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Dave D
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I woke up this morning to an angry mob of protesters outside on my lawn, wielding torches, and carrying signs demanding an area in the forum dealing with traction.

I knew I was in over my head, when they started to barricade my driveway, with a grid work of tiny wire.

My wife fearing for the safety of her Hostas and Begonias negotiated on the protesters behalf's and well...... she always was a strong debater. ( I am sure the lump on top of my head will go down in a day or two.)

Have fun!

The Knot head

Bill Fornshell
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Thanks Dave.

Herb Kephart
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Dave

Take two aspirin, and call me in the morning.


The Evil Dr. Herb  :old dude:

Huw Griffiths
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Thanks - Dave, for providing this space - and Herb, for moderating it.

It should be interesting (and enjoyable) to see what stuff comes up here.

I hope I'm able to come up with some constructive posts, info etc.

All the best,

Huw.

Last edited on Sat Nov 13th, 2010 08:28 pm by Huw Griffiths

Herb Kephart
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Let me start the ball rolling

Why traction? Limited space is usually the reason that modelers are attracted. If you only have room for sub-sub radii curves, your choice becomes some sort of an industrial or mining theme, or trolleys. One of the downsides of the former is the limited variety of rolling stock and locos- both probably 4 wheeled. While having 12 dump cars on your mining layout does offer some savings in that the cars can be mass-produced to some extent, there will come a time when , while viewing a real or model railroad based on a real railroad, the urge to have a variety of rolling stock will surface- and those 12 dump cars, no matter how well done, will look mundane. The supporting industry, in this case a place to load (a mine) and unload (smelter, std. gauge transfer) will take up even more space to look reasonable. Both can be imagined, with the cars going off scene into some sort of a fiddle yard but this too takes space. With mining (open top cars) it also requires some mechanical gimcrackery (sorry WCG) to load and unload the cars,- or else some reason for full cars going back to the mine, and MT's back to the unloading (more imagination?)

Traction eliminates much of this. Prototype cars ran regularly around 36 foot radius curves in towns, and in some places even sharper. That's a 9" radius in O scale, and about 4 1/4" in HO. At one time a modeler in the Philadelphia area who spent his modeling life building 1/2" scale trolleys had a hidden loop with a 10" radius- and the distance between the trucks was about 12", so the trucks were nearly at right angles to the car body. Single truck cars will go around even sharper curves, but like anything else there is a limit- about 6" in O scale.

Trolleys came in all different colors, and sizes- from the little old single truck cars with a 20' body (in the old days only the length of the body proper was counted- not the platforms) to 55 and 60 ' interurbans that ran between towns and cities. City streets had track in the paving. Rural, it was common to see track alongside a country road. Other lines struck out cross country, but that would be outside the scope of a very small layout. Almost any color of the rainbow was used in the early days, then it was discovered that some colors weathered better than others, so yellow, orange and greens became common. Later, with the development of better paints that resisted fading, the other colors returned. Never heard of a purple trolley, but there were black ones. If modern stuff is your bag, there are the modern "light rail" cars, and new systems are being built to use them. As for supporting scenery, a backdrop of false front stores, with the car line running in the street in front, is very convincing.

I can hear the mumbling and grumbling now--Trolleys need overhead wire. Well, no they don't. NYC, and Washington DC had systems where there was a slot between the rails, and a "plow" stuck down onto the slot (a la cable car) to collect the 600 volts---But overhead wire is not all that difficult to do, and a little later on I will do a topic on that. Yes you have to solder (to do it my way anyhow) but that in itself is something any model rail should learn--all it takes is getting over the "Icantdoit-its"

Enough for now. I don't expect anyone to scrap their present railroad plans to convert to traction, but for those who think that they don't have space for any kind of flanged wheels on rail- you might just be surprised!

Herb  :old dude:

Huw Griffiths
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ebtm3 wrote: Never heard of a purple trolley, but there were black ones. If modern stuff is your bag, there are the modern "light rail" cars, and new systems are being built to use them. As for supporting scenery, a backdrop of false front stores, with the car line running in the street in front, is very convincing.

In the UK - specifically at Crich, in Derbyshire, there's a tramway museum - variously known as Crich Tramway Village and the National Tramway Museum. It's actually in a disused area of a quarry, but you'd never know it by looking at it.

http://www.tramway.co.uk/


A lot of the buildings are actually fronts (from old buildings that had been scheduled for demolition), attached to other buildings that serve as a depot (and stuff like that). (I believe there might also be one or two complete buildings, sourced in a similar way and moved in sections, but I can't be sure.) Close up, they look very convincing - and have sometimes been used as "period" backdrops for television programmes. I don't watch many films - but I'd be very surprised if the buildings hadn't also been used in some of them.

The museum also features a run through open countryside, with amazing views of the Peak District - and a level crossing ("grade crossing"?) to allow quarry trucks to move loads of (I think) limestone.

One issue with the museum (which always used to be underplayed in publicity) concerns disabled access. Most of the tramcars have high floors and awkward steps - also, a lot of the paving on roads and footpaths consists of stone setts and wooden blocks - although this looks authentic, it makes life extremely difficult for wheelchair users.

 
Just out of interest, one of their tramcars is painted purple (or certainly was a number of years ago). This is Leeds #602; I believe the Leeds tramways painted it in this colour scheme for commemorative purposes (most of their tramcars were dark red).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tramcars_of_the_National_Tramway_Museum

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2603/4159425717_2177011e39.jpg
 

I've also come across a series of articles charting the history of Crich Tramway Village; parts 3 & 4 include a number of clear views of Leeds # 602 (one picture in part 3 shows this car, minus some panels so you can see some of the body framework):

http://www.focustransport.org.uk/tramcrich1.aspx

http://www.focustransport.org.uk/tramcrich2.aspx

http://www.focustransport.org.uk/tramcrich3.aspx

http://www.focustransport.org.uk/tramcrich4.aspx

http://www.focustransport.org.uk/tramcrich5.aspx

http://www.focustransport.org.uk/tramcrich6a.aspx

http://www.focustransport.org.uk/tramcrich6b.aspx


Anyway, I think I've said enough for now.

Regards,

Huw.

Last edited on Sun Nov 14th, 2010 12:51 pm by Huw Griffiths

Herb Kephart
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Just as I said- all colors including purple.

Although I can see why purple wasn't popular---

Herb  :old dude:

Huw Griffiths
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To be fair, the colour wasn't used very often - Leeds #602 was something of a "special".


A similar colour appeared as part of a livery on one Blackpool car (there might have been others):

http://blackpool-trams.yolasite.com/resources/710-1.jpg
 

Plans have also been announced for a new generation of articulated trams to operate in Blackpool:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_lVvMnKeFk8A/SwE9a4njKXI/AAAAAAAAB4U/icrAYsR81q0/s1600/bt-pr-20090708-lrv_blackpool-hr.jpg

http://www.transportxtra.com/files/4573-l.jpg

 
Other than these examples, I can't think of any other purple trams. Apart from anything else, I have my doubts about how well the colour would weather.

I can't say I'm too keen on the colour (even though it's used a lot on Blackpool Town Council's website) - I much prefer the greens they used to use on their trams. Still, I suppose that's "progress" (the word appears on the town's coat of arms, which is also used as the official logo for the local football club):

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/14/Blackpool_fc_logo.png


To be honest though, Blackpool has an important place in the history of UK trams. The town was involved at the beginning - and is still involved today. In fact, for a couple of decades, Blackpool was the only town on the British mainland to run trams (no doubt partly because they work - and partly because they became a major tourist attraction in their own right).


In fact, my earliest memory involved travelling on a Blackpool tram - as a 2 year old, in the late 1960s. I've been fascinated by the things ever since.

 
Anyway, I think that's more enough about paint colours - and certainly more than enough about my distant memories. I'm sure there must be far more interesting things to talk about (like overhead, for example - the books I've seen on this subject have been almost as much use as chocolate teapots).

Regards,

Huw.

Last edited on Sun Nov 14th, 2010 10:09 pm by Huw Griffiths

Herb Kephart
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Crich is a perfect example of an often mentioned, but very seldom modeled justification for having cars from a number of different locations, or even countries, in ones model collection.

Model a museum! Most traction modelers like their cars to look to be just out of the paint shop and many small layouts have short end to end runs.

Both  are perfect representations (along with cars of the above mentioned diversity) of the museum scene.

How much more prototype can you get?

Aside to Huw--Patience, chap, Patience. A fine cuppa isn't made instantly--even in a non-melting pot!

Herb  :old dude:

Bill Fornshell
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How about the October 2010 issue of the Carl Arendt - Small Layout Scrapbook?

http://carendt.us/scrapbook/page101a/index.html

Herb Kephart
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Exactly, Bill


herb   :old dude:

Huw Griffiths
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Herb - sorry if it looked like I was getting impatient - I was just looking for some way of getting discussion here back on track (and not marooned in a siding).


Bill - thanks for mentioning Carl's site - and the traction specials.

I've been a frequent visitor to his site for years - the evidence is there, if you know where to look (personally, I think it would be a pointless exercise ...).


Regards,

Huw.

Last edited on Mon Nov 15th, 2010 06:42 pm by Huw Griffiths

Herb Kephart
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In line with my previous post about running 4 wheeled cars on small traction layouts, here are three 4 wheeled cars from my fleet.

First- an early Philadelphia car, the first car that I scratch built in O scale- wood and cardboard, circa 1953



Next, a brass Jap import. This type of car was popular in the summer in many cities before the First World War. This model is lettered for, and ran on the first O scale trolley layout that I saw- the one that convinced me to give up on HO and switch to O. Painted and detailed by a member of that club, Dave Cope- who sadly is no longer with us. RIP, Dave.



Finally, a model of the car type that was supposed to be the salvation of car lines with declining ridership in the 20's and 30's. Called the "Birney Safety car" after its inventor, it, and its longer double trucked version were one of the first to be operated by a single man--eliminating the conductor. The four wheel cars were notorious for their rough ride, and hard seats, which convinced riders that an automobile should be in their future.



Note to Dave D- this car is around 25 years old--and still isn't finished--note no interior, windows, drop gate (supposed to scoop up someone who falls down in front of car) or passengers. You aren't the only one!


Herb :old dude:

Bill Fornshell
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Herb,

Great models. I can even count the rivets in that scale.

I found a couple more pages at the "Small Layout Scrapbook" for overhead wire traction.

http://www.carendt.us/scrapbook/page54a/index.html

http://www.carendt.us/scrapbook/page71/index.html



One of these small layouts might be a good way to get started in "overhead" traction.

Last edited on Tue Nov 16th, 2010 05:04 am by Bill Fornshell

Herb Kephart
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Carl's site is just packed full of small layouts, with lots of ideas, and inspiration.

Thanks for taking the time to find and point out the ones that are specifically traction, Bill.


Herb  :old dude:

W C Greene
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Herb-I still love it! Seeing the little Birneys makes me want to go ride "Petunia" on the McKinney Ave. Transit Authority here in Dallas. That little car sat under a tin roof in a gent's back yard for years and I remember going inside it then and getting chased out by a rabid racoon and yellow jackets..whatta mess! Now she's a fine little ride that can whack your brain around when she hits the track joints just right. I will send some pix when I do that, the MATA is a real treasure in a town that loves losing football teams and high rollers. Keep them rolling...

                                       Woodie

ebtnut
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I have a question for the HOer's here - Anyone figured out the minimum radii for the ConCor PCC car and Bachmann Peter Witt? Our club is planning to install a city trolley, and we need to know what radius to use in order to lay out the city streets.

Herb Kephart
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In O scale,I have run 55' long scale trolleys around 9" radius curves, so certainly that would work in HO



Herb 

ebtnut
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Herb: I know a lot of O scale trolleys have motorized trucks which essentially allows them to go around most any radius. The HO models have the motors in the body with gear boxes on the trucks and the truck swing is limited by things like the universals and the size of the opening in the floor to clear the gear box. Ideally, the PCC ought to go around about a 5" curve, but I don't think the ConCor model will do that.

Across the Bridge
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ebtnutI have a question for the HOer's here - Anyone figured out the minimum radii for the ConCor PCC car and Bachmann Peter Witt?
For the Peter Witt you'll find the answer over at Trolleyville.....

http://www.trolleyville.com/tv/times/feb2008/headline01.html

http://www.trolleyville.com/tv/school/lesson6_7/index.htm


Bill

Last edited on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 09:52 am by Across the Bridge

Espeefan
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The Con Cor PCC will do around 9" radius out of the box, but with a simple modification can get down to 6" radius.  The Peter Witt will do 6" out of the box.  I tested both models for Model Railroad news.  Let me know if you want to see the Mod I did.  (I know the original question was asked a while back, and I saw the links later but what the heck, at least now you have two independent sources)  I just have the one Con Cor car and one Peter Witt, but a boatload of Bowser PCC's and am currently restoring some Suydam PE cars.  I like my SP stuff but Traction is like peanuts.  You get started and.......:bg:

Last edited on Thu Apr 26th, 2012 05:59 pm by Espeefan


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