Aristo has finally released its first smooth side passenger car.
The workmanship is excellent, and the paint and graphics are crisp and
prototypical.   This first car is a coach, with an observation and full
dome being released later this year.
    I ordered my coach for the Southern Pacific, which comes in the
famous "Daylight" colors.  The paint matches shop samples that I have,
and the car is "similar" to an SP chair car.  Of course without the
corrugated side panels, it is more like a coach from the "Lark" which
was two tone gray, but we cannot afford to have too much "rivet counter"
fever in the scale we model.  Many Daylight cars had their corrugated
panels removed due to rust, so we are not completely non prototypical.
The car's length is close to 80 scale feet, which makes it about 3 feet
long.  Unfortunately the car did not come with the Daylight herald on
the side, so I will have to add the decals myself.
    This car is made from extruded aluminum and has Aristo knuckle
couplers.  It rides on well detailed passenger car trucks with metal
wheels and individual springs. This will help with the irregular track
we seem to have on our garden railroads.  The interior is lighted but
not detailed, and the window strips are green tint.  All the grabs and
end railings are blackened metal on these cars.  The under frame is
metal, and the truck bolsters are removable to facilitate lowering of
the car to look more prototypical.  I understand that the observation
will have lighted marker lights but no drumhead.  There is quite a bit
of weight to this car which should allow it to track well.  It is
recommended that these cars be run on a minimum of 8 foot diameter (4
foot radius) track.  It has been my experience with these cars, that
they really should be run on 10 foot diameter (5 foot radius) track to
minimize derailment problems and to make them look less "toy like" going
around curves.
    The first release of these cars covers the following roads: New York
Central, Rio Grande, Pennsylvania, Southern Pacific, B&O, Santa Fe
(towline gray which is prototype), Chicago & Northwestern, and Undec.
     Many people will decry the lack of interior details, but it must be
remembered that this will add weight to an already heavy car, plus you
then need to come up with a bunch of individually different people (at
least 50) to fill up the car.
     The couplers on this car can be replaced with Kadee #831's, and at
the same time the coupler mount can be shortened to bring the car closer
to a more prototypical distance, just like the ribbed streamline Aristo
passenger cars.