Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Electric Models of Electric Trains

Wednesday, March 25, 2013

Electric Models of Electric Trains

   Most train models that have been produced have been reproductions of either coal or diesel engines. Since the USA has always had an abundant supply of coal, and then oil, that's the reason.  Europe on the other hand, alwys had large supplies of coal, but they chose to go the route of electric,when coal as a fuel supply became outdated.However, there are a few that are electric. Of course, in North America, the majority of the "real" machines have been coal or diesel. In browsing AmbroseBauer Trains,I did find some electric models, and their interesting. Most of the models are by Lionel (USA), so there is some slight deviation. I did concentrate on the more recent models, although there are some models (nor shown today) that have been made prior to the 1940's.

     Electrically-operated "real" trains operate by having a special connection on top of the train called a pantograph. There are usually 2 of them, and they make contact with the electrical lines about the train. There are 2 contacts (side by side) on each pantograph. I assume that's to always keep the electrical contact ,so that if the train turns sharply, one contact is always live, even if the higher one might be less taught on the wire.

    I was surprised to find several USA models. I mistakenly assumed that there never were or are any electrical trains in the USA, but there are.  Most of the engines have very large vents on top of their roofs. Since these engines produce a lot of heat, the fans and exhausts on top are needed to cool off the engines. I assume that there are batteries within the engines to  power and elevate the pantographs when they need to make contact with the electrical grid (wiring) above them. You can see the pantographs in the down and up positions. 

   As for the toy telectirc models, their power comes from the track as all models do. It would be too complicated and dangerous to have an electrical grid as the "real" trains.

 Many times, AmbroseBauer  takes apart  a train model for bidder viewing. That's certainly a lot of work to do and then to photograph. THey also take loads of photos of each listing, but for today, I just concentrated on presenting the different models that I found on their site. THe uncovered train above is the power for the model train. The "real" train is entirely different.

I enjoyed looking at these electric model trains as I worked with them in Photoshop. They're very different form the coal and diesel engines.  In  the movies made in Europe, I've always enjoyed looking at the electrical trains and the passenger cars. They're certainly different from the ones that you mostly see in North America.

Thanks for dropping by,
and as always, have a great day.

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