New Metal PRR catenary structures

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by ac_catenary, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. ac_catenary

    ac_catenary ac_catenary

    I have been busy over the holidays replacing plastic catenary structures with metal structures made of brass rods andd seed beeds. The plastic structures are about 20 years old and I made them when I was a teenager. They started falling apart a couple years ago. I have been meaning to do this for a while but never had the time. I have replaced about 12 structures all of them in North Philly. While most of them are "K" braced high tension structures. There are a few that are combined with marklin lattices structures that have wire spans. Im working my way toward 30th street and the freight highline
  2. ed acosta

    ed acosta Member


    Its not only the initial installation of the overhead that is over my head, but how much more difficult everyday maintenance must be. I can't imagine how anyone could reach onto those tracks to re-rail a car or loco without snagging and bringing down all of that delicate overhead. My hat is off to you for your patience and nerves of steel during the assembly.

    Yours Trolley,
  3. ac_catenary

    ac_catenary ac_catenary

    Its modular

    Thanks. It wasnt that bad of an installation because I thought ahead. The neighborhood section comes apart from the main section and the bridges are self supporting & Trolley car wire is spliced. So if anything bad happens or if i do repairs I can access that area with out having to reach over everything :mrgreen:
  4. platypus1217

    platypus1217 Member

    Wow that is a lot of wiring. Do you use the cat for power or just for show?
  5. ac_catenary

    ac_catenary ac_catenary


    Its supposed to be energized but right now its outa service until I finish the rebuilding program :mrgreen:
  6. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Will their be any ballast in the future? That was mainly what I was thinking about prior to reading that you planned ahead...removable overheads!

    It looks nice, and it is cool to see such an urban layout!
  7. ac_catenary

    ac_catenary ac_catenary

    More Catenary pics from the 30th street area

    Here are more Pics from the 30th street station Area around the High line .. Im 70% Done ! .. catenary that is !
  8. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Basket weaving with copper :-o

    Nice work.
  9. Harold Cole

    Harold Cole Member

    Very Nice,i thought i was still at work.I work for Amtrak in the E.T. Dept,but i'am work mostly in the Substations and not on the Catanary.
  10. ac_catenary

    ac_catenary ac_catenary


    Thanks! Hey Harold I work at Amtrak too.. In Philadelphia for the Engineering and Structures group. hahahah I love my job so much I take it home :-D
  11. ac_catenary

    ac_catenary ac_catenary

    Catenary Progress- Runing Trains !

    I dusted this train off for this Video. Catenary for Track 2 of the lower level is complete. The First Train which I rebuilt for "live" Catenary operation is an old Metroliner set which was Hot roded with two power cars for max speed and its just TOO fast ! :mrgreen:
    I revised the video... As of yesterday I finished track 2 catenary SO track 2 & 3 are operational on the lover level. I will post new video soon. I still have 2 high tension structures, a Substation and 20 single and double masts to do on the highline track 4 ext. Track 1 should be operational before I finish the High Line.
  12. Harold Cole

    Harold Cole Member

    What did you use as a Motor for the Metroliner¿I've got several i want to repower. Harold
  13. ac_catenary

    ac_catenary ac_catenary

    metroliner- repower

    That metroliner set has original bachmann motors just two so they dont have to work as much. Im not sure but i think the lifelike RDC power train might fit in the metroliner with modifications
  14. ac_catenary

    ac_catenary ac_catenary

  15. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Thats pretty impressive. I still haven't gotten around to completing my catenary. I just can't find the tools to make the job practical. my hand tools are just no good VS the metal parts i'm using.
  16. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    That looks great. You did a wonderful job on them. :D
  17. ac_catenary

    ac_catenary ac_catenary

    materials used

    You would be supprised on the materials I used for constructing catenary and the tools u need arent out of the ordinary.
    secret Grocery List
    1. 3/16 solid brass rods- catenary pole round style (home depot) $3.85 for a 3ft rod makes about 3 High tension poles @ 12" each
    2. code 100 rail ( for cross beams) I use old snap track brass or nickel silver ... free or really cheap gotto a flea market
    3. 18 or 20 gauge copper wire.(for catenary) (Lowes) $4.50 for 25 ft.
    4. #10 seed beads black or brown (insulators)(Micheals or AC Moore) $1.50 for 500 beads They will go fast to buy plenty!
    5. 1/2" square dowels for foundations (Micheals or AC Moore)
    6. 220 watt solder gun Required!!! lower wattages will not work for solid brass poles $40 (Radio Shack)
    7. 40 watt solder iron for catenary wires $15 (Radio Shack)
    8. 60/40 electrical solder with flux (thin) Radio Shack $5 a roll
    9. Track Cutters $20 Home depot or Hobby Shop
    10. Small Bolt Cutters (for cutting brass Rods)
    11. needle nose pliers
  18. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I have most of that stuff, but i use either the rail or "Special Shapes Company" H-column for my stuff (if i can find it). I also use this steel wire stuff i've found that is a great deal sturdier than the standard copper wire, and i've found some more realistic thicknesses than that i was previously using (which is why i have no new catenary yet, haven't gotten around to it!).

    I've been trying to build a couple of the wire spans though, as opposed to the k-brace. I think its a little easier, but just as sturdy. the only problem i've had is that i have to drill through the rail so i can slip the wire through, which anchors it in nicely. the only drill i have small enough for the job is my pinvise, which is not good for my hands, lol! i need to get an adaptor piece for a drill press.
  19. ac_catenary

    ac_catenary ac_catenary

    making catenary

    Why dont you solder your wire spans to the upright rails/poles instead of drilling through them. You can bend the ends of the wire spans at right angles that will make a easier connection. For me the "K"braced spans are easier than wire spans.There are more soldered conections with wire spans.
    The Key to mass producing catenary is making a jigs depending on how wide your main line is 2 tracks, 3 tracks or 4 tracks make a jig for each and make a jig for the catenary hangers. I have "y" jig for catenary hangers on str8 track and curved track. "y" hangers are only supported from the top by one beam or wire span. For interlocking and switching areas wire spans are easier and prototypical.

    As far as steel vs copper wire I have found out that if you plan to energize your wire to run trains copper works best and is easier to solder and maintain.
  20. ac_catenary

    ac_catenary ac_catenary

    new Inclined catenary

    I just finished that HighLine catenary most of it is inclined catenary. The new stuff is on the track to the left. [​IMG]

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