xx 'O' Gauge Model Trolleybuses
The Tramway & Light Railway Society '0' Gauge Group Trolleybus Layout on the exhibition circuit
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'0' Gauge Layout
Click on picture [592] for an enlarged version
'0' Gauge Layout
Click on picture [593] for an enlarged version

I suppose why working model trolleybuses were not sold, or made by enthusiasts', was the difficulty of creating a robust steering mechanism that was neither obtrusive nor difficult to operate under exhibition conditions. Then there was the added complexity of overhead wiring, requiring simple insulation between the four wires in a street scene. Just to add to these difficult enough problems, was the question of layout transportation that did not damage the overhead wiring.

In the early 1960s, the exhibition circuit was provided with a rare treat of an 'O' Gauge working trolleybus layout which was mainly populated with London Transport models of both four wheel and six wheel versions. Most of the models were either a modification of a commercially available RM bus [with unwanted detail filed off and a full front added] and some scratch built models. One of the six wheeled versions was an amalgam of two RM models.

At the time it was possible to purchase Scalex tyres, motors and steering mechanisms, the latter being adapted to be sprung loaded so that the steering would normally give an anti clockwise directional movement. A "feeler" arm traced the contour of the kerb, and to give the illusion of the trolleybus pulling into a stop, the kerb was undercut local to each bus stop. Surprisingly, very few visitors to the stand noticed the black painted "feeler" arm, with many leaving the show at a loss to understand how it was done. Turning circles were provided at each end of the layout making it necessary to continue a raised kerbing across the 'road'. Strong road markings and carefully placed model road vehicles hid this 'defect'.

These early models were built by Terry Russell who being no stranger to '0' gauge tramway modelling had no difficulty in adapting model tramway overhead for trolleybus needs. Actually if anyone wishes to follow in his footsteps to build an 'O' Gauge Model Trolleybus, he is a manufacturer and supplier of a wide range of items which are useful in tramway or trolleybus modelling. Just visit his site for details. Pictures of other models built by Terry Russell.