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I'm getting started in O scale after a long hiatus in model railroading. It all sort of started after a gas crew hit an old street car rail left in the street outside my home. I knew there was a street car that ran in the area but it got me doing research and then one thing led to another and here I am...


Can anyone identify this streetcar and is there a reasonably priced, similar model in O scale available? http://www.westernrailimages.c...938-1940/i-Fr3bt7T/A


The closest thing I've seen is the Western Hobbycraft Jamestown car:


I've run across a lot of sites that feature trolleys and streetcars but many of them look old, out-of-date, incomplete and generally sketchy. 


My intent is for my layout to feature a short streetcar run/loop and model it after my neighborhood and some of the key buildings which is essentially this corner:,-90.292926,3a,75y,187.06h,84.7t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s2wg7IR1i4iA0sRO7Q62pCw!2e0?hl=en


The streetcar swung around this corner, went half a block and entered a loop and headed back into the city.


I'm fascinated by the idea this car rumbled down my street and by trolleys in general. My city had a great streetcar system and of course the St. Louis Car company which I've recently ordered a few book on.


The Youtube videos I've seen of model trolley operation are just the coolest thing ever.


Thanks for any information.






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Hi Tim and welcome

  Unfortunately us trolley lovers don't get as much love from the O gauge manufactures as we should but there are some options out there. The westernhobbycraft cars are fabulous and at the price they are selling for right now, there really isn't  a better deal on the market. Another option you could consider is the MTH Railking Brill. Lotsa road names floating around out there and you get the benefit of a pretty good sound set and station stops that can be programmed.

Last edited by jonmuse

You're not kidding when you say there's not a lot of love from the manufactures. I'm not seeing the MTH Brill available online. Nothing on eBay but the little bump and go model. I guess I'll ping the site and see if they have their Johnstown model available. I might just repaint the thing to St. Louis colors. All the other links I find it looks like everything is sold out/not available or the pages are as old as the hills...


What do folks do if they want to put in the overhead lines? Is that a scratch build affair or are there sets available?


Thanks again!

Thanks, I did run across the Bachmann Peter Witt in STL livery. It's cool but not the one that ran on my route. It looks maybe a little larger than the Western Hobbycraft trolley - hard to tell - the WHC site doesn't have specs. There does seem to be a limited supply of all of this stuff so maybe I need to just get off being specific and take what's available. 


Also  -  what's the general consensus on Superstreets for trolleys?  

I think the Western Hobbycraft trolley is probably your best bet. I think there are still a few available for sale. The larger Superstreets curve should work okay if you want to do 3-rail--I know the Peter Witt will run on that curve.


I wish there were more Trolleys readily available in O scale. It can be very frustrating, which is why I mainly do my trolley modeling in HO.


Jeff C

Thanks to everyone who supplied helpful info. I heard back from Western Hobbycraft and placed an order for the LA car, which is apparently closer to the picture I posted. The Johnstown is more streamlined on the ends apparently. I bought a scratch and dent shell too, which I'll paint and detail. 


Is there anything out there like this HO scale trolley track system but for O scale? I'd love to eventually run 2 rail on simulated brick streets. 



All there is the old K-Line Super Streets 3-rail now Williams by Bachmann EZ Street which is limited in range, but widely used.  Most trolleys will only run on the D21 curves, D16 are too tight.  There are diamond crossovers.  Turnouts are coming soon, D21 only.   There is lots of information in the forum and member Lee Willis has written books on Streets layouts and another on kit bashing Streets vehicles.

Thanks to everyone who supplied helpful into. I've chucked together some of my thoughts about a layout and attached an image. I dont have a lot of space so this is what I'm thinking for "module #1." It's basically a loop with trolley running in the center - again, another simple loop. This is all I have space for right now (42 x 78) and seems a reasonable start. Module #2 to be added later would be larger and feature more trolley lines. I'm a year or more out on that one - still dealing with college age kids and tuition...


I dont have any RR software - this is just my grabbing the artwork from the manufacture and chucking it into graphic design software. I think ultimately I will print out all the track pieces 100% and sort of play around with this like the old colorforms and get things worked out, check fit and interference, etc. and then order the trackwork. The trackwork here is actual drawings from Ross though for the track I'd probably use Gargraves. The trolley loop I'm thinking possibly superstreets.


I like the smaller stuff - and moving forward would most like to have a small army of these types of utility vehicles though I realize these would need to be scratch built or kitbashed: http://www.westernrailimages.c...ley-Line/i-W3bHvrP/A


Still working things out, buying a few things as I can find them and making adjustments.


Thanks everyone. Comments/suggestions welcome.




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Nice photos of the “real” thing over the years in St. Louis.  Their PCC paint scheme is very  similar to our Pittsburgh PCC's which BTW were all built by the St. Louis Car Co.  


Re your layout plan, make sure you allow enough room for the D-21 Super/E-Z Streets curves plus clearance for the trolley overhang over the outside rails as it goes around the curves.  You don't want to use D-16's as it would limit what you can run.  A “Streets” D-21 circle measures 21½” across outside edge to outside edge.  The amount of clearance obviously depends on the specific trolleys you are running but I would suggest you allow at least 1”.   It looks like you have about 24” across on your planned oval so you should be OK.





Last edited by WftTrains

Depending on your level of pain tolerance and fastidiousness:

Both the Bowser and MTH Brill trolleys are too tall, made to accommodate existing drive units.


20150205_160611This compares a scale Brill semi-convertible trolley side to the MTH Brill. The extra height seems to be in the tall windows with lowered sides:

20150205_160701The truck wheelbase is an excessive 7'3". Still, the MTH is RTR and relatively inexpensive; they show up on eBay from time-to-time. Getting a scale version is work:



 The kit needs clean-up plus a roof and floor plus power plus poles plus details (from Q-Car). I'll have close to $200 in it before I'm finished. The Brill is cute but out of date for "contemporary" schemes.

The Corgi PCC and Birney cars are slightly undersize at 1:50 scale. If you don't need to preserve interiors Bowser offers power units; otherwise it's off to Q-car or GHB.

That's pretty much it for available streetcar models (plus the WBB Witt cars) unless you opt for the Bump-n-Go versions or the noticeably subscale Atlas car.

After that you can get into large money, based on eBay selling prices for scale trolleys. and you typically have to buy separate power trucks. These prices make me wonder about the so-called dying O scale traction hobby. Maybe it's comprised of 25 rich guys


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Last edited by rex desilets

I built a pretty good number of wooden ship models in years past. I dont think it can get more tedious than that. Scratch building is something I really like though my eyesight isn't what it once was.


I'll keep trolling for kits and plans. I ordered a Western Hobbycraft trolley so I'll have something to play with. Kit building will need to wait for me to finish a few projects around the house. Gotta keep the peace.


One question about decals - anyone with suggestions for custom or specialty decals? I'd want to replicate this (I've already traced this so I have the art digitized):  http://www.westernrailimages.c...ley-Line/i-t9vj39J/A







So judging by the Google map you posted, the streetcar line was the 21 Tower Grove which was converted to buses November 3, 1940. There was a single track loop in Clifton Heights which ran south off Columbia Avenue. But the map I am looking at has no side street names. An on street loop means that single ended cars were used.  St. Louis Public Service began using route numbers June 28, 1928 to facilitate traffic and to make it easier figure out which car was which the dark and fog.  


The buses used in the conversion 80 GM TD-3603s #4900-4980 which were modified to resemble SLPS PCC cars. There is nothing like these on the market, but Corgi did do some larger GM buses years ago. By the way the 80 buses converted not just 21 Tower Grove but also, 95 Kingshighway, 20 Cherokee, 105 Gravois, and 92 Lindenwood.


The information is from several publications by Andrew D. young.

Hi Bill - 


Here's where the loop was:,-90.295593,3a,75y,132.83h,73.89t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sZAVsvdWDnHg_j-Oo8jFsvQ!2e0?hl=en


A few neighborhood old timers remember this being a bus station. I've not run into anyone who remembers the streetcar line. Later the bus stop turned into a auto repair shop and now it's expanded and is owned by a group that restores and operates old fire engines. It's always a hoot when they all roll by for parades and such.


I both live in the neighborhood and work in an office is located at that intersection in the previous google link.


Someone in our neighborhood association has old maps, photos and such - still trying to track down the keeper of all that information. When time allows I need to get down to our library and see what I can dig up there too. I do have some of the Andrew Young books but so far nothing as far as images for this line (I just got a used copy of his History of St. Louis Car Company book). The railroading history in my area is really fascinating - I've been viewing sites with old images and doing a little before and after photography. 


I've been able to purchase great old streetcar maps with all the routes indicated which has been helpful but no photos. This was the far reaches of the city when the line was constructed and sort of a bedroom community so I dont think there's as much documentation.


Work has gotten really busy but I'm still scratching around. Thanks for your help!







Just stumbled over this string and maybe I can help.  The double enders that ran on the 04 Clayton, 02 Berkley, and 12 Maryland most closely resemble the Western Hobbycraft trolleys (I have 4 of them).  But they did not run on the 21 Tower Grove.  There aren't many photos out there of the 21 because of its early abandonment date, but I'm reasonably sure the Peter Witts and what I called the "box cars" 1100s and 1200s ran 

on it.  I don't believe the big Robertsons ran on the 21.  Unfortunately the Bachman Peter Witt is modeled after the Milan Italy cars.  Color is wrong for United Railways.  


I am not a scale brass trolley guy, but perhaps someone out there made STLPS in brass. If so, it will cost a fortune.


Here is a photo of the MTH St. Louis PCC and the Bachman Witt running on my layout.


Lew Schneider

09A Aerial View Wabanville with Trolleys


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  • 09A Aerial View Wabanville with Trolleys

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