USAT Streamliners

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General comments:

These are beautiful, scale length, highly detailed, HEAVY cars.

The RPO car, a 63' long car, is 7.91 pounds, I measured the 80' sleeper car at 34.5" long and 9.75 pounds.

They have an all aluminum body and very nice trucks. Unfortunately, they use carbon brushes for pickup, so the combination of the weight and the carbon brushes creates a lot of drag. More on this later.

So far, all the cars I have (Santa Fe) are accurate reproductions of the prototype, down to the names and road numbers. Right now, they are the only scale length lightweight passenger cars in production in 1:29. (Aristo made some smoothsides, but only a coach and observation, years ago) 

They also have multiple road numbers so you can make several passenger trains without duplicating the road numbers.

Michael Hayworth did some nice customization see his site:

Modifying for tight curves:

Some people have reported that they can run these cars on 8 and 10 foot curves by opening up the sides of the existing draft gear box. I have no problems on 9.5' curves. I'm pretty sure you need to mod the draft gear box for 8 footers. 


The stock coupler is not too bad, and it's made from metal. With cars this heavy, that makes sense. They look strong as heck.

Currently I'm using a Kadee just on the lead car, which is an RPO car. The USAT metal knuckles work fine for me on the rest of the cars. It seems like a lot of work to convert all the cars, and the passenger train will probably be more of a unit train on my layout.

See the page on couplers for other options.


The lighting is good, but cars draw a lot of current. Going to LEDs is the best idea, since they can draw close to an amp each! See the the page on this.

Prototype streamliner consists for Santa Fe:

Typical Santa Fe streamliner consist:

ABB or ABBA F3 or F7 (have)

72' Baggage (have) (sometimes 2)
60' RPO (have)
10/6 sleeper Palm series (have)
Dome bar lounge 500-505 series (have 2)
36 seat diner, 600,606 series (have)
dorm lounge, 1339-1344
4/4/2 sleeper, Regal series
4/4/2 sleeper, Regal series
10/6 sleeper Palm series (have 2)
observation (have)

can also have an REA express car at the head end (have)



USAT Passenger - modern fluted lightweight streamliners

Part # Road Name road # / name Type have / buy
R31000 Santa Fe Vista Canyon Observation have
R31001 Santa Fe 3187 Coach #1 have
R31002 Santa Fe 3188 Coach #2 have
R31001 Santa Fe 3189 Coach #3  
R31002 Santa Fe 3190 Coach #4  
R31003 Santa Fe 601 Diner #1 have
R31003 Santa Fe 602 Diner #2  
R31004 Santa Fe Palm Leaf Sleeper #1 have
R31005 Santa Fe Palm Path Sleeper #2 have
R31006 Santa Fe 501 Vista Dome #1 have
R31007 Santa Fe 502 Vista Dome #2  
R31006 Santa Fe 503 Vista Dome #3  
R31007 Santa Fe 504 Vista Dome #4 have
R31007 Santa Fe 505 Vista Dome #2  
R310001 Santa Fe 99 RPO have
R310002 Santa Fe 3534 Baggage have
R310003 Santa Fe 1387 / San Acacia Combine  

Also have 50' REA express reefer for head end..





Click the links below to go "deeper" into details on the USAT streamliners

  Disassembly    Couplers    Lighting    Rolling Resistance 
  Vignette with centerset couplers