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The Caboose is a place for Reading Modeler members to hang out and discuss topics of general interest, not necessarily rail-related. Come on in, the coffee's hot and the conversation is stimulating!

TOPIC: making H.O.scale catenary poles

making H.O.scale catenary poles 2 months 2 weeks ago #6412

I'm looking for help with building catenary poles for the electric commuter trains in the Philadelphia are. I've got the dimensions but don't have any prototype or H.O. scale photos to look at for how they're joined. Thanks for any help u can give.
Johnny C, Engineer, #413 The Rocket
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making H.O.scale catenary poles 2 months 2 weeks ago #6416

  • HoboPiker
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Through eBay searches for Reading Lines, Reading Company, Reading Railroad, plus those headings preceded by HO scale, I have found several photos of the catenary structures showing the details. Also, the RCT&HS's Bee Line magazine has several articles over the years with the catenary system showing in the photos. Have you tried contacting the society for drawings of the catenary structures?
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The following user(s) said Thank You: Wayne Jct. Towerman

making H.O.scale catenary poles 2 months 2 weeks ago #6417

I've researched the site but I assumed that because I wasn't a member, their material wouldn't be available to me. Thanks for the advice. I will try again. I have made 5 catenary poles from styrene material from Plastruct that match info. I received on dimensions from another source. Thanks I'll let you know how the turnout when completely finished and painted. Your friend, Johnny C.
Johnny C, Engineer, #413 The Rocket
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making H.O.scale catenary poles 4 days 13 hours ago #6464

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Are you looking for single track, double-track, or three/four track cat structures? We have all of the above in the Phila area, including some wild cantilevered ones on the Fox Chase Line near Olney. The cat was installed when the line was double track. CSX and Septa separated their operations awhiles back (2005!! ay caramba!!), making the easternmost track freight-only, with Septa operating on the western track. Problem was, some of the DT cat poles were on the eastern side to avoid clearance problems with the (now defunct) Heintz Mfg Co.

Even though the interference wasn't an obstacle to new cat poles, Septa just removed the cat wire from over the now CSX-only track and left the poles in place, roughly 30 feet away from the Septa track. I think my clarifying pix are on my home computer.

A railfan named 'Jersey Mike' posted pix online, but I can't get his photo link to work any longer. The text of his essay is on Subchat.com.
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making H.O.scale catenary poles 4 days 12 hours ago #6465

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Just checked my phone. I saved some Dale Woodland pix from Olney, which he posted on Facebook's Friends of the Reading Railroad group. There's one of RDC's in the snow which shows more detail of the cat structure. The one closest to the camera doesn't show how the two sections are joined.

The single pole cat structures spanned both main tracks, the Frankford Branch track and a siding which used to store cars for Heintz. So, they needed 3 support lines (guy lines) from the cat upright.
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