Electrical connections

The toilet can already be glued again on the fitting, which in turn is snapped again onto the frame, taking care to pass the wires of the bogies through the provided holes.

Preparation of the control circuit

Four about 50 mm long wires must be connected to the control circuit: one red and one black corresponding to the rails, and marked ~ (tilde) on the diagram (the order is indifferent), a blue one for the positive common (+), and a green one (or other color) for the lighting (−) control. As I have already pointed out many times, I use a bistable reed switch for this control. But as I adjust a light intensity rather low — more realistic for my taste — it is possible to dispense with it and leave the car permanently lit: this will be almost invisible in broad daylight. In this case, it will be enough to bridge the reed pads. See the PDF document: the reed is marked PCM-1424THX.

Installation of the control circuit

I fix the control circuit with a thin double-sided adhesive. It does not last very long, but no matter: the important thing is that it does not move during the soldering of the wires.

There are six wires in all. The wires of the same color, red or black, will be connected together on the lighting strip. On the other end, only the two wires coming from the bogies are present.

Passing of the wiresInstallation of the control circuit

Note the walls covered with black electrician tape to prevent light leakage. Note: this is not the same car; this one is in C1 livery.

Reassembling the body

Begin by presenting the body on the chassis, passing the wires through the openings located just above the toilets. Then turn the assembly upside down into a holder (the original box is very suitable). Place two cardboard or plastic cards between the box and the chassis as in the beginning, and position the chassis longitudinally (locating the right position with respect to the pads and beads). Once the correct position is found, the chassis falls almost by itself into the body.

And it is at this precise moment that, manipulating the whole, you hear the characteristic noise of a part walking inside. Don’t search: it’s a compartment shelf that has come loose. You then have the choice between dismantle again to put the part back (and glue all of them with Kristal Klear), or let it walk quietly, or try to get it back by a hole in the roof (I did it!), waiting for a more serious opportunity to reopen the car.

Connections of the lighting strip

The most practical method is to stick the strip temporarily upside down, i. e. copper up, on the roof, with Patafix. Care must then be taken when soldering the wires.

Before returning the strip to the correct direction, make a lighting test. Car placed on a piece of track, a voltage of about 10 V is supplied, with current limitation set to a minimum. Personally, I was lucky to do this: there was a short due to a solder burr in the control circuit. Assessment: desoldering, dismantling of the body, repair, re-soldering.

Connections of the lighting strip

When all is right, the strip is returned to the correct position. Four small Patafix pellets are distributed, and the strip is pressed on, checking that the LEDs are placed into their respective holes. A last lighting test, and the final operation is to close the roof.


I think this is the first time I’ve found a car so easy to disassemble, with no particularly fragile parts or cables that could get stuck on reassembly. The mechanical design is therefore excellent. You only should keep an eye on the small shelves of the compartments, too little glued or not glued at all.

About lighting, it would of course be better to use the existing brass bearings for the current pickup. With the strips, running resistance is rather important. But, in any case for my era, one can never find a large number of this type of cars in a train. Therefore it is not a crippling defect.

To conclude, here is a “nocturnal” (day for night) view of my enlightened VSE.

Voitures VSE éclairées

Although the selected LEDs have a not too warm color temperature (3500 K), the resulting atmosphere is quite yellowish because of the tinted windows.