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  • Topic: Bachman Streetcar

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    • May 1, 2014 8:20 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      I started out trying to model the Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Railroad. Since the railroad was leased by, and eventually bought out by the Pittsburgh Railway Company, I also had to have some PRC streetcars. I have some Aristo PCCs, no none are painted PRC yet, and when I heard the Bachmann was coming out with a 1:29 streetcar, I added it to my wish list. At the last ECLSTS I purchased one. Its in Toronto colours, but its close to the colours the PRC used.

       

       

      After I finished the

      spring re-ballasting of my railroad, and redoing a section of track that needed upgraded, I took the streetcar out of the box. When I put it on the track and applied power, I found that it ran the wrong way. I know that Bachmann has a polarity switch on many of their products, to switch between Large scale and NMRA standard polarity. So I looked at the few instruction sheets that came with the car, and found out that the switches are under a cover on the underside of the middle of the car. The cover is held on with 4 very small screws. So I removed the cover and switched the polarity switch.

       

      Once the thing was running the right way, I played with it for a while. The headlight is a yellowish colour, what I would expect on an old time streetcar. The rear makers are red, and bright enough to see in daylight.

       

       

       

      I noticed, that at my normal track voltage for the Aristo PCCs, the Bachmann car ran noticeably faster. So I put them on the track together to see what the difference was. The Aristo car starts moving at about 4 volts on my panel mounted voltmeter. I do not know how accurate my meter is, but it gives me an idea of the voltage applied. The Bachmann car starts moving a bit below 8 volts. At around 11 volts the 2 ran at about the same speed. But my passengers have places to be, and lollygagging along at that speed just wont do. At about 16 volts, the cars move at a nice speed through my yard, but as I said before, the Bachmann car is a bit faster.

       

      The Bachmann car has decent interior detail, at least what I could see through the windows.

       

       

       

      But the step into the car is a but much.

       

       

      For the few hours I ran the car, she ran smooth and quiet with no issues with the track switches. I don't have any grade crossings nor cross overs, so I cant say how she would handle features like that. 

       

      The detail is pretty good. The roof vent screens are just printed on the roof vents. I may have to improve that detail if I ever get around to a proper re-lettering of her for the PRC. Overall I do like that car. I am not sure if I will purchase another one, since I don't actually model the PRC.

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      Shannon car Shops
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    • May 1, 2014 8:25 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      The Bachmann car body is about the same length as the Aristo PCC. The fender on the end of the Bachmann car makes her just a bit longer end to end.

       

       

       

      And some more pictures.

       

       

       

       

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      Shannon car Shops
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      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

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    • May 1, 2014 8:36 PM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      Good review David. Well written and quite readable. Thanks

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    • May 1, 2014 9:48 PM EDT

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      David, any plans to R/C it?

       

      Greg

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    • May 1, 2014 11:07 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Thanks Joe. Not on a 6 year old's level, but it will do.

       

      Greg, well I was pricing solar panels. But since it has a trolley pole, I just need to run ONE wire and......

      This post was edited by David Maynard at May 1, 2014 11:09 PM EDT
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    • May 2, 2014 4:26 PM EDT

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      Be sure to check the wiring of the socket before using it. You have been forwarned. That's all I'll say for now.

       

      Greg

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      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
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    • May 2, 2014 7:40 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Wiring of the socket? Ah, but if I am only using one wire......

      ;)

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    • May 2, 2014 8:05 PM EDT

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      David-

      Thanks for your through analysis of the Bachmann street car.

      I purchased the Aristo-craft version shown as soon as they were advertised. There  were problems with the wheels, with the remedy generously coming from Greg Elmassian's craftsmanship.

      My preference is for a larger unit -- I was surprised at the low body height even though it likely is  scaled accurately.  In short, others reading and seeing your pictorial may order one without comparison to other rolling stock and have the same reaction.  For my preference, my 1915+ trolley built from a Northwest trolley kit is large and appears much more dramatic in the garden -- ditto for the LGB and other larger Bachmann trolleys.

      This post was edited by Wendell Hanks at May 2, 2014 8:06 PM EDT
    • May 2, 2014 8:15 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Wendell, those cars are built to a larger scale. I have the LGB New Orleans streetcar, and it dwarfs the 1:29 Aristo PCCs and 1:29 Bachmann car.

       

      Streetcars are much shorter in height then most railroad rolling stock. They are similar in size to a bus. Where as the driver of a dash 9, is sitting at the same height as someone sitting on the second floor of a 2 story building.

      This post was edited by David Maynard at May 2, 2014 8:18 PM EDT
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    • May 3, 2014 6:09 AM EDT

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      Nice review, and quite a nice looking street-car. (ballast looks good too!)  

      Each year we traverse to PA for the mother-in-laws family reunion in Washington/84 and try to get a visit to the PA Trolley Museum.

      The kids and I enjoy, and mom endures (last year it was boiling hot outside and inside the trolley).

      Would you mind posting a profile shot of the new Street Car along with a different piece of rolling stock?  It may help others see the difference in size/scale.

    • May 3, 2014 6:37 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Thanks Cale. The railroad has just had a thorough going over. The ballast doesn't always look that good.

       

      In between the rain showers, I took the pictures you asked for. I figured that the most "standard" car in most folks inventory would be the Aristo boxcar. I also used a USA F3. These, as we know, are also in 1:29 scale.

       

      In the car carrier.

       

       

      and on the railroad.

       

       

       

       

       

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    • May 3, 2014 9:17 PM EDT

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      David-

      Many thanks for the comparisons.
      The comparisons will give insight -- doubtful any number of us will be able to see and handle large scale products prior to purchase. I think computer ordering is it.

    • May 3, 2014 9:29 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Wendell, that's why reviews from fellow modelers, in a forum like this, are important. GR can tell us what the starting voltage is, or top speed, but another model railroader can answer questions and post requested pictures. A magazine isn't going to do that.

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      Shannon car Shops
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    • May 14, 2014 6:01 PM EDT

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      David-
      No question, the value of our REVIEWS section is uncontested.
      That's why I advocated the PROBLEM SOLVING section be initiated - there are a number of brainy large scalers that remedy product foibles. Kudos to Bob for inititating this section.

      Wendell

    • August 2, 2014 9:29 PM EDT
      • Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
         
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      What is the purpose of the polarity switch on Bachmann locos.  If it runs the wrong way, why not just flip the throttle?

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    • August 2, 2014 9:55 PM EDT
      • Port Orchard, Washington
         
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      Dan Padova said:

      What is the purpose of the polarity switch on Bachmann locos.  If it runs the wrong way, why not just flip the throttle?

      I'm not sure the history behind it, but large scale polarity and NMRA polarity are opposite. So the switch allows you to select between "large scale" and NMRA polarity settings.

    • August 2, 2014 10:26 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Dan, I need all my engines to be wired the same way, that way I can run 2 on the same track together. My layout is DC, relay controlled. So if one runs the wrong way I would really have....issues.

      This post was edited by David Maynard at August 2, 2014 10:27 PM EDT
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    • August 2, 2014 10:50 PM EDT
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      Craig Townsend said:
      Dan Padova said:

      What is the purpose of the polarity switch on Bachmann locos.  If it runs the wrong way, why not just flip the throttle?

      I'm not sure the history behind it, but large scale polarity and NMRA polarity are opposite. So the switch allows you to select between "large scale" and NMRA polarity settings.

       

      Enema Ray and LGB used opposite polarities.  Everbody in Large Scale followed LGB because they were the 800 pound gorilla in the room.  Enema Ray got their panties twisted, so Bachmann installed that switch, expecting everybody to follow, only nobody did.

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