Trolley Control on a Hill

The Trolley Hill Problem

I Recently worked with BNSF Scotty on the OGR forum to solve a fun problem regarding trolley operation on hills.

Scott's original post: Does anyone know if it's possible to install TAS's EOB into one of Walt's Trolley's? I love his trolley's, my trolley line is on an incline however, and it rides up real nice, but on the return down, it flies down to an abrupt stop, I'm afraid one of my passengers may get injured. Was thinking EOB may help resolve that, short of getting rid of my incline and redoing that entire section of the layout....

The Solution

The section at the top of the hill will throw the switch to apply low voltage to the hill.

The section at the bottom of the hill will throw the switch the opposite way, higher voltage for the hill.

The trolley starts at the flat at the bottom of the hill and heads towards the hill. As it hits the insulated section it throws the snap relay to provide higher voltage onto the hill.

The trolley then climbs the hill.

At the top of the hill it hits the isolated section that throws the snap switch the other way providing lower voltage on the hill. The trolley goes to the end and hits the reversing section for the controller and reverses.

On its way back it again activates the snap switch but to the same position. It then goes down hill on lower voltage and repeats the pattern....


Level, Uphill and Down Power are three AC power sources connected in Phase. They can be old 35 watt transformers to run just one trolley. The 14v is a fixed 14 V AC again in phase with the rest.

You use the three transformers to control the power needed for three different situations:

Level - flats at top and bottom of hill

Uphill - slightly higher voltage to climb the hill with

Down - Slightly lower voltage to slow descent.

The snap relay has another A B Common set of contacts that you can use to light signals.

Tips and Tricks


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As we encounter and solve problems we will try to share them here.  Sometimes the solutions are just whimsy like super wide corners.

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