PCC Trolley Car

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Aristo has a PCC car in 1:29 coming out in 2008. The first shots below are from the 2008 BTS. 

Update, now it's late 2009, they supposedly went back to  add a socket, bs.

Update, it's January 2010, promised this year again.

Update, it arrived January 2011.

The picture below shows a pre-production model in 2010


Th picture below shows the frame, a frame with the power trucks, and the shell in the background. The trucks are very compact and there is nothing sticking up above them. Lewis commented they might be good for scratchbuilding. Note that a year or two before, some other company displayed the shells.


Here I'm holding the chassis. It's about 3.5 to 4 pounds, nice sharp zinc casting. Already has a hole, just not sized for the Aristo socket.


Here's a picture of the interior



Overview of the actual model:

It weighs 4 pounds, 4 oz, and is 19- 1/4" long


The model looks really nice.

It scales well with the prototype.

The paint job is great as usual for Aristo.



As delivered many PCC cars had wheel wobble, some more severe than others.

Wheel flanges are too thick.

Wheelsets severely out of gauge.

There are also reports of irregular running. (a combination of the wheel wobble, and more importantly, severely out of gauge wheelsets. More later.

The Aristo socket has been modified to violate Aristo's own specifications of clearance and socket type, thus aftermarket decoders will not fit.

The lighting is too bright and uses blue white LEDs (unrealistic and harsh).

The doors do not align well and are often not closed well.



The doors are moveable, and are in an assembly that comes out with a single screw:

The doors have a very funky arrangement of springs that hold them closed, well sort of. The springs should be replaced with at least something that leaves them fully closed, or better yet, allows opening.

By playing a bit with the springs, you can sometimes make the doors work better, but be careful, I'm sure there are no spare parts. One of the problems should be immediately obvious, by not having "left hand" and "right hand"
 springs, and from the locations of the screws, you can see how inconsistent the geometry is. In the picture above, notice the outer two springs, the screws are at different heights, and look at the difference between how the springs sit. In fact some springs are glued to the door, and others have the end in a small hole.  No two alike! Whoever designed this part must be crosseyed.

Besides not really tensioning the doors well, and allowing motion, the springs cause a further problem see below:


Notice the misalignment of the doors, not only the stripe, but how the top of the door hits the door frame. These doors cannot open because they hit the frame, the springs on these doors are providing excess upward pressure.


I have an idea to make operating doors, so maybe the springs can be done away with entirely. More to come.




Click the links below to go "deeper" into more detail on the PCC

  Improving the PCC    PCC Disassembly    QSI Decoder Installation   
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