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Southern California Traction Club
Southern California Traction Club

Southern California's award-winning HO scale modular electric railroad!

The Southern California Traction Club (SCTC) was founded in October 1995 by five trolley modelers. The SCTC is a modular group that operates model electric streetcars, interurban, and subway vehicles from live overhead wires. The scale used is HO scale, which is 87 scale feet to one actual foot or 1/87 scale. In the early days, the club met at the former All Aboard Model Railroad Emporium in Torrance, California, since closed. The first three modules that the club built were located in that hobby shop until November 1996. For the next two years the club met in members homes until they acquired their own clubhouse in a two-car garage in Baldwin Hills. In April 1997, the club made its first public appearance with five modules at the South Bay Botanic Gardens in Palos Verdes, CA. Since that time, the club has displayed their modules several times a year at public shows mainly in the Southern California area. Most of the club modules are four feet long and all have a double-track main line with code 83 rail. Originally, the club completely rebuilt an old trailer that had been donated to the club to carry eleven modules and stored this trailer at the clubhouse. Within two years, the club had more than the eleven modules that trailer could transport, so a second trailer was acquired. By mid-2009, the club had made 78 appearances from Las Vegas, NV to San Diego, CA and had added both an operational subway train module controlled by Digital Command Control. Currently, the current main display consists of twenty-three modules arranged in a 16' by 26' rectangle.

Always seeking the unusual, the club added a special lift-up module to avoid the dreaded "duck-under", the "Rush Limbaugh High School" module, which gets all types of comments, and trolley coaches with illuminated headlights powered from live overhead wire. The club features an operating subway line at "small-fry" level, which is a hit with the younger set. During 2008, the club commenced operation on their new city streetcar line operated exclusively using DCC. On rare occasions, a steam or diesel engine will be seen and Thomas the Tank Engine with his two coaches, Annie and Clarabel, have been spotted.

The club performed all operational testing on the Bowser HO scale San Francisco F-line PCC, which entered final production in July 2009 and performed final testing on the production sample chassis released in July 2009. The club also participated in the final test program for the Train Control Systems (TCS) M4T decoder for PCC cars that simulated actual prototypical brake light operation along with a passenger stop function.

The SCTC currently has members from as far north as Saugus, CA; as far south as Laguna, CA; as far east as Covina, CA and as far west as Tokyo, Japan. The club has a clubhouse in Baldwin Hills and members can be found there most Tuesday afternoons and most Sundays working on modules or rolling stock. All cars, except for the subway cars, are converted from the conventional two-rail operation to operate from overhead wire via trolley poles, and are certified on the club test track to operate at 20 to 48 scale miles per hour at 7.0 volts prior to public operation. All rails on the surface operations of the SCTC modules are grounded so two-rail operation is NOT possible. For more information, please contact the club via email.

At the 2008 National Train Show (NMRA/PSR Anaheim Special 2008) in Anaheim., CA, the club received Honorable Mention in the Group Module Contest and the NMRA Design Preservation Models (DPM) City Classics Award. In May 2009, the club's stand-alone module won third place at the East Penn Traction Club Meet at Villanova University. The club has won three other awards at model train shows over the years.

If the answer is YES, the Southern California Traction Club may be just right for you.

The club developed a "lift-bridge" module to eliminate crawling under the modules to access the center of our rectangular display. To see how the club did this, please click here!

Club member David Lyman created this video of the club's 80th appearance at the South Coast Botanic Gardens, in Rancho Palos Verdes, California in November 2009!
of the April 2006 club display! Photos of club displays during 2004!

Photos of the club display at the Los Angeles Div NMRA train show in Palos Verdes on April 15-16, 2000!
The trailer the club completely rebuilt in 1997 to carry modules.
Links to traction and model sites.

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Last updated September 20, 2010!  
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