Running Under Wire

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by jefelectric, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. jefelectric

    jefelectric Member

    Finally got some catenary installed. Very time consuming but a lot of fun. Here are a few pictures of what I have so far.


    Got some road work to do in this picture, result of changing radius from 042 to 054 so the GG-1 will run.



    I'm about one third of the way. Have to do some improvising as the double track section doesn't have enough room for poles on one side. I'm also planing to shorten the arms that are too long.
  2. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    Looks nice John.
  3. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Looks great!!!
  4. Geno

    Geno Member

    Nice work on the catenary- is that the MTH system? Are you using overhead power?

  5. jefelectric

    jefelectric Member

    Thanks guys,

    Just notice I messed up on the pics and duplicated one of them, changed it to show three views.

    Renovo, Do you live in or near Renovo? We were there on the Flaming Foliage Express in the fall. Nice train trip although the weather didn't cooperate.

    Geno, Yes it is MTH & no I have not powered it. With TMCC & DCS there is not a lot of use in powering it. Also Lionel uses the pantographs in some of the electrics for antennas for TMCC so if you power it you have to install an alternate antenna and then rewire to feed the unit. So for now at least it is strictly for looks. At least I can run my engines with the pantographs up without wiping out a tunnel portal or sigal bridge.

    It really takes a lot of time to install this stuff. There are vertical and lateral, perpendicular to the track, adjustments built into the system, but no adjustment parallel to the track except the pole placement which has to be right on. And the poles have to be very close to perfectly level as that changes the wires relationship to the track. Because of this you basicly have to do it one pole at a time. They do provide some clunky extender pieces so that you can relocate a pole if it is imposible to located it where it should go. You can see one of these in the last picture on the extreme right and also the first picture in about the center. In both cases I moved the pole to avoid a street. I used the BB1 to check the wire alignment since it has a very narrow pantograph and if it works everything else will also. If anyone is thinking of doing this, feel free to ask questiions.
  6. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    I have spent a considerable amount of my young life in Renovo even spending summers in town. You can say I grew up in the end of the line for the great Pennsylvania Rail Road. However I’m not from Renovo but I do miss the old days when the shops were at full capacity and the trains rolled 24hrs a day.

    I used to enjoy the company of the railroaders when they stopped over at the YMCA for coffee. Renovo was a true rail town at that time. I used to get into trouble walking over the footbridges that led to the shops.
  7. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Hi John,

    Good work...!!! :thumb:
    There's something about catenaries that adds another dimension to a layout, although I'd be very nervous about a stray hand turning into a ball of wire... Are you going to "wire-up" the whole layout or just a section..?? Also, that BB1, is that a single unit or two...?? ('Scuse my ignorance of electrics...):oops:
  8. jefelectric

    jefelectric Member

    Actually the wire is probably stronger than the pole base supports which are plastic. The whole system is pretty springy and has a lot of flex before breaking (I think :) ). I am planning to wire the longest main line which is about 80' total. What I have done is about 30'

    The BB1s were built in 1926 to run as a set of two. From what I have read some were built later to run single with the distingushing charictoristic that the headlights were square. This Lionel model has the front unit powered and the rear unit contains the sound unit. You can run the front unit alone but it will not have any sound. There are switches on both units to set them up for single or dual unit running. They were primarily used as switchers in the passenger yards of the PRR and LI railroads.
  9. Hey John, Are the locos powered by the wire or the track. Down here in Fort Worth, Texas at the last 2 shows there was a club that is 2 rail and everything is powered by the overhead wires. they were having to manually reverse the trolleys they run because the member that had the turn around modules did not show up:cry: Don't guess he likes todrive in rain that much
  10. jefelectric

    jefelectric Member


    The wire is not powered at this point. With 3 rail and running TMCC & DCS there is not much advantage to powering it.

    I did run into one unexpected snag today. I used the BB1 to check all of the wire alignment. When I tried to run the E-33 I found that the pantograph on this loco is set forward of the front truck so that on curves it swings wider than the pantograph on the BB1 which makes it swing out for enough to pop up on the outside of the wire. I am going to try to move the wire further toward the outside of the track to compensate for this without moving it to far for the BB-1. The Lackawanna electric commuter cars are OK with it as is as the pantograph on them is right over the truck center. Before I do any changing I need to run the GG-1 and see how it likes the setup. If the pantograph pops up beside the wire and you don't get stopped real fast, it pulls the pantograph off of the engine.

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