Telephone Pole lines question

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Herc Driver, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    I haven't been able to find the answer to this one...maybe you know.

    What is the "rule" on whether a telephone pole should cross over a train track or not? And if allowed, is there a height requirement? I look around my area and see the poles generally follow the right of way. But my problem on the layout is that I need to feed the power onto the layout and at some point that means crossing over the top of the right of way to get to the interior of the layout and its buildings. Right now, my pole height tops even a high-top boxcar by a good 15 scale feet or so. Is that enough and more importantly is that correct?

    (I've also discovered the joy of adding power lines to those telephone/electric poles - one pole at a time - so far to individually position and glue each one takes about 30 minutes...with twelve lines possible per pole, and 31 poles, and attaching the power line to each structure...this is going to take a while.)
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    That's why most people don't string them... just use your imagination! ;)

    There is a guide for the height for utility poles. Most that I have seen are actually below the height of most rolling stock, but they have to increase to something like double in order to cross over the ROW.

    There is a web site somewhere that details this - let me look through my bookmarks and get back to you... In the meantime, there is always google.

  3. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Thanks google search just didn't come through this time. But I'll go back and try again. The poles we have around here are very tall. I'm not sure why except that the trees are grown/cut/processed here and maybe they leave them that tall for a reason. (I'll call Duke Power and ask why.) So far, I've kept the height above the highest boxcar by a few scale feet, but at the back of the layout, I plan on dropping the height down to below or near the car height to give the illusion of deapth. At least that's the plan. I wanted to string them up just for the effect - but when they're all done, I'm not sure if it will add or detract from the overall look of the layout...I've also tried to allow them to be slightly slanted and I'm starting to color them each a bit different for variety. Boy it's a trick t get a slight bend in the line to mimic the heaviness of the strung wires.
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I think railroads gerally tried to keep the lines along one side of the tracks, but I know that going in to Toronto they did switch them a one (or more) point. I think that now they have a big cable and it runs under the tracks.
    Going across the priries you could see the lines running fairly low, then every mile or so they would rise to cross a road.
  5. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    will ask the guys on the power crew tomorrow and see what they say.:)
  6. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Thank you very much Jim, I appreciate that.

    I've been "stringing" line all this afternoon. Getting it to lay on the crossbar of the pole is a trick to say the least. I'm trying to get that gentle bend in the line to mimic the weight of real electrical line too. I've been checking out my local lines and some are strung tighter (less flex therefore hardly any bend due to weight) than others so I suppose however it turns out will be somewhat realistic. I've been using thread since it takes the superglue so well and sticks quickly. I tried fishing line, but the glue wouldn't stay in place (the line was too slippery I guess) and although it would sag in the middle really well, I couldn't get it to stay in place since the it just wouldn't set up. To me, the fishing line also looked too shiny and without texture. Simple sewing thread looked better to me. Tomorrow I'll post some pic's of the progress.
  7. Bill Pontin

    Bill Pontin Member

    Hope you havn't gone too far with the thread Herc Driver. Check out "EZ Line" it is a product put out by Berkshire Junction. The lines can be put up same as with thread, but it stretches. It comes in different gauges and several colors. I used it heavily on one of my NTrak modules many years ago and it still looks great. Most forgiving stuff you could ever want. I have snagged a line many times in setting up and have not had a broken pole or line. The only downside is that you cannot get the line to sag so it would look more realistic.
  8. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    I've heard of that product and if the thread doesn't look just right, might change all the lines out and use the EZ Line. Funny, but I suppose I'm just not used to the look of all the wires (thread) all over the place so the layout sort of looks funny to me now...but I'm far from done stringing line. Hopefully, I'll get some pictures up today and you can judge for yourself.
  9. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Here's some quick pics of the work in progress...three lines many to go. What do ya think...worth the effort or not?

    Attached Files:

  10. Iron Goat

    Iron Goat Member

    Well, it looks like the Wichita Lineman is hard at work... lookin' good, Herc !!!

    Bob :thumb:
  11. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Yeah, that lineman is not too happy with the crew working for him. He's been complaining about the crew not keeping the right tension on the line as he's installing it. Man, you don't want to be on the receiving end of a LPP's anger. Plus someone turned off the power to the wrong box and left the signal up while a train passes. DOT and NTSB have been contacted...paperwork to follow.
  12. Iron Goat

    Iron Goat Member

    Herc... sorry to hear about all those labor problems. That never happens here on the Montana Western Rwy., as all oy my LPP's are "model citizens" !

    Bob :thumb:
  13. abutt

    abutt Member

    I'm really happy I never attempted to string real lines on my layout. My imagination seem to work well enough.

    I'm especially happy now that I'm disassembling the layout for a move to the new house. I'm down to five sections to go out the hatch. Now I have to figure if I'm doing the move or will I let the movewrs handle it.

    Will be glad when the move is done!:D
  14. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    Herc Driver, they seem to add a very prototype look to everything. I think it will be worth the trouble (once it's over). I like it.

    By the way, I'm retired AF, ATC, at Turner AFB, Albany,Ga. (long since gone). We had a passle of Hercs there, real sweet to control.

  15. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    looks good Herc ask Archie on the power crew and he said that 20 years or so it changed then it was 30 Ft minium now its a 35 ft minium and if the line is 3 phase there needs to be a double cross arm and the pole has to have a anchor wire. hope that helps:) also i have used elastic sewing thread to make wire.
  16. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Jim - Outstanding info...thank you Sir! I'm hoping this is worth the effort. My imagination worked pretty good - but I've always wanted to sting them up. One does have to remember the lines are there when reaching for a car. Maybe if I'd electrify them a week or two, the learning curve would improve and I'd stop forgetting they are there.
  17. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    sign1 sign1 sign1 that shure would shorten the learning curve .:D
  18. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Glass insulators

    An NMRA clinic suggested this stuff for insulators. I bought 2 bottles and the irridescent green looks more like glass than the other. I now have a couple of other bottles to try. From the vraft store, possibly for decorating clothes.
    It takes a bit of practise to get them looking right.

    Attached Files:

  19. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Hey..that looks pretty nice! Thanks for the pic's and the idea!

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