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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To those that do the work on the forum, how about adding a pair of catagories? Traction/light rail and 2 rail O scale(not toy train related). The current O gauge is geared to toy trains and not scale modeling in 2 rail/proto48. A spot for Traction modeling of both past and present light rail would also be wonderful to have. Lots of modeling going on in that subset of many scales with 3d printing opening up possibilities in every scale. I myself model in O scale 2 rail traction as thanks to the tight curves, it makes O scale possible on my small layout space. O scale 2 rail and traction modeling really needs some positive promotion to interest some new blood and open doors to those that might not realize the benefits of this scale. To stir interest, here is my Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Brill coach(will become coach 160 or 162 once painted. She has Q-car drive and is dead silent in operation, all you hear is wheels on rails. Lets discuss the benefits of O scale 2 rail/traction. Excuse the layout mess, its in transition from HO to O scale and a bit of a "catch all" during the summer months.
 

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Hal Lay Loo Ya...Artfuldodger

I'm with you all the way. I sure would like
to see a Forum on this site dedicated to Traction.
There are a couple of
traction modelers on the Forum that I know of
and likely a few more still in the background.
I'm a member of Electric Railway Clubs of
Florida (ERCF), a very active group with
members who model traction, mostly
Streetcars, in all scales. Some of the ECRF
members are Nationally known for their
Streetcar and Traction writings.
I would think those traction folks would welcome
the opportunity to participate in traction and
Streetcar subjects here on the forum.
(ERCF would, by the way,
welcome your membership which includes
quarterly color traction news and photos
by mail or email)

I've seen the work of 2 rail 0 scalers...it's some
beautiful stuff. Maybe some of those guys who are
members here can join you in asking for a
forum specific to 2 rail 0.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think many traction modelers are in the background/shadows and many more might consider O scale 2 rail if they knew the benefits or where to buy. The scale is really fun and with the advent of all the new scale buildings for the 3 rail group, its becoming easier to model with less kit building(although kits are fun during the long winter nights) I just need to find a painter to paint my car now. I can paint, just not to a level I want.
 

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Though I agree with the OP there should be such a category, I only want to point out that I believe the reason traction gets so little attention today and there being so few modeling this kind of RRing, is twofold:
1) The lack of 1:1 scale trolley systems in the country, and tram systems in the world not really trolley as they all seem to have pantographs only (no trolley poles).
2) The need for catanary, all the poles next to the track, wiring above it, plus the expense of having models which actually do run that way; rails (+) and catanary (-) , or vice versa..

Not that you the traction fan don't know this..It's just that I believe these are the two most important aspects of traction which have always hindered its growth in the serious scale-modeling side of the hobby and why there is a small amount of trolley on the (ugh) cheep, 'faking it' side of the hobby, it running via 2 rails and devoid of any and all catanary.

A great boon to traction would be if a large Co. like Bachmann or Rivarossi came out with an affordable, expandable, all-live trolley/traction system along with authentic looking/acting motor cabs, box cabs, Brills, and PCC cars in less expensive plastic, shells..
I think if that happened we might very well see a resurgence in traction modeling which would be very very nice for all the reasons the OP points out... 🚋🚋 🛤🏭🚆🛤 🚋
 

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PS
Related
: I for one would like to see a new forum home photo to replace the current Euro 0-6-0t and its wagons..I think I can safely assume the great majority of our members are N. American and US prototype modelers..
Be nice to see, say, an N&W y6b there instead, with coal hoppers in tow, or a NYC J3a, say...
Just tired of the Euro thingy with its buffers (even tho the 1:1 scale were made in the US !). :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bachman and Bowser have both done trolleys in recent years that run beautifully. But they were models of older cars and not the newest in light rail. Kato does better but only in N scale with the Unitram system with nice street trackage and awsome buildings, granted with a bit of a Japanese look but still really cool. There are a couple modelers, Volkmar Mier is one example, that are producting modern and older trams/trolleys to fit various drives in both HO and N scale. O scale is still very much a world of brass cars or various kits, none of them modern by any means. Light rail is slowly gaining ground, especially on the west coast and a few other cities. But nowhere near the amount of trackage there was in the 1920's thru the 50's in the USA. Traction modeling has been and always will be a niche of the hobby, hence little support from mainstream companies. Leaving it open to the 3d printers and cottage industry folks. Even brass models of traction have faded into history. Leaving us with only what has been made in the past.
 

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1) The lack of 1:1 scale trolley systems in the country, and tram systems in the world not really trolley as they all seem to have pantographs only (no trolley poles).
I am a little confused by this statement. I thought traction implied any of the electric rail equipment, whether with poles like trolleys or pantographs like my GG1. Am I misunderstanding the use of the term traction, or am I misreading (or reading too much into) your statement?

I have an interest in trolleys, electric trains using third rail power, and electric trains using pantographs. Of course, I am not picky and define my model railroad interests as anything that runs on rails. But I do like to try to use the correct terms when I can.
 

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The term traction has often been used to identify streetcars, Trams,
light rail vehicles, elevated trains, subways and electric locomotives
using either trolley poles or pantographs to collect power from
overhead wires. These wires are often referred to as Catenary.
Most subways, elevated systems and some electric railroads use 3rd rail power pickup. Perhaps even Trolley buses could be include in
the term since all of these vehicles use electric 'traction motors' to power their wheels. However, one could say that most rail fans would likely think of
Streetcars, Trams and Light rail when they hear the term 'traction'.

There are dozens of Streetcar and Light rail systems now
operating in the United States. Most have been built in
recent decades.

There is a selection of streetcar and
light rail models in various scales. There are small shops
that sell the special in pavement rails, tight radius turnouts and overhead wire
fittings used to build traction layouts.

There are tons of books and other publications devoted to
electric traction. I have a modest collection that includes
books analysing the streetcar systems in US, Canada,
and Mexico, as well as tram systems around the world.

Youtube has tram tours of most European cities
and many other cities around the world. The
camera, peering through the windshield,
gives the viewers a tour of the city from one end of the line
to the other. It's a wonderful way to see the sights
without the cost of overseas travel.

I think the addition of a Traction Forum would
grow to be a popular site where fans could show
their layouts and discuss their hobby just as is
done with the various scales at present. Maybe
if enough of us 'clamor' for this project the
folks in charge might be moved to set up
a new Traction/Streetcar Forum for us.

Don
 

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As an HO Traction Nut, I say add an HO-scale Traction Section. We're still out here, we've got a lot to share, and we want cheap street trackage!
 

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If you are interested in street car rail systems, look at Proto87 stores www.proto87.com street car rail stuff. Makes a very realistic looking street with realistic rail. has the wheel flange built into the rail and has neat spring turnouts!
 
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