Help with N Scale Catenary

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by grumbeast, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. grumbeast

    grumbeast Member


    my larger model railroad dreams never get complete so I've decided to inspire myself by building a 1950mmx750mm European layout. That said I have quite a few electric locomotives and really want to put catenary on the visible side of the layout. My question is:

    Is there a way of having the staging yard without catenary and having some transition for the pantograph onto the catenary before the locomotive enters the visible side of the layout? Does anyone have any experience with this or know where I can get some advice.

    I thought some sort of shallow ramp that gradually pushes the pantograph down and then transitions it to the wire. I don't plan on using the panto to pick up power but I would like to have it ride the wire.


  2. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    I would think that if, coming off the visible part of the layout to staging, you gradually raised the height of the catenary wire to a height greater than the pantographs, you would have a natural transition from overhead to no-overhead trackage.
  3. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    Why drop your pants... all? I had/have early Rapido GG-1s (can't find one- the other let the smoke out). I ran 'em with their pants up as direction deemed. I plan on simulating any wire contact when my new KATO Gs come by restricting the height the pan can open. I am already thinking a short piece of brass wire (painted black) lassoed around the pants. I'll know more when I have it in my hands. But once it's running, I'd never drop my pants. That could be dangerous as well as embarrasing.

    Of course having re-read the question, I'd just stop the cantenary as it slips into a tunnel or makes it beyond sight.

  4. grumbeast

    grumbeast Member

    I too am a believer in never dropping my pants all the way.. :)

    however. I've always wants a layout with Cat, in my early 20s I saw a layout at a model show in Bridgend where an N scale Swiss Krokodil came out of a tunnel with its Pant following the wire up and down a little with the odd spark (the cat was also powered!) . I've subsequently seen a video on youtube (sorry.. on home machine, saw video over lunch at work) where the guy was testing cat and just had a few lengths. The locomotive just entered the cat section and followed the wire fine, all it needed was the little transition curve at the ends. So I think thats what I plan to do! now all I have to do is get my track plan for the 195cm x 75cm layout finished. I've wavering between European Spagetti layout with gradients bridges and tunnels, Vs a one scene + good hidden staging layout.

  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Graham: Lionel used to have a drawing in their manual of a piece of curved wire that would lower a pantograph to go through a tunnel. It should work for you. I would have a bit maybe the size of a small rail which would go below the wire height and then rise again so it would be bi-directinal.

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