It became quite clear during operations some of my current collection devices left alot to be desired. The main culprit were poles from Walthers. As cool as the sparks were, the operating trolley wheels experienced frequent disturbances at switch pans and in very random spots. The random occurences are due to the fact there are no commercially cast hangers with the exception of the frogs. The poles would occasionally de-wire at speed due to the operating trolley wheels bouncing off the span wires. I have a glut of these Walthers poles with operating wheels, most of which are still in the package. I need to find some shoes or fixed, non spinning wheels as a fix for these. As a work around, these will go in a box in favor of Rich Eaton's poles.
See the photo, the wheel was impressive on the freight engine, an added bit of realism with all the flashing and arcing at the trolley wheel bclimbing the grade into Sparta. There has to be something other than a spinning wheel or dirty wire to produce those awesome blue arcs.......folks, that's as true to life as you can get.
With the poles changed on FVT&L 34 (box motor) and FVT&L 28 (training car), the wheels started turning upstairs(in my head, not the belfry). The FVT&L equipment are the last cars left from my home layout. I painted these cars from rattle cans at age 14, the paint jobs are now 20 years old. I have another Roundhouse Boxcab diesel waiting to be kitbashed. This one will have some advancements beyond those on 34. The new one will probably be numbered 35, at which time 34 will be relegated into yard goat service. There is an upper yard at Sparta that is in need of a capable switch engine. 34 has the newer style drive with the flywheel and reduction gear, making it noisy as hell. It also tends to tie up the railroad, trundling along at 25 scale MPH.
In the above photo, FVT&L 34 poses on the kitchen table er......shop floor with the next victim. The replacement will have trolley boards smaller than railroad ties. Im thinking of making different marker light cans, perhaps utilizing lights instead of jewels....time will tell.
Drive on the left is sloooowwww, the one on the right will be much better suited to the task of getting into the siding before the Limiteds and Express trains have to stop and wait.
Wednesday night, time was tight. FVT&L 34 & 28 each made a couple round trips with shop forces at the controls. Pole tracking issues were addressed, along with an arcing controller in 34. Hats off to the VMT (Valley Model Traction) shop crew for succesfully getting these two cars inspected and in revenue service after a 12 year hiatus. Join us in the next post for the good, the bad, and the WTF!