OLE! (3)

Wires are up - trains are running.

My 24Kv AC electric railway diorama is now complete and I've been running a variety of locomotives up and down the 4ft of track successfully. Well, mostly. The pantograph on my Bachmann Class 85 doesn't seem to want to co-operate, but my old Lima Class 87 (with original twin-arm panto) has been fine. This Hornby '86' must be about 30-odd years old, but was extensively upgraded about a decade ago, complete with Sommerfeldt pantograph, which works perfectly. And so it should, as the Peco catenary system is actually made by the same German firm! 

Although I can't run the trains at realistic speeds, the diorama has allowed me to test the catenary system thoroughly, especially in terms of how it all fits together. If using it again, there are a few things I'd do differently and I think I've gone wrong in a couple of minor areas, but it all seems to be working. So, what's my verdict overall? You'll have to wait for my full review and assembly demonstration in the next issue of Model Rail magazine (MR225), out 28 July!!

One thing I will say is that I'm tempted to incorporate a set of wires into a new layout I've been planning....


  1. It's superb, really! I dream that someone will do 1.5Kv DC OHLE for Woodhead type modelling.

  2. I was pondering fitting catenary and developing an 80's WCML type theme - this has convinced me! Thanks George

  3. Hi George, I think the diorama is great. It has certainly got me thinking about fitting OHLE to my ECML four line test track. Do you think it is possible in the near future that someone will produce an extension pack to cover four lines or at least allowing the use of additional linkages on the outside of Peco's double track catenary frame?

    1. Peco have been working on a two-track portal catenary mast, with an extra extension set to cater for four tracks - packs LC120/121. No idea when these will be ready for release, though.


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