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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have posted several times concerning my soft spot for early traction (as close to pre-1900 as possible). I want a freight setup rather than passenger. Interurban.

No one talks much about 3rd rail, and I wonder how popular it is among the traction folk, and what the pitfalls are. I've asked questions, gotten good answers, and studied, so I'm pretty confident catenary won't be much of a technical challenge, but what about outside 3rd rail? I believe 3 R was used a lot in the NW for freight, but I could be OTL.

It seems to me that a switchyard--even a modest one--would run into some serious problems with that third rail tagging along, though all my switches will be stubs, at least for the foreseeable future.

Is there a traction site around? I haven't had much luck finding one, though I wasn't looking hard. Are there traction magazines out there? Book titles that anyone might care to recommend?

Thanks

Les
 
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no, a switchyard should be makeable without problems.

when i was a curious, little boy, the city trains in Hamburg, germany, were all with a third rail outside the track. these third rails were about one foot higher, than the two main-rails.
they were built to have contact sideways with sliding devices on the trains. (and covered at the upper and the outer side by wooden boards)

the reason, why switches were no problem, was simply, that:
1) more than just one of the cars were powered and had contactslides.
2) trains had slides on both sides, so it did not matter tecnically, on which side the trains contacted.
3) by the mentioned reasons they could put the third rails, where convenient. - away from the platforms, or on one side of a switch for the straight and on the other side for the outturning rail.

i try to imagine, how to realize such a system.
might be good to use H0 or 0 rails for the additional rail.
one could alterate some locos, that they use the third rail instead of their left weel pickups, others to use it instead of the right weel pickups.
so (remembering the thingy about electric circuits) one could steer three different trains at different speed and/or direction on the same track.

for my targeted time the third rail is too modern.
but i hope, you give it a try. should be a modelling first, as far as i know.
 

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Outside third rail is very doable on model railroads. Most "scale" O gauge model railroad clubs used outside third rail prior to WWII. The New York Society of Model Engineers RR was all third rail as I recall. While intended mostly to simulate two rail for steam confuguration models the methods used should apply quite nicely to a model traction line. By studying their methods you can find out how they configured yards and other trackage. Try a search for the NYSME and see if anything pops up or at least someone to query.

The description by Kormsen above describes how continuous electric pickup was accomplished.
 

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Les,

Forgive me if this entry is slightly less than coherent as I am somewhat "jet lagged" at the moment... My Gauge 3 equipment will be electric traction of the 1880 to 1930 period as is my 16mm stuff. To this end I have built models of catenary locos -although the "S" Motor uses both. My catenary work on the track will be "theoretical" but to me if you are going to have a sparky then you must have pantographs!!! I have a few drawings of locos of that period -but I would suggest that you examine P.Ransome-Wallis's book ; "Illustrated Encyclopedia of World Railway Locomotives" -which is available "on line" to read as is "Electric traction 1922".


Excuse me -it is 8:30 GMT I need to get to sleep!!!


regards

ralph
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Korm,

I picked up one fact: so, the left wheels are considered the 'hot' wheels on modern models? Didn't know that, and because I'm scratchbuilding for the moment using cheap battery engines, I was going to use the right-hand wheels for 'hot'. (Or B+, if you're from the old radio days). I also didn't realize more than one car has pickups.

The thought slides across my mind: why don't the powered-track folk do that, and use the brake hose connections as a means of getting power to the engine's motor? Yeah, an extra wire would have to be run, but with todays micro-pins, that could be doable. That's assuming, of course, the ground pickup is good, which ain't necessarily always so. Sigh, such a good idea, sunk.

As for running multiple engines, I have the concentration and reflexes of a possum, nowadays.
(An American possum, when frightened/threatened, falls over on its side and plays dead. A defense strategy, the books say, but I think it just faints. Which would be my reaction to an imminent head-on.) I feel confident, however, I can get one train down the tracks okay.


Thanks for the reply.

Les
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Will do, Rich. Thanks! It never crossed my mind that the hot rail could be on either side.

Les
 

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Posted By Les on 12/29/2008 4:56 PM
Korm,

I picked up one fact: so, the left wheels are considered the 'hot' wheels on modern models? Didn't know that, and because I'm scratchbuilding for the moment using cheap battery engines, I was going to use the right-hand wheels for 'hot'. (Or B+, if you're from the old radio days). I also didn't realize more than one car has pickups.

The thought slides across my mind: why don't the powered-track folk do that, and use the brake hose connections as a means of getting power to the engine's motor? Yeah, an extra wire would have to be run, but with todays micro-pins, that could be doable. That's assuming, of course, the ground pickup is good, which ain't necessarily always so. Sigh, such a good idea, sunk.

As for running multiple engines, I have the concentration and reflexes of a possum, nowadays.
(An American possum, when frightened/threatened, falls over on its side and plays dead. A defense strategy, the books say, but I think it just faints. Which would be my reaction to an imminent head-on.) I feel confident, however, I can get one train down the tracks okay.


Thanks for the reply.

Les



Quando Omni Flunkus Moratati
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Posted By ralphbrades on 12/29/2008 1:36 AM
Les,

Forgive me if this entry is slightly less than coherent as I am somewhat "jet lagged" at the moment... My Gauge 3 equipment will be electric traction of the 1880 to 1930 period as is my 16mm stuff. To this end I have built models of catenary locos -although the "S" Motor uses both. My catenary work on the track will be "theoretical" but to me if you are going to have a sparky then you must have pantographs!!! I have a few drawings of locos of that period -but I would suggest that you examine P.Ransome-Wallis's book ; "Illustrated Encyclopedia of World Railway Locomotives" -which is available "on line" to read as is "Electric traction 1922".


Excuse me -it is 8:30 GMT I need to get to sleep!!!


regards

ralph









Ralph,

I believe you posted a pix of a pre-1900 steeple cab (US type). I have it in my files.

Of course catenary and pantographs 'make' the model! I have a stack of 1970's era NMRA bulletins which have a 'Traction' column. But, catenary looks labor-intensive to the extreme, never mind the 'frogs' and stuff up in the air. I'm not aware that the interurban motors I'd be building would require pantographs. I'm fairly certain the NP used heavy electrics out West, but that's about it.

The subject, overall, is fascinating to me because I don't know anything about it. I've seen pixes of the big engines you're building and find them daunting. A motor flat is one thing, one of those monsters is something entirely different! I think I ned to get my feet wet with the cheap stuff first.

One thing that's always made me wonder: how'd they shove high-voltage DC over long distances? AC transmits with so much less loss. I think I need an introductory book on basic traction facts.

Thanks for the two titles, I'll look 'em up and see what I can learn.

Les
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quando Omni Flunkus Moratati




Semper: Let me get this straight: Do you steam guys drink the alcohol, or pour it in the engines?


Les
 

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Posted By Les on 12/29/2008 5:29 PM


Quando Omni Flunkus Moratati




Semper: Let me get this straight: Do you steam guys drink the alcohol, or pour it in the engines?


Les



Being from a "teatotaler" background, I BURN the stuff.

Of course if you look in my medicine cabinet you will find a bottle of Peppermint Schnappes which the Doctor prescribed for me to take to get rid of a particulary nasty throat infection. Worked quite well! I have also found it to calm my stomach at times. So I do have to say that I also use it for "medicinal purposes" sometimes.

(Have to admit that I would someday like to see what happens if I put it IN the boiler instead of UNDER it but I am sure it would destroy any catenary the engine might be under!)
 
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well, "omni" means many or everybody... or so. like in omnibus.
for the rest ???

that they use the third rail instead of their left weel pickups, others to use it instead of the right weel pickups.


i did not mean it the way, you understood it. i meant, you could replace the left OR the right weel-pickup with the third rail.
i haven't got the slightest idea, if there are rules for which side should be the "live" one.

on my layouts i made the connections by trial and error.
(european powerpacks with their safety fuses/breakers are very forgiving...)
 

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Posted By kormsen on 12/29/2008 6:17 PM
well, "omni" means many or everybody... or so. like in omnibus.
for the rest ???

that they use the third rail instead of their left weel pickups, others to use it instead of the right weel pickups.


i did not mean it the way, you understood it. i meant, you could replace the left OR the right weel-pickup with the third rail.
i haven't got the slightest idea, if there are rules for which side should be the "live" one.

on my layouts i made the connections by trial and error.
(european powerpacks with their safety fuses/breakers are very forgiving...)


Oh, you poor folk that have not seen the "Red Green" show on American Public TV... Ya just don't knows whut ya is missin'.

"Quando Omni Flunkus Moratati"

The motto of the Possum Lodge.

" When all else fails, play dead."
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Posted By kormsen on 12/29/2008 6:17 PM
well, "omni" means many or everybody... or so. like in omnibus.
for the rest ???





Korm,

I think Semp was A) treating his 'throat condition' liberally, or B) was needling traction/electric (non-steam) folks. "Mortarti' means death or something near.

Les
 

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Posted By Les on 12/29/2008 6:28 PM
Posted By kormsen on 12/29/2008 6:17 PM
well, "omni" means many or everybody... or so. like in omnibus.
for the rest ???





Korm,

I think Semp was A) treating his 'throat condition' liberally, or B) was needling traction/electric (non-steam) folks. "Mortarti' means death or something near.

Les





No, I was responding to your comment:

"I have the concentration and reflexes of a possum, nowadays.
(An American possum, when frightened/threatened, falls over on its side and plays dead. A defense strategy, the books say, but I think it just faints. Which would be my reaction to an imminent head-on.)"



Did you hear about the fellow that applied for the job of "Station Agent" at the local rail yard?

At one point in the interview the RR owner asked him what he would do if he saw that the fast freight was about to run head-on into a switch engine that was on the mainline.

The reply was, "I'd flag the fast freight to stop."

The owner then said, "What if it was going too fast to get stopped?"

The reply was, "I'd throw the switch to run the switch engine into the siding."

The owner then asked, "What if it was already past that switch?"

The reply was, "I'd go get my sister."

The owner was a bit confused at that answer and asked, "Why would you do that? What could she do?"

The reply was, "Oh, she could not do anything about it, either, but she ain't never seen two trains run into each other."
 
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"Mortarti'
sounds more like a kind of saucage to me.
but aren't the live steamers the real morituri (deathbound)?

but, Les, don't be too harsh with him.
he probably selected the most fiddly way to play with trains just because he does not know how nice it is, to sit down with a fine drink and watch trains driven by electrons....
 

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Posted By kormsen on 12/29/2008 6:46 PM
"Mortarti'
sounds more like a kind of saucage to me.
but aren't the live steamers the real morituri (deathbound)?

but, Les, don't be too harsh with him.
he probably selected the most fiddly way to play with trains just because he does not know how nice it is, to sit down with a fine drink and watch trains driven by electrons....


It ain't just Live Steamers that are "deathbound"... we all are... even the guy with the most toys (tools, etc.) is headed that way and when he gets there is just as dead as the one that gave away all his toys (tools, etc.).

As for picking the most fiddly way to play with trains... well, it ain't so much that I picked it as it picked me... At the age of just 3 and a half a steam locomotive jumped from behind a building and scared me "airborne"... I vividly remember being completely in the air as I leapt from the little footstool in the middle of the front seat of my parents car (no child's safety seats back then!), headed for GrandDad's lap. Some folk go bungee jumping or sky diving or drink and drive to get their adrenaline up... I just go stand next to a steam locomotive... when I found I could actually HAVE a real Live Steam locomotive like the one that scared me, I was transported to the heavens. I don't sit in a drunken stupor"watchin' choo-choo's run in circles"... I am an Engineer operating a real Steam Locomotive. well... okay... its a tiny replica toy of a real one, but it is the closest I can get, given the size of my property and wallet.

Electric trains? TOYS! (but a bit of fun to watch for a few minutes).

3-rd rail or catenary? An interesting engineering challenge to "model" it effectively, especially if it actually supplying power to the toy locomotive. Admirable if it can be accomplished well.

"G" gauge Live Steam? That is as real as it can get for a dufus like me (anything bigger could accelerate my deathbound journey!).
 
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do you know the "Wilesco" steam engines?(they were very popular half a century ago) http://www.modell-dampfmaschinen.de
got one from santa, when i was ten.
before new years eve i had it combined with an old Marklin train (the type of rails, the classic Lionel uses)
i began the next year without steam engine, without Marklin loco, but with a lot of blisters in the face...
it was an interesting sound. since then i prefer train-TOYS.
 

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Ok -now that my brain is starting to lock into Northern Hemisphere Winter and GMT again... I don't know how they did it in the US -but here in the days of, "The British Empire" -we did it this way!!!

They didn't transmit DC over long distances, they transmitted AC, and used what was termed as "rotators" to convert the AC to DC. The device is simple and consisted of an AC sychronous motor and a pair of commutators with a set of slip rings feeding it. As the motor turned the commutators it flipped each phase of the sine wave. Thus the DC side was "rotated" from the AC and would have appeared on a "scope" as the series of half sine waves of full wave rectification. They fitted them every mile or so on the LBSC.


The Pearson Report recommended that all electric locomotives in "The Empire" should use 1500 Volts DC -so that is what I am building. I don't consider then to be monsters -but then I did grew up around Class 15A's....



Electric Traction 1922 is here :
http://www.archive.org/details/railwayelectrict004126mbp


The Illustrated Encyclopedia is here :
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=rsOYinjYGCkC&dq=Illustrated+Encyclopedia+of+World+Railway+Locomotives&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=6&ct=result#PPA67,M1


I have a reprint of the first and an original of the latter.


regards

ralph
 
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