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City of Franklin HO Scale Trolley Layout  

Traction Modeling is model railroading that depicts electric trolley cars or streetcars instead of traditional trains.

In the 1960's, Bill Bownas began building an HO scale traction layout that depicts the fictional American city of Franklin around 1924. Over 30 HO scale trolleys serve the city traction lines in Franklin, and interurbans connect Franklin with the nearby town of Monroe.

The HO scale trolleys operate like the prototype. They take electric power from an overhead wire, pass it through a motor, then send it out through the tracks to a ground return. The model trolleys in these pictures really run, although the buses do not.

(When running, the trolleys all have trolley poles. However, we forgot to re-install the poles when we posed and took some of the pictures.)

Click on a preview image to see the large version.

A view down Western Avenue.

A Franklin, Monroe & Southern interurban rolls into town down Western Avenue.

An Ohio Electric Railway interurban waits at the Franklin interurban station.

A 1936 ACF/Brill H17S transit bus heads toward us on Court Street, while a PCC car rumbles by on Western Avenue.

This model of a double-end PCC car is painted in the updated livery of the Franklin Street Railway Company.

A General Motors "New Look" bus crosses the streetcar tracks at the corner of Market Street and Western Avenue in front of the Brill.

This bus wears the late 1970's livery of the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA).

This model depicts a GM T6H5307A, one of 31 built for the Central Ohio Transit Authority in 1975.

COTA inherited about 320 "New Look" buses from Columbus Transit Company. The others were various GMC models, ranging from TDH5301's to TDH5305's.

A Peter Witt car, a Cincinnati Curve Side car, and a single truck Birney are at the carbarn for their nightly inspection.

This grand junction is a four-way, double track intersection. It may be the largest one in HO scale traction!

Dave Bownas scratchbuilt this bascule bridge in the early 1970's from prototype plans.
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Last update
May 9, 2004