January 22, 2013
After nearly 3-1/2 years, MTH finally released their '40 20th Century Limited passenger cars. Although I haven't picked them up yet, I will be bringing home the 5-set and 4-4-2 sleeper car to put behind my BLI Dreyfuss Hudson.
I'm really hoping that MTH did a respectable job producing them. I'll be posting pics as soon as I can swing by and pick them up. The lake-effect snow isn't helping matters. =O(
January 23, 2013
Woohoo! A break in the weather allowed me to pick up the cars this evening. So far I am VERY impressed with the quality of the MTH cars. I guess I'll eventually learn how accurate they are to the prototype.
The interiors in each of the cars is illuminated with a keep-alive cap. It takes ~1 min. for the cap to charge up on the tracks and the same amount to discharge when removed from the tracks. I'm not sure if MTH used LEDs or incandesent bulbs to light the interior. I'm hoping that they will be LEDs for coolness and longevity.
MTH provides a nice 7-page pamphlet covering accessing the interior, setup (in regards to lighting and couplers) and a troubleshooting section. These are going to look great behind either one of my Hudsons.
January 31, 2013
Although my layout isn't large enough to adequately run all six MTH 20th Century Limited cars in a train, I was able to operate and test them one at a time behind my Walthers SW1 switcher. The 11-1/2" long cars negotiated my R22" curves very nicely. There's even a short section of R18" track (with an easement of R22" on either side) on one section of the mainline. Each car negotiated it without derailing once.
According to the pamphlet that came with the cars, there are two coupler settings for each car: R22" and R42" and >. (This is achieved by loosening the coupler box screws and moving the coupler boxes either forwards or backwards.) The lower setting allows you to run the cars on tighter curves; the higher setting brings the diaphragms on each end of the cars closer together so that it looks more prototypical. Unfortunately, there's no in between setting for curves in the R22" to R42" range.
So, it looks like I'll be running my 20th Century Limited cars with the diaphragms farther apart - i.e. until I can build a layout with a mainline with curves at least R42" or larger. Hmmmmm...things to ponder.