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Offline river6109  
#1 Posted : 04 December 2019 01:47:17(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 13,170
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Hi, I don't now where it all started but it could be as far back as 1984 when the digital world started with model trains by Märklin. I never could find an article whereas it was recommended not to use the overhead system (I use Sommerfeldt) for a power supply., Why it was recommended I've go now idea.
I can understand to run locos with their pantographs up can on occasions be a problem but in my case with my overhead system I've sorted out most of the problems so all of my electric locos can run uninterrupted.
one thing is for sure to handle trains with an overhead system present takes a bit to get used to it and removing or adding trains can also be sometimes difficult but apart from that, I haven't had any problems within the last 35 years.

Although I must admit with newer locos and newer authentic pantographs I sometimes find it difficult to understand why some locos with their smaller wipers (SBB) and the existence of 4 pantographs, each pantograph needs a different overhead wire position and I haven't worked out why. for instance if I have both pantographs up front & rear (which is very unlikely), the front one may be in its right position but the back one comes off the wire.
You would think if the tolerance of the wire is ok for the front pantograph it would be same scenario for the back one.
It would take some time to correct the whole overhead wiring (curved tracks) to avoid these differences.

Going back to the original topic I've never seen big layouts having a working overhead system but an overhead system exists and I never had the opportunity why this is the case. , is it the cost by having to replace pantographs after so many working hours ? and sometimes you do get answers which in my opinion hasn't got any basis for not using it properly.
It looks to me someone started the Myth and it has continued to this day without anybody questioning the facts or factors, why ?

I can understand someone has a layout and doesn't like an overhead system and has only diesel or steam locos running but when you've got electric locos why not run them prototypical and why talk about the details of a loco but not include the obvious thing it should run with its pantographs up.

Suppose the world of model trains has many faces and options how to conduct your layout and the movement of trains and one thing is always on the card: compromises.
Any one who has an overhead system installed will tell you its not cheap and our priorities sometimes are getting more locos and rolling stock than looking at Authenticity.

what are your thoughts on this for both options: having an overhead system or not having one ?
and by the way its not only for digital locos but also for Analog: the benefit being you could have an extra power supply.

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
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Offline mike c  
#2 Posted : 04 December 2019 02:16:53(UTC)
mike c

Canada   
Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 6,691
Location: Montreal, QC
It was not just a digital thing, but happened as a result of the introduction of electronic direction reversal. The change from mechanical to electronic relay led to a condition where the interruption of power could result in a sudden change of direction, which could cause derailments and other problems for the operation of a layout.
For that reason, some reports began recommending that models no longer be operated using the catenary.
With the introduction of digital, not much changed with the original Motorola decoders, although some instances were reported of pantographs and parts of the circuit overheating, as digital voltage is constant and the weakest point is where a meltdown is most likely to occur. Some modellers solved this issue by installing heavier wipers on their pantographs and additional wires between the wiper and the circuit board to lessen the risk.
With the introduction of the newest generation of decoders (Lokpilot, etc) an intermittent contact added the risk of in addition to direction inversion, the possibility that a drop out and return to voltage could put the locomotive into programming mode, with a further risk of accident, resulting in manufacturers once again recommending that models with new decoders not be used with the catenary.
The switch for catenary operation has been replaced on many models by dip switches or jumpers, which makes the switch from rail to overhead much more complex. I am not a big fan of having to open a lok each time you want to change power selection. I like the traditional switch and miss the ease of selection. It also made it easy to place a locomotive on the track without it drawing power. Today in analog, you cannot leave a model on the track if you want to use another one for a while.

A lot of modellers put Maerklin down because the models had bulkier wipers while the DC companies had fine detailed pantographs. maerklin decided to improve their models, but to a large extent, they are still more suited to operation than those of Roco or other companies.

I used to love the occasional spark from the catenary, just like the real thing. Today you have to buy that effect from Noch or Busch (one of the two) and build it into your model.

Regards

Mike C
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Offline DaleSchultz  
#3 Posted : 04 December 2019 04:25:29(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,457
I never liked the look of the old Märklin catenary, way too bulky and rough. As a kid there was no possibility of affording them and I never had any electric locos so it was not an issue.

When I first started a serious highly detailed layout (now with electrics) I decided that Sommerfeld was the way to go, they have a special 'profi' range that had very thin wires, and I installed it along a branch line. It was a lot of work (no problem) and it looked pretty good. I went the extra step of painting it dark green to make it blend in and look thinner too.

That attempt can be seen here: Sommerfeld catenary

Then the issues started, any small bump of the carefully erected wires could bend the wires. Once a wire is bent, no amount of fideling can get the kink out so that it looks like it did before. The finer the wire, the worse this issue is. The thicker the wire the less realistic it looks.

I looked at lots of prototype images of electrified tracks and train on such tracks. Most of the time one cannot see the overhead wires they are so fine. What you do see is all the poles.

I decided to go the route of putting up just the poles and masts and am very happy with that decision. The suggestion of doing this is often met with horror in train fora but I have noticed more and more people adopting the idea.

Additional advantages are:
  • less cost
  • no snagging of the overhead and destruction of pantographs
  • One can still access trains under the 'wires' without hindrance
  • Good visual realism


If one does elect to have the wires, then one has the choice of running power in them or not.
My thoughts there (and my original intention when I had them) is, why make your life a misery?

Reasons:
  • They add no functionality if you are already running digital locos. In the analog days it allowed a second loco to run on the same track which was a big win.
  • You also have to provide overhead power in hidden areas.
  • Hidden areas! - these are often difficult to access, with very little vertical height, adding wires or electrical feeds in there is a nightmare.
  • Double electrical circuits, connections and failures.


The only valid bit of realism that the provide is:
  • the occasional spark
  • pantographs move up and down


Those advantages don't come anywhere near the expense time and frustration of erecting them in my book.



Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
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Offline TEEWolf  
#4 Posted : 04 December 2019 05:05:33(UTC)
TEEWolf


Joined: 01/06/2016(UTC)
Posts: 2,447
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
I never liked the look of the old Märklin catenary, way too bulky and rough. As a kid there was no possibility of affording them and I never had any electric locos so it was not an issue.

When I first started a serious highly detailed layout (now with electrics) I decided that Sommerfeld was the way to go, they have a special 'profi' range that had very thin wires, and I installed it along a branch line. It was a lot of work (no problem) and it looked pretty good. I went the extra step of painting it dark green to make it blend in and look thinner too.

That attempt can be seen here: Sommerfeld catenary

Then the issues started, any small bump of the carefully erected wires could bend the wires. Once a wire is bent, no amount of fideling can get the kink out so that it looks like it did before. The finer the wire, the worse this issue is. The thicker the wire the less realistic it looks.

I looked at lots of prototype images of electrified tracks and train on such tracks. Most of the time one cannot see the overhead wires they are so fine. What you do see is all the poles.

I decided to go the route of putting up just the poles and masts and am very happy with that decision. The suggestion of doing this is often met with horror in train fora but I have noticed more and more people adopting the idea.

Additional advantages are:
  • less cost
  • no snagging of the overhead and destruction of pantographs
  • One can still access trains under the 'wires' without hindrance
  • Good visual realism


If one does elect to have the wires, then one has the choice of running power in them or not.
My thoughts there (and my original intention when I had them) is, why make your life a misery?

Reasons:
  • They add no functionality if you are already running digital locos. In the analog days it allowed a second loco to run on the same track which was a big win.
  • You also have to provide overhead power in hidden areas.
  • Hidden areas! - these are often difficult to access, with very little vertical height, adding wires or electrical feeds in there is a nightmare.
  • Double electrical circuits, connections and failures.


The only valid bit of realism that the provide is:
  • the occasional spark
  • pantographs move up and down


Those advantages don't come anywhere near the expense time and frustration of erecting them in my book.


Dale, please be aware in Switzerland are 100% of the train lines equipped with a catenary, in Austria 80% and in Germany between 50% and 60%. Building a realistic train layout of Europe requires a catenary system. Especially the degree of electrification is raising by enviromental reasons at the real life railway.
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Offline river6109  
#5 Posted : 04 December 2019 06:18:15(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 13,170
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Dale, the only comment I like to add to your valued input is I do benefit from the overhead system, instead of being restricted to AC locos I can also purchase DC locos which are cheaper to purchase, have additional driving axles and therefore can extend the number of rubber tyres on a particular loco., the downside sometimes occurs buying electric locos the pantograph is no longer suitable for an overhead operation.
My other observation is also the motor has a far greater performance rate compared with the weight of the loco, meaning a smaller motor would do the job according to the weight, I hope no one reads this as manufacturers have already started reducing the amount of metal in a loco., some of these examples I've experience in a Roco DB BR 232 diesel loco whereas before it was packed with metal and now has a reduced amount causing the loco almost loosing 100g

John.
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Offline river6109  
#6 Posted : 04 December 2019 06:31:20(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 13,170
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
TEEWolf, interesting observation, I don't think the environmental issues will apply to model trains not from our input., it would be interesting to see how long it will take model train manufacturers to change the use of plastics and it will be also remarkable when we will see the first recycling material used on a model train or an environmentally friendly loco, Märklin has made a start by using water instead of a smoke fluid., I like to see 20 locos operating with watered powered steam and see how quickly the tracks or the overhead system will go rusty.

Wouldn't have fancied having an overhead system in the old days whereas the voltage was 220 Volt., we've gone down since than 20-24 Volts and now sitting on 16-18 Volts.

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
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Offline PJMärklin  
#7 Posted : 04 December 2019 06:37:28(UTC)
PJMärklin

Australia   
Joined: 04/12/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,593
Location: Hobart, Australia
Originally Posted by: river6109 Go to Quoted Post
Hi, I don't now where it all started but it could be as far back as 1984 when the digital world started with model trains by Märklin. I never could find an article whereas it was recommended not to use the overhead system (I use Sommerfeldt) for a power supply., Why it was recommended I've go now idea. ...




UserPostedImage

UserPostedImage

UserPostedImage

As you know, I also like Sommerfeldt :

https://www.marklin-user...rklin-Catalog#post507185


BigGrin
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Offline river6109  
#8 Posted : 04 December 2019 09:19:51(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 13,170
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Thanks for the evidence and yet I've started with the electrifications in 1984 after the new digital system was announced (layout construction = I was there at the right time)., I never had a problem with it (originally the Märklin overhead system).
One thing I can't understand is all these reports and none of them applied to my experience, so is it a written statement which in practice doesn't apply ?

the friendly user policy isn't a thing you can apply to an overhead system but there are many other examples getting to the object is no longer viable, such as cars motor enclosure, what used to be plenty of room to crry out some repair work is now more or less impossible.
you take your car to the garage to get it fixed and pay a lot of money for it, what I would suggest to those who don't like an overhead system to get a technician to set up your locos and carriages and pay him for the work.

On very, very, very rare occasions I had a loco losing its signal and travelled along without being able to control the speed or functions.,

Some informations seem to be technically analized and to me plausible at the time but if you don't try things yourself and find out for your self you'll never get to the truth and one such experiment, a doctor undertook (with much criticism from the medical profession) for suggesting a bacteria can survive in a stomach and it was proven that it was true hence they never were able to treat a stomach ulcer with a 100% positive result., the general opinion was nothing could survive in an acidic formulation such as a stomach, it only became apparent when the doctor examined some samples of a stomach tissue and tested if there was any growth in it, which usually took 2 days for the result to come back which in all cases was negative only to get the biggest surprise when the test stretched over a long weekend and the result came back positive., the doctor in question went as far to apply such a virus to himself and than treating it with an antibacterial substance the virus disappeared.


John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
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Offline Michael4  
#9 Posted : 04 December 2019 09:37:03(UTC)
Michael4

United Kingdom   
Joined: 02/02/2017(UTC)
Posts: 426
Location: England, South Coast
As an analogista (new word?) I find the catenary system important. OK so I live in a different world to you digital types but I find the old M track system, clipped to the track, quite robust and fairly easy to set up.

I will admit that parts of it aren't great to look at but that's the way it is. As mentioned already it allows the running of another train on the same track but it can also be used to control lighting in carriages (lighting from track, power from catenary) etc etc.

I like to have my layout in the semi dark and the sparking from the pantographs is fun. I am thinking of ways of making this a bit more consistent (which seems like a step in the wrong direction!).
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Offline PJMärklin  
#10 Posted : 04 December 2019 10:03:53(UTC)
PJMärklin

Australia   
Joined: 04/12/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,593
Location: Hobart, Australia
Originally Posted by: Michael4 Go to Quoted Post
As an analogista ....


I like it ThumpUp Laugh LOL
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Offline hxmiesa  
#11 Posted : 04 December 2019 12:18:54(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,024
Location: Spain
I´m installing overhead wires.

It is for looks only, and not powered.
I use the cheap Hobbexx system, with some additionalk older Märklin masts/posts and some Aneste wires.
It´s a little rough looking, but at least I run my wires straight, and they are not as thick as the old M. ones.
(Including the black wash, I paint my posts 5(!) times -in order to make them as detailed looking as Viessmann and Sommerfeldt)

Around 80% of my visible trackage is with overhead wires, but of course I save on hidden areas, which is around 50% of the whole layout.

To have a complete overhead system and see the pantos bounce up and down is a life-long dream come true, and I would never consider Dale´s apporach.
-And I think it is not only the panto-movement, but also the mechanical beauty of seeing the "cobweb" of overhead wires covering the dense station areas.
I dont share the argument that the protoype wire can´t be seen. I always see it. -but then again; I always LOOK FOR IT! If I dont see it in a video or photo, I am more likely to think that the resolution is too low, or the picture too blurred...

So, as always; To each his own! I hope the trouble wont be as nightmarrish as some people here predict... ;-)
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
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Offline Jimmy Thompson  
#12 Posted : 04 December 2019 12:28:57(UTC)
Jimmy Thompson

United States   
Joined: 26/03/2019(UTC)
Posts: 301
Location: Florida Classic but Successful Swampland City
As yet another Analogista...(Thank you Michael4! I embrace the moniker), I must admit to this fear on the subject, though perhaps not as dramatic in our Märklinland:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jw6bEw6yBI

Scared

I seem to recall that MiWuLa had a discussion along these lines, (but it may have been in re "Pantos Up/Pamtos Down" topic) So I guess I am not adding too much to the discussion, just had that memory shudder...

Jimmy
Jimmy T
Analogue; M-track; KLVM; Gauguin+Van Gogh; Sarrasani Zirkuswelt
There is a Prototype For Everything
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Offline river6109  
#13 Posted : 04 December 2019 12:32:07(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 13,170
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Originally Posted by: PJMärklin Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Michael4 Go to Quoted Post
As an analogista ....


I like it ThumpUp Laugh LOL


does this mean he is an Analogista strategist.

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Offline river6109  
#14 Posted : 04 December 2019 12:54:03(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 13,170
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Originally Posted by: Jimmy Thompson Go to Quoted Post
As yet another Analogista...(Thank you Michael4! I embrace the moniker), I must admit to this fear on the subject, though perhaps not as dramatic in our Märklinland:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jw6bEw6yBI

Scared

I seem to recall that MiWuLa had a discussion along these lines, (but it may have been in re "Pantos Up/Pamtos Down" topic) So I guess I am not adding too much to the discussion, just had that memory shudder...

Jimmy


Fortunately this type of scenario will never happen on your layout, it will or can ruin your pantograph but the distance of travel will be much shorter, it will either get caught up in the upright supports or get stuck at a mast. I had a nice accident one day with an electric loco climbing onto another stationary loco
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Offline Jimmy Thompson  
#15 Posted : 04 December 2019 13:22:47(UTC)
Jimmy Thompson

United States   
Joined: 26/03/2019(UTC)
Posts: 301
Location: Florida Classic but Successful Swampland City
Quote:
river6109:
Fortunately this type of scenario will never happen on your layout, it will or can ruin your pantograph but the distance of travel will be much shorter, it will either get caught up in the upright supports or get stuck at a mast. I had a nice accident one day with an electric loco climbing onto another stationary loco


And away she goes! Oy!

But I do realize that the video is rather an extreme example, just that mental thing again OhMyGod

And as to the prototype, not that it matters really to us (or does it?), IIRC reading somewhere (where oh where??) there is a certain amount of built-in "side-to-side" of the cat wires, the logic being that this allows the panto wiper to wear more evenly (i. e. not dead-laser-straight). Granted some of Mother M's pantos are pretty sturdy, but is single point-wear not as much of, or even an issue, model-wise, because we do not usually have miles and miles of straight line running (much as we would love it!)? Unsure

Thanks to all for this great subject from an analogista who has no current panto-equipped loks, but may in the future...hence my beginner questions BigGrin

Jimmy
Jimmy T
Analogue; M-track; KLVM; Gauguin+Van Gogh; Sarrasani Zirkuswelt
There is a Prototype For Everything
Offline kiwiAlan  
#16 Posted : 04 December 2019 15:35:06(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 5,328
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: Jimmy Thompson Go to Quoted Post

And as to the prototype, not that it matters really to us (or does it?), IIRC reading somewhere (where oh where??) there is a certain amount of built-in "side-to-side" of the cat wires, the logic being that this allows the panto wiper to wear more evenly


I believe it is a combination of evening out the wear and reducing the likelihood of a hot spot at the point of contact.
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Offline Michael4  
#17 Posted : 04 December 2019 15:57:17(UTC)
Michael4

United Kingdom   
Joined: 02/02/2017(UTC)
Posts: 426
Location: England, South Coast
Somewhere I read an account of the SNCF record breaking runs with BB9211 etc. From memory so correct me if I'm wrong.

There's a description of pantographs starting to melt at high speeds and the engineer trying to reduce the upward pressure on the pantograph as much as possible without creating arcing.

Older Marklin pantographs and the spares for them is another topic laden with expense...
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Offline DaleSchultz  
#18 Posted : 04 December 2019 15:57:59(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,457
Originally Posted by: TEEWolf Go to Quoted Post
Building a realistic train layout of Europe requires a catenary system. Especially the degree of electrification is raising by enviromental reasons at the real life railway.


I think you have missed my point completely. I am not suggesting that one does not model as if there is no catenary. What I do is erect the catenary poles and masts, and leave out the running wire and supports.

As can be seen at https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com/2016/11/distances-markers.html

The layout looks like there is catenary present and thus effectively models electrified tracks.
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
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Offline Jimmy Thompson  
#19 Posted : 04 December 2019 16:13:18(UTC)
Jimmy Thompson

United States   
Joined: 26/03/2019(UTC)
Posts: 301
Location: Florida Classic but Successful Swampland City
kiwiAlan and Michael4,

Thanks! I was thinking that was the case, but just was not sure enough of my brain cells and whether they were "arcing from the panto to the wire" so to speak (to keep sort of on topic LOL ) I do like Dale's points also, Cool .

Jimmy
Jimmy T
Analogue; M-track; KLVM; Gauguin+Van Gogh; Sarrasani Zirkuswelt
There is a Prototype For Everything
Offline TEEWolf  
#20 Posted : 04 December 2019 20:00:55(UTC)
TEEWolf


Joined: 01/06/2016(UTC)
Posts: 2,447
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: TEEWolf Go to Quoted Post
Building a realistic train layout of Europe requires a catenary system. Especially the degree of electrification is raising by enviromental reasons at the real life railway.


I think you have missed my point completely. I am not suggesting that one does not model as if there is no catenary. What I do is erect the catenary poles and masts, and leave out the running wire and supports.

As can be seen at https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com/2016/11/distances-markers.html

The layout looks like there is catenary present and thus effectively models electrified tracks.


This is neither half nor the whole thing. It looks like the train line is under construction, but it has nothing to do with a regular electrified railway line. Normally you do not see this in real life, but you always see these overhead wires over the tracks on every main railroad line. If you do not want a catenary system then you shall stay away from it.

In the analogue modus it was very important for running more than one train on the same line. Nowadays in digital life, for running many locos it is not needed anymore. You can reduce it just for giving your layout a realistic European view, but then with a wire as well. This is also the main reason why Maerklin is offering more and more no switching between pantographs and slider to pick up the needed power. Especially for locos with the digital controlling of the up and down function of the pantographs. It is technically to expensive to do it. This is the major reason why Maerklin does not offer this function anymore.

Europe is probably different to the US, where you mainly have Diesel-electric powered engines and very rare electrified railway lines.
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Offline Minok  
#21 Posted : 04 December 2019 21:01:09(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,166
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Originally Posted by: TEEWolf Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: TEEWolf Go to Quoted Post
Building a realistic train layout of Europe requires a catenary system. Especially the degree of electrification is raising by enviromental reasons at the real life railway.


I think you have missed my point completely. I am not suggesting that one does not model as if there is no catenary. What I do is erect the catenary poles and masts, and leave out the running wire and supports.

As can be seen at https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com/2016/11/distances-markers.html

The layout looks like there is catenary present and thus effectively models electrified tracks.


This is neither half nor the whole thing. It looks like the train line is under construction, but it has nothing to do with a regular electrified railway line. Normally you do not see this in real life, but you always see these overhead wires over the tracks on every main railroad line. If you do not want a catenary system then you shall stay away from it.


I'm with Dale on this, in looking at trains and rail lines, unless I'm specifically looking for it, the actual overhead wires just don't show up in the list of things I see ... its there but its background noise for sure. If I look for it, then sure, I see it in real life, but I'm almost never looking for it. So having 50-60% of the overhead system in place is a great solution - you get the bits everyone sees as a traveler, the posts and masts, without the substantial workload of installing and maintaining the actual wires hanging from the support arms, the catenary.

An alternative approach I've seen many use is to run the pantographs 1-2mm below the catenary, so they never contact. Using either locos that let you set the height of the pantograph, or a monofilament line to keep the max height limited (Gerhards moba uses that approach:
), or a solution like the PantoFixer that clips into the mechanical elements that limit the range of the pantograph (
). That reduces the risk and the wear and tear, but adds to the workload of installing the catenary system as you then have to be much more precise in the installation of the catenary wires, to ensure they are always above the set height of the train pickups. (you cannot have substantial up/down variance in the height).

I'm not sure which way I'll go yet, but I'm definitely planning to at least install the masts/posts and support arms. Which will be years down the road. And after that I'll see if I've got the gumption and energy to install the actual catenary. (and yes I'm considering the need to pick up or release the pantographs in longer hidden areas like helixes).

In the end there is no right or wrong way to do this - its a personal taste question - of what do you focus on and what is important to you in the scale of prototypical realism, space, and the work and money you are willing or capable to invest in it. As over-dimensioned odd the Märklin catenary system with its stamped catenary wires is, it allows you curve the catenary in the curves, which is unprototypical, but lets you keep a more consistent spacing between the masts in the always unprototypical curves we all have. Each solution has some benefits.
Toys of tin and wood rule!
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Offline Bones  
#22 Posted : 05 December 2019 04:36:59(UTC)
Bones

Australia   
Joined: 15/09/2015(UTC)
Posts: 84
Location: Queensland
I note some said fouling of overhead wires doesn't happen

Well my father was a railway engineer and I travelled literally the length and breadth of New South Wales by train and I can assure everyone that fouling of the overhead happens all
the time mostly in summer because the cable stretch's in the heat and loses it's tensions allowing it to become tangled in the panto

Its simply ignorant to say it doesn't happen just as rail track also buckles in the heat

When I traveled to South Australia with my father and brother the Central West Mail was resticted to 40 klm per hr and the journey that should have taken 6 ended up taking ten hours
we were given fried eggs, baked beans and coffee at Parkes because it took so long and we arrived at six in the morning

We still had a futher 10 hrs to get to Broken Hill
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Offline danmarklinman  
#23 Posted : 05 December 2019 17:42:54(UTC)
danmarklinman

United Kingdom   
Joined: 18/10/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,154
Hi, personally I like using the old Märklin overhead system. If you set it up properly, it runs for ages without fault. And if you wish to do something with your track. You can just unclip it and put it back when your done. I have used it with sommerfeldt sncb prototype overhead poles. I can still unclip the wires if I want. They are larger but much more robust and cheaper, if you are willing to look on eBay and at a show like Utrecht! I bought a lot very cheaply. Plus also, I could run dc electrics off the wires if I can adjust the axles to run on k track, and non digital Marklin. see here- my SNCB overhead section.
Marklin and Piko era 4 SNCB , Marklin wagons
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Offline Jimmy Thompson  
#24 Posted : 13 December 2019 20:11:34(UTC)
Jimmy Thompson

United States   
Joined: 26/03/2019(UTC)
Posts: 301
Location: Florida Classic but Successful Swampland City
I almost hesitate to add this to the discussion, but since I posted the "Panto Failure" video in the first place, I suppose it rebounds to me...oy!..but also because it lands in the -

"Do that which works best for you" version, so why not:

I touched base with Miniatur Wunderland as that was from whom I had first seen the panto-failure video, and have received very gracious responses from 2 at MiWuLa:

Quote:
From Kurt Zimmerman:
Hello Jimmy,

We do not use catenary. The risk of a disruption is too great. The locomotives get their digital information (DCC system) and electricity over the rails.

I hope I could answer your question and wish you a beautiful day

Best railroad wishes

Mit freundlichen Grüßen


And from:

Quote:
Thomas Cerny:
Dear Jimmy,

Thank you for your message. Yes it's true, we tried everything, different materials, even "half-raised" pantographs. But we still ran into issues because if visitors touch the catenary, it hangs down and trains would choke themselves continuously. Therefore we still have no other way than leaving them down...

Regards,

Jimmy

Wish you a great advent time, as well!

All the best from Wunderland

and then:

I just spoke to our catenary expert and he said that even if we could maintain perfect alignment of the catenary, wear and tear alone would make it impossible. Our trains travel an average of 9 (real) miles per day and we would constantly have to replace pantographs and catenary wiring…

Nur Gutes aus dem Wunderland

Thomas


So - caveats:

MiWuLa runs trains for stunningly longer miles than do some of us at home RollEyes but they also adhere to the idea of "keeping the maintenance to a minimum, if at all possible" (since they would be thrown into chaos if a train snagged a catenary and had a crash with another train or into/over the scenery!! Or constantly replacing pantos and cat wires owing to the wear and tear) and they have quite a few more visitors to MiWuLa than do we have at our own Rail Kingdoms.

Wishing all a wonderful season of joy and trains!

Jimmy
Jimmy T
Analogue; M-track; KLVM; Gauguin+Van Gogh; Sarrasani Zirkuswelt
There is a Prototype For Everything
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