Author Topic: Portable Trolley Railroad  (Read 948 times)

bparrish

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Portable Trolley Railroad
« on: September 22, 2017, 03:51:41 PM »
Afternoon all..

Recall about two weeks ago I told you of the passing of Bruce McCosh here in downtown Idaho.  About two years ago he and I built a portable trolley module in a period of about six weeks. 

About a month before Bruce died he told me that he had enough fun with it and that it was now mine.  I am getting it ready for our 3rd Division fall meet which it to be held a week from now.

The local library hosts model railroads in the conference rooms on two consecutive weekends during the winter.  We built this for that event which is held annually.

The track plan is from a Model Railroader magazine article in 1954.  We changed the plan only a small amount.  There are two modules that are each about 24" x 30" and bolted together with wing nuts. 

We built and entire Easy DCC system with radio receiver into a plastic tool box so that the power supply was equally portable.

They system runs off of the wire with common rail for ground.  The trolleys are Bowser with later drives and had to be rewired to run off of the pole.  Below is a start of what we did.









I didn't realize people my age were so old ! !

PRR Modeler

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Re: Portable Trolley Railroad
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2017, 04:21:55 PM »
Very nice. Sorry to hear about your friend.
Curt Webb
The Late Great Pennsylvania Railroad
Freelanced PRR Bellevue Subdivision

GPdemayo

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Re: Portable Trolley Railroad
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2017, 09:13:04 AM »
Having the module will be a nice memory of a grand friend. Good luck with the "McCosh Memorial Transit System"  8)
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
Longwood, FL

bparrish

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Re: Portable Trolley Railroad
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2017, 02:00:39 AM »
Here are a few additional photos.







I didn't realize people my age were so old ! !

ACL1504

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Re: Portable Trolley Railroad
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2017, 08:00:14 AM »
Bob,

Nice little layout and a generous gift from your friend. Sorry to hear of your friends passing.

Tom
If you hate plan A, you are certainly not going to like plan B!

Tom Langford
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bparrish

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Re: Portable Trolley Railroad
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2017, 01:50:51 AM »
When Bruce and I set out to do this he first had an idea to create a single point turnout that would spring back after the wheels went through.  I suggested that we make them so that the single point was pushed it would stay where ever it went so as to reverse the travel through the loop on the next trip by.

"You can do that?"

I had no idea but much of my modeling is based on the notion: "Can I do it?"

We also were cursed with 9 inch radius from the original track plan.  I could not get a turnout to work lower that 12 inch, no matter what kind of switch points I made up.  So we enlarged the radius through the turnout but immediately after that it went to nine inch.

What makes this work is that there is a spring that tensions the single point down to the printed circuit board. I had built seven turnouts on my original trolley district on one giant PC panel and then separated the rails electrically for plus and minus. This would be easy as we were to run off of the poles so it was all minus on the rails.



Next are photos of the friction devise that makes it work.  The bottom stand is a turned piece of three eighths brass rod and drilled to a 1/16th hole in the center + .003".  The lower brass washer is soldered to that stand.  A .030" brass wire is soldered into the lower washer, next to the spring.  The upper washer floats on the 1/16" rod and has a hole for the brass wire to come through.  The idea is that I can adjust the tension of the downward pull on the switch point but the spring can impart no force to the point.  No matter where the point is pushed by the passing wheels the spring has no torsional effect.  It is double nutted so that it cannot go out of tension.



Last is the finished turnout before mounting it to the bench.
 
I didn't realize people my age were so old ! !

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Re: Portable Trolley Railroad
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2017, 11:11:49 AM »
Ingenious idea and making it work.
Curt Webb
The Late Great Pennsylvania Railroad
Freelanced PRR Bellevue Subdivision

bparrish

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Re: Portable Trolley Railroad
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2017, 03:15:54 PM »
Over the years Bruce and I made up a lot of trolley stuff.  Much of both of our home layouts are under trolley wire.  However we never powered the wire as it was too cumbersome for operators to be putting up and down poles every time you changed direction.

That is why we made the portables, there were two, to run off of the wire.  Both of these railroads were continuous operation display layouts.  The one shown here was our most recent build; of about two years ago.

Over the years I turned out something over 110 poles for my railroad and nearly 200 for his.  This was all done with 1/8" brass alloy rod and then made up for single arms, double arms or a loop for a drag or tie wire pole.

Below are examples of single and double arms.  All of the poles I made up had a finial turning on the top that came to be something of a signature of the poles we used.  They came out pointed and was something of a hazard but once pounded into the bench work they were blunted a bit.

Further below is the lathe tool I made up for cutting the finials.  I have this rule that if I have to make more than two of something I will make up a cutting tool for it.

see ya





« Last Edit: September 26, 2017, 03:33:24 PM by bparrish »
I didn't realize people my age were so old ! !

tom.boyd.125

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Re: Portable Trolley Railroad
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2017, 03:38:42 PM »
Bob,
"Friends are the most important ingredient in this recipe of life."
Great tribute to Bruce. Always like seeing trolley layouts...
Tommy
Tom Boyd in Center City, MN.
tommytrains22@yahoo.com

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Re: Portable Trolley Railroad
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2017, 09:21:00 PM »
IIRC you posted a number of photos of the construction of this layout.  Sad to hear about Bruce, good to see the layout continuing.  I like your 'trail through' point scheme, though my own interest for many years has been making a reasonable facsimile of a railroad spring switch.  Back in the '70s I wrote MR asking how to build one; their answer worked mechanically but not electrically for 2-rail HO.
James

bparrish

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Re: Portable Trolley Railroad
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2017, 12:34:11 PM »
James...

Below are some photos of the trolley district on my home layout.  I built this about 10 years ago.

What makes single point turnouts work is that point grabs the back side of the flange and starts the truck into the turn before the opposite wheel has made a decision of which rail to follow, straight or turn.

It is on a large sheet of .030" double clad PC board.  I had a wire soldered to each side of the PC board and connected to an Ohm meter with a squealer.  This way if I did anything that tied the top to the bottom it would let me know right now.  The risk of an un-findable short was too great.  Especially when punching down through the board for the turnouts. You can see two blue wires at the far end of the ladder.

All rail was gauged and soldered directly to the PC board.  I split the gaps and copper clad down between the rails later to separate + and - .   I never had any intention of running off of the poles as this was to be an operational portion of the railroad and you can't push poles.  I think you might be able to push Norwegians however ! ! !

The first photos is sorta ugly but it shows the ladder track work before any of the street material.





Now a series of photos showing first a turnout before any brick stuff.  Also before any electrical gaps were cut.



Now a few with the brick stuff in and showing the gaps.  There were only two places where I had to use jumper wires to power something.  All of these turnouts run off of twin coil Lindsay machines.



« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 05:07:17 PM by bparrish »
I didn't realize people my age were so old ! !

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Re: Portable Trolley Railroad
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2017, 04:14:22 PM »
Awesome track laying.
Curt Webb
The Late Great Pennsylvania Railroad
Freelanced PRR Bellevue Subdivision

GPdemayo

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Re: Portable Trolley Railroad
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2017, 08:42:27 AM »
Neat..... 8)
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
Longwood, FL

 

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