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Does anyone know anything about this brass trolley?

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Does anyone know anything about this brass trolley?
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, March 29, 2020 9:46 PM

As if I didn't have enough projects to work on, I came across this trolley when I was searching for a trolley shell to use in a diner scratchbuild. It would be a sacrilege to use just the body for a diner so I'm contemplating having a trolley line running up and down the main street of my new layout. That would be a bit of a challenge, especially if catenary is required, but I have never claimed to be sane.

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/HO-Brass-Trolley-Birney-Kit-Japan-motor-runs-smooth-wooden-roof-2-poles/254551062789?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1431.l2649

Can anyone identify the manufacturer? Brasstrains.com doesn't have anything similar currently listed.

Do you know if this would have been track powered or would power have been supplied through the poles with the track acting as ground? I can't tell if the wheel sets are insulated or not.

The wooden roof is obviously not original but making a proper roof out of brass is an acceptable challenge.

Any other comments would be appreciated, including those related to my sanity!

Here is a link to the new layout thread:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/281323.aspx

Thanks,

Dave

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Posted by wvg_ca on Sunday, March 29, 2020 10:03 PM

Look like you can get more complete ones for about the same price ... but if you your heart set on it, go for it !

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, March 29, 2020 10:23 PM

Hi wvg_ca,

wvg_ca
Look like you can get more complete ones for about the same price

Can you tell me where you are looking?

Thanks

Dave

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Posted by wvg_ca on Sunday, March 29, 2020 10:35 PM

same site ... they need motors [most of them], but not roofs ...

most seem to be track powered, not sure if that is what you want though ..

they do seem to be mostly brass ..??..

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Posted by NVSRR on Sunday, March 29, 2020 10:42 PM

Is that based on Japanese style trolleys?

A pessimist sees a dark tunnel

An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

A realist sees a frieght train

An engineer sees three idiots standing on the tracks stairing blankly in space

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, March 29, 2020 10:48 PM

wvg_ca
same site ... they need motors [most of them], but not roofs ...

If you are referring to eBay, I'm not seeing very many brass trolley cars when I view the Canadian site, and those that I can see are much more expensive than the particular model that I am bidding on. It may be that most of what you are looking at is not being offered to Canadian buyers.

This particular trolley appeals to me because it is so short and simple. I would have no problem scratchbuilding a new drive system if I decide to use it as a running model, so my questions about the power source are probably irrelevant. On the other hand, using as many of the original components as possible does add to the interest of the project.

Dave

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Posted by wvg_ca on Monday, March 30, 2020 1:05 AM

I went to the site's US based page to find brass trolleys .. You may be right in that some of the listings do not ship to Canada, I didn't check ..

I did rank those that needed a motor higher than those that needed cosmetic parts though

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Monday, March 30, 2020 2:06 AM

Japan-made brass models of Birney trolleys were imported in the 1960s and 1970s by Ken Kidder and LMB. In an accepatable condition, the ones on offer fetch much higher prices, than the one you are interested in.The model seems to be a basket case, but that should not deter you. It´s a good price - I´d say go for it.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, March 30, 2020 2:20 AM

Tinplate Toddler
Japan-made brass models of Birney trolleys were imported in the 1960s and 1970s by Ken Kidder and LMB.

Suydam was another popular line of brass, HO interurbans and street cars:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Suydam-1300-Niles-Suburban-Combine-PE-14-Unpainted-Brass-HO/124107884585?epid=1871157925&hash=item1ce5680829:g:pKAAAOSwKpdeYUV0

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-Suydam-Co-HO-PACIFIC-ELECTRIC-TEN-1032-Class-Wood-Pwd-FREE-SHIPPING/383260682198?hash=item593c1de7d6:g:w3gAAOSwS1Jdv1xD

 

 

For diner kitbash fodder, the old Roundhouse Pullman Palace cars are a great starting place. Easily shortened if desired.

 IMG_7122_fix by Edmund, on Flickr

Mine has a way to go.

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, March 30, 2020 2:22 AM

Tinplate Toddler
The model seems to be a basket case, but that should not deter you. It´s a good price - I´d say go for it.

Hi Ulrich,

The wee beastie is so cute that I can hardly refuse it! It's just begging for a second chance at life. I just hope that the price doesn't go too much higher.

Cheers!!

Dave

P.S. How about getting Petra to share her hamburger recipe with us? I'm always up for a good burger!

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Monday, March 30, 2020 2:40 AM

hon30critter
P.S. How about getting Petra to share her hamburger recipe with us? I'm always up for a good burger!

I hope I am not hijacking this thread with it, but basically, there is not much of a recipe you don´t already know. Petra uses prime choice ground beef for the patties, seasoned with salt and pepper. Good quality beef is essential. The key difference is in the bun. We do not use those regular sugary hamburger buns, but German rolls (Brötchen) for our hamburgers. The suce is a mix of a sauce remouade, German mustard and ketchup. Add tomatos, lettuce, slices of Danish pickled cornichons and cheese - that´s it. We tried various ready made hamburger sauces and found them to sugary as well.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, March 30, 2020 3:19 AM

Thanks Ulrich!

I agree that having good quality ingredients is essential to making good food. Petra's burger recipe is very simple but it sounds delicious. We are remiss in that we do not buy fresh buns for our burgers simply because they seem to go stale before we get around to using them. However, recently Dianne has been experimenting with a bread recipe that does not require kneading and the results have been pretty tasty! I'm going to suggest that she try to make some burger buns with the recipe. They would be great!

Always a pleasure conversing with you Ulrich!

Cheers!!

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, March 30, 2020 3:26 AM

NVSRR
Is that based on Japanese style trolleys?

I haven't a clue, but from what I have seen on the eBay and Brasstrains.com websites, the Asian trolleys seem to have much more complexity on their roofs.

I rather suspect that the trolley in question is not a model of any specific prototype. The design is very simple and there is very little detail. However, that's what makes it attractive to me. I hope I win the auction!

Dave

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Monday, March 30, 2020 4:34 AM

Birney trolleys mainly had a standard design, which was rather simple. However, the trolleys got modified over the years as voltage was increased, controls change and brakes improved. There are a fdew Birneys still in use in Lisbon, but they were heavily modified to accomodate recent safety standards.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by wvg_ca on Monday, March 30, 2020 5:03 AM

I hope that you get it as well .... I would rather change out a motor than make a new roof .... the roof construction will keep you busy for a while ..

I have noticed that this auction site has gone down in final value just recently, I am winning two HO steam locos with DCC and sound for less than forty dollars [each],  right now , lol

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Monday, March 30, 2020 5:06 AM

You could use the wooden roof as a template.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by BN7150 on Monday, March 30, 2020 6:14 AM

The attached image is an advertisement for International Models Inc. published in the May 1955 issue of MR Magazine. They used the brand name "International Model Products." The closed street car is said to have been manufactured by "Kawai Model" for the Japanese market.

IMP

Kuriu, Kotaro
Kyoto, JAPAN

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Posted by Erie1951 on Monday, March 30, 2020 9:10 AM

I would have to say that it's a Ken Kidder import.

Russ

Modeling the early '50s Erie in Paterson, NJ.  Here's the link to my railroad postcard collection: https://railroadpostcards.blogspot.com/

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, March 30, 2020 9:22 AM

 Really looks like the International model. Also the wood roof probably IS original - easiest way to insulate the trolley pols and make them work, without an ugnly plastic bushing in the hole. Much like old Walthers passenger cars, I'll be the wood was shipped as a plain block, and it was up tot he builder to sand it to shape. Some Walthers cars has cast metal ends for the roof, but not all of them did. 

                                  --Randy

 


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Posted by dknelson on Monday, March 30, 2020 11:00 AM

I happen to think a diner would be an excellent use for this relic.  I do not think it would be a sacrilege at all - why shouldn't a roadside diner be this nicely detailed, and why shouldn't a model streetcar enjoy the same honorable retirement as the prototypes did if they were lucky?  And compared to many diners of this sort (of which I have only the vaguest recollections) this one is already "selectively compressed."  Your time would be better spent superdetailing the interior with kitchen and dining counter than trying to make it run well, or finishing off the detailing.

I am reminded that there was a firm called Paul Moore that had all sorts of interurban and streetcar models in the 1960s, some of which and maybe most of which were unpowered.  That would be another place to look for future roadside diner material.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by BN7150 on Monday, March 30, 2020 1:07 PM

Two pieces of information were found in the materials on hand. One is Kawai's advertisement in a Japanese hobby magazine, and the other is a sales promotion drawing of a mail order company. The latter says at the exchange rate at the time, the assembly was $3.75 and the kit was $2.36. How much did IMP make by selling this kit for $10.00?


the Sept. 1953 issue of "the Hobby of Model Railroading" magazine


the 1955 extra issue of "the Model and Radio" magazine

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, March 30, 2020 10:01 PM

BN7150
The attached image is an advertisement for International Models Inc. published in the May 1955 issue of MR Magazine.

Hi BN7150!

Thanks very much! That certainly is the model. The blue print is identical to that shown on the eBay listing. The $10.00 1955 price works out to $96.50 in 2020 dollars.

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, March 30, 2020 10:04 PM

rrinker
the wood roof probably IS original - easiest way to insulate the trolley pols and make them work,

Hi Randy,

That is quite possible. The wood certainly seems to have some age to it. I noticed that there are no holes in the wood roof for the trolley poles. That just adds to the mystery.

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, March 30, 2020 10:09 PM

dknelson
I happen to think a diner would be an excellent use for this relic.  I do not think it would be a sacrilege at all - why shouldn't a roadside diner be this nicely detailed, and why shouldn't a model streetcar enjoy the same honorable retirement as the prototypes did if they were lucky?

Hi Dave,

I'm torn between the two options, but I am leaning towards resurecting it, that is if I win it. There is still a day to go on the auction.

I just bought a cheap Tyco trolley shell which would be suitable for a diner. The details are a bit crude but the price was right.

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, March 30, 2020 10:16 PM

gmpullman
Suydam was another popular line of brass, HO interurbans and street cars: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Suydam-1300-Niles-Suburban-Combine-PE-14-Unpainted-Brass-HO/124107884585?epid=1871157925&hash=item1ce5680829:g:pKAAAOSwKpdeYUV0 https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-Suydam-Co-HO-PACIFIC-ELECTRIC-TEN-1032-Class-Wood-Pwd-FREE-SHIPPING/383260682198?hash=item593c1de7d6:g:w3gAAOSwS1Jdv1xD

Hi Ed,

Brasstrains.com has several similar trolleys listed but they are mostly around $250.00 USD +. I don't want to spend that much.

The first trolley you listed is quite nicely priced, but it is a combine and I'm looking for something with all windows. The second trolley is way too long for what I have planned.

Thanks,

Dave

 

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Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 12:07 AM

hon30critter
The first trolley you listed is quite nicely priced, but it is a combine and I'm looking for something with all windows. The second trolley is way too long for what I have planned.

Those were just random examples, Dave. There were about a hundred listings under HO>brass>Suydam  (not all of the listings were for cars) in the US ebay site. BrassTrains does have a tendency toward deeper pockets.

Several were in the $150-180 range and looked pretty detailed. Suydam tended to produce Pacific Electric "Big" cars (Blimps?)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/E-Suydam-Pacific-Electric-414-Niles-Calif-Suburban-Coach-U-E-T-Co-609-HO/143567664572?hash=item216d4cb5bc:g:Qi0AAOSwOfFef4cS

Since you mentioned a running trolley/streetcar I thought I'd mention that option.

Bowser has a recent PCC car but if I recall, they also made a die-cast model of one. That may be another choice. TTC had a bunch of PCCs.

 Toronto_PCC_1987 by Edmund, on Flickr

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 1:05 AM

gmpullman
Bowser has a recent PCC car but if I recall, they also made a die-cast model of one. That may be another choice. TTC had a bunch of PCCs.

The TTC streetcars were affectionately known as the 'Red Rockets". I just bought one made by Bachmann. It doesn't compare to a Bowser unit but it was only about 20% of the price of a Bowser unit too.

The Canadian eBay site has about 60 brass trolleys listed right now, but there are only four that are small enough to fit my space, including the one I am bidding on. The other three are indeed better detailed and in much better condition, but of course they are more expensive too. I'm going to go for the 'sow's ear'! Doing the work will be fun!

Cheers!!

Dave

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Posted by Eric White on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 1:09 PM

Bowser had a big line of white metal trolleys.

You can still find them in the usual places.

Bowser also sells drive kits that can be adapted to its old trolleys, as well as to other traction models. There are several makers of resin kits, usually around $100 each.

http://www.customtraxx.com/ is a great resource for trolley modeling materials.

 

Eric

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 8:45 PM

Eric White
Bowser had a big line of white metal trolleys.

Hi Eric,

I saw one of the Bowser white metal trolleys for sale on eBay a day or two ago. I have to say that the casting was crude in that there was a ton of flash, and in some places it would have been very difficult to remove without ruining the details. I'm afraid that sort of modelling doesn't appeal to me for some reason.

I tried the link that you supplied but I got a "Dangerous Website" warning from my Norton Antivirus so I didn't pursue it.

Thanks for the information,

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 11:07 AM

Well, I won the auction for the trolley, and I think I paid a reasonable price for it although I paid more than I was hoping to. Fortunately the seller has agreed to ship via USPS First Class Mail which will be about half the cost of the Global Shipping (i.e. Global Rip Off) Program. I am very happy about that. I'm just waiting for the final invoice.

Once I have the trolley in hand I will be in a better position to decide whether to use it as part of a diner or get it running again. I'm leaning strongly in favour of getting it running again.

SmileBig SmileSmileBig SmileYesYeah

Cheers!!

Dave

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