Need Help From the Traction Modelers

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by TomPM, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    OK folks I need some help from the traction folk here.

    First a little background. I am planning to build my first module. It will be center around a passenger terminal that serves my amusement park. The local trolley company will have a platform as part of the station to take passengers from the railroad to and through the amusement park.

    I have finally decided on a name for the amusement park: Castle Rock. Castle Rock was a real amusement park in the 1920s and 30s here in Delaware County. It was owned by the Philadelphia & West Chester Traction Company and located along their West Chester Pike Line near the Crum Creek. All traces of Castle Rock are gone today. The park was so utterly demolished there is a debate today where exactly the park was located. All traces of the park were removed and the area was allowed to naturalize for some 60 years before development came to the area. There is a housing development called Castle Rock that is built in the area deemed by most historians to be the location of the park. Since my fictitious RLK&T has a branch line that follows the Crum Creek Valley I figured that Castle Rock would be perfect for me. In my model railroad world the RLK&T enters into an agreement with the P&WCTC to bring passengers to the park and the P&WCTC transports them from the passenger terminal to the park.

    At first I had envisioned the trolley platform as being a stub. Since I grew up in suburban Philadelphia all my experiences with trolleys was from the Philadelphia Suburban Transit Co. (Red Arrow). PST is the name that the P&WCTC adopted after it had acquired the Philadelphia & Western interurban line. Well PST ran Brill liners which were double ended. As I was beginning to put my ideas on paper I realized that the trolley I had planned on using for this was a Bachmann single ended PCC.

    Now here is my dilemma. If I want to use the PCC car which was a gift from my wife and daughter I will have to build a loop. I would like to investigate the possibility of adding a Brill liner or other Brill trolley and going with my original stub track idea. I have looked at Bachmann’s Brill trolleys and I think they look too toyish. The only other manufacturer I have found is Bowser which makes a Brill trolley kit.

    Now for my questions:
    How is the Bowser Brill trolley kit? Does it run well? How difficult is it to construct?
    Does anyone make decals or dry transfers for either the Philadelphia & West Chester Traction Co. or Philadelphia Suburban Transit Co. (Red Arrow)?
    Other than Bachmann and Bowser does anyone else make a Brill trolley?
  2. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    Found this on the 'net

    Bowser HO Product;

    JEM Model Traction Kits;

    Light Rail Products;

    MTS Import;

    La Belle Traction Kits (no website found)
    6509 South State Road 67,
    Suite B,
    IN 46064, USA
    Phone and fax: +1 765 778 7788"


    Southern California Traction Club:
  3. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    I don't know...

    about the Bowser kit, but I was thinking about your other "problem."

    Instead of a loop or wye, you could install a small turntable.

    Some of the older prototype trolley lines used a turntable at the end of a stub to turn the trolley around before running back.

    The turntable only has to be as long as your longest trolley car. And they were often operated by hand. Either push/pull or with a hand crank.

    No round house or car barn, just a stub leading up to the turntable. The turntable can be either open or closed pit... Closed pit types are easier to model, and you could use the Atlas turntable kit and add overhead to it...
  4. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    Thanks CN1 for the websites. I will check them out later this evening.

    Tin goat
    Now that you mention it I remember seeing turntables such as you described. I am influenced by the trolleys in this area. Red Arrow used stub ends at the end of their lines as where PRT (later PTC) used loops. That is why I didn’t think of the turntable at first. PRT may have had a turntable or two on some their lines that ended in Montgomery or Bucks County but I am not sure.

    Now for the next question where can I find pictures of trolley turntables on the Internet?
  5. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    Hi TomPM,, I don`t now of any other makers of the Brill or PCC.
    Most people have had good success with the kits.
    Tricky getting them to run smooth with the pole you will need a stonger spring for contact to the wire!Her a few pic`s of Philidelphia West T/C. I dont know if they are what you remember.

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    interurban Active Member


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    interurban Active Member


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    interurban Active Member


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  9. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    I do like this shot , do you know the area Tom?

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    interurban Active Member


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    interurban Active Member


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  12. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan


    Those are some great pictures. They bring back quite a few memories of the Pig & Whistle (the Philadelphia & Western). I rode the P&W to work for many years. I rode on the Strafford cars, the ones in the second picture at Wynwood Road. I also rode the Bullets which are in your picture at 69th Street Terminal. By the time I started riding the P&W the Liberty Lines pictured in the snow at 69th Street were gone. I heard stories from some of the old-timers telling about the bar on them and you could buy a drink on your way home from work.

    The most interesting picture is the one of the Strafford car crossing over the Route 103 Ardmore trolley line at Ardmore Junction. The trolley going under the P&W is a Brill Liner and what I remember riding on the Route 102 Sharon Hill trolley as a kid.

    One question about the Bowser kits. Do you have to power them from the pole or can you power them from the track?

    Again Chris thanks for jarring the memories. One these days I have to go through my collection and start posting my P&W photos.
  13. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    Hi Tom you can power them any way YOU want my friend,

    You know I would go over head:D not two rail:cry:
    BUT,,,,, that`s me:D
    Looking forward to your collection of pics:wave:
  14. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Tom: I have a couple of the older Bowser (maybe they were still Pennsylvania Scale Models). The mechanisms were a bit rough. They come wired for 2 rail, but you just have to move one wire and fasten it to the trolley pole, somehow, :D
    Chris: what are the Mantua/Tyco 4-wheelers?
  15. interurban

    interurban Active Member

  16. pjb

    pjb Member

    East Penn Club

    The East Penn traction group's WWWs have the most comprehensive list of NA traction equipment suppliers. They are at

    Bec-Kit traction trucks with a Bowser body, although Bachmann's Brill tram body is cheaper and as detailed, will produce an excellent 'HO' model.
    You will need to detail the interior, but that is better than trying to hide the the large electrical motors and shafts that are stock Bowser. The Bec-Kit trucks , or Black Beetle's are also more discrete from a noise point of view as well.

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