless plug>