San Jose Trolley Diorama

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by MilesWestern, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    I have been paid by a friend to build a small (9"X12") diorama of a downtown scene in San Jose featuring a trolley running down the middle of the street. It's my first ventre into the mysterious world of traction, hopefully some will help guide me with suggestions.


    The Trolley is the typical Bach-Brill trolley, with the famous pancake motor (sans strawberries or whipped cream) Which is painted in this fair "South Hills Lines" scheme. That will change.

    I plan to make the trolley a non-operating model, as he isn't a model railroader, he's a motorman on the VTA, San Jose's modern trolley system.

    This model feautres (bass) wood floors, crystal-clear windows, a motor man (of course) and passengers sitting and standing in the trolley itself. (eventually)

    It arrived in very sorry shape. Gears filled with doghair, window material cracked and yellowed, cst in details, and a mear permanent layer of dust (eww!! :eek: ) so here she is:


    Here's the even more disgusting inside w/ pantoot motor:


    I started working on it last sunday, filing down the roofwalk until flush with the rest of the roof, then I added a roofwalk in a rather legnthy process involving an old metal looking (plastic) roofwalk filed down to flush, then wood grain detail added with small screwdriver:


    Basswood floor and open door (hey that rhymes! sign1 ) added afteer sanding and removal of floor parts and door parts.


    There you go, more developments will follow in time, thanks for reading! :)
  2. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    And a smashing project this is Miles:thumb: :thumb:

    And earning + Learning you can not lose.

    I think you are going to do a brilliant job.

    Have you got your supplies in yet sign1
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Miles: do you have a description of the overhead wires in San Jose? Your diagram looks like a double wire suspended from individual poles. If SJ just uses a single wire, you could use that and have the cross wires running from the building walls to utility poles on the other side of the street.
  4. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Some photos of the prototype might be helpful--I don't think San Jose ran double overhead, but it might be a rough approximation of catenary wire. The only San Jose equipment I know of was an old Sacramento streetcar that was sold to San Jose and run there for a while but is now back in Sacramento.

    Do a search for "trolley" or "traction" on this site, there are some very useful threads, some specifically about dolling up the Bachmann Brill.
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Looks good. Since you are making it a static model for a diorama, you could put a full interior in it. I think the Pike Stuff coach seats would probably be just the thing to model the interior.
  6. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Thanks for the tip about the coach seats Russ!! I was wondering myself what I'd do in that respect.

    Yes, there are alot of threads about traction, jetrock! And I'm using Shaygetz' thread
    (which should be in the acadmy by the way..hint hint)

    Is there another thread reguarding the Bach-Brill?

    60103: It's just a quickie drawing of overhead cantenary, it's PURELY hypothetical, I just liked the way two-wire looks, and will probably do what's prototypical for SJ when I find correct evidence. ANYBODY HAVE SOME PICS IN THIS REGARD?

    Interurban, you're totally correct! :thumb: Thanks everyone! You guys inspire me to work on it! Thanks!
  7. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    s on the Web Miles.
    Here is a nice shot I copied for you.

    Attached Files:

  8. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    :thumb: Good news the overhead is just one trolly wire even for the bow type pantograph of the new fleet.

    These are all I have on my CD.

    Attached Files:

  9. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    WOW! :eek: That's great! Thanks Chris! Now I see why Jetrock was building the California Car. Perhaps I'll build one for that guy eventually...Cool! :cool:
  10. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    That's the baby right least that's what I'm shooting for, with a slightly different body configuration. As soon as I'm done perfecting my critter the California car is next on the agenda...
  11. zedob

    zedob Member

    Chris, that secon pic could easily be mistaken for a model. It looks way too clean for a real yard.:D
  12. interurban

    interurban Active Member


    Only in California LOL:rolleyes:
    It`s cleaner than my layout!!!sign1

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