Thursday, July 29, 2010

New Trolley Line

Now that Joe Mania is reproducing Carlisle and finch trolley poles I finally have the ability to put an overhead wire on my layout. I chose the elevated line on my layout which is easier to access than the lower line, which has a tunnel. Putting the poles up and stringing the wire was pretty straightforward. But the poles are only half the battle. The other half is getting a sprung trolley pole mounted on a streetcar. This requires drilling a hole in the roof. I wasn't about to do that with any of my original Carlisle and Finch streetcars (note: the trolley pole is what formally makes a streetcar a “trolley”. The streetcars which used underground conduits like in New York, Washington and London really can’t be called trolleys). Fortunately, I have a home made streetcar that was perfect for this purpose. The sprung base and pole came from a 1 gauge brass kit supplied by a company called Light Rail Products ( The kit went together very easily. The wheel, however, was scale and far too small for the large wire that I used. I was able to make a wheel and harp from some brass and a very small tackle pulley bought from a local hardware store. The pulley wheel had to be extensively reshaped with a moto tool to make a trolley wheel that tracked on the overhead wire. The pole was wired into the motor, and after a fair amount of adjustment, the thing runs very reliably around the layout.


Jim Kelly-Evans said...

Looks great, Alex!

Brian O. said...


Love your resourcefulness. Your previous "How-To" posts were great, also. Nice to see you on here again.

Anonymous said...

This is just so well put together. Really excellent. I like the way the parts are integrated with each other and add up to a unified scene. It feels like a consistent reality.

Can I ask about the funicular in the distance? Is that scratchbuilt or some fantastic toy I've never seen before? I'm currently working out details of a funicular I hope to scratchbuild and would love to see more details of the one on your layout.