Ho scale telephone pole spacing

Easy way to measure would be to measure one of yor strides, and count stride between poles you want to model. Woody Elmore: Back in the days of my youth when I used to ride trains to visit relatives, the rule was 20 poles per mile. If you sat and counted, every time you came to twenty, you went a mile.

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That means there was a pole every feet. In HO that would be a little over the length of three 80 foot passenger cars. What scale are you modeling in?

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  • Discussion Boards => HO => Topic started by: Robert Grace on February 19, 2007, 04:26:43 PM!

They like to put them on the lots lines so for 50 foot lots and for 60 foot lots would be common. For transformer spacing I'd drive around and look at some of the older areas that still have poles and see what they look like.

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I suspect the transformer layout would depend on the type and number of customers. Whatever you do don't use that stretchy string that makes the power lines come out arrow straight, let them sag realistically If you look carefully at the crossarms, you will notice that they alternate sides of the pole, usually. Where the line changes direction, even a small amount, there will be bracing: I have successfully used the "stretchy string" for wires and made sure that when I attached it to the insulators on the poles that I left slack to look more realistic.

One of the big advantages of using the stretchy string is that is much less likely to be damaged along with the poles if the "giant hand" comes into contact with it.

Question on "telephone" poles..........

Thank you Rick. See folks it's possible. I've never seen a taught wire in the real world - in fact some of the wires are hanging very low where some poles are leaning. I've already tested the "stretchyness" of this stuff my accidently hitting the wires when uprighting Buck after he fell over must have been too many beers! Dang, that looks so good I gotta see if they make it in N scale size now: Making your own poles isn't too difficult I first painted them with an undercoat of white, followed by translucent glass paint from the craft store.

Telephone Pole spacing. - Model Train Forum - the complete model train resource

This paint can be thinned and airbrushed to tint windows in passenger cars as well. The poles are dowels I distressed and stained, wtih blackened brass wire angle iron supports. I want to do a telegraph line for my On30 layout using similar techniques, including beads for the insulators. See my website here: Amazing, Thanks so much! This looks right to the "eye". It might be a little close, but it will give you the feeling of being a greater distance when there are more poles per mile.


Stick 3 or 4 poles in some foam scarps and push them around to make sure you like it before you drill the holes. The prototype distance is pretty much irrelevant, the real question is what spacing creates the look you want on your model railroad. If the goal is really emphasizing your pole line then go with spacing in the 12" range. If its a small scene on a big layout then " might be appropriate.

Just be aware that if you use more prototypical spacing, it could make your trains look smaller. On the other hand 90 ft spacing about a foot would make that same train 12 poles long.

Preparation for Installation

A person looking at either scene would "do the math" in their heads on how far they think the poles are and more poles would probably be estimated to be further than the fewer poles. Photos taken parallel to the tracks would include more poles and would be more likely to capture the "picket fence" look of poles in a picture shot with a telephoto lens. True scale fidelity could potentially detract from the scene just as true scale height trees might overpower your train. As I'm terrible with art I find artistic side of the hobby such as this discussion fascinating.

Maybe because it's so mysterious to me about why something "looks right".