The Lima catenary system has been produced since 1981, but it was initially introduced in the catalogues in 1978. With the production start Lima also offered locomotives, which could actually draw current from the overhead wire. This catenary is very interresting, because it is modelled after a uncommon Italian prototype, even if it is somewhat simplified. Following up is a brief history from the first appearance in the catalogue until the final version that was delivered to the hobby shops.

First Sample 1978

The first version from 1978 looked very similar to the catenary made by Märklin of Göppingen. The overall style with with stamped tin wires are almost identical to the catenary, that also was offered to the Spanish market by Electrotren. Only the masts itself looked different to anything else in Germany. Notably interresting are the long and short arms to let the wires run in zig-zag to reduce wear of the pantograph. Masts with two arms or other special forms of masts were not pictured. Stamped tin wires were intended to be made in three different lengths and extendable. See picture below.


Version of 1980

In the 1980 catalogue this picture was shown. Aside of the newly styled masts and arms, which looked already much more like the FS-prototype an end-mast was also pictured. Still, the overall look was still not really satisfying. The wires were no longer the stamped tin ones, the extendable one was dropped already. Conversion sets for electric engines were listed in the catalogues with different types of pantographs and an electric switch.

The two shown preproduction samples from 1978 and 1980 have not been made.


Final version 1981

The final version, pictured in the 1981 catalogue, looked surprisingly good. The masts were nicely detailed and had removable stands. There were small white insulators included for the wire holders. The overhead wires were made of thin leaded copper wire. Like the real thing the wires were intended to be hung up in straight pieces. Especially after some touch up with paint it looked good on any model railway. Unfortunately, Lima only produced the pictured masts, but no special forms (i.e. centre masts with two arms)

Finally, some pictures from the catalogue, which were meant as a suggestion of how to use the catenary system. Please note that this catenary is not usable without some rework. The wire hangers are a little bit too long and have to be grinded off. Please take care when doing this as the little leading points easily come off.


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