I’m ordinarily a trolley railroad modeler primarily due to space concerns. Because these vehicles are generally smaller than a city bus, they have a small HO-scale (1/87) footprint and tight turning radii. They also run as single cars, which means their layouts can take relatively smaller areas.
So I’m not quite sure what possessed me to buy this Amtrak passenger car, which is as long and almost as tall as a two-story house. Perhaps its impressive size awed me. In HO, it measures almost one foot long, 2.5 inches high and almost 1.5 inches wide. This car requires a locomotive and are typically joined to other passenger cars. I’ve read that a whole consist requires at least a 24-inch turning radius. This is something I could not test because I have nothing approaching that curve on my trolley tracks.
The body is prototypically silver, with red, white and blue horizontal stripes on both sides, the Amtrak label and car number 9350. The sides are fluted though marred with small black attachment circles where the body joins the floor. The ends also feature some door detailing. The car has two plastic six-wheeled trucks at both ends that are colored black but they include some odd-looking couplers that I don’t think could attach to anything else other than to cars of the same type.
The car has a full interior on both levels that unfortunately has an unrealistic and shiny yellow-orange color. The top level under the dome also has an empty space running down its length – I don’t what the point of this gap is other than to perhaps allow light to penetrate from the dome to the lower level.
You can carefully disassemble the body to get into the interior, if you wanted to add passenger figures or paint the seats a different color. The upper level and the windows come apart. The lower level seats are permanently attached to the floor. The inside seats will need some sanding so that any added color will grip the surface.
As I’ve said before, I don’t normally model passenger trains but even I can tell these are somewhat crude representations. If you can get them from the bargain bin and need something large to go around the Christmas tree, these cars might work. Otherwise, you should pass on them in favor of something more detailed.
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Amount Paid (US$): 11.99
Type of Toy: Trains
Age Range of Child: Whole Family