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RDC cars as subway/"L Train"

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RDC cars as subway/"L Train"
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 08, 2004 8:59 AM
I'm thinking about running a subway on my layout and went looking for good locos. I saw the NYC R17 cars and for some reason, I just don't see them as subway cars.
I then found the LifeLike Proto 1000 RDC cars. I know these aren't subway cars, but to me they remind me more of what a subway car looks like. Of course, I live out in the sticks, so I've never even been ON a subway before to say for certain what they look like.
What do you guysthink about about using the RDC cars as subway locos. Also, if those work, what cars would you put behind them? I was thinking of the Budd Streamline cars. (By the way, I'm thinking of getting the Amtrak cars, but maybe converting them to the Septa line, if I'm ever ambitious enough.)

Thanks guys,
Kevin
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Posted by BentnoseWillie on Monday, November 08, 2004 9:06 AM
If you're in HO, LifeLike makes R17 cars in the Proto 1000 line. They were introduced this year.
B-Dubya -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Inside every GE is an Alco trying to get out...apparently, through the exhaust stack!
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 08, 2004 9:15 AM
Like I said, I just don't see R17's as your typical modern subway car. I think it's because they're short and too tall. I looked it up on Life Like's website, and the R17's are from the 50's. I'm looking for something more modern.
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Posted by Big_Boy_4005 on Monday, November 08, 2004 9:17 AM
Nah, too long and too tall. Subway cars are around 40 feet long. They need to have platform height side doors, 1 or 2 sets mid car. Subway curves can be very sharp, just like trollys, in HO maybe as tight as 9"radius. No RDC will do that.
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Posted by Big_Boy_4005 on Monday, November 08, 2004 9:25 AM
Subway cars are specially made for the systems they serve. There are very strict length limits, even for the newest cars. Just because they look funny to you, doesn't mean they are wrong. By the way, I have riden on many of the major subway systems around the world.
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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Monday, November 08, 2004 10:57 AM
I rode the R17 as well as the R22, R29, and R33. Tough and rugged! They don't build them to last anymore!

Apparently you wi***o model modern subway cars with the large windows and stainless steel or aluminum sides.

If you wi***o be "somewhat" prototypical RDCs are diesel powered, so they would not be practical as subway cars, unless you converted them into MU cars with the pantograph or 3rd rail pick up. Also, typical subway cars in the U.S are much shorter than the 85 ft. Budd RDC. You could use the Athearn RDC which is about a scale 72 feet long.

There was a Model Railroader article from the 1980s in which
Dean Freytag (highly respected modeler) converted an Athearn RDC to an electric transit car with the overhead pantograph. Looked slick! This may work for you.

You can e-mail the MRR staff asking Dean Freytag's layout. He's had multiple articles.

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


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Posted by retsignalmtr on Monday, November 08, 2004 11:45 AM
i was a signal maintainer on the nycta for 31 years. i am thinking of getting a couple of those sets of cars from lifelike just to collect them as i model in n scale. there is a lot of details that are not on the cars but they are a good starting point. they also come in two paint schemes. there are nscale subway cars and i was thinking of making a subway layout but you wouldn't be able to see it because the entire layout would be in a tunnel. the cars are 50 ft on the IRT division. the IND and BMT divisions are 60 ft and 75 ft in length and are also wider so they cannot be run on the IRT. you could usr rdc cars to substitute for subway cars as they are mostly stainless steel cars now. if you ever get to NY you should visit the transit museum in brooklyn. there are many old subway cars and some steeple cab electric locomotives that were all still in service when i worked there. that equipment was really built to last.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 10, 2004 12:49 AM
I grew up in NYC and rode the subways all my life and the R-17's from Life Like are a very good reproduction of the real thing are they also run very well and very quiet. A company called Model Traction put out subway cars many years ago (I purchased the IND R-1's and BMT Standards) and they were very expensive, not much in the way of detail and ran very loudly. For NYC subway collectors, the R-17's are the best things I've seen so far. I've seen some custom made models in N scale, but they're too small for any detail. The RDC (IMO) wouldn't make a good subway car as they are too long and much work would have to be done on it.
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Posted by dehusman on Wednesday, November 10, 2004 7:12 AM
Regular rail cars have doors in the ends, subway cars have doors in the sides. As mentioned they are short, both length and height. They serve only high level platforms.

An RDC is way too tall, way too long, has too much under the car, the doors are in the wrong place, it has the wrong type of platforms and the wrong type of trucks.

Other than being stainless steel it has not too much going for it.

If I had to do it, I would remove the side frames on the trucks, remove as much of the stuff under the frame as I could and shorten the frame to about 40 ft. I would cut the radiator section and vestibules out of the shell and then widen two or three window openings to full height door openings.

Dave H

Dave H. Modeling the P&R and W&N 1900-1905, Iron men and wooden cars

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Posted by Jetrock on Thursday, November 11, 2004 3:15 AM
chewie8han: I do note the term "subway locos"--Subways don't have locomotives. Generally all cars are powered with their own electric traction motors via third rail, so there is no "loco and cars", just a series of cars.

If you haven't been on a subway and want to model one, GO LOOK AT ONE. At least look at photos of subway cars and compare them to an RDC. One thing mentioned above is the doors--subways have multiple sets of sliding doors mid-car, where RDC's have single doors on each end.








I can definitely see where you're coming from in the "fluted stainless steel" department--but there are some real differences too. Subway cars are typically short or articulated to get around tight curves--that 9" curve mentioned above isn't an exaggeration, in fact it seems a bit broad!

One thing you might try is a modern LRV model (There's some company that makes one--IHC?) with the pantograph removed (power pickup would theoretically be by third rail anyhow.) It's not stainless steel but the body configuration would be a lot closer.

But enough about the car itself: how are you planning on modeling the subway? Side-cutout views of station platforms? You mentoned "L Train"--I assume you mean elevateds--are you planning on having part of the line be subway and part surface or elevated?

In any case, get yourself to the nearest city that has a subway or elevated line. If you can afford a trip to Chicago, that might be very helpful--they've got both, as well as a big ol' HO scale model of the city (at the Museum of Science & Industry) with models of both, plus a hatful of hobby shops!

Close-up views of subway systems, as well as the cities where they are used, will prove invaluable in modeling such things--bring a camera and a notepad!
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 11, 2004 9:12 AM
Good idea about seeing a real subway system live. But I must warn you. After not riding a subway for years (grew up outside of NYC, went to college in Philly, but now live in West Texas) I went home this past summer, and took a subway ride. Now I definately have to model one!!! If you can't see one live you will be pleased by the number of websites out there concerning the NYC subway system. There are litterally thousands of pictures out there - including underground and above ground stations, the various cars throughout the years etc. There are even sites out there showing several methods of making the elevated structures. Should you decide to see one live or do a little surfing - I've warned you - you'll be hooked!
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Posted by chutton01 on Thursday, November 11, 2004 11:51 AM
Hmmm, chewie8han (BTW - a Star Wars reference?), you said something in your OP in regards to SEPTA... Well, if you're talking about Philly (and Boston, and Newark, and actually a slew of other places nowadays too), how about Subway-Surface LRT running?
I realize there's no Kawaski's out there (at least not in plastic - Brass or Resin maybe?), and only the Restored Route 15 is to run upgraded PCCs (anyday now...), but if you're freelancing or running an earlier era, use PCCs to run under Center City, emerging around 46th St - Voila! Low platform, single unit overhead wire subways!

The Broad Street and Market-Frankford lines, well, I'm afraid you're on you own.
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Posted by yosefdov on Thursday, November 18, 2004 6:58 AM
Greetings...

The Red Caboose Hobby shop in NYC (on 45th St.) has some HO & N scale MODERN subway cars. I believe they are very expensive... you can call them and find out more...

212-575-0155

JN
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