Canadian National made several attempts to introduce railcars as a cost saving measure for passenger operations on Prince Edward Island. I’ve heard a lot of stories about “The Jitney” from folks remembering the railway on PEI and there are pictures of the car in Allan Graham’s book on the railway as well as this one from the Museum of Science and Technology’s website:
While I’m no expert on Brill motorcars, and I’ve met some folks who really are, the car pictured above really looks like a Model 55 railcar. Some digging around in CN’s rosters should be able to provide some more information on the car.
A couple of years ago I had a chance to visit and tour the shops of the Greater Winnipeg Water District Railway (GWWD). The GWWD also owned a model 55. Their car is still operational and is stored beside the railway’s headquarters. I had a chance to climb up into the car and tour the thing. While there I grabbed a pile of pictures of their car. I did post pictures from that tour in an earlier blog post:
The model 55 has been fairly popular over the years with modellers and there are models available in O and HO scales. I thought I’d take a look around the web to see what is still available and I found two in HO scale that show some promise. MTS Imports brought in one in brass and their website still lists them in stock:
The Model Railroad Warehouse also proposed an etched brass kit for this railcar. As far as I know this is still pending production (need more reservations) and list it on their website here:
The challenge for the scratchbuilder and also for someone building the Model Railroad Warehouse kit will be the trucks. Brill chose to use an inside-frame truck. You could use the ones that Bachmann uses for their PCC trolley and that should get you pretty close. In N scale that will be your only option, though I will take a look at the Tomy trolley that I recently purchased to see how suitable it’s trucks could be for this model. As I prefer N scale, I’ll be digging deeper in this direction.
Most of the stories I’ve heard about The Jitney seem to imply it’s use on the Borden Subdivision. To my mind, it would make more sense on the outer reaches of the railway. Any ideas or sightings of this car on the Tignish sub. perhaps?