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Trolley Cars

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  • Member since
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  • From: Midtown Sacramento
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Posted by Jetrock on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 11:41 AM
The issue isn't the trolleys so much as the track itself. Bachmann sells a couple of surprisingly good low-cost trolley prototypes (a Brill and a PCC) and there's quite a bit of stuff in the brass market and on eBay. Track, however, is another matter--you'll have to admit, it's a bit daunting to build things like single-point turnouts or girder rail from scratch.

One can predict, though, that interest in trolleys might grow in the future--kids who grew up in the 50's-70's (when trolley lines were gone) may not have had much interest in trolleys, but since the reintroduction of light rail vehicles (what late 20th Century Americans call a Trolley) in the 70's and 80's, those who grew up with them who become model railroaders will have an interest in the cars they rode, as well as their predecessors.
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 3:48 AM
There are quite a few Tram (What we Brits call a Trolley) kits available over here. Corgi makes some diecast examples that can be converted to run on 16.5mm gauge track with motorising kits, and there are a number of small suppliers offering whitemetal/brass/plastic kits designed to be motorised. I suspect they'd sell a lot more of them if Hornby (for example) were to start production of a range of Tramway track - a Czech company called ETS has started to do this in O-gauge recently, looks good.
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  • From: Midtown Sacramento
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Posted by Jetrock on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 12:41 AM
The problem with Walthers street track inserts is that they aren't sharp enough, they cost too much if you're doing more than a short trolley/industrial section. I try not to buy anything that I can make myself for less cost without too much effort, and while I draw the line at highly detailed stuff, things like streets are pretty easy to crank out from sheet styrene, cardstock and some wood shims. Besides, I use Code 100 track.

Model railroad products tend to get produced if there is enough demand--traction is a small niche market (heck, how many new traction models are being produced?) so there isn't really a whole lot of economic reason for a manufacturer to make things like girder rail and single-point turnouts. Goodness knows, I'd love to have some single-point turnouts (I can't even use the Richard Orr stuff, even if I could find it, because I want to run two-rail rather than trolley power so I can run my diesels on it) though...
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, October 27, 2003 11:28 AM
surely someone could consider doing a range of HO scale girder rail track and turnouts? Produce it in fixed straights, curves, etc and it would sell to people modelling dockyards, trolleys, street RRs, etc.
  • Member since
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  • From: Upstate
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Posted by Bennekers on Sunday, October 26, 2003 2:44 PM
Walthers sells street track inserts for code 83 track. See my topic on street car tracks, just posted.
dutchtrain
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  • From: Midtown Sacramento
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Posted by Jetrock on Thursday, October 16, 2003 8:38 AM
Girder rail is ridiculously hard to come by--Richard Orr made it (as well as those magnificent single-point turnouts) but it's very, very, very hard to find.

You can fake it a number of ways--you can either solder Code 70 rail set on its side into the web of Code 100 rail (labor-intensive to say the least), or lay two sets of rail parallel to each other, or you can find .100" thick brass or aluminum and set it alongside your Code 100 rail to serve as a fake girder rail. In a pinch, one could paint a narrow strip of Rust or Grimy Black alongside the outside edges of the styrene strip you're putting between the rails to represent the street surface.

A lot depends on what the prototype you are modeling did--some traction lines used cobblestones mortared up against the edges of the the track in place of girder rail (So did some industrial trackage--you can still see the definitely non-girder rail in my hometown with cobblestones in between it...)

If you can find Orr girder rail, you'll also need a special Orr tool to bend it without destroying it.

Trolleys ran around curves as sharp as 36 feet, which is about 5", but again, your mileage varies based on what sort of trolley you're running. A four-wheel Birney with 26" wheels can manage a 5" curve with minimal sweat, and I found that the stock Bachmann Brill trolley can manage down to 7" if you take out the clear plastic lighting piece first (they'll go even sharper if you cut away some of the plastic around the truck, shown in, I think, April 'MR in an article about modifying Bachmann Brills for the O'Dell County Traction layout.)
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 10:32 AM
On a related note, does anyone make the type of rail used for trolleys? It's like normal rail but has a groove in the top surface for the wheel flanges to run in.
  • Member since
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  • From: Culpeper, Va
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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Sunday, October 12, 2003 9:24 AM
The NMRA site www.nmra.org has a Standards and RP page. RP 11 covers recommended curve radius and includes trollys and interurbans in different classes. They recommend 5" for HO streetcars. They also recommend that the cars be constructed to negotiate about 1/2" tighter curve to ensure reliable operation.
Enjoy
Paul
If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
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  • From: Guelph, Ont.
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Posted by BR60103 on Saturday, October 11, 2003 10:29 PM
Hi again.
I have some track that Tyco made for their 4 wheel trolley, and it's about a 4" radius. (in HO) That may be the minimum. If you use bigger cars, the radius will go up.
I paced off a Toronto intersection recently and estinated one curve at 50 feet from the points to the middle of the cross track. That is a bit under 7" in HO.
Having the switches in it means that the minimum radius is probably less than 50 feet.

--David

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Trolley Cars
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, October 11, 2003 12:03 PM
[:)]Hi can anybody tell me what is the minimum radius curve a trolley car can go around without de-railing[?]

Thanks [:D][8D]

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