Pride Lines 3-Rail Standard Gauge Voltamp Interurban

Posted by: skeptic49 in Member Blogs


When I saw the samples of Pride Lines Ltd.'s reproduction Voltamp 2115 Interurban at York in October 2005, it was a no-brainer; I immediately placed an order for one. I had no idea that it would take a year to receive it, but it was certainly worth the wait. Having read about Ward Kimball's original 2115 bringing $35K at auction a couple of years ago, I knew that owning an original example of one of these beautiful and impressive tinplate interurbans was pretty much an impossibility for me. I was delighted to learn that Pride Lines was making reproductions.

One look at the authentic and impressive reproduction twin-field AC/DC series wound motor clinched it for me. Note the sprung trucks. When I saw this I knew I had to have one.

When the well-packed 2115 arrived I couldn't wait to open it and get it running on my layout. But before I powered it up I examined it closely and marveled at the fine workmanship and the attention to detail that John Davanzo and company put into this excellent reproduction.

Wooden air tanks with Voltamp decals and beautiful car body lettering.

Car undercarriage embossed with the makers identification.

The massive motor armature and brass brush holders complemented by a nicely done roller assembly. Note that the unit is provided with carbon brushes so as to avoid excessive wear on the armature.

Overhead poles and mounts are brute metal castings.

Brass overhead contact rollers. They are not electrically functional but they sure are well-made! In 1914 Voltamp offered the interurban with track feed as standard but offered trolley pole feed for $1.00 extra.

Authentic Voltamp-style pilot castings adorn both ends of the car.

Original Voltamp interurbans had wooden seats, and so does the Pride Lines interurban.

Nice wiring and ample illumination including two interior lamps, a headlight, and a rear red danger light. Note the hefty soldered-on brass hand rails on either side of the doors. There's no worry about these pulling out easily!

The engineer's cab features a brake wheel. Note the partitioned-off rest rooms in the passenger compartment.

Attractive and colorful window treatments are standard. About the only negative I can think of in regard to this great piece is the lack of a reverse switch, which the originals did have.

After taking a careful look at this fine reproduction, it was time to put it in service on my 84" standard gauge main line. The first thing I noticed is that this motor is firmly in the tradition of standard gauge motors requiring almost 20 volts to get it going, while once at cruising speed it's happy with about 17 volts. With all the lights, glistening paint, and shiny metal work, this car is a sight to see coming down the track.

Tags: Trains, Tinplate Trains

Panther63
Panther63 on January 20, 2010

Makes one almost change hobby!

I am more on the diorama side of things but love these. Was also tempted when I sae ACE Trains at Sandown Park. Looking forward to more of your stories!
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