I was cruising around the internet looking for a supplier for small gauge phosphor bronze wire that I could use to string N scale overhead. Along the way I found myself on the NCat Website again. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t fascinated with electric railways and similarly I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t trying to model these same operations. When I first started trying to build traction models in N scale I wasn’t aware that N scale’s small size was supposed to be “too small” to be practical. My first exposure to others trying to work their way down the same path was in an article in a back issue of Canadian Rail that I found at a train show. That March 1975 issue included an article by Hal Reigger in which he described an N-Trak module he’d built featuring a mine tram. The little mine tram engine was indeed powered from the overhead wire and everything on the module was scratchbuilt. In fact most of his modelwork featured a real smorgasbord of media and little of it was traditional model-making fare. My favourite being the ties he used for his handlaid track: cut from an actual railway tie salvaged from an abandoned Milwaukee Road branchline. I read and re-read Hal’s article and it became the seminal evidence I’d need to convince me that what I wanted to do was in fact possible (“Heck this Hal guys is doing it!”)
Years later the internet would come along and many years still further on from that we’d all start to find websites where we could share our own corners of this great hobby amongst folk with similar interests. For me this was the N-Cat Website. The site itself is absoloutely jammed with information on modelling traction in N scale. Everything from how to convert trolleys to collect their power from live overhead, to building that overhead from scratch and on and on. Take a minute and visit this site, I’ve been re-visiting it a number of times lately and really enjoying every visit. Here’s the link:
Of course the great part about the internet is how it does provide a place where we can get together in some form and share in our mutual interests. I’ve been a member of the N Scale Traction Yahoogroup for a very long time. It’s a really great bunch of guys. Check out the group’s homepage:
It’s such a great community. It’d be a real shame to not try out N scale traction modelling yourself so maybe head on over to Miniatures by Eric and order some parts. His work is incredible and he’s a super guy.