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At one time, a trip to the store, downtown to shop or to work did not involve maintaining an automobile and contending with traffic. There has always been interest in building and operating model trolley systems, and today models in all scales are available from a number of sources. The trackage has a heavy molded base and three part molded cobblestone covers designed to accept Atlas HO Code 100 flex track. The curved sections are 6 inch radius which makes it possible to set curves into street intersections. The new Atlas flextrack is very flexible, but I also cut the joining tabs connecting the adjacent ties to let them move more freely. While the parts for the cobblestone covers fit together nicely, some filing may be necessary to fit ends of the plastic sections. It is necessary to fit the street coverplates carefully to get a smooth even pavement, and I suggest doing this only after the track and baseplates are mounted to the model railroad layout permanently.
The coverplates are molded in a good color of grey to simulate cobblestones that were very common in use on street trackage.
Turnouts matching the rest of this system have been shown as advance samples by Pennsylvania Heritage and should be available shortly. Right angle crossings have been not been shown yet, but by leaving a small section of a street intersection at the center in grass a regular Atlas code 100 crossing could be used. For straight trackage, this system works well when integrated with Walthers street panels when the center of the Walthers panels are raised to match the street level of the Pennsylvania Heritage sections.
Walthers pavement with either a single or double track line at the center makes a wide avenue or boulevard. The straight track is available in either narrow or wide paving- I chose the narrow but would have used the wide type which matches the curved sections if I had the choice now. As the track is two rail, you have the option of wiring the rails together to use a trolley pole for the electrical return, but cars will run more reliably with two rail pickup and a dummy trolley line. All listings sold via Auction are subject to a 15% Buyer's Premium which will be collected at checkout.
You would walk to the corner and an electric powered trolley car would soon come along to whisk you to most anywhere you wanted to go. Until now, however, the missing element was the trackage, for trolley tracks were laid in pavement and simulating street trackage is very difficult in model form. Their system is well thought out, is practical and is so much easier than any handmade track I have ever attempted to build. The straight track is available in both narrow and wide cover sizes, with the wide size matching the curves.


I found that the current Atlas track fits fine, but in some cases needs to be coaxed into the base plates. With care on a permanent layout it should be possible to set up the segments at the correct curve and fill in any gaps with hydrocal or other filler.
Some small amount of filing may be needed to true up edges of the coverplates so they can butt up against sidewalks or other paving materials. I suggest a light wash of black be painted on the coverplates once they are installed to get the most even finish possible. I also found that straight trackage can be made by using only the coverplates and leaving off the baseplates to make a track with a lower profile that comes closer to matching Walthers pavement. For current pickup, I suggest soldering the wire lead to the bottom of a rail joiner and file a notch in the end of the Pennsylvania Heritage baseplate to accommodate these.
Elastic thread or stretchable catenary wire (same thing-) is an excellent substitute for real wire as there is always a temptation to rerail a car under wire which can really play havoc with operating live wire.
Beginning in an age of unpaved muddy roads and horse and wagon technology, electric rapid transit represented a huge leap forward in technology. The main problem is to clear the flanges of the cars, for hand laid pavement must have precise flangeway grooves on the inner edges of all rails that are wide and deep enough to clear the flanges of the wheels. I specify that this is street trackage, for while it will be trolley modelers who will probably be most enthusiastic about this product, I believe that anyone who wishes to have some yard leads or whole freight lines for their steam railroad laid in pavement will want some of this track too. The wide size is quite enough for the whole pavement for narrow streets, and the narrow type is useful where you wish to have the central cobblestones set into the center of conventional smooth pavement which can be simulated with styrene, hydrocal or your favorite paving material. I would suggest checking the ends of the Atlas ties to be sure there are no molding nubs at the ends. Once I had the flextrack down to as close to the 6" raidus as I could get, I then mounted it into the baseplates.
In this case I would suggest using continuous flex track for the whole length of the curve. The black paint (mixed with thinner and a flat finish if a mixable one is available for your favorite brand of paint.
If curves must be laid in the street, however, I suggest using a flat pavement or the geometry of making the pavement taper down at the sidewalks (forming the crown of the street) may be difficult. Of course, if you are a dedicated juice jack it is possible to string wire and operate off a trolley pole just like the real ones. Unfortunately, along came the bus and the automobile which finally proved too much of an enticement for the public, so that by the 1930s most of the trolley companies were financially on the skids or had already pulled up their tracks. I believe that the main body of users will be HO scale modelers, but the track is also for use with On30 gauge.


In the event that there are, they can be filed off easily and the track will fit the base plates with greater accuracy. Doing this will relieve most of the outwards side pressure when you fit the track to the baseplate of the street track. I use Floquil) will settle and collect in the grooves representing the mortar between the stones in a very realistic fashion. For example if you arranged two parallel tracks next to each other (east and westbound) a simple terminal would consist of a trailing point turnout connecting the two tracks into one for a hundred feet or so.
I have not had any problem keeping cars on the rails but it is probably a good idea to use a thin piece of cardboard occasionally, to keep debris out of the flangeway grooves.
This product is now available in brick red for those modeling streets with brick lined trackage. Trolley operators and the similar interurban electric railroads crisscrossed the United States almost like the interstate highways do today.
The cobblestones are a bit large in HO scale, but are not unreasonable in my opinion, and might be a bit small in 1:48 scale for On30 gauge. Ideally, all flex track rail joints will occur in the middle of the straight segments to provide the most continuous trackage with no kinks. I use contact cement to hold the track in place as it holds very firmly and yet remains flexible.
Such an arrangement permits running one or more cars into the pocket formed, and then dispatching the car back in the opposite direction. This is a useful product to simulate not only trolley track, but also abandoned traction lines, dummy traction line with a static trolley for a static trolley system. A very few cities kept their trolley cars in operation for some years but today they are all gone. This does not bother me, for different colored stone, pavement texture or possibly block size was used to differentiate the area of the street dedicated to trolley car use. The street trackage coverplates can be glued in place with model cement such as Ambroid Pro Weld or with super glue.
I advise going over track once it is on the layout to be sure that the rails are just a bit higher than the surrounding plastic cobblestones because otherwise wide treaded wheels will be lifted off the rails and will lose electrical contact.
Though this system has its limitations, it makes street trackage easy to build and practical for every model railroader.



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