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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

The setting for my layout is fictional - although it's based loosely around Hams Hall and Coleshill Parkway in the midlands. The line that runs through Coleshill Parkway doesn't have catenary, but I don't want to limit what I can run.

I have my eye on a Kato Eurostar for the layout (large amounts of modellers' license required) , and am excited by the fact that Dapol seem to be planning a Pendolino now. I wouldn't want to run stock like this without catenary, as although my layout isn't aiming to be 100% authentic I wouldn't want to have locos that need catenary to be running happily without it!

So my question is twofold - is catenary a realistic thing for a portable N gauge layout? I know that commercial options are available, who's is 'best'?

Secondly, I have a large freight terminal on the layout - I don't want to have catenary over the whole yard, so is it unrealistic to have catenary over the main running lines and then not continued on the yard? Can anyone point me to a real life location where this happens?

Thanks to all.
 

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Look also at www.nbrasslocos.co.uk. Not used it myself but I will probably do so if I decide to electrify my layout. This gives a much wider variety of structures as would be seen on all but the simplest main lines. Some electric N gauge layouts omit the actual wires because it is impossible to model them at scale thickness and they are pretty much invisible at normal viewing distances. This would get round the problem of baseboard joins on portable layouts, make track cleaning slightly easier but mean that you have to find a way of fixing the pantograph to run just below the register arms, which unlike the prototype cannot be higher at level crossings or lower at overbridges.

Almost all freight terminals on the prototype are non-electrified, as most freight is diesel hauled. There would almost certainly be wiring on the main line crossovers, as these could be used for emergency single line working of electric trains. The entrance track to the terminal might also be wired for a short distance from the main line junction.

However the exceptions, which are electrified, tend to be the major intermodal terminals particularly those built for Channel Tunnel traffic. Obviously the wires don't go into the un/loading area but they can stop just short of the hard standing so the electric loco can push its train into position. If this isn't possible (it needs an electrified run-round loop somewhere else) then a diesel shunter can be used.
 

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Have a look at Viessmann - their catenary is good value for money, robust & the clip on fixing of the wires to the masts makes linking the sections for portable use.

If you cannot obtain it locally then send me a PM.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to all for the replies.

Goedel - I suspected that Dapol may launch some catenary to go with the Pendolino but hadn't seen that page, so thank you.

Edwin - that's stuff looks fantastic, I like the idea of it all being brass. I would think it will make it a little more rugged.

Brian - Viessmann is what I've looked at so far, Gaugemaster have it available to purchase.

Tom - yes, the same thought occurred to me, I'll have a look at the Dapol catenary when it's available. There's no rush to get it up, I haven't finished wiring the track yet! My Eurostar arrived today, what a great set.

What do people think about the wire itself? I'm inclined to put masts up and let the wire be imagined - I should think that any wire commercially available will be massively over scale. It also eliminates the problem of crossing baseboard joins.
 

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To be honest you won't know until you have tried it!

When Dapol release there stuff I'm going to try a small section WITH wires, but if it doesn't work then I will take then off.

I cannot paste links to the pages but they can be found in the news section of the dapol website.

www.dapol.co.uk

By the looks of it the pendoleno will have sprung pantograph probably meaning the "head" will be able to follow the wires (if there).
 

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Glad to be of help! Another advantage to not installing wires is...it means you can clean the track without being driven mad by the inaccessability caused by having delicate wires everywhere!

I intend to adjust the springs in my pantographs so that they are deployed skyward as if the wires are there but actually leave the wires out, but I haven't decided completely whether this will be better than tolerating overscale piano wire etc. At least it will be nice for you to have a choice!
 

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QUOTE (tom @ 15 Feb 2009, 23:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm going to wait for the Dapol Catenary. Being made by a British company should make them more realistic.
You would think so, wouldn't you? However, I wouldn't bank on it as it has certainly never been true of any of the crude attempts made in 4mm scale that have been foisted on us down the years. And then they wonder why so few people seem to model overhead electrics!
Let's hope that this is all about to change, with both Dapol's efforts in 2mm and Peco's in 4mm.
 

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QUOTE (Edwin @ 14 Feb 2009, 21:43) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Some electric N gauge layouts omit the actual wires because it is impossible to model them at scale thickness and they are pretty much invisible at normal viewing distances.
'Impossible' is a dangerous word to use. 'Impractical' maybe...
Visibility is a secondary consideration. Personally, not having wires present would be completely unacceptable to me, merely on principle - but then I have never been inclined to take the easy option!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Poliss - that's scary! Hmmm, I don't fancy that happening in N, the damage would be catastrophic. I'm going to order some gantries from the place that Edwin suggested, and see what it all looks like without the wires. One gantry at least may serve well as a solution to a current problem I'm having with how to disguise the exit through the back scene at one end of the layout.
 

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Brass N and a company called StatesmaN (I think) do British style catenery although StatesmaN may no longer exist/produce. Dapol will also be entering the market but I believe with only single post arms. They are also planning to launch two OHLE trains; a class 86 loco and a class 390 Pendolino multiple unit over the next 18 months. It could prove to be a kick-start for British N gauge overhead electrics. Kato also produced a class 373 'Eurostar' set but it was unfortunatelly made to the continental 1:160 scale which meant it was, and looked, too small for British 1:148 N gauge.

G.
 
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