Cotton Belt Blue Streak Freight Train

A Cotton Belt Blue Streak freight train having both Aristo & AML rolling stock
Ted Doskaris
Revision GE-B1

January 6, 2008

The whole can be better than its parts (The Aristo and AML 40 foot box cars):

With Aristo-Craft's new GP40 and AML's new GP60 Cotton Belt locos there is a good opportunity to emulate a diesel powered Cotton Belt "Blue Streak" freight train.

Aristo already has produced a Cotton Belt 40 foot box car and there is another company that also has a Cotton Belt box car offering. That company being Accucraft's American Main Line (aka AML) 1/29 scale product.

The Aristo car appears to be modeled after the ACF prototype box car whilst the AML car appears to modeled after the Pullman Standard or PCF prototype - so I believe these products do complement one another for the benefit of the whole.
Similarly, combinations have been advertised in magazines where Aristo's heavyweight passenger cars had been teamed with a USA Trains company Hudson steam loco as a kind of prime mover set.
This has obviously served to be of benefit for both companies in terms of added sales.

Shown below is how easy it can be done with one example AML offering.

The Aristo Cotton Belt 40 foot box car as shown below at the left can be coupled to the AML 40 foot Cotton Belt box car at the right with both cars having their standard knuckle type couplers as they come right out of their boxes.
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Below is the brake wheel bulkhead end views of the Aristo Cotton Belt car at the left and the AML Cotton Belt car at the right showing their standard truck mount knuckle type couplers.
If one desires to do so, it appears that an Aristo Bettendorf truck assembly could be retrofitted on the AML car with truck mount couplers if the emulated coupler release rod (wire) is reformed or cut so that it would not interfere with the coupler tang when the truck swivels.
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The Aristo car shown at left with the AML car at the right is shown with their standard truck mount knuckle type couplers having somewhat of a height mismatch.
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Not to worry - the two cars are shown below with their standard truck mount knuckle type couplers coupled together!
There is enough vertical slop to do this. The Aristo coupler's "chin plate" will hold up the AML coupler in alignment.
Note: These cars can be coupled together with the AML car first having its coupler closed, then with a bit of light force - push the Aristo car with its open coupler into the AML car with a bit of a slight slam.
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You can also lift the AML car up & over the Aristo car coupler with both car coupler knuckles already in a closed position.
The below picture shows the top view of Aristo car at left with the AML car at the right with their standard truck mount knuckle type couplers coupled together.
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The two cars' trucks:

The Aristo-Craft Bettendorf freight truck has plastic side frames & bolster, but with ART-29111B metal wheels installed it measured an overall 0.470 lbs.
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The AML 1/29th scale Cotton Belt 40 foot box car includes all metal truck assemblies with metal wheels. This truck appears to have a type of metal bolster and side frames made of maybe "pot metal" since a magnet is not attracted to it - but with metal wheels & axle that a magnet is attracted to.
The overall weight of this AML freight truck assembly measured 0.420 lbs.
This truck as compared to an Aristo like kind Bettendorf truck assembly having retrofitted ART-29111B metal wheels is actually slightly smaller and lighter in weight even though it is of all metal construction!
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The two cars' overall weight:

The two below pictures shows how similar the Aristo and AML cars are with respect to overall weight with the Aristo car being slightly heavier.

The Aristo-Craft Cotton Belt 40 foot box car equipped plastic trucks but having metal wheels and ball bearings measures 2.76 lbs in overall weight.
Expressed in ounces, 2.76 lbs equates to about 2 lbs, 12 oz - OR 44 oz total.
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The AML 1/29 scale Cotton Belt 40 foot box car equipped with its standard all metal trucks and metal wheels measures 2.60 lbs in overall weight.
Expressed in ounces and rounded up, 2.60 lbs equates to about 2 lbs, 10 oz - OR 42 oz total.
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