View Full Version : Red Electric interurbans

22nd Apr 2019, 12:23 PM

At the time, electric traction was seen as the way of the future, and in 1912, SP began converting existing steam routes to overhead electrification. Via the Red Electric system, which SP established on rail lines it acquired from the Portland, Eugene and Eastern Railway (PE&E), the company planned to electrify all of its Oregon trackage except for its main line through the valley from Portland to California. The projected growth of the rural areas outside the main population centers of Portland, Salem, Corvallis, Albany and Eugene, however, did not materialize, despite the efforts of real estate promoters. The combination of this lack of growth, World War I and the rise of the automobile meant that the Red Electric system was far smaller than originally intended.

My dad and I are planning to build the Oregon Eastern - a proposed line during the Harriman era that would have run east from the SP mainline in Eugene to Klamath Falls, Lakeview, and Burns, and finally meet the UP in Ontario. It was only partially completed, with the SP portion from Eugene to Klamath Falls becoming part of the Natron Cutoff that is now the mainline, and the UP portion becoming the Burns branch, which never really went anywhere. (Burns doesn't really count as a somewhere.)

In our alternate history, for whatever reason (maybe Mr Harriman lived a little longer and made them do it), the line was completed from Eugene to Ontario, and operated jointly by the SP and the UP a la the Camas Prairie or the SP&S. (I'm an SP guy and he's a UP guy.) Since I also have an interest in Nn3, the Nevada-California-Oregon was completed, connecting Reno to Prairie City and the Sumpter Valley Railway, and interchanging with the Oregon Eastern in Lakeview.

Anyway, the quote and the picture above should show what my plan is. Mountain grades and electric traction went together like bread and butter in the 20s, so it's pretty obvious to me that the Oregon Eastern would have been electrified and operated by the Red Electric. I've already mocked up some freight motors I want to make:
(Kato JNR ED16)
(Kato JNR EF57)

However, I have no idea how to make the classic red interurbans:

My best idea right now would be to use one of the power chassis that Tomytech offers and 3d print a shell for it with Shapeways, but that's a lot of work, especially since I don't know the first thing about CAD for 3d printing. I also thought about using WOT Harriman coaches, replace the ends and add a power chassis and pantographs, and call it close enough. Does anyone have any ideas for me? Any existing models I could kitbash?

22nd Apr 2019, 12:25 PM
Great idea - looking forward to updates.:)

22nd Apr 2019, 03:52 PM
Miniatures by Eric made a shell of a Portland box motor and a car that was called a Portland Twelve on the Pacific Electric. I have one....one of the big 72 passenger cars has yet to be modeled...they were called blimps by the PE...

22nd Apr 2019, 11:04 PM
This is a Portland Twelve


23rd Apr 2019, 02:00 AM
You may want to look at the following
N Sale Interurban Blog (also Shapeways designer)
N Scale Traction Page

23rd Apr 2019, 05:39 AM
I don't have any ideas for the interurban, but as a guy interested in the Oregon Trunk, I'm looking forward to your Oregon Eastern ideas.