EPTC The East Penn Traction Club

Trolley Modeling Tips & Techniques

This page contains a growing collection of articles, presentations and material on trolley modeling, some with particular emphasis on working with the East Penn module standards as described elsewhere on this web site. It is hoped this material will answer questions or provide new ideas for enjoying the hobby. Contributions to this page are welcome and should be sent to the EPTC Webmaster.

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Visit Our Intro to Trolley Modeling Page!

Visit Our Light Rail Vehicle Modeling Page!

Download copies of Arthur Duncan's Trolley Car Plans.

Download copies of Paul Moore's Trolley Plans (Philadelphia Collection).

For an on-line look at the construction of an HO Scale East Penn Trolley Module, visit Bob Dietrich's South Hills Junction Project.

Charles Long provides this 2 minute video clip of a "Cavalcade of Streetcars" at 9th and Walnut on his HO layout.

Check out the "Trolley-Cam" photos including a full motion video of the trolley-cam in action!

Browse (or contribute to!) the growing Trolley Modeling Article Bibliography.

File NameSizeDateTitle and Contents
standards.pdf188K4/1997East Penn Model Trolley Layout Module Standards - This is a copy of the East Penn trolley module standards (It is the same document as can be found on the module standards page of this web site.).
mod-tips.pdf118K4/1995Module Building Techniques - Module Legs and Overhead Wire - This document contains the slides used at the clinic on Module Building Tips and Techniques from the 1995 East Penn Trolley Meet. It provides some clarification as well as new material on building modules to the East Penn standard. It is recommended reading for anyone attempting to build an East Penn type module.
repowering_ho_cars1.pdf1.9Mb5/2009Powering/Repowering HO Cars; Adapting RtR Trolleys to East Penn Modules - This is an EPTC Meet clinic presentation by Bob Dietrich.
modeling_light_rail2.pdf36K5/2009Modeling Light Rail - This is an EPTC Meet clinic presentation by Chris Bradley.
signals.pdf227K8/1998Automatic Control of East Penn Trolley Modules - This is an updated text by Richard Kerr of several previous documents published on the subject of implementing automated block control (and signaling) for East Penn modules. The practces currently outlined in this document can been seen in action on several of the 'O' scale modules belonging to members of East Penn.
interurban_box_trailer.pdf275KB03/2012Interurban Box Trailer - A scratchbuilding article by Chuck Crouse.
flexi_window-guards.pdf145KB03/2010Flexible Window Guards - This tip shows how make Flexible Window Guards for streetcars.
bachmann_peterwitt.pdf2MB01/2008Bachmann Spectrum Peter Witt in HO - This tip shows how make improvements in the Bachmann ready-to-run Peter Witt car in HO.
painted_backdrops.pdf2MB01/2008Painted Backdrops for Non-Artists - This tip shows how those not artistically inclined can make realistic painted scenery backdrops.
bldtrolleymodels.pdf9K10/2008Building and Finishing Trolley Models - This article is intended as a guide that a modeler can use to organize trolley model construction.
bldtrolleymodels2.pdf10K10/2008Things to Consider During Model Building - This article lists a few important items to consider when building your model trolley cars.
building ho trolley turnouts.pdf4MB05/2007Building HO Trolley Turnouts - This tip shows how to build HO turnouts using Orr girder rail available from Custom Traxx.
uninsulatedwheels.pdf733Kb01/2007How to Un-Insulate Wheelsets - This article shares technicques for un-insulating wheelsets for use with block control signals requiring them.
nscalewirehanging.pdf996Kb01/2007Hanging Trolley Wire and Catenary in N Scale - This article shares technicques for hanging operaating trolley wire and catenary in N scale.
dcc_clinic.pdf25Kb05/2003DCC Clinic - This document is the handout provided at the 2003 East Penn Trolley Meet clinic on wiring trolleys for DCC control.
windows.pdf1.4Mb11/2001Window Details for Structures Along Your Trolley Routes - This "Trolley Tip" provides some ideas on how to decorate the building windows that line your trolley route. Includes full color photos of several detailed building fronts.
controller.pdf37K11/2001Port-A-Pike II Controller - This article provides the schematic and parts list for building a momentum transistor throttle connected to a full-scale controller and brake valve.
ho_overhead.pdf28K11/2001HO Overhead Construction - This article provides information on hanging overhead wire in HO that was presented at a Modeler's Workshop.
freight_cars.pdf34K1/1999Trolley Freight Car Tips - This "Trolley Tip" provides information on operating long freight car trains on model trolley layouts.
4/1994Hands-off Trolley Freight Switching - This excellent article by Charles C. Robinson is taken from his clinic on the subject presented at the 1994 Boston Trolley Meet. Also included is a reprint of an article on the subject from Railroad Model Craftsmen magazine circa 1946 (reprinted with permission). Note, due to the large number of graphics in this article, it has been broken into multiple files for easier downloading and printing.
pwr_supl.pdf108K5/19944-6 Amp Trolley Power Supply - This "Trolley Tip" provides instructions on constructing a 4-6 Amp regulated power supply ideal for powering model trolley modules.
switchho.pdf130K6/2000Single-point HO Switch Construction - This "Trolley Tip" provides instructions on building single-point switches in HO using modified Richard Orr components.
switch.pdf17K9/1997Single-point Street Switches - This "Trolley Tip" provides instructions on scratch building single-point switches for street trackage in either HO or O scales.
overhead.pdf29K10/1997Hanging Overhead Wire - This "Trolley Tip" provides information on tried and true techniques for hanging overhead wire for modules.
compress.pdf10K5/1995Compression Type Insulators - This "Trolley Tip" provides instructions on building semi-prototypical compression type insulators suitable for any scale.
insulate.pdf12K9/1996Overhead Wire Insulators - This "Trolley Tip" provides instructions on a technique to make "de-wire proof" insulators in the trolley overhead.
decals.pdf28K2/1997Do-It-Yourself Decals - This "Trolley Tip" discusses the techniques for making your own custom trolley decals using the laser printer decal paper available from Micro-Mark.
car-wire.pdf63K1/1991Model Trolley Car Wiring - This excellent multi-part series by Rich Kerr covers many of the unique aspects of wiring model trolley cars. (P.S. I am working on getting Rich to complete the remaining chapters, so stay tuned!)
HOliner.pdf121K10/2000HO Scale Nickel Plate Products Liberty Liner Conversion - This article details how to convert a Nickel Plate Products HO scale Liberty (or Electro) Liner to take sharper radius curves and to run better.
PolePanOperation.pdf 1.5M 4/2012 "Some Tips for Pan and Pole Operation," shown by Rich Crooks at the April 2012 EPTC meeting.
GetGoingInHO.pdf 1.9M 4/2012 "Getting Going in HO Traction," presented by Bob Dietrich and Rich Allman at the 2012 Boston Trolley Meet.

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