Scratch Building Catenary

FurkaSOCal

FurkaSOCal

Registered
26 Dec 2017
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San Diego
Hello all,

I am considering adding catenary to my layout. While its not critical to me that it actually works, I think it would be nice if it did! Seeing as the LGB stuff can be quite pricey, has anyone had any success in making their own? I've seen a few posts on the forum by they are all quite old.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
14,632
261
71
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Yes it can be done, we did it on the Ruschbahn for a Swiss Metre Gauge Model heavily based on RHB and M0B practices. Just search Ruschbahn and you will see the pictures. A quick how I did it.

- Steel Posts with Die ends to take nuts for securing, groves Lathe cut to enable cross wires to be held in place.
- Contact and Cross Wire Wire all Nickel Silver (35 thou) held at ends by Fence Tensioners, these days I would prefer wighted tins (hidden). This would allow changes in Temperature tombe accomodated better than the Permanent Fence Tensioners did.
- Copper Wire (23 thou) passing across Brass Studs groved to hold wire. Wire is free to move back and forwards. That was soldered at top with a wire over Stud to keep in place.
- Some soldering of Wires in place to keep things sorted but note that the wire was free to move along the length as is the real thing. This took some working out to look satisfactory.

You should be able to make most of this out with the pictures.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
22,947
333
Tamworth, Staffs.
Be aware that dogs, cats, critters (of all sizes), birds, and small family members, do not live well with catenary..
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
14,632
261
71
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Great is this you?
That is the line , I first appear at around 0.45 in the Grey Top watching the Brawa 2-8-0 from the Millisee Main Panel on the daily Ruschwalk Express, I have signalled the Train and set all the Ponts (I hope) while another bod is drving it. The guy in the Red Top that apears is the Yard Supervisor. The owner of the line is a bit Camera shy but does get a look it at some stage (striding Right to Left about 3.23). Almost brings a tear to my eys to remember the fun we had with the line, sadly demolished in 2013 when the owner died. But it lives on in our memories.

As Phil says livestock can be an issue with Overhead but we had a resident cat, ducks frequented the Pond and the worse damage they did was to the LGB Bridge when they flew off the Pond in a panic after the owner used to throw things at them! Pidgeons would occasionalky walk around the track but apart from the odd soldered joint comming undone the overhead as built was remarkably robust for its delicate look.

Oh forgot to mention I used Coloured Beads for cosmetic Isolation Pots. The overhead was not used for Power in anyway, though there was a plan to use it as 1 wire for Building Lights at some stage.
 
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FurkaSOCal

FurkaSOCal

Registered
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Thank you all for the input, I've decided to hold off for the moment in favor of expanding my cogwheel section. Its good to know that it can be done!
 
Melbournesparks

Melbournesparks

Registered
30 Sep 2015
208
1
City of Eltham
Old thread I know, but if you're still looking for ideas I have a few photos of my slightly different scratchbuilt system. This is really light tramway overhead, but fully operational for trolley poles and pantographs. The poles are either tomato stakes or moderately straight sticks, and the wire all copper from old mains wiring. You can salvage these materials so the cost is pretty much $0.

Be aware that dogs, cats, critters (of all sizes), birds, and small family members, do not live well with catenary..
This is actually way less of a problem than you'd think. The local wildlife seems to learn to deal with it, damage is pretty unusual. That being said it helps a lot if your railway is away from high traffic areas.
 
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Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
24,705
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North West Norfolk
Gizzy

Gizzy

Railways, Aviation, Caravanning....
26 Oct 2009
32,397
111
Cambridgeshire
www.gscalecentral.net
For some reason BOTH pantographs are raised. Why is/was that?
Certainly on Dutch railways, which are electrified at 1500 V DC, both pantographs, will be up to start a train moving, then one of them will be lowered. This was the reason for most of their heavier freights having to be hauled by 6400 class diesel units in multiple, 'under the wires', as the electrical loads on this low-ish voltage would trip out the safety circuits.

The Betewue freight line that runs from Rotterdam to the German border was electrified at 25kV AC, which can handle the larger current drawn, and it uses multi-voltage system locos that can run on both Dutch electrical systems, as well as under the German 15 kV 16.6 Hz catenary....
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
24,705
388
North West Norfolk
Certainly on Dutch railways, which are electrified at 1500 V DC, both pantographs, will be up to start a train moving, then one of them will be lowered. This was the reason for most of their heavier freights having to be hauled by 6400 class diesel units in multiple, 'under the wires', as the electrical loads on this low-ish voltage would trip out the safety circuits.

The Betewue freight line that runs from Rotterdam to the German border was electrified at 25kV AC, which can handle the larger current drawn, and it uses multi-voltage system locos that can run on both Dutch electrical systems, as well as under the German 15 kV 16.6 Hz catenary....
I think it's actually longer distances between pantographs that can give harmonic problems - like front and rear of an EMU. Can't remember where the issue first surfaced on UK lines, but I do remember something about it in the dark recesses of my mind .............................. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: