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My son has been looking for modern Light Rail cars.  We haven't been able to find any from Lionel, MTH, or Atlas items.  Did anyone make something like this?  He is particularly interested in something like New Jersey Transit uses along the Hudson River corridor.



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Hello !

They ARE in very limited numbers, made -- but thru small private hobby mfg. jobbers - like Imperial Hobby Productions -   (Mike Bartel) - he made the Philadelphia PA SEPTA Kawasaki LRV  in O SCALE but you had to paint them, finish them (or for a fee he would complete the car for you assembled with interior and fully painted) -  - he no longer does them in O Scale but does have them made in HO SCALE -- see link to webpage BELOW ;   And above, my own finished model -with full accurate interior - on my layout above of that same IHP produced SEPTA Trolley System LRV.

My pal Ed Skuchas - owner of Berkshire Cat Shop,  also sells the Canadian LRV O Scale Streetcar -- epoxy resin produced beautiful O SCALE kit --- you must assemble, paint and finish it -- and get Q Car Company Power & Trailer trucks (extra) for it.  Q Car ONLY makes 2 rail SCALE track trucks (not 3-rail) - here is the link to the Canadian LRV on Berkshire Car Shop Page:

These as most 2-Rail fine scale rail track operated HO and O Scale custom trolleys are made for the purist scale fine scale modeler who in most cases assembles, paints and finishes these models and fits these cars to run off scale operating trolley poles on live overhead (12VDC) trolley wire for operation.

As far as any commercially Mass produced L R V trolleys for ie;  3 Rail -- (Lionel, Bachman, MTH, etc., and MTH will be closing its business for good in early-mid 2021) -- I know of none

I attached some additional photos BELOW of my own model of the IHP produced O SCALE SEPTA Kawasaki LRV seen on my O-Scale EL & trolley layout around my Elevated Line structure

regards - Joe



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Last edited by Joseph Frank

LionelFlyer,  Obviously, the operative word is "modern".  Have you and your son ever ridden the Newark Subway, now called "Light Rail"?  It was a really neat little line that used beautifully maintained second hand Minneapolis PCCs, back when I rode it.

MTH made PCCs in two versions, the old, very classy gray and white with blue stripe and anticlimbers:


and the more pedestrian NJT racing stripe scheme:
The trolley poles later gave way to Faiveley pantographs before the cars were replaced by modern LRVs.  The PCCs were not "modern", as such, but they lasted until August 2001. Replacing the trolley poles with pantographs on the models would be a relatively easy project to modernize the cars.
The line has a fascinating history in that it was built in the bed of the old Morris Canal and had various branches that were trimmed over the years. The term "subway" is something of a misnomer since much of the line runs above ground. It's worth a ride and perhaps your son's imagination would be piqued by the experience.
Note: I presume that using MTH catalog illustrations does not constitute copyright infringement since every online "O" hobby shop uses them and I'm promoting sales.

More information can be found at:

Under Magazines and Journals check out Trolley Talk.  Their Home Page brings up The Trolleyville Bulletin Board and Classifides.  Trolleyville Times is the best place to keep informed of prototype urban commuter/light rail/streetcar activity.  Current as well as back issues can be read for free.  A great site indeed!

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