My trolley layout

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

  1. trolleynut

    trolleynut Member

    Thanks,interurban.Ill look back into your posts.

    Im off to take the roads out.I'll pick up some speckling compound tomarrow.Any particular brand? I can get that at Home depot or hardware store?

    Is it speckling or spackling? Is there a difference?

    Do you think this will work? I mean,most people use the ORR track,from what I can tell,but it can be done with regular track,right? Its nothing really elaborate,just an oval and a few turnouts(one that must be submerged).
    That will come when I get my own place.Whenever that is.....

    Thanks for all your help.
  2. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    Hi Jack I`m a Manchester Lad 25 years in Canada now, where did that time go eh!

    Now then just where that bare track, is the table splits, and we started to have a problem with uneven floors at shows so the paved track at that point had to have more le way , so I came up with the idea of a road work crew digging out and replacing that section,, it works and gets a lot of coversation going at the shows.
  3. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    The hardware shop will know what it is.

    If you are putting a switch in cement I would use RO`s trolley turnouts. they match up great with Peco or Atlas track.
    All the guys I know have used both Richard Orr and Flexy track , but now use Peco track.
    Again, I like what you are doing please keep us posted.

    If you need a bit of help we are here for you :thumb:
  4. trolleynut

    trolleynut Member

    OK.So I can/should use Orr turnouts with my atlas Code83 flextrack?

    I didnt think they were compatable,and I dont think my hobby shop sells Orr.
    Can you point me in the right direction as to where to pickup what I need?
    And will I need a soldering iron?

    Thanks,I did take up the flex track tonight,basically ruined.No big deal,monor setback.
    It's been a learning experience so far!
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Plaster: there has been a bit of discussion about plaster at times. A lot of them (like joint compound) shrink, while others (like Hydrocal) don't. Spackling compound is for walls; speckling compound gives you freckles or pimples. :D :oops:
    Track: I've never seen anything made with Orr track. I saw a length at the LHS, but George was charging a fortune for it. There has been a transition from girder rail to regular rail over the past few decades. TTC is now using T rail with the groove cut into the concrete. Don't remember about the specialwork.
  6. trolleynut

    trolleynut Member

    I dont mind using Orr for the turnouts if its going to be more reliable.Two turrnouts should not blow the budget.

    I also removed the two other streets today that were laid the same time as the street trackage.

    I have no problem putting down some new track,but Im really wondering about the "transition" from Orr to code83.Does it require a rail joinerer?

    If its solder I need,I'll have to pickup a iron and the supplies.

    Since the turnouts are on the left 4 feet of the module,a decision doesnt need to made right now,as the left part of the module isnt really past track being glued.The turnouts are not glued down yet.

    There are onlytwo turnouts on in the back of the layout and one right in the front.The one closest to the front can be a manual throw,but the back one needs to be on a switch.
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Good question about the transition. What code is the Orr rail? Does it have its own joiners?
    You'll need a soldering iron sometime if you do trolley modelling.
  8. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Orr rail is Code 100. There are some SIGNIFICANT differences between using Richard Orr rail and traditional model railroad rail.

    For starters, it isn't flextrack, it is just RAIL. No ties. It requires a special bending tool to bend--you can't just bend it by hand or you will ruin it.

    Second, you can't run them as two-rail track, as the switches are a single unit--the rails share a common ground. I think some folks have modified Orr single-point switches extensively for use with two-rail, but it would probably be easier to scratchbuild your switches.

    That being said, you can get it from and the owner of that business has an excellent tutorial on using Orr rail, as well as various methods of building street track, at in the Schoolhouse section. The owner of Customtraxx wrote these articles (George Huckaby) and he knows his stuff!
  9. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    Well there you have it trolleynut good advise from David and Jet.

    Good point re two rail operation, R O switches will not allow that, easy enought to think of overhead right about er now :D

    Good Links JET.
  10. trolleynut

    trolleynut Member

    Thanks for the links jetrock.You guys are awesome with all your help and suggestions.

    Can I just use Peco turnouts (code83) and the flextrack I have which is code83 already? I mean the hard part really is keeping the turnouts clear of debris and getting the "speckling" away from the rail.Right? Most of the trolleys I have are two rail versions,wouldnt I have to convert everything?

    I think for now,I will stay to my original plan of not using the ORR if possible.Also the overhead wiring is not something I want to attempt at this time,but could be an afterthought.

    If I ever get to the point of having a large enough space to build my dream layout,I'll consider both options.

    So really this is what Im considering at this time

    PECO code 83 turnouts
    code 83 flextrack
    speckling compound

    Im wondering now if the PECO ties and the flex ties are going to be the same height or if I will need to do some adjusting.

    The street trackage has been a thorn so far and I really appreciate your help and input.
    To tell the truth,I just loathe the idea having to bend ORR track,and make my own electrical contacts and ties.It scares me that it will be way more expensive and I'll screw it up.

    The whole layout needs to be basically done by April.Once the track is in and working,the scenery will come fast as I have most of it purchased already.
  11. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    The code 83 is OK
    To Convert two rail cars to overhead that is simple, let us know when ever you are ready for that and we will get to it then.

    You can put code 83 turnouts in the street "cobblestone street' do a package for that , mainly for diesel freight street work though.

    RO turnouts give you the typical streetcar sharp turn`s in city streets.

    Did I tell you I operated Streetcars for 10 years in Toronto :cool:

    Here is a pic of real tracks :D Code 83 NOT!! :D

    Attached Files:

  12. trolleynut

    trolleynut Member

    Actually the first photo is what Im trying to acheive,minus the RO track:D

    The curve is more gradual with the flexi,but it's ok with me-as long as it works.

    I have a feeling someday,I'll be up for RO and overhead wire.
    But at this point it doesnt have to be prototypical,but in the future,when this all becomes part of a bigger layout(Amtrak) I may revisit it then.

    Love the picture windows cars.No more in Boston but the MBTA still run PCC's (eight of em) in an "extension" to the Red line.They have been refurbed and painted in the original schemes.Very nice,too bad it's in the worst section of Boston.:oops:

    Anyway so are these trolleys of mine more prone to derail on 83 versus 100?
    Will code 100 look better because there is more room for plaster to disguise the ties?

    Guess I should have asked that before I bought track,huh?

    So in your years of driving,what did you like best?

    I loved the PCC's noise when the wheels went around a sharp turn....
  13. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    I only ever use code 100, I prefer it, others would rather 83, and yes it may look more proto , but when it`s under ballest or street that ends that thought in my mind.
    BUT I do heavy electrics Interurbans box cars etc.

    City service may look better in 83 , hope you have no derailment problems :eek:

    I really enjoyed operating Street cars and consider myself lucky to have had that opertunity.
    The are great to operate BUT come with there own set of problems with traffic all around you and hoards of people oblivious to this 20+ton silent tram!

    The biggest thrill one can have is to be the first car out on the street at 430am after a snow storm, travelling on a white road with the car finding the tracks, the only clue you have is by looking at the overhead. Then you have to sweep the switch and make sure it has set right :eek: or you are fired! :rolleyes:

    Only trolley nuts like us love that squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel :thumb:
  14. trolleynut

    trolleynut Member

    There really is something about fresh snow..must have been awesome.

    I had the trolleys running before on code 83 with code 100 turnouts and it tended to derail at the switch.I'll pick up some Peco 83 turnouts soon.
    Everything one code should solve that.Hopefully.

    Probably wont get much done this week with the Holiday and all,but I'm sure I'll get some more structures done.

    Happy Holidays:wave:
  15. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    And the same right back at ya.
    Merry Christmas and a great new year to you and your.
  16. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    With the turnouts, you could use plastic bricks to fill in the tracks. Just cut it so it clears the flanges.
    Chris: I have some photos of that intersection too! My wife plans to spend a bit of Christmas Eve there.
  17. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    There is a firm that does "street rail", which looks nothing at all like "rail rail". I've seen it somewhere on the net - thought it was the proto 4 shop, or something similar, but can't find it! Maybe one of you knows what I'm talking about - it certainly looks the part
    Shortliner(Jack)away up here in the Highlands
  18. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Indeed--the Richard Orr stuff is designed to model "girder rail." Girder rail has a profile like this:
    The little lip on one side is designed so the flange of the wheel rides along in that lip, rather than rubbing against the street surface.
    Orr rail has a profile like this:
    beefier than the real thing, in order to fit the flanges of model railroad equipment.

    There are also significant differences between single-point trolley turnouts and dual-point railroad turnouts. A single-point turnout has a single moving point, instead of the two points commonly used on railroads. They are also curved turnouts--I think a lot of Brit turnouts (like Peco 100) feature a curved frog, vs. most American-pattern turnouts which use a straight frog, but the curve on an Orr trolley turnout is something like a 6" radius curve. Considering that 15-18" is considered "very sharp" for railroad traffic in HO, that's quite a jump!

    My own experience is kind of different--I am modeling an industrial belt line which was originally powered by overhead and featured a trolley line, but has since been dieselized and the trolley line "bustituted." Because the line was intended to handle railroad freight, the curves are sharp by railroad standards (necessitating slow speeds and careful handling) but not unmanageable. I use Peco "Streamline" turnouts, the sharpest I can find, which work out to something like a #3 turnout when compared to American #4 or #6 turnouts, and my minimum curve radius is 12", about the sharpest curve upon which I can run B-B diesels and 40-50' rolling stock.

    For my street trackage--well, I'm not quite done with it, but I use a very different method than Interurban. The track is Atlas Code 100, secured directly to the MDF benchwork. I use 1/8" foamcore sheets as the foundation for my streets and buildings, and use .020" sheet styrene (which I purchase in large rolls from a plastics distributor) for the street surface. I glue this to the foamcore, tuck it under the outer edge of the track, and where glue won't hold it down I add a track nail and cover the nail with squadron putty.

    The bit in between the tracks isn't done yet. I paint my rails and tracks a dull brown-black color, and the plan is to use more .020" styrene between the rails, supported by strips of 1/16" stripwood. 1/16" (.0625") plus .020" works out to about the height of Code 83 rail, but I like a little bit sticking out so I can clean it more easily.
    Here's an overhead shot of half of my layout so you can see more of what I'm talking about--I use a mix of street running and private right-of-way, as the prototype did. You can see that I haven't put the between-the-rails stuff in yet...
  19. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    Hi Dave , yes it`s a nice area , for those who do not now that is St James Cathedral.

    That looks great Jet. :thumb:
  20. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    Jetrock -FWIW the tightest curved switches in Peco are Setrack ones (and Hornby do matching 2nd radius switches and tracks) They are, though, code 100. If you want templates to see it they are any use to you, email me direct
    Shortliner(Jack)away up here in the Highlands (chacmool at lineone dot net)

Share This Page