Read the Free Trolleyville Times Monthly for the Latest News on Prototype and Model Traction!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Yous Young Punks Has it Easy!

Building a Grand Junction Intersection is a lot easier these days than it was when I was a kid.

Here are some old construction photos from that hot summer way back in 1984 when I built that intersection:

 Each rail had to be cut and shaped and then spiked into place. Checked with a track gauge. Adjustments made. Checked again. And then tested with a car.

Running rail is Code 83 and the simulated channel rail is Code 70. They were spaced with a straight pin and spiked together with track spikes.

Fortunately, even though this represents some of the very first track I ever hand laid, careful construction and the liberal use of the NMRA track gauge, the trackwork holds up to this day (some 30 freakin' years later!).

But now!:

Building such intricate track work has become a lot easier now with premade castings from such suppliers as Custom Traxx and Proto87.

Andy Reichert was able to piece this special track work rather together quickly using his "Electric Avenue Easy Track System".

Here I spent all those years building something I thought would be very unique, and now any ol' Dandy off the street can build it. Yes sir! Any ol' Dandy can build it!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Spaghetti Bowl

Wiring up Turnout Machines

I installed these NJ International Turnout Machines years ago. But I find it very difficult to get the tabs for the control panel indication lights arranged just right so they don't short everything out. So I have foregone the indication lighting aspect of it for now and hooked them up to just switch the track. In the upper left is a Capacitive Discharge Unit from Miniatronics to give the turnouts a strong, decisive "snap"!

Eventually I would like to replace all the switch machines with easy to install and adjust micro servos.

The reason I haven't gone that route yet is because I don't want to invest another dollar into this layout until I see the intersection work as designed first! Yes sir! I want to see that intersection work as designed first!


Monday, June 10, 2013

A Helpful Thread on Overhead Construction

The Free Rails site (one of the very few model railroading forums to include traction modeling) has a helpful thread covering overhead construction:

 Photo: Herb Kephart

Check it out. Every little bit helps, right? Yes sir! Every little bit helps!


Monday, June 03, 2013

Faux News Everyone!

The Southern California Traction Club is featured in a Fox 11 newscast:

Tony Valdez saw the video I made of the club and wanted to use it for his broadcast. So you'll recognize a lot of the model trolley shots from that video. He includes some nice interviews with club members. Overall it's a neat little expose' on the club. Yes sir! A neat little expose'!