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The Long Island Railroad never ceases to amaze me with its oddities.  Attached is a photo of a two-axle car built in 1915 to run on the Mineola-to-Valley Stream branch.  Both straight coaches and combines were built.  They were just 32’ 9” long overall.  They look like trolleys, but wait, where’s the trolley pole?  Answer:  they’re battery-powered!  A total of 230 cells, charged at 436 volts.  The cars have a 12’ wheel-base, so if you build one to scale, may not run on your tightest curves!  This info is from the Brill Company magazine, January 1915, p. 25.

I would love to make one that was battery powered, but how would you control it?  Thanks in advance for any insight.





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  • LIRR-1915
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In theory, not that hard. They already use radio control for G gauge garden railroading with battery power. The real problem might be having enough room for the batteries and the RC speed control gear,this would probably be about 6" long in O scale, so it might be something of a tight fit. Bachman just introduced a bluetooth based system in HO, and something like that in theory could be modified, given that it is small enough to fit into an HO engine shell , then it would just be a matter of fitting slim line LIPO batteries in the shell.If you didn't mind not being able to see into the car, you could use frosted window material, and have the entire interior space available.

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