New Jersey Transit Multilevel Cars

For this project I purchased Bombardier Multilevel passenger car shells from Island Model Works.  These cars are not widely used throughout the U.S. and are special to NJ Transit because they can safely clear the old tunnels that go under the Hudson river into New York City.  Below is a picture of how they looked when they arrived.  As you can see there's a lot of flash that had to be cut out from the windows and along the bottom of the cars.  It took a lot of patience, but it wasn't too hard to do.

 

The picture on the right shows how I marked which way the chassis should face with a similar arrow on the inside of the car.  I also gave each chassis and each car a letter so I know which chassis goes with which shell.  This is necessary because the shells came with columns where you attach the chassis, but the columns came all the way to the bottom of the shells.  I had to use a Dremel to grind them down so that the chassis would fit into the shell.

After trimming the floors to operate in push/pull mode I put them to the test on a temporary curvy layout and had great success.  Unfortunately I don't have that many pictures of the multilevels during the construction phase.

Push Mode

Pull Mode

Here are two pictures of the cars after I airbrushed them with what I called NJ Transit Silver and then hand painted on the yellow caution lines at the exits.  You can also see that I began adding on some decals.  The top car is a trailer and the one below is the cab car.

Each car has 17 decals on a side which means a total of 34 per car and 175 in total.  The smallest decal is 1mm x 1mm

 

Decals on the cars include:

  • No Smoking

  • Handicap

  • Do Not Board Moving Train

  • Car Numbers

  • NJ Transit colored stripe

  • American flag

  • NJ Transit

  • Instructions on opening doors manually

The ends of the cars were painted to show the marker lights, the diaphragm, and all of the connector ports.

Fitted flush windows aren't provided with the N scale model from Island Model Works so I created my own by using black 95% limo window tint.  I used CA glue to hold it in place.  The picture to the left shows the left half of the car with the black tint film glued down and the windows on the right without the tint.

Here are some pictures of the finished product