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My first order of catenary masts arrived today. These are Sommerfeldt 389 new style masts that are being installed on the Swiss Rhätische Bahn narrow gauge railroad to replace an older metal pole design, and in some cases, wood masts with older support arms.

These are made of I-beam nickle silver and the arms are nicely detailed with support U-clamps, plates, insulators, and hardware. They use a plastic base cube with the mast penetrating the cube that has a soldered threaded rod to attach to the sub-roadbed.

These will be used mostly on straight sections with another part number that uses a long pull-off for the inside of curves. The radii is so tight on some curves on this railroad, particularly between St. Moritz and Tirano, that the catenary is parallel to the track and laying on it's side. That is the function of the pull-off's used on the curves sections of the RhB. 18", 20", and 22" curves are at a realistic scale on the RhB railroad.

I also purchased direct from Sommerfeldt a digital download of their detailed catenary manual for €10. It was a lot cheaper (€18) than a hard copy and without the two month wait in US Customs. Still waiting on my new Bemo Allegra ABe 8/12 set to arrive from Customs.

Until I get these installed I won't know if a standard gauge locomotive will run with this catenary installed on the dual gauge track. It's a lot lower than Deutsche Bahn catenary. I might get away with operating a Diesel consist, but an electric consist is going to be iffy or outright impossible.

 

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The support arms are only 2mm lower than a standard DB cat mast. They also run full size locomotves on RhB, so there will be no problem running both standard gauge and narrow gauge under the wire. Plenty of room.
 

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Sounds interesting but I can't quite conjure up the net effect. I look forward to the pics once in place ...
 

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These are test placements only. The only measurement I did was 35mm out from the track centerline. The spacing is not correct as it was not calculated for the wire length. This was just to make sure a standard locomotive and consist would fit under the wire on the dual gauge track.





 
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