Reliable source for Overhead Wire

Discussion in 'Traction Thoroughfare' started by MT Hopper, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. MT Hopper

    MT Hopper MT Hopper

    Over the last three decades I have aperiodically dusted off my traction equipment. I have NEVER RUN IT UNDER wire! On an impulse while at North York Hobbies I acquired a Suydam PE Interurban, a Steeple Cab, a Box Cab and three street cars. I tried to acquire overhead from Suydam but at the time they were out and didn't know when they'd get some. I tried several rod, wire and sheet metal sellers. I usually had to wait till the laughter died down before I assured them I was serious about buying some Phosphor Bronze or better yet Nickle Silver wire. What usually sent them further into laughter was the sizes I wanted. I faithfully purchased my copy of Kalmbachs "Traction Guide", but still no overhead. With a total running time for my equipment of at the very best a half hour each, I put them back in the boxes. Oh yes eventually I managed to acquire a grand total of three packages of overhead trolley wire hangers, but still no wire! Eventually I gave up on traction and moved on to steam. Nevertheless memories of those cream and pumpkin orange streetcars, and the "uck uck" of the controller haunted me. Perhaps ( I say extremely cautiously) there may now be such a thing as a retailer who can actuallly sell ( so I recieve it in my lifetime)
    me some HO scale overhead wire and trolley wire hangers! If you know of such could you please let me know. I bet Suydam is no longer in business nor I suspect is Richard Orr, not that its been a long time since I wanted some traction action. LOL

  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Will: I used to use some pre-tinned copper wire from a roll I picked up.Very small cross section. This seemed to work OK and it certainly soldered well. (The other roll wasn't tinned but varnished and it never worked at all!) It is just about the right size for trolley shoes. (Not home for 2 weeks so can't give exact specs.)
    Bowser used to make a box full of poles with a coil of wire in it.
  3. MT Hopper

    MT Hopper MT Hopper

    Thank you 60103!
    I do have a concern with regard to using copper wire. I have been advised that even under the low mechanical tensions required for HO scale overhead the copper wire will stretch and sag. Apparently the phosphor bronze wire was "standard" in the last Century and nickle silver overhead wire was the "Holy Grail".
    Do you use coil springs, to maintain the tension in your overhead, at run ends and at curves?
    Thanks again.
  4. bill937ca

    bill937ca Member

    You can get overhead wire, poles and fittings from Jason's Brass Poles:


    Brian Weisman carries a lot of products he doesn't list on his web site.

    Alpine Models also carries overhead wire and fittings:

    Trolley Supplies

    The ultimate traction supply source of information is the East Penn Traction Club supplier directory:

    East Penn Traction Club - Dealer Directory

    :mrgreen: :thumb:
  5. bill937ca

    bill937ca Member

    Customtraxx now carries Richard Orr track and other traction supplies:

    Another source of traction supplies is Miniatures by Eric:


  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Will: I only used a circle on a 2'x4' layout. I didn't mind sag as the TTC sags (most of the time) I did try to tension the span wires, but I found that the 1/8" dowels tended to bend.
  7. MT Hopper

    MT Hopper MT Hopper

    overhead wire

    Thank you all for your help
    bill937ca I have ordered some poles AND overhead wire from weisman.
    I may actually yet be able to burn my fibgers hanging overhead and it only took me 30 years! This internet thingy is GREAT!


  8. bill937ca

    bill937ca Member

    Good to hear, Will!
  9. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    Will, Poles are expensive , I build my own for about 75cents each.
    There was a how to posted here if its gone and you want to try it pm me for detail`s

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