What is a Battery Car?

A battery car is trailing car with a battery in it that is used to power a locomotive with a radio control receiver installed. Aristo-Craft locomotives come with an MU connector to plug in a battery car, and a track or battery power switch that will disconnect the track power pick-ups when battery power is selected.

An MU connector and radio control receiver can also be added to other locomotives. There are several articles in the Locomotive Projects Section that show how this is done.

The car pictured contains an Aristo-Craft, lithium-ion battery pack. The pack is small, light, provides long run times, and holds its charge during winter storage. It can be charged on-board using the car’s MU connector, or unplugged and replaced with another battery pack to extend run times.


An inexpensive, 2-wire connector set is used to connect the battery pack to the MU connector on a locomotive. Although a 40 foot boxcar is shown, a steam tender, a diesel B-unit, or any suitable freight car could be used.

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