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Southern California Traction Club

New members are always welcome!


The Southern California Traction Club was founded in 1995 to demonstrate to the general public the enjoyment of traction modeling using powered overhead wires. The club is always looking for persons interested in modeling trolley cars, light rail vehicles or electric railroads in HO scale. You don't have to be an expert or even a Master Model Railroader. In fact, we prefer it if you are not either. Someone in the club is knowledgeable about most traction subjects, and we are very willing to share data. All you need is four things, none of which are difficult:

Willing to learn about modeling traction;

Ability to use basic modeling tools;

Normal level of interest; and

Time to support the club public displays.


Quarterly Business meetings are now at 12:00 noon on the fourth Sunday of January, April, July and October, unless there is a conflict with a scheduled appearance. Usually there are members at the clubhouse on Wednesday afternoons but more often Sundays from 10:00 A. M. to 3:00 P.M., except the first and third Sundays of each month. You may choose to contact by E-mail at

There is a non-refundable initiation fee of $50.00 and monthly dues are $20.00, payable quarterly in January, April, July & October. There are no probation periods. When you decide that you wish to join this club, you will be invited to a meeting to discuss your desires. If the membership feels that you can contribute to the mission of the club, you will be invited to join. That is all that it takes.

The club attempts to display at least six times annually! We ask that all members support these displays by working at least one day of each display and by participating in either set-up or tear-down. Setting up the modules at a show normally takes about 3 to 4 hours and teardown 2 to 2.5 hours. The more members on hand, the easier it is!

Shown above are six models of San Francisco Municipal Railway PCC cars sitting on one of the six-foot modules. From left to right are 1056 (Kansas City Public Service), 1059 (Boston Elevated Railway), 1058 (Chicago Transit Authority), 1057 (Cinncinati Street Railway), 1061 (Pacific Electric) and 1063 (Baltimore Transit Company). Five of the six models were made from the Bowser PCC Streamlined Trolley Kit, with the last one, 1063, made using a Bachmann shell. All models are using the Bowser 1999 traction drive with the A-line 20040 flywheel.

The above Soho model was painted and lettered by club member Toshisuke Matsumoto using Custom Traxx decals.

All club models are powered from overhead wire using trolley poles as currently found on cars in San Francisco, California; New Orleans, Lousiana; San Francisco, California; Philadelphia, PA and Toronto, Ontario, and in many heritage trolley lines and operational trolley museums throughout the United States and the world. All existing models must be converted to run from overhead power. The club has not only developed its own proficiencies in this area but also has had some parts fabricated for this purpose. The club has developed standards, largely based on those originated in 1969 with the East Penn Traction Club. The standards have been updated to allow the operation of larger electric railway vehicles such as the 72' long Pacific Electric "Blimps" and trains of PFE reefers hauled by steeple cab electric locomotives.

Membership requirements include attendance at the monthly meetings, participation in club displays and either the completion of an individually-owned operational module, major participation in the completion of a club-owned module or the acquisition of two completely painted and operational models, dependent upon club needs at the time. Do not fear the construction of module benchwork. The club has contracted with a carpenter, familiar with club standards, for the construction of modules. The SCTC is organized to eliminate most of the problems that plague model railroad clubs. There are currently no officers but there is a three-person Board of Directors. All positions on the board are renewed by election each December. There are standards to follow for modules and equipment. Items are considered at monthly meetings, voted upon and if passed by a majority, become official club policy.

The club seeks participating and contributing members to broaden our abilities in and knowledge of all aspects of traction modeling from four-wheel city streetcars to four-truck electric locomotives. We do not seek couch potato or armchair modelers.

The above photo shows a "tourist" type train owned by club member George Jones.

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Last updated on January 2, 2007

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