Modern car carrier

Overview:

Released in 2013. Based on an 89 foot prototype. Reported to be 20' 2" from railhead.  I'll get the model measurements and add them here.

Nicely detailed with many fine details. As with any fine detail, it is more fragile.

Many are received with broken or loose ladders. Also the triangle-shaped pieces at the bottom of the vertical beams often come loose, so inspect yours carefully when you receive it. I don't see this as a negative against USAT, you cannot have fine detail that is stronger than the USPS or UPS ha ha!

One large problem that is not well known, is that they bind on 10 foot diameter curves. It's not clear that it can be easily modified to stop the binding, there are FOUR separate areas where the wheels bind on the chassis.

Here's a closeup of the excellent "screen" detail (the screens are plastic):

And here's the ends of the car, closed and open. This car is sweet!

 

Binding on curves 10' diameter and under:

My friend RJ bought 2 of these cars, and also a new SD45 at about the same time. He was pretty chagrined that his new SD45 could only pull 2 of these car carriers and 2 box cars and a caboose... he has very mild grades.

Well, it turns out it was not the new wheels on the SD45 (but that is also another story) but that the wheels actually were binding to a point that the wheels stopped turning at times.. wow!

I noticed this as I was rolling one from tangent (straight) track into a 10' curve, once the rear truck got 6 inches into the curve, I could see the roller bearing "cap" stop turning, not to mention greatly increased drag. Since RJ's track is Aristo stainless, and the wheels are nice and smooth, this is something that was not real apparent at first.

There are FOUR points of clearance issues in the car!

The first and most obvious is the backside of the wheel to the cutouts in the center sill:

A difficulty here is there's nothing you can do but try to grind away material, BUT if you look closely, the bottmer 1/4" is part of the metal chassis. Getting in there is hard enough to do, but grinding the metal away so close to the bottom of a cutout is well neigh impossible. I need to see what it would take to tear this apart, but it's really an unreasonable amount of effort to have to go through.

Here's a closeup:

 

Another area of interference is the flanges themselves on the coupler pocket, I think this is pretty easy to modify:

The third area of interference is where there is a pipe running down the outside edge of one side of the car, and the wheel actually hits it... It flexes somewhat, but the wheel indeed drags on it. I don't have a good picture of it.

The 4th area of interference is something that is not rubbing YET, but if you increase the truck swing in other areas, then you will start having problems here, it is the cutouts for the wheel tread and flange in the metal chassis. You can see this as the "stepped" area under the wheel in the following picture:

Modifying this will be VERY difficult, as again, this is metal not plastic.

Whew, very disturbing results for something advertised as "working" on 10 foot curves... for something to work, there should be adequate clearance on these curves, not just close, and certainly not this situation where it just does not work unless you drag the car around the curve.

 

 

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