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Monday, January 30, 2012

Niles Project ~ Trolley Poles

Give a man a fish and you have fed him for a day. But give a man a pole, he's a trolley fan for life!
Identifying, preparing and adding trolley poles to #107

 Looking at historical photos reveal that the Niles cars were equipped with Form 1 trolley poles that were common with 1895 - 1920 era streetcars. They have that "folded back" look to them.

The HT-P3b poles by Miniatures by Eric fit that bill just fine. I bought mine through Custom Traxx. That 32 bucks per pair price tag knocked me for a loop. But they are precision instruments and Eric does an outstanding job with these. I'm building my cars to perform and I can rely on these poles to do just that. For #105 though, I will be rebuilding the Suydam poles, which makes for a less expensive alternative. So stay tuned for that post later.
Trolley poles are constantly flexing so paint doesn't do too well with that. The best solution for that is Blacken-It. Blacken-It is a metal oxidizer. The blackened brass will still conduct electricity and won't flake off. But...

... Remove the steel springs first! The Blacken-It corroded my springs clear through! But it did a mighty fine job of blackening the rest of the pole assembly. So remove the springs, soak the poles in Blacken-It, and then replace the springs.Then you'll have a fine looking and fine working trolley pole.
That is the beauty of these blogs- you can learn from my mistakes, Yes sir! Learn from my mistakes!