East Coast Enterprises Catenary System Descriptive


Much like sectional track and switches, the East Coast catenary system provides a variety of catenarywires and poles to enable construction of virtually any overhead system. The poles are laser cut fromtempered hard board with etched detail to yield a realistic appearance. The catenary wire system islaser cut from stainless steel to provide electrical continuity and prevent oxidation.

Left: "L" Pole                 Right: "U" Pole

Catenary Poles

Two types of poles are available, "U" type and "L" type. A "U" type is comprised of two vertical piersand a horizontal arm with brackets to attach the catenary wires. An "L" type pole is comprised of onevertical pier and a horizontal arm. The vertical piers, for both "U" and "L" type poles, are available inseveral heights which provide options to set the height (use 3/32" Allen head wrench) of the horizontalarm as shown in the table below:

Vertical Pier Heights Available
Pier Height Bottom of Wire Height
11” 2 ¾” to 6 ¼”
11 ½” 3 ¼” to 6 ¾”
12” 3 ¾” to 7”
12 ½” 4 ¼” to 7 ½”

The arm of the "L" pole provides a reach of up to 6 ¾' from the pole. The distance between "U" poles isdetermined by the length of the horizontal arm. Horizontal arms for the "U" pole are available in anumber of dimensions as shown below:

Horizontal Arm Length (Determines Distance Between Poles)
Length 9 ½” 10” 10 ½” 11” 12” 13” 14”

Catenary span wires are attached to the poles via catenary span attachment brackets and 4-40x3/8"stainless steel screws (use a 3/32" Allen head wrench). The position of the catenary wire can beadjusted to align with the center rail of the track by using a 7/64" Allen head wrench. "U" poles aresupplied with 2 attachment brackets and "L" poles are supplied with 1 attachment bracket. Additionalbrackets are available upon request.

Variable Length Catenary Span

The total length of the variable length catenary span is 10". The slots on the end provide ¾" ofadjustment. The distance between the holes in the top of the span is 1 2/3". Two spans are used inused in conjunction by bolting them together to produce a span of any length. The span sections can becut if less than 10" is required,.

Switch Point "Y" Span

The switch point "Y" span length is 3 ¼". The slots on each end enable ¾" of adjustment for a total adjustment of 1½". The switch point "Y" span is used in conjunction with variable length spans, fixed spans or curved spans to create switch turnouts. Typically, one end is bolted to the main line catenary span, the switch point "Y" span is bent to match the switch angle and the other end is bolted to the branch catenary span.

Fixed Length Catenary Spans

The fixed length catenary span length is 20". It is typically used for straight track spans.

Catenary Spans for Curves

Catenary spans are provided in a number of lengths to enable spans between catenary poles spanning multiple parallel curved tracks. The slots on the ends of the spans each provide ±½" of adjustment for a total of ±1" of adjustment. Nominal lengths of the curved catenary spans are 20 ½", 18 ½", 16 ½", 14 ½" and 12 ½". As an example, a 20 ½" span can be used for lengths from 19 ½" to 21 ½".

The following table provides an estimate of the catenary span length required for various curved track sections. The required span length can be determined if you know the track diameter and the number of track sections per full circle of track. As an example, if you have a 072 curve which typically has 16 sections per circle, the required length is 14.1 inches. The curved span that would be used, therefore, is the 14 ½" span which can be adjusted ±1" or from 13 ½" to 15 ½".

Installation Procedure

Start by determining the approximate location for the first few poles. Typically 2" of clearance is sufficient between the pole and outside rail of the track. Install one of the poles with a couple of #4x½" round headed screws (not supplied). Attach one of the catenary wires to the pole attachment bracket using 3/32" Allen head wrench and two of the supplied 4-40x3/8" stainless steel cap head screws but do not tighten the screws. Attach the other end of the catenary wire to a 2nd pole with two additional screws. Position the 2nd pole such that the catenary wire aligns with the center of the track. It is not necessary to bend the catenary wire for curved track. They are flexible and can be aligned with the track by positioning the poles as required to achieve the desired alignment. Additional adjustment is possible by using a 7/64" Allen head wrench to loosen the catenary attachment bracket and sliding it to the desired position. After achieving the desired alignment tighten the screws. Caution: Do not overtighten the screws or damage to the poles and attachment brackets may occur. The height of the wire can be adjusted by using a 3/32" Allen head wrench and loosening the two screws hold the pole arm in place. Again, do not overtighten the screws.

Each application is unique so some trial and error is required to determine the exact procedure necessary to install the system. Experiment with different approached to determine what work best.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.



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