NOTE: The following article appeared in the September / October 2004 edition of the German hobby magazine,
GARTENBAHN profi (GARDENRAIL Professional).

A Small, Standard Guage Model From Aristo-Craft in G-Scale
"A WHITE FROM AFAR"
by Friedhelm Weidelich

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As their third small, standard-gauge model, Aristo-Craft Trains now presents a White-built Railbus that was built for a small railway company in New Jersey. GARTENBAHN profi tested the pilot model on its own tracks, and we are the first magazine world-wide to review this fine model.

 

During the 2004 4-day, Big Train Show held onboard the ocean liner QUEEN MARY in Long Beach, California,

 

Aristo-Craft Trains had the prototype model of their new Standard Gauge Railbus operating for show participants. A short time later, Railbus No. 10 was operating on our own test plant in Germany.

 

It's run over uncleaned, high-grade steel rails showed that this heavy, 565 gram (approx. 1 1/4 pounds) brass model of the Morristown & Erie Railroad's Railbus, built by the White Motor Company in 1918, was capable of operating problem-free thanks to an excellent motor and a front axle fitted with springs (faithful to the original)...a combination made of sheet and spiral springs.

 

The rear wheel set features the many nuts and bolts of the actual bus, which will make the "rivet counters" smile. The brass gearing of the motor allows for very good operating characteristics. The motor is very quiet and the bus rolled for two car lengths after the current was turned off.

 

The body of the well-detailed vehicle is made entirely of brass. The model does not include the unique turntable that was fitted underneath the frame of the original bus in 1969, which allows the real No. 10 to be turned anywhere along the line. Also, the exhaust pipe was not included on the model.

 

In front of the radiator, at the front "bumper", two draw hooks are included. Also, up front, two headlights, flag brackets and marker lights are provided. The headlights are illuminated, but the markers are not. Small sockets cast into the bodies of both front and rear markers will allow the installation of jeweled, colored lenses by the owner.

 

The radiator grill with its louvered hood, contains many fine details. The engine hood has tiny grasps...these are quite delicate and are not meant to be handled roughly.

 

The model's folding front entry-way doors (operated by the motorman on the real bus) actually opens and folds. The rear door also opens and features a small stairway that allows access to the passenger compartment. The stairs seem to be a bit small for disembarking passengers.

 

On the inside, detailed seats with hand-holds at the aisle-way sides wait for passengers. Included by the motorman's seat are a handbrake, gearshit lever and "steering wheel"...which is used on the real No. 10 to provide a place for the throttle (which feeds gas to the engine), and the spark-advance lever. The windows of the model are made of plexi-glass.

 

The carbody and roof have all the borders, straps and bands of the original. The lacquer finish of the production model will be the correct "silver-grey" and black of the original 1918 paint scheme. The gold-and-black-shadow Morristown & Erie name is unfortunately, not provided on the model...but must be finished off by the person purchasing the unit. A source of Morristown & Erie Railbus No. 10 decals is PRIME MOVER DECALS, which will produce the sets as demand warrants. Visit their website at www.PrimeMoverDecals.com for details.

 

The Railbus is, from front bumper to the steps in the back, measured at 234mm long, 84mm wide and 92mm high.

 

The model of Railbus No. 10 will most likely not be available in Europe since the major importer does not offer the small standard gauge models produced by Aristo-Craft. In the USA, the model will cost between $425 - $500.

 

Whoever wants a model of Railbus No. 10 should hurry, because the first production run covers only about 200 units. Aristo-Craft President Louis Polk has stated however, that he is ready to provide additional units if there is enough demand.

 

For a short period of time, this wonderfully produced model from New Jersey was a welcomed guest in Germany and performed flawlessly. Now it is back home, making the rounds at American model railroad shows, and on display at the Whippany Railway Musuem.

 

Many thanks to Friedhelm Weidelich for providing the photographs of the model of Railbus No. 10

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