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I seem to have over-engineered my trolley line.  I built an end-to-end trolley line with a spiral elevating the line, and now I can't find a trolley to negotiate it.  The Lionel bump-n-go I had been using works, but only if the conditions are perfect.  The slightest dirty track or wheels, or if Saturn is in conjunction with Venus, and it won't operate smoothly.  My MTH Brill semi-convertable (PS1) works famously, but alas is not bump-and-go.  It seems twin trucks and a dc can motor are required to overcome my self-inflicted problem.  Do any of my brilliant OGR cohorts see a solution short of redesigning my layout?  Are point-to-point trolleys out there that fit the bill?

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Hi Patapsco Pete,


    If the issues you are having are due to poor wheel to rail contact for whatever reason, there are 2 solutions that come to mind.  In the UK, traction folks use high frequency electronic rail cleaning devices (which really prevent stalling rather than clean the track) to keep their equipment moving.  One device is the Relco, no longer in production, and the other is by Gauge Master, which is currently available, but mostly in the UK.  I have a Relco that I use with some handcars.  There is a lot of misinformation about them, but if you run your trolley on straight DC and the unit has no circuit boards or rectifiers, it is magic!  The other solution is to use a large bi-polar capacitor across the motor as an electronic flywheel, DC, no rectifier.  It will provide coasting over trouble spots in both polarities/directions.   I use a Panasonic 3300mfd, 16 volt bi-polar electrolytic cap with the handcars, no rectifier, but I keep the DC voltage at nothing greater than 9 volts, again only for DC.  Both of these solutions are DC only. 


    Hope this helps!   Good Luck!


Take care, Joe.



Last edited by Joe Rampolla

What about adding some weight to the Lionel trolley? I also betcha the MTH will climb it better than the Lionel. I had an Atlas, for a while. I wasn't impressed with the running and sold it. The other thing I find and I could be deluding myself, is the Atlas 80 transformer, with it's pure Sine Wave drives the motors, on my trolleys better. By better I mean more smoothly and it seems to have the power to hit the bumpers and reverse at slower speed.

You could explore an auto reverse unit for back and forth operation, enabling use of the MTH DC motored trolley. I've had success with the Z-Stuff unit. Just requires some insulated trip rails on each end and and some wiring. Bonus over bump and go is adjustable time delay at the stops.


And I second trying to add weight. Always worth trying that on grades.

Two extreme solutions come to mind on the traction issue.

1.-cheating- Clear two sided tape on one rail, topside de-tacked with a rag. I have a severe grade 12' long with one rail taped for better traction. Same tape 4 years with a Virginian on it, no issues on visiting 0-4-0's.

2. It is possible to do a homemade Magnetraction maker of sorts. Some deep research into a company called MANCO may reveal something of use. I don't think he is producing anything anymore, but if magnetic traction strong enough to run a locomotive upside down sounds like enough traction, look around.

MANCO is/was run by a forum member Dale Manquen, I think he has retired from anything not fun for him at any given moment.

I found this in 2 min.

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