Because A Good Traction Layout Should Have A Conductors Bell.
As you may or may not remember, the layout is housed in a protective canopy to keep off dust and household critters and provide layout specific lighting. It's been a lot of work to build when it occurred to me that the layout was unproven and if the intersection didn't work right then I'm wasting time and money building a useless canopy for it. Well, the layout has since proven itself and so I have decided to resume work on it.
Since the canopy has a remarkable resemblance to a trolley car, I thought it would be rather nifty to add a conductors bell to it. And it just so happens that many, many years ago, my wife and I took a trip to San Francisco where I managed to pick up a full sized souvenir brass cable car conductors bell. And wouldn't you know, its a perfect fit!
A length of leather cord was procured from the local fabric store to use as the pull cord. Brass eye-bolts installed to support it and its tied off at the end with an authentic bowline knot (Boy Scouting paying off there).
The fabric store also had these grommets that I thought would be a good way to thread the cord from the "main compartment" to the "motorman's compartment".
So there we go! We've established a means of communication between the conductor and motorman on this layout. Because you know, communication is important on a small home layout.
And now for some real bell ringing, here is the 2013 San Francisco Cable Car Bell Ringing Champ:
Ding Ding! Yes sir! Ding Ding!