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In 1978 USTTC (United States Toy Train Company) made a three unit BART train (Bay Area Rapid Transit). They called the units A-B-A  sets. I believe only one A unit was powered. How did they power the train? They bought up all the remaining new Marx motors available. The units were made of polished aluminum with cast resin ends. I remember seeing them at a train store in San Francisco and thought they were beautiful but a little short (13 inches) with big spacing between cars. The basic set cost $249.95 with extra coaches or B units going for $44.95. They sold well in the Bay Area but soon were gone from toy and hobby shops as they were only made that one year. Anyone remember these trains? DonUnknownimagesusttc6


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Wow! I live in the Bay Area and never saw these. Thanks for the video.

I remember an HO BART set with extruded aluminum sides, plastic ends, and an Athearn drive. If I recall correctly, they were first offered by an independent firm and later by Walthers.

BART actually operates on 5' gauge, so a scale model of these cars would be a stretch.

I remember seeing this train in the TCA Museum for quite a few years.  It may have been taken off display in more recent years, as a display of items from the National Christmas Center took residence on the wall where this was located.  (The same wall used to have many MTH and Weaver trains, as well as a few other odd-ball manufacturers - this was the display wall to the left of the Standard Gauge layout)


Last edited by Dave45681

Scale Rail

Looks like you have two sets there, running very well.

Several Years ago, Rich De Blasi had two partial sets at York in the blue hall.

 He had the Bart which has the shovel nose and the Washington Metro which is flat looking more like a subway car.

He only had the power car and middle coach of each. I took the Metro set and he promised to keep looking for the tail car. (He was liquidating a massive collection that was in great disarray) About two Yorks later he handed me his keys and told me to go look in his trunk. There I found the Metro tail car! It made my York.

wash metro4

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I did one for a friend years ago.

He had extra cars and the Marx motor was not up to the task.

I fitted a can motor in the Marx power chassis. On the first test run with the prototype in a pre-war Marx M-10,000 that motor and train ran for seven hours at the mall without a hiccup. That told me I had a winner and several more can motored Marx locos have been out shopped from the Clinton Street shops.

Jonathan, Bart had many problems when they started. I was in the air filming aerials on their first day of running so I didn't get to ride it for a few days. They blow millions of dollars to make it a manless operating system but found it didn't work. Also the slant nose was a bad design because it was time consuming changing the size of a train. For the morning rush you might have sets of ten car trains. Unless you made a smaller train after the rush you pulled half empty cars all day. If you wanted to cut off some of the cars you had to go back to the yard and build a smaller train for mid day, then rebuild the train for the evening run. I remember seeing full yards of cars that had problems for weeks and weeks. The five foot gauge was a money pit. Almost nothing was off the shelf. The real sad story was taking the Key system trolley off the Bay Bridge and only a few year later building the Bart tube under the bay. Bart turned out to be only two or three minutes faster than the old key system. DonUnknown-1BART-40TH-ANNIVERSARY_1000px


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