My Trolley Project

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by shaygetz, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    After finding out that the Bachmann Brill trolley was a faithful runner lapping my Christmas tree, I felt it needed a more elevated position in my roster. This meant changing a few details, starting with the cast on roof walk. I was careful to remove all but the base detail around the trolley poles.

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  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    I then fashioned a roof walk from scrap MDC/Roundhouse old timer car parts. I simply eyeballed them in, cutting them to length as needed. The remaining parts were modified pieces of HO picket fence, sanded to the thinner cross section of the roof walk material. A trick I use to eliminate the hard to remove fuzz produced is by "painting" the sanded part with a stroke of Ambroid Pro-Weld. It dissolves the fuzz away leaving a slight sheen that is easily painted over.

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  3. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Because Chris would throw a rock at me if I didn't make her run off the overhead, here's how I did it. Noting where the knife is pointed, I clipped the contact used to provide the + side of the power to the motor. I then soldered a lead to it and ran the wire forward.

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  4. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    I then installed an SPDT switch in the floor, just forward of the motor. By running the motor lead to the center post, the + side pickup of the power and lead trucks to one side and the trolley pole wiring to the other side of the switch, I am able to run it off the overhead as well as two rail service.

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  5. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    I fabricated a pair of tie-downs for the poles. They are very secure, having been run up from underneath the roof, secured with an L bent into the wire and then glued in place. By bending them over a piece of scrap wood, I was able to maintain uniformity on both ends. The price tag said $1.25 for a pair of these poles---including all mounting hardware---, that's how old they are. They are models of Pacific Electric's hydraulic model poles and they are sweet...'nuff said.

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  6. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    The head and tail lights were lit from a single bulb in the center of the trolley whose light was carried via a clear plastic light bar to both ends. I scrapped this after removing the very ends of the rod and mounted micro bulbs into the lens with clear window cement. A bit of touchup paint to an otherwise fine non-area specific paint scheme and my LPBs are ready to cough up the nickles.

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  7. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

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    Good conversion. It amazes me that bachmann used the pancake motor in the trolley too. Is it the same motor as what's in your Northern?
  8. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

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    nice work like the use of the picket fence:)
  9. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Thanks, guys. Yes, can you believe that it's the same motor? No piece of plastic is safe on my bench, Jim. :thumb:
  10. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

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    Nice work Bob.
    I have one I need to rework like that but have to fix the split axle gears first.
  11. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    SSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Mine don' know they're 'sposed to do that.... ;)
  12. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

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    I've had this one for about 20 years. It has been run hard so there is no shame.
  13. interurban

    interurban Active Member

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    Bob I put my rocks away :D

    You did a wonderful job on the old girl.
    That`s the way I would have tackled the job.

    I have fitted a few of those little SPDT switches, the poles look great Heavy duty for the little girl but she wont mind the surg of power running through her :thumb:

    A job to be proud of.
  14. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Thanks, Chris. When I found 2 pair of these AND three sets of brass pantographs in a box lot I had purchased on Ebay, I were in Nirvana as this project was long in the making :thumb:

    When you say heavy duty, what would mark it as different from any other pole? I kinda assumed that poles was poles and detail was a bonus. Beings I have another pair, I would like to put those more in their element...I have an MDC/Roundhouse boxcab and a 4 wheel Brill to follow.
  15. interurban

    interurban Active Member

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    Hi Bob the PE poles seem longer than the brill and I think had a more powerfull lift re the mechanisem . It was a bigger car that`s why your pole hangs off the front and back a ways.
    Here are a few pictures of PE and West Penn.

    It looks OK Bob if you have other poles see what it looks like with the other poles.

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  16. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    I think the main difference was that the PE poles were hydraulic, the motorman didn't have to jump out (or lean out the window) to pull down the pole and hang it up. Length didn't really make much difference--some lines that ran both local streetcars and interurbans hung their wire a bit higher and needed longer poles to make the reach, while others used little towers on top of their Birneys and whatnot.

    Nice conversion! I have a few of those Bachmanns awaiting a bit of similar attention
  17. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Thanks, jet, if it weren't for that box lot, this would still be waiting. Those pups are expensive nowadaze.

    Thanks for the info, Chris. I'll see if shortening them is a possibility, even possibly using a finer wire staff. :thumb:
  18. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    Oh yeah--what thickness of wire did you use for the tie-downs?
  19. interurban

    interurban Active Member

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    Hi Jet I use my 22 gauge. I wonder what Bob used too.
  20. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    That would be .020" brass wire from K&S Shapes. :thumb: