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Con-Cor Aerotrain - UPDATE

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Con-Cor Aerotrain - UPDATE
Posted by tstage on Monday, August 22, 2016 8:28 PM

I recently purchased a Con-Cor NYC Aerotrain 4-car set that also included a 3-car add-on coach set with the price.  I see only one add-on coach set for each road name listed on the Con-Cor website.

Am I correct to presume that in order to achieve a full 10-car set that I would need two of the same 3-car add-on sets?*  If so then there must not be any road numbers or markings on the cars to distinguish them from another?

*[I emailed Con-Cor with the same question but haven't heard back from them yet.]

Would this also be true of add-on sets from different road names?  For example, if I couldn't find a NYC 3-car coach set, could I substitute a Pennsy or UP 3-car coach set instead?

Thanks for any input you might be able to offer.

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, August 22, 2016 8:55 PM

Hi, Tom

From what I recall about the Aerotrain, there were two sets built, No. 1000 and 1001. Pennsy ran the 1000 between New York and Pittsburgh and Central the 1001 in the beginning from Chicago to Detroit and later Chicago to Cleveland.

Even though the train was designed to carry a maximum of ten cars, one car from each set was kept by GM for testing and research and one car from each set was kept on "stand by" as a reserve substitute to swap out for a car needing service.

So— in normal service you would see 8 cars, seven intermediate coaches and the "tail car". There are probably a few GM publicity shots showing ten cars but those were not the norm.

When I get to my books I'll check for more details in the Trains Of The Future—New York Central by Geoffrey Doughty, which covers quite a bit of information on the Aerotrain, Explorer, Talgo train and a few others.

Among several design shortcomings, one main one was the fact that the train had to be turned as a unit, necessitating higher handling costs. The rough ride was another major problem never fully resolved.

I'm of the opinion that Con-Cor could use a better web designer. I had a frustrating time trying to figure out product availability with their PRR MP54 sets. Even the page you linked to was last updated on 9/1/2008! That's ancient history in the internet world Indifferent

Regards, Ed

DrW
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Posted by DrW on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 12:27 PM

Tom,

Yes, your assumption that the intermediate cars have no distinguishable markings (such as road numbers) is correct.  Thus, you can buy 2 add-on sets without e.g. having to renumber cars.

The answer to your second question is "it depends".  For some road names, the cars carry the road "logo" (Pennsy, Rock Island), for others, not.  My main and first add-on set is Santa Fe, my second add-on is NYC, and there are no differences between the coaches in the add-ons.

JW 

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Posted by tstage on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 1:02 PM

DrW

The answer to your second question is "it depends".  For some road names, the cars carry the road "logo" (Pennsy, Rock Island), for others, not.  My main and first add-on set is Santa Fe, my second add-on is NYC, and there are no differences between the coaches in the add-ons.

JW

Great! - Thanks for that bit of info, JW!  I'd like to add a 2nd add-on set at some point.  Currently there are no NYC add-on sets on eBay but there are a few Santa Fe sets.  Nice to know that there are options. Big Smile

JW, did you add a motor or sound decoder to your Aerotrain?  And have you been generally happy with the quality of Con-Cor offering?

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

DrW
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Posted by DrW on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 4:29 PM

Tom,

In the engine, there is not much place for a speaker.  Thus, Con-Cor produced an extra "sound-ready" car with holes in the bottom and part of the seats cut out for a speaker.  For my taste, the speaker, the missing seats, and all the wires ruined the impression, especially as the interior lights are permanently lit.  Thus, I decided to forgo sound and just installed a non-sound Digitrax decoder.  If you want to have the effect of flashing lights when you approach grade crossings (there is an extra pair of headlights for that), you need a decoder with an extra function wired to the (normally unoccupied) P3 pin of the plug/harness. 

And yes, I was quite happy with the quality.  It has a few somewhat dull spots on the windscreen, which are really noticable only from very close.  The part I dislike most are these massive black windscreen wipers.  It might help to paint them silver; according to the pics of the prototype I have seen, they were actually chrome/silver.

JW

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Posted by tstage on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 6:38 AM

All good info, JW - Thanks! Big Smile

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by tstage on Saturday, August 27, 2016 7:52 AM

DrW - I left you a PM...

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by tstage on Monday, August 29, 2016 12:08 PM

My NYC Aerotrain just arrived in the mail from NZ and looks great. Big Smile  I have a TCS M1P-UK decoder coming from TTE in the next couple of days and hope to get it installed sometime soon.

I'm amazed at the amount of literature included with the 4-unit set.  Along with the obligatory instruction and part sheets, there's a handsome color-copy of the Sep '55 article in Popular Mechanics Magazine, "Ten Buses Grow Into a Train" and the Rail Classics article by Gary Dolzall, "Here Comes Tomorrow".  To me - the historical data and info about the prototype is as fascinating an aspect to the model as the model itself. Cool

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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