Bill's Trolley Layout

Discussion in 'Traction Thoroughfare' started by bill937ca, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. bill937ca

    bill937ca Member

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    I'm building a 30" by 60" layout in the living room of my condo. It's a one-way loop along city streets with a line crossing. I will have overhead, but I'm not that stage yet.

    I have soldered my rails and I'm started paving the streets.

    Here's three older photos from last year when I was sizing up building positioning.

    I'll post more photos later.

    Attached Files:

  2. interurban

    interurban Active Member

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    GREAT!!!!!.
    Your vehicle`s tell me you are in the 40s to 55 era is that about right Bill?.


    Hey I see a bus station too, nice.
    I love it, Are you planning on taking this to shows?
  3. bill937ca

    bill937ca Member

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    Yes. It's the 1950s.

    I have several Bowser PCCs which were painted and decaled by Customtraxx. With these PCCs the timeline could be anytime from 1947 to today as several of the prototype Philadelphia cars that the Bowser PCC is based on now run in San Francisco on the F line.

    The single trucker is a Model Power TTC class F car of a type retired from passenger service in 1925.

    This my first layout. I had never built a layout before.

    Some details on the layout itself. It's 1/2 inch plywood under 1/2 inch Homasote.

    Sidewalks are Smalltown USA and painted Polly Scale Aged Concrete. Incidentally these Smalltown USA sidewalks can make good station platforms. They are scored on the back and can easily be cut in half lenghtwise for a narrower walk. Evergreen Strip styrene #149 strips are glued to the Homasote along the what will be the curb line and #167 strips at the rear of the sidewalk. Then the Smalltown USA sidewalk pieces were glued on top of the strips.

    Most of my track is Atlas flextrack. I have used Orr crossings and Orr girder rail on the cross street. Even with the Orr bending tool I found curving rail by hand less than productive so i decided just to use flextrack so I can get some cars running by summer (hopefully).

    The cross street is based on 4th Ave in Pittsburgh. It was really a two lane street with a streetcar track down the middle, although officially I think it was an 8 foot parking lane, 10 foot traffic lane and another 8 foot parking lane. Building wall to building wall is less than the length of a 46' PCC car, which makes for an interesting sight line.

    The white patches are where I have started to pave the streets with Sculptamold. I'm working in small areas at a time. I will paint the streets a mix of Polly Scale Steam Power Black and Grimy Black to no particular formula (see Paving the Town by Robert Smaus, February 2004 RMC).

    I have poles from Jason's Brass Poles and will soon start drilling holes for the poles.

    I've attached two photos. One from each end of the layout. At one end of the layout there is an on-street loop and at the other end of the layout is an off street loop.

    I have another 30" x 60" table in storage that can be attached to this table to make a 30" by 10 foot layout. But I think the maximum comfortable layout would be 30" x 90". (2.5 feet x 7.5 feet). That's pretty big for a living room. If I go that far the off street loop would become a cutback loop and the line would be extended to a carbarn and L station complex (think Frankford and Bridge in Philadelphia) to give the line a transportation purpose.

    For now I'm just having fun with this little setup. Although the layout is on casters I don't really plan on taking it to shows. The compact size is in case I should ever move.

    Attached Files:

  4. interurban

    interurban Active Member

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    You are doing it the right way Bill, I love those tight curves the Traction can handel,
    I drove PCC and CLRC also the ALRV for ten years,(TTC).

    This is going to be a very well detailed lay out, being "City" there is so much you can put in to it over time.

    One of Traction in Action gang moved to Brighton 3 years ago, Dave , He has a "Musuem " type layout in his basement and plans to do a small layout for the shows out your way.

    Like me he likes to scratch build the heavy electrics.

    Those bowser have a great motor now and do run well.

    Keep posting Bill as I though no one was doing traction , but there you go, you and Torpedo come in on day.

    Good stuff.:thumb:
  5. bill937ca

    bill937ca Member

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    Thanks Chris. I've passed on word of this forum to a couple of other traction fans who are building layouts or planning layouts.

    Now for a shameless plug. I have a Toronto Traction discussion group on Yahoo.

    http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/Toronto_traction/

    I'm surprised myself how many traction modellers there are.

    P.S. I know David too. I used to see him at the TTS meetings before I moved from Toronto and David moved to Brighton.
  6. hooknlad

    hooknlad Member

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    Bill, Hello and welcome to the Gauge. Very nice work you have there !!!
  7. interurban

    interurban Active Member

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    Thanks for dopping by Micheal keep popping in:wave:
  8. interurban

    interurban Active Member

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    What a small world.
    I have been to a few TTS meetings over the years with Dave, Andy, Dave Morgan , and a few more.

    I have looked at the Yahoo group Bill, seem a great bunch.
  9. bill937ca

    bill937ca Member

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    It is a small world. I'm in touch with Dave Morgan and Andy Douglas pretty well every month.
  10. interurban

    interurban Active Member

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    Good to know, Dave Morgan must be settled in his new home now.
    If Andy is not walking the BRIM tell him you met Chris Walker here he will get a blast .
    :D
  11. bill937ca

    bill937ca Member

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    Another photo from the second camera showing the streetcars.

    Attached Files:

  12. interurban

    interurban Active Member

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    Those ar very nice PCC`s and that Brill.

    First are they Bowser`s ?

    2nd who detailed them?

    Did Tom Sheppard do one? Or did you detail them Bill?
  13. bill937ca

    bill937ca Member

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    Yes those are Bowser's. They were detailed by George Huckaby of Customtraxx who also painted the PCCs and decaled them.

    The Brill is a Model Power from the 70s that I picked up at a train show. It is a 2 rail car, but there are instructions to convert it to overhead operation.

    Nope it wasn't Tom Sheppard. He's too busy with his O gauge layout and driving a bus part time.
  14. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    Nice! I am a big fan of George Huckaby's work.
  15. bill937ca

    bill937ca Member

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    Thanks Jetrock.

    Yes, he does fabulous work.

    For you TTC guys, George offers TTC decals which were used on my cars. This is his catalog description:

    This HO scale finishing set was designed for the 4300 class of post-war PCC cars operated in Toronto and imported by MTS Imports, Inc., but can be used for BEC, Bowser, Bachmann, IHP and other PCC models. This set provides numbers in two styles and sizes along with both 'winged' and non-winged TTC heralds. Destination signs are provided for all Toronto Transportation Commission (TTC) PCC Cars. Destination signs are white lettering on clear background, so separate black backgrounds sized to fit the Bowser PCC car destination sign opening and side destination signs are also included. This set was upgraded in September 2005 with added destination signs and black striping for the belt rails and letterboards.


    September 2005 was about when the last car was done.
  16. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

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    Wow!!! What a great-looking layout you have so far Bill. I am a huge fan of Toronto PCCs and have so many fond memories of riding them, from when I was a little kid being taken downtown by my mom, to riding the Queen St streetcar to the Cameron House as an urban ne'er do well. :D Yours look great!

    I also love urban modelling and I'm planning a big (30" x 12 ft) city scene on my layout. We seem to have many of the same buildings. That Bachmann bus station is really nice.

    Val
  17. bill937ca

    bill937ca Member

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    Thanks very much Spitfire. :thumb: I have fond memories of riding the PCCs too. Somehow the modern cars just aren't the same. I really miss the PCCs and red and cream.

    You have a great layout also! And a trolley module! I really like the details on your buildings. So far my buildings are little more than painted shells. I haven't given too much thought to signs and such at this stage.
  18. galt904

    galt904 Member

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    That's a neat little layout Bill. Keep up the good work! :)
  19. bill937ca

    bill937ca Member

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    :wave: Thanks for the encouragement! :wave:
  20. swampdaddy

    swampdaddy New Member

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    I like the Big City

    Hi all: I started as an HO model railroader, more years ago than I care to mention. But, I've always liked traction action too. And, my last layout had two routes. I am modeling the big city and gradually the trains have been reduced and the streetcars increased. Good looking start. Unfortunately, I've had to dismantle most of my layout for a move. Nothing worse than having to do this. If I find any old photos from past layouts I will post them.

    I guess I now favor traction as I love to build the city buildings (as opposed to those hamlets with a general store and one other building favored by many model railroaders). And tight curves are the only way to be realistic; and, to get maximum amount of stuff into a minimum amount of space.

    Keep the photos coming, Swamp Daddy :rolleyes: