My trolley layout

Discussion in 'Traction Thoroughfare' started by trolleynut, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. trolleynut

    trolleynut Member


    I am getting back into the hobby again.

    I had a large layout before,but it was that power lock stuff,the time came to get rid of it all and start over in a smaller space.My layouts have always centered around a small fictional school bus company,named Golden Arrow.The former layout also ran Amtack trains but I am not really interested in that and I dont have enough space now.The last layout started around 5 Hoscale school buses and grew to two 4x8 sections.That powerlock track was way too noisy...

    The new layout will feature a trolley line,and a International Truck Corporation bus franchise(Golden Arrow) using Boley's new school buses.I have a few older Herpa ones to blend in.The layout will also feature MBTA themed transit buses also to match the trolleys.
    I do plan at a later time to add another section to the layout to accomodate Amtraks again,but for now it mostly will be housing and Commercial space.

    I am using pink foamboard in a 4x8 space.Two panels that lift out so I can work on the in another room.Sorta modular.I do not plan to use ORR track,and the layout will "loosely" be based off of Boston's Boeing LRV's and PCC's trolleys.The flex track seems to look ok to me but I am worried on how to do the streets with the rail in them.

    I am using flextrack code 83 with code 100 turnouts.(I have the joiners)

    I have the scenery pack,but I still have questions. Maybe some members here can help.

    What type of paint should I use to paint the rails that later need to be ballasted? Most of the street trackage(about 15 feet total) I am planning on will be plaster.Is there a simpler way for street trackage?
    I really dont like the "street system" so thats out.

    Right now,I am at the laying track stage,so is there a way to power up the track to test it without being connected to the second part of the module?What type of glue do I use to hold the track down?
    Can I put track right onto the foamboard or do I need cork or a roadbed?

    Anyway thats a quick look at what I want to do.Any help would be appreciated.I have attached a pic of the dealership in its crude stage,the buildings will be different(pikestuff) but you get the idea I hope.The busyard takes a good portion of the left module,to be built after the first.Right now I am building the right 4 feet and am trying to lay track.I have the benchwork done and foamboard awaits.I hope to track progress here.
    Thanks,I am probably sure most people will laugh but thats what I want to do.

    Attached Files:

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  2. trolleynut

    trolleynut Member

    track laid/scenery begun

    I laid track today using elmers and t pins on the right 4x2 module.The trolleys seem to have enough turn radius.

    I decided to stay away from tunnels for now so the far right hand corner will recieve some mountain cut thru with a house on top made of styrofoam with a plaster cloth over it..

    I also played around with a "proposed plan" in MSpaint..crude,but you'll get the gist of what Im doing.

    I still havent decided whether to paint the rails that are not part of street trackage,but I will definately ballast them.Guess I should decide on the paint if Im gonna lay the plaster soon. I am not sure whether the paint will affect the rails or not,maybe Ill mask the rails and just paint the ties.Since its a back corner of the module the view of it will be limited anyway.

    Here's some photo's of todays progress,took about three hours.
    Anyone that can comment or give me tips along the way,would be great.I have wanted to build this for some time.Slowly,I am amassing more buses,trolleys and structures.Commercial buildings will be at least 4 stories,and houses are Branchline victorians.

    Attached Files:

  3. interurban

    interurban Active Member

  4. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    :wave: welcome to the gauge :wave: the resident juice jacks can help you out.the only thing i know is walthers made a street track systems in i think the cornerstone line.
  5. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    The layout looks great T.N.!
    Keep the progress pics coming!
    :thumb: :cool: :cool: :thumb:

    btw...Welcome to the forum! :wave:
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Model Railroader did a series of articles called the Brandywine Traction Company (or some such) that was based on Boston. This was a few years ago, but you might want to look it up. I forget what they used for a base.
  7. trolleynut

    trolleynut Member

    Thanks interurban! That's pretty much how I'll do it.Looks trying on the paitence,but worth it in the end.
    I have done much more work this afternoon and I am pleased with the progres so far,it's been relatively easy so far.

    I got the module connected to the left 4x4 section,and I powered up all track.It works!
    The right module has all track glued,the left is just tpinned for now to map out the trackage.

    So now that it works,and can be disconnected again to be do the plaster cloth.
    I actually did fit in a small tunnel,but its really short and the track is straight.
    The hole will serve a trolley stop complete with busway(and that bachman bus station)and a token booth for the trolley line.I had so much fun today mocking it up and drawing the streets out,laying track. In a few days I'll do the ballast,streets,and plaster clothing.

    I have decided to install two trolley stops.One in the tunnel,and one close to the front of the layout,near the bus garage.

    I started this layout to reward myself for not smoking beginning January 1st.The money saved will provide the budget for a really nice,well scened layout.

    I look forward to learning from members here,thanks for welcoming me.I will take pics again soon after the plaster/ballast is done,but I am using a cell phone cam,sorry for the poor quality pics.

    As for overhead wiring,maybe at a later date.:)

    I would like to kitbash a few buses to run on the road system if I ever get that far.I am modeling the MBTA,but purely fictional,so I hope it comes out great!
  8. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    Welcome To The Gauge. :wave: :wave: Looks like you are off to a good start. Keep us posted.:D :D :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  9. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    FWIW - Continental Modeller Jan 2006 has quite a good article on the Faller roadway system and the vehicles, which could be used to convert your busses to actually move
    Shortliner(Jack)away up here in the Highlands
  10. trolleynut

    trolleynut Member

    Thanks shortliner. I will try to pick that up,even though it is a long way off.I have been all over the Miniature Wonderland website,looking at buses the have modified to the Faller I know it can be done.I'm trying to contact them to see if they will buiild me a few..I am sure it can be an expensive thing,but hey tax refunds coming!


    Anyway,my new trolley arrived yeterday.I run mostly the cheap brills,and a few Bachman PCCs,but this is a brass Sam Hong PCC.Very well detailed and runs great on the installed track.Paid a bit too much,but I am happy with it.It will be painted eventually in the Boston livery but for now Im running it as a Ex-Dallas car. Here's some photos:

    The GMC fishbowl paitently awaits the PCCs demise,poised to provide service along the same routes.
    PCC with bus complex in the background:


    The trolly pole is in a safe place until needed.This model is so well detailed and runs like new.Little rough on the turnouts,but that is because its not ORR track.Works though.

    The layout is in what I call mock up stage.Before I finish the scenery,I need to place buildings in various setups to get a feel for what Im doing.Since the back of the layout faces a wall,it must be disconnected and moved to the kitchen to do scenery work.Pian in the butt,but it seems to be working for me.
    Thanks for you encouragement guys.
    I usually work on Scenery on Mondays,it's my only day free.I will post some more pics after the plaster cloth is laid.

    Attached Files:

  11. trolleynut

    trolleynut Member

    Week 2

    Been playing around all week,and shopping for buildings.I will recycle a few here and there.

    I laid streets this week,and finished much og the styrofoam on the right 4x4 module.I was thinking I'll use a tunnel portal for subway entrance under the road that leads to the Bradcliffe manor. Its a Branchline kit,and it's moving along nicely.

    I laid some street trackage today using a technique like interurban did,and soon I'll be scrapeing the compund out from rail contact.I bought a small awl for the job,but the water and brush technique took it pretty close to the rails.

    I'm happy with the results thus far.I'll be finishing road construction this week and then it's ballasting exposed track,and laying plaster cloths.

    My fear of course,is that the trolleys will derail often,so I am going to go very slow with plasterwork/ballasting.
    Here's some pics.The tunnel entrance will be closed in glass with two doors.It will be built out a bit and I have a token collector's booth.The bus station will go directly in from of the portal.

    Attached Files:

  12. interurban

    interurban Active Member


    Great job.
    This is realy sweet, what a collection you have trollynut, very impressive. :thumb:
  13. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    The street work is just amazing.:thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  14. trolleynut

    trolleynut Member

    This morning after looking closer at it,I am not happy with the way it looks.It may need two coats of plaster in the street trackage,since after drying a bit,it looks like you can see the ties below the plaster.Maybe this will look better when its painted?
  15. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    O dear :( you have to put plenty of plaster on , I make sure the plaster is up to the rails by running a wide paint scraper along the two rails also aggitating it a bit to settle it in.
    When you smoothed it , give the road that "been there a long time look" :thumb:

    Are you thinking of marking cobblestones in the plaster?

    It WILL look great when you have the paint on it.
  16. trolleynut

    trolleynut Member

    oh boy! different kind of shrinkage

    Well after being at work all day,I came home to find the ties are even more pronounced and my aggravation level has increased.Maybe the problem is I used joint compound.I'll put another layer over it when its totally dry.
    Some of the other streets have hairline cracks in them.:curse:

    I dont know if I am going with the cobblestones,as I do like the concrete or asphalt look better and its less work.We'll see.

    I am beginning to wonder if I should have went with the ORR track after all.

    The street pictured will be a two way with parking on one side.

    Attached Files:

  17. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    ER do not us joint compound :cry:

    Speckling compound or pollyfiller do an excellant job.

    Plain hydrocal dries to quick for my likeing, it takes no prisoners.
    Here are pictures of street done with speckling compound. it was easy honest.
    From our Traction in Action modual.

    Attached Files:

  18. trolleynut

    trolleynut Member

    Aha! I had a feeling I was using the wrong stuff.

    How much trouble is it to pull the joint compound off,Im not really concerned about salvaging the track at this point.I just want it to look right since this is the main street at the front of the layout.

    Should I leave the other two streets as is? Or just start over from scratch?

    BTW,that is a terrific layout interurban,I hope it looks half as good as that. That is HO scale?

    That bus coming up the street is a fine rare model.The one in the foreground looks to be a APM but I am not sure.
  19. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    Chris - on photo 1 why the short length of sleepered track in the street? Just interested as I don't remeber seeing it on this side of the pond with London Transport trams (long time ago!)
    Shortliner(Jack)away up here in the Highlands
  20. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    If you are not happy , take it out and start again, YOU have to be happy with it Trolleynut.

    The Modual is H O built by 6 traction/ street car nuts :D

    If you check in members for me and search my posts , you will see a LOT of that L/O and my old one too.

    Our Friend Andy supplied the busses I`ll ask him when we get together again.

    Keep up the good work friend! :thumb:

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