These questions have been asked through the Contact page and have all been answered by email. To make the page easier to follow the Questions are blue and the Answers are black (with web links in blue). The last question received is at the top with the first one received at the bottom of the page.

From Chris

Can the cut rail method prevent collisions at a two rail single track crossing.

Yes, the cut rail method can be used to prevent collisions at a two rail crossing. Details and a diagram can be found on the Two-rail Stops page on the Automatic Tram Stops menu.

From Andrew

Can the cut rail method of automatic tram stops be used to prevent collisions at a double track crossing?

Yes, it is possible to use the cut rail method to prevent collisions at a double track crossing. There are two alternative schematic diagrams to show how it works on the Linked Stops page nof the Automatic Tram Stops menu.

From Roy

Is anyone currently supplying Swansea and Mumbles Tram Kits in any scale?

At the present time there are no kits available but Majestic Trams have the old Tramalan 4 mm / ft dies so they may become available in the future. When they do become available sales will be through the T. L. R. S. Website.

From Vic

I am building a long term 00 tram layout and some time ago I purchased 10 Tramalan traction poles. These also had the cast white metal bases for the poles to look more realistic and as I am now at the stage of looking to obtain more, are Tramalan poles still available?

The supply of Tramalan poles was taken over in October 2015 by Alan Kirkman who can be contacted on 0121-354-3201. They are also available from John Whitehouse of East Lancs Model Tramway Supplies who can be contacted by email at sales.elmts@gmail.com. The cast white metal bases are no longer available but try sleeving the poles with two pieces of brass or plastic tube to make them look like prototype three section poles.

From Ridley

Can you please tell me where I can buy Halling Vario tram chassis. I am building an H0e layout and want to include a tram section / area. I an a returning railway modeller, but am absolutely brand new to tramway modelling.

The UK Halling supplier is John Whitehouse at East Lancs Model Tramway Supplies or he can be contacted by email at sales.elmts@gmail.com or by text on 07840-707-653.

From John

What colours do I paint my Majestic Kits Liverpool tram and where do I obtain suitable transfers?

I asked this question on the Tramway Modelling Facebook page, the answers I received are shown below.

From Brain Abell - If we're talking about the Liverpool 'Baby Grand' streamliner, then depending on what period they want to model will alter their choices. For mine, I modelled it towards the end of the tramway, so went with Humbrol 86 (olive drab) for the green, Humbrol 41 (ivory) and Humbrol 85 (satin black).

From Craig Farrington - Greg King and I researched this and found that a very good match for the later Hall Green is the Railmatch No. 632 SR Malachite green (enamel) or 2632 (acrylic).

From John Prentice - Mabex are still in business and you could also try Sunrise Transfers. But you should contact Majestic Trams as they are dealing with several suppliers to provide suitable transfers for their kits. Contact details of all three companies can be found on Tramway Information under the section on UK Model Manufacturers.

From John Whitehouse - East Lancs Model Tramway Supplies I have Liverpool crests available.

From James

Are there any outlets for replacement lifegaurds for Corgi Balloon & Feltham trams?

Mark Hughes supplies a brass etch of Balloon lifeguards. This etch can also be obtained from John Whitehouse at East Lancs Model Tramway Supplies or by email at sales.elmts@gmail.com.

From Steve

Can you tell me where the model figures for Ravenscar Pier came from as I'm having trouble finding a source of Edwardian figures in 4mm?

Many of our Edwardian figures came from Langley Models, but some were bought at local model railway shows and others were converted to Edwardian ladies by Margaret from present day male and female figures with masking tape to make / lengthen the skirts. Later figures came from Andrew C Stadden and Model Railway Developments. More details and photos are on the 4 mm / ft Edwardian Figures page.

From Tony

Does anyone make ready-to-run tram track or indeed tram rail?

I have used Peco code 75 flexi-track and code 75 rail bought in 6 metre packs soldered to copper clad sleepers.

The complete range of LUNA tram track, points and crossings, complete with road surface, is available from: NAVEMO Nahverkehrsmodelle AG, Frau Maya Cipusev, Hauptstrasse 42, CH-5070 Frick, SWITZERLAND. Email: info@luna-tram.ch where basic English is understood and a German language website of the full range on: www.luna-tram.ch.

The only grooved tram rail available is the Electric Avenue track system which is only the rail head, which is glued directly to the base, and not the full rail.

From Tony

Are there any overhead wire systems that would be compatible with Corgi Dick Kerr motorised 4-wheel trams?

As of early September 2012 Alan Williams of Tramalan announced the sale of all of his tram kits to a new supplier, Charles Teader, is now trading as Majestic Trams and his white metal kits and contact details can be found at the Tramway Information website. There is no news about the traction poles and overhead fittings.

John Whitehouse of East Lancs Model Tramway Supplies has ample supplies of Meadowcroft traction poles, Mark Hughes overhead fittings and PC Trams 0.3mm nickel-silver overhead wire. John also has supplies of open top tram trolley poles, open topped tram trolley standards and PC Trams dwarf base trolley poles for closed top trams and can be contacted by email at sales.elmts@gmail.com.

Simple Trolley Pole

I use open topped tram trolley poles made of 15 thou piano wire instead of brass wire which, because the piano wire is springy, seem to work much better.

The trolley pole shown is from one of my open topped Corgi 4-wheel trams used on Sunderland District Tramways.


From Ritchie

I am just about to install a tramway onto my model railway, as hills are involved in my layout I was wondering what the steepest gradient a tram can climb?

I do not know what the steepest slope a tram will climb, but I do know that John Howe has trams climbing 1 in 10.slopes on his London Model Tramways.

As it is a cityscape, and already constructed, I would like to know what this tightest corner a tram can travel around, as I was hoping for fairly tight corners. If so, where can I purchase this track, or would I need to modify track?

The tightest curve for 4 wheel trams is about 5 inches with a 6 foot wheelbase tram, bogie trams like the Bachmann Brill will go round a 6 inch radius if you modify the bogie mounts as shown here on the Motorise a Feltham page.

I usually use Peco code 75 flexi-track but you may need to cut some of the sleeper links away and it is best to pre-bend the rails

From Alan

Why do some of my Bachmann PCC and Brill trams suffer from wheel-slip on the sharp curves on my 00 scale model tramway?

Wheel-slip on curves can be caused when the trailing bogie wheels back-to-back distance is too small especially if check rails are present as these can act like brakes. This only happens on the trailing bogie for which the back-to-back distance should be set at 14.5 mm. A suitable gauge can be purchased from many model railway suppliers. The motor bogie is of different construction and is not affected by this problem.

From Mark

I have got several motorised Corgi OOC Blackpool trams on my layout, but what I need to do is run a tram and trailer but need to convert the Corgi bogies to free running on individual bogies and not the fixed ones. Do you know what I can use to convert these?

Contact John Whitehouse at East Lancs Model Tramway Supplies or by email to sales.elmts@gmail.com and ask him for an unpowered Halling C chassis, which I understand will fit, with modifications, under the seats.

From Graham

What scale are the traditional type Corgi 4 wheel trams?

Corgi 4 wheel trams are about 'S' scale, 1/64 th or 5 mm / ft.

From John

I have several Typhoo Tea trams and would like to motorise them to run on "N" gauge track. Do you know of any motorised bogies that would fit and the suppliers?

The best place for information on N gauge mechanisms for your Typhoo Tea trams is Plaza Japan on Ebay. Their range is stocked in the UK by East Lancs Model Tramway Supplies.

From Malcolm

What scale are Lledo trams as no scale is mentioned on the packaging?

Lledo trams are about 'TT' scale, 1/100 th or 3 mm / ft,

From Tony

Does anyone make or sell tramway track points?

Unfortunately no-one, to my knowledge, supplies ready built tramway points. You will need to build them yourself or have them built for you.

All of my tramway points were built by Alan Kirkman who offers a mail order service. He can be contacted on 0121-354-3201 and in addition to 'standard' points he builds non-standard or specials if drawings are supplied.

From Jim

I'm building a small (54 x 8 inch) tramway model inspired by the East Anglia Transport Museum. I've used Peco set-track and am now in the process of infilling with card, prior to laying sheets of Metcalfe cobbles. Do you have any tips for getting neat joins, especially around points, or is it just trial and error?

I have found that the best way to get a neat fit around points and on curves is to place a sheet of paper on the track and to run a finger along the inside of the rails to give a shape outlined on the paper. Then cut out along the impressed marks and test fit leaving 1 mm for the groove, if the fit is OK then copy the shape on to card or Metcalfe cobbles for a permanent infill.

It is a good idea to leave the rails sticking proud of the cobbles to make track cleaning easier. If the rails are level with the infill when you use a track cleaner it will take the cobbles away as well!

From Trevor

I am currently trying to motorise one of Corgi's Feltham bogie trams. I have obtained a suitable motor and drive axles but am having trouble separating the plastic chassis from the diecast body. It seems stuck at both ends though it moves fairly freely in the middle. Can advise me how I should go about safely removing the chassis?

To remove the chassis from a Corgi Feltham you need to remove the headlights, lever them out very carefully with a craft knife (there is usually a spare set in the box with the model). The fixing screws for the chassis are then revealed and can be unscrewed allowing the chassis to be removed.

From Frank

Can the cut rail method of automatic tram stops be used to prevent collisions at a 90° (or diamond) single line crossing?

Yes it is possible to use the cut rail method to prevent collisions at a single line crossing. There is a schematic diagram to show how it works on the Single Stops page on the Automatic Tram Stops menu.

From Barry

Where can I find some detailed plans for a large scale model tram, possibly 1 inch / foot, with chassis details?

You could try Terry Russell Trams for 3/4 inch / foot plans but I do not know where you will get 1 inch / foot plans.

From Andrew

On the Sealane layout, I noticed that when a tram entered the loop terminus and released the waiting tram at the exit end, the entering tram slowed down almost to a stop. What is the cause of this?

When automatic tram stops are in use both trams will be running at some point in time. As electricity takes the path of least resistance, the tram which almost stopped was drawing more current than the one which continued to move.

George Wilkinson who built Sealane has added - The causes of the increase in current consumption are many. I have found in practice that the weight of individual cars is a factor, plus the length of the truck wheelbase which may make the flanges tight on the sides of the groove when the track is curved. Maybe in my case the groove should be wider?

From Malcolm

Is there is a book on how to build a 4 mm scale Tram layout?

The best book is 'How to go Tram and Tramway Modelling' by David Voice. There are three editions of this book - the third edition is the most recent. It covers everything you need to know about 4 mm tram modelling.

Where can I purchase Tram kits and the rest of the parts required to make them run?

A good place to start for tram kits, motors and accessories is East Lancs Model Tramway Supplies, but there are other suppliers.

Is there a model tramway magazine I can buy?

You could join the Tramway & Light Railway Society. It caters for those interested in all aspects of Tramways, especially modelling and publishes a very useful bi-monthly magazine called 'Tramfare'.

© Gordon Bulmer 2016