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UP officials are wise to be concerned, the Aerotrain was underpowered and had problems dragging it's typical 10-car consist on fairly level tracks. Gades were a challenge for the Aerotrain locomotive. Frequently they had to add a helper engine for bad spots.
 

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Awesome train, Bill. I always liked its locomotive design. But as John stated, it was underpowered and needed a helper on the Cajon Pass both ways, when the UP ran it for a year between Los Angeles and Las Vegas and back.

Passengers complained that the cars were cramped, noisy, and not very smooth-riding. After the year was up, UP's City of Las Vegas became a single unit E8A pulling regular UP passenger cars and didn't need a helper over the Cajon Pass.

So UP officials would be wise to confine its run from Seattle up and down the Pacific Northwest coast, maybe down to Eugene, Oregon and back where there's no significant grades, like Amtrak's Cascades routing. But it does make an eye-catching and unique O scale train to run on the layout. Wish I had one. :)

By the way John, I just happened to notice from your above post and avatar, that you've been on this forum 9 years and now have over 42,000 posts, which works out to over 12 posts a day, every day, for 9 years! How on earth do you find the time?
 

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I have a couple of the Aerotrain locomotives, and 11 or 12 cars. I'm converting one of the locomotives to TMCC, so I'll have a PS/3 and a TMCC. That allows me to run in places where the DCS is problematic. I'd also like to see if I can stuff smoke into the TMCC upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The real deal Rock Island Aerotrain can be seen at the St Louis Transportation Museum along with dozens of other locos and rolling stock.

Bill

aero #1.JPG

aero #2.JPG
 

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Had they ever given any thought about re-engining the locomotive? How hard is it to install a larger re-designed engine?

Was it lacking torque, horsepower, or both?
 

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The real deal Rock Island Aerotrain can be seen at the St Louis Transportation Museum along with dozens of other locos and rolling stock.

Bill

View attachment 515300

View attachment 515302
Michael: Just looking at the Aertrain's locomotive, it obviously was not built as a powerhouse, but to pull those light weight, 2-axled coaches. So it was probably short on both torque and horsepower.

As far as re-engining it, or updating it with more powerful prime mover, there doesn't appear to be a lot of space in there for a larger or more powerful one. But I'm just guessing.

Bill: Nice photos of the real thing. Again in researching on Wikipedia, there were only 2 Aerotrains made and the one in your photos is the #2. This would be the same one that served the New York Central, the Santa Fe, the Union Pacific, and the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific.

So, this one established quite a history in its short time as a demonstrator.
 

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So, this one established quite a history in its short time as a demonstrator.
What kind of history is up for grabs. ;)

However, it's a neat looking train, that's why I have them.
 

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Jay Jay, I echo the welcome, it's always nice to have other Midwesterners especially Chicago area ones on the forum.

The Aerotrain was in deed very unique. I found it both odd and nice-looking all at the same time. Does anyone know what the real one's horn sounded like? I wonder if you heard the horn and then saw the engine if you would be shocked at what you saw?

Art
 

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Why doesn't the management give the treain a try at the mountains at least once?
Now are you talying about the real thing or a model?
 
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