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Earle Baldwin

MTH™ NJ Transit - PCC Trolley Car

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[float=right]O_PCC_12_MTH.jpg[/float]By 1952, Northern New Jersey's once vast streetcar empire had been reduced to one line, the Newark City Subway. Rather than convert it to motor coach operation, Public Service Coordinated Transport, the line's owner, thankfully elected to modernize the route and subsequently purchased thirty second hand PCC cars from Twin Cities Rapid Transit. The cars arrived in 1953 and were placed into service in 1954.

 

The Newark City Subway PCC's proved stellar performers during the ensuing decades. Maintained with loving care by PSCT, Transport of New Jersey and subsequently NJ Transit forces in the shop building located in Newark Penn Station's basement, the cars remained in operation until they were officially withdrawn from service on August 24, 2001. As a testament to the outstanding condition of the NJT PCC fleet, all twenty-four cars which were on the final roster have been preserved for a variety of purposes. Several were sent to San Francisco for use on that city's historic line and eight have been designated for operation on a proposed loop route in Bayonne.

 

In 2000, MTH catalogued its O gauge PCC model in NJ Transit colors. The MTH model is a reasonably accurate reproduction of an NJ Transit PCC car. While not perfectly scaled, the model's general dimensions capture the feel of the prototype. It features illuminated headlight, destination board, interior and marker lights. Window inserts with simulated figures give the impression of a well patronized route. The NJ Transit paint scheme is expertly applied and includes a prototypically accurate car number of 12. A particularly appealing feature of the model is the splendid sound system which includes a suitable trolley bell, horn and traction motor sounds. An audio tape which I recorded was used in the development of the sound system for this model and MTH personnel did an excellent job reproducing the marvelous sounds so characteristic of PCC operation. The model can be programmed to stop and start automatically with the operator calling out correct Newark City Subway stops along the way.

 

The catalog number of the NJ Transit PCC car is 30-2524-1. Its original list price was $229.95. The model can be found on the secondary market at railroading hobby shows as well as various on line websites.

 

For illustrative purposes, the link to the original MTH catalog illustration is as follows:

 

http://www.railking1gauge.com/list_new.asp?search=itemnum&muun=30-2524-1

 

Best regards,

 

Earle

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